Christmas menu at Natural Bar & Kitchen, Birmingham
Vegan, gluten free, organic & plant based eatery in Birmingham
So, I’m a vegetarian, however I do my best to eat mostly vegan food when I can, the only problem I have is when I’m reviewing new places for my blog as there’s never much choice on the menu for Vegans, so I do struggle. For this reason, I’m always on the look out for Vegan places to eat in Birmingham, so when Natural Healthy Foods got in touch with me to review their new Christmas Menu I jumped at the opportunity. Natural Healthy Foods are located on Suffolk Street Queensway, I’ve noticed the place loads of times as I’ve made my way down the steps at The Mailbox, but I never realised it was an eatery I always assumed it was a store like the one they have in Digbeth.
Natural Healthy Foods is Birmingham’s only organic vegan store and eatery. They serve up a variety of raw and cooked vegan food throughout the day for their vegan buffet. Yes, you heard me right a vegan buffet of fresh, organic and healthy food that you can eat in or take out. Prices vary too as its pay by the weight, so you can fill your plate with as little or as much as you like. I like this concept as it makes you more conscious to not overindulge or waste food. The food is also gluten-free and free from refined sugar, plus they use only coconut oil and pink Himalayan salt to cook and season the food. Even their water is healthier, as its filtered to get rid of all the nasties.
Now onto the Natural Healthy Christmas menu, we arrived for our reservation at 6pm and were quickly shown to our seats. Unlike the buffet, the Christmas menu is table service, so we had a very sweet lady explain the menu to us, it was so great to see how passionate the staff are about the healthy food – something you just don’t get in your usual food places.
As we had just came in from wondering around the German Market in the freezing cold, we began the evening with some hot beverages to warm ourselves up. I went for the plant based Beetroot latte. To be honest I wasn’t quite sure if I would like it, but I was pleasantly surprised I really enjoyed it, its not something I would usually pick but I would definitely have it again, they also have a turmeric latte that I would like to try next time, too.
For starters, I went for the ‘Herb crusted Goats Cheeze with pickled beetroot and spiced pear’. Firstly, the presentation was fantastic, it was full of flavour and it tasted beautiful. One of the reasons why I haven’t fully converted to a vegan diet yet is because, some of the vegan cheeses I’ve tried haven’t been great, however the ‘goats cheeze’ in this was really nice, especially when accompanied with so many flavours and the layer of juicy pear sauce and crunchy parsnip bits, it was delish! Again, this isn’t a meal I would usually pick, as I just tend to stick to things I know I would like. So, I’m glad I got to try something different and unique at Natural Healthy Foods, I would happily eat it again, it was lovely!
My Nan who was my plus one went for the ‘Parsnip soup with roasted chestnuts & curried oil’, served with warm sourdough bread. She said, the thick hearty soup was delectable and loved the roasted chestnut surprise at the bottom of the dish, along with the crunchy parsnip topping.
Next up was our mains, I choose the ‘Roasted aubergine with baba ghanoush, wild mushroom sauce and cranberry crumb’. I absolutely loved this meal the only disappointing thing was finishing, as I just wanted to carry on eating it. The meal was perfect, it consisted of my two favourite veggies, aubergine and mushrooms, so I absolutely loved it. This was another flavoursome meal and the crunchy cranberry crumb bits just topped it off beautifully. It was a fantastic alternative to a typical Christmas-Sunday dinner, I’m going to try and re-create it myself, but I can’t imagine being able to recreate something that good myself!
My Nan had the ‘Squash nut roast with roasted roots and onion gravy’. This was my Nan’s first time ever having a nut roast, she really enjoyed it and said she would undoubtedly have one again and that it made a great alternative to turkey.
Alongside our main we were served a bowl of ‘Rosemary roast potatoes and miso sprouts’, these were incredible I couldn’t stop myself from adding them to my plate. My mom makes the best roasters, but now I’ve tried Natural Healthy Foods version, she’s got some tough competition. They were roasted to perfection, I think its because they were mini so every bite had the perfect crunch. Talking of crunch, those miso sprouts were addictive, yes, its not every day you hear someone say their addictive to sprouts. But they’re a game changer, my Christmas Day dinner will not be the same now I’ve tried miso sprouts, I’m trying to convince my mom to make them instead of soggy sprouts, but she says she’s got to ‘please everyone’, so I may attempt at making my own batch.
To help our mains digest, we were recommended to try the ‘Kombucha’ a fermented green tea drink, filled with probiotics. These were refreshing as its served cold and sparkling, they come in a variety of flavours too, they are available to buy in the Natural Healthy Food store, so I may have to buy some when I next pop in.
After our mains, it was finally time to try out Natural Healthy Foods free from refined sugar desserts. As you know I’m a chocolate junkie and usually when I review meals I always opt for a warm chocolate brownie of some kind, as much as I love fruit its not very often I choose a fruity dessert. However, I picked the ‘spiced chocolate orange cheesecake with vanilla coconut yoghurt’ and it tasted out of this world! It was presented beautifully, with every mouthful I tried to scoop up each layer along with the coconut yoghurt and zesty pieces of fruit, it was packed full of flavour. I’ve been craving it ever since!
My Nan had the ‘Cinnamon pouched pear & ginger cake with sour cherry ice cream’. She said she really enjoyed this and loved how all the flavours complemented each other so well, like all our meals we didn’t leave a single crumb!
To complete the evening, we finished with a round of coffees, I went for the ‘Bulletproof vegan style’ a Double Espresso with Coconut Oil, Maca, Cacao and Cinnamon, topped with steamed Plant Mylk. This had a great kick to it, I’ll certainly be getting one of these after my morning commute into the city.
Overall, we were really impressed with Natural Healthy Foods, I can see myself visiting here often for the vegan buffet and at weekends for the brunch menu that I’ve heard so many positive things about on Instagram, it looks fantastic. I definitely want to visit to try more of their free from refined sugar desserts too.
The Christmas menu is available until the 30th December, you can get 2 courses for £18.95 or 3 courses for £22.95. I’ve been telling every foodie friend I know about this place, so I’m planning to go back again before the festive menu ends. If you are planning on visiting, I highly recommend you book in advance on their website as the place looks very popular, they’re not licensed to sell alcohol so your welcome to bring your own drinks too.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Sam on behalf of Natural Healthy Foods for inviting me for a complimentary three course meal with drinks. All photos and words are my own.