Last night Mr. Red and I were lucky enough to be invited to Birminghams newest vegan eatery.
Natural Healthy Food is located on the ground floor of Orion building, Suffolk Queensway just before the New Alex theatre, it has plenty of signage up so it’s not difficult to find, but it really is worth seeking out.
Not only a vegan and gluten free dining experience this is also an organic grocery store that stocks a huge selection of foodstuffs, household cleaning items and toiletries. But more about that later, first I want to share my dining experience.
Before our arrival I had bumped into some friends who had also been invited to try Natural Healthy Food and so the four of us shared a table and better still, when we arrived I was greeted by a dear friend who is working here.
The food is laid out buffet style, with a variety of hot and cold dishes available for you to serve yourself, when you have filled your plate you take it to the cash desk to pay, payment is calculated by weight.
I took a little bit of everything, OK not quite everything, but I decided variety was the key to my first vegan experience. Variety is most definitely on the menu here, food options included cold salad’s including various dips, hummus, chic peas and nuts, curry, chili, vegan shepherds pie, cauliflower cheese, roasted mixed vegetables, potatoes, rice, noodles and onion bread.
I absolutely love the Singapore noodles they didn’t look terrifically appetising but oh my they tasted sublime thanks to a drizzle of sesame oil, the Black Bean chili was equally impressive with just enough of a punch to be tasty without overdoing the heat, yet packed full of flavour, the onion bread was rich with the flavour of fried onions and is something I could easily be greedy with and it’s still gluten free.
A variety of desserts were passed around, I’m not a big sweetie fan but the difference in a dessert made with sugar and desserts made with sweet stuff that’s not sugar could easily tempt me, I realised I don’t like sugar but I do like natural sweetness from carob, dates and the like. The key lime pie was certainly my favorite, it packed a zesty punch but the sugar free brownies were also excellent.
Alongside our delicious meal we enjoyed a herbal tea, an impressive selection of tea and coffee are available and the tea is served with a little egg timer so as to provide you with the perfect strength of your favorite brew. We tried the lemongrass and ginger, it provides an immediate hit of lemon followed by a gentle tang of ginger as an after thought, but there is a massive selection of fruit and herb teas, so you’re bound to find a new favorite if your usual tea is not on the menu.
Lunchtime take away boxes are also available should you be looking for a healthy and tasty alternative to your usual sandwich.
On to the shop, which stocks overy 1500 everyday items. As well as the usual selection of organic fruit and vegetables, canned goods, chocolate bars, whole foods, milks and juices there is also household cleaning products and toiletries. But for me it was the quality of the fresh vegetables that really impressed. It’s surprising how we get used to the fruit and vegetables that our supermarket deem to be ‘quality’ and it’s not until I handled an unwaxed lemon, fresh garlic that is the size of my palm and as solid as iron and most impressive a bears claw of fresh root ginger that was shiny and firm rather than the sad and shrivelled offering I have previously been used to. I do know there is no way I will be settling for the second best quality veggies again, not now I have found my new favourite vegetable market. Mr. Red and I plan to stock up from here this weekend.
The restaurant is certainly somewhere we will be eating at again, it’s perfectly located for us when we go to the theatre as it’s between the New Alexandra and the red cage car park we use. It’s also super fast service as it is all self service, so no time lost perusing the menu, just grab a plate and take whatever takes your fancy.
I love the enthusiasm and the knowledge that the staff have too. I really do recommend you try Birminghams newest vegan dining experience. Had I not been invited I may well have dismissed this trendy eatery with its reclaimed wood top tables, Eddison style lighting, friendly staff, welcoming background music, lovely atmosphere and superb food as somewhere for vegans and therefore not for me, but what I realised last night is Vegan places are not just places for vegans.
Although I was invited here to enjoy a meal at no cost to myself, this is not a sponsored post, this is just my honest opinion to a lovely meal.