I’m still getting over the shock of a bank holiday weekend that was actually pretty decent in terms of the weather. Adding to the decent-ness of the weekend was the first event at Natural Healthy Foods in the city centre, a vegan beer and jazz night.
I’ve never been to the city centre branch of Natural Healthy Foods before, but after visiting the store in Digbeth and grilling buyer Cass about the cheese for the vegan cheese and beer event at Two Towers, I was pretty sure it was going to be a decent evening. I mean, they know their stuff about vegan cheese, which always inspires confidence.
The £20 a head included a bottle of Kefir, a fermented drink (not the milk variety of course) that is supposed to make you really healthy or something. Whatever, it tasted good and the bottle was nice so what more do you want? Along with the drink was rice and three types of curry – a spicy sweet and sour bean curry, their signature dal and a green coconut chickpea kurma, please a selection of desserts. Plus an excellent jazz band playing some chilled out tunes. And of course the company of lots of plant based explosions (farts guys, you can’t have a room full of people eating beans and lentils and get away with it – but vegan farts smell better than the regular kind anyway so it’s FINE).
The curries were beautiful, so tasty, and the spicy one was actually pretty spicy. It made an excellent contrast to the kurma, which was delicately spiced with a rich savoury coconutty flavour. I added some of the himalyan pink salt (of course) to my salt, but that was mostly because why wouldn’t you want to sprinkle pink stuff over everything? They also bought around big bowls of seconds of everything, so there was no chance of going hungry.
Of course the real excitement of the evening, for me at least, was the selection of vegan desserts. To be honest, I’m not sure what they all were, except I know Natural Healthy Foods use all natural ingredients and no refined sugar so I’m pretty sure they all counted as one of my five a day. There was what I am assuming was a lemon cheesecake that was amazing – super tangy and citrusy, but they were all beautiful and having a selection was perfect for me – I always want to try a bit of everything as making a decision when it comes to dessert is too hard.
The vibe was really chilled, probably because everyone was on the Kefir instead of necking red wine. We were sat on some pretty rickety but of course super trendy vintage high stools towards the back of the restaurant – I had a great view of the Mailbox but a crap view of the Jazz band. Despite the seating, it was a great night, the staff were also super friendly, the band was awesome and the food was amazing. I would definitely recommend trying to bag a ticket for their next event!
Vegan rating: 4 avocadoes, I’m only knocking one off because of our seats (close to the toilets, which is a double edged sword really), other than that it was a fantastic night and I’m looking forward to visiting again even if it’s just to spend £50 on vegan mayonnaise.
Natural Healthy Foods
Unit 1 Sirius (Orion Building), 24 Suffolk Street Queensway Birmingham B1 1LT