There is nothing I like better than dining out, either for brunch, lunch or dinner. I love many different kinds of cuisines and have a few restaurants that I would consider ‘favourites’ from Bellagio’s Italian restaurant in West Bromwich, to Thai Orchid in Birmingham, and quite a few different places in London. But as much as I love to revisit my favourites, it is also great to try new, interesting and unusual places to eat. Here are a few new ventures, interesting ideas and pop-up’s in the world of food.
Bunga Bunga London
Bunga Bunga is based in Battersea and is named for Silvio Berlusconi’s ‘Bunga Bunga Girls’. I haven’t yet tried this restaurant, but, with our Italian name and background, I really want to. This is an Italian themed pizzeria that takes icons of Italy and incorparates them into your dining experience – the bar is gondola shaped, the doorway is an Italian phonebox and they do a Godfather inspired horses head cocktail. What’s not to love? (Visit Bunga Bunga website here.)
Nomad at the Kitchen Garden Cafe, Kings Heath, Birmingham
This is one you have to try for the unusual menu choices. Nomad is the new venture from Brummie chef Alex Claridge. It opened last month at the Kitchen Garden Cafe and offers a very unusual and eclectic tasting menu of five or 11 courses with such varied dishes as Reindeer Moss, miso, olive, white chocolate, caramel, seaweed and ewe curds, sea buckthorn, treacle oats. (Visit Nomad site here.)
UKIPT All-In Kitchen
A pop-up restaurant that combines poker and gourmet food is the concept of this food delight. The All-in Kitchen is such a fun idea, whether you’re a poker rookie, or regularly frequent the world of Super High Rollers. The concept is so simple. First you play three hands of poker. Then, what you pay for your meal is based on how many chips you have at the end of those three hands. That could be £10, £5 or absolutely nothing, all complements of PokerStars. This means that you could enjoy a meal for just £10.
The menu has been created by Jones & Sons, and includes dishes like a ‘Royal Flush of King Crab Thermidor’, ‘Queen Scallops accompanied by Salt Baked Swede and Bacon Marmalade and ‘4 Of A Kind of Lamb Chops, Rump, Kidney and Shoulder With A Rosemary Jus.’
Dans Le Noir? Clerkenwell, London
A restaurant where you eat your meals in total darkness, not actually knowing what you are putting into your mouth. That is the weird, wonderful, rather surreal world of Dans Le Noir, based in Clerkenwell. The restaurant enhances the other senses by taking away sight, and offers food that is mostly fresh, natural and/or organic. You choose from 4 surprise menus. I think this is a restaurant that you would be talking about for quite some time, even if you couldn’t describe the decor! (Visit the website for more information here.)
Where is the most unusual place you have dined recently?