Issue 291
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The roads are quieter, the queues are shorter and while the sun is a bit inconsistent with that hat of his, by our reckoning, summer's looking good in Birmingtown. And comedy club kings, The Glee Club, are about to make it even better, with 500 free tickets scattered across ten independent venues for you to find. To get your pair, buy anything, however small, from one of them and ask for your pair of tickets. It's first come, first served...
If you haven't been here yet, deduct all your Brummie points. Then go and order the white cut chicken bao (£4.50), which comes with spring onions, ginger, chilli oil and sesame chicken crackle. Get the pork rice (£8) next.
This is neighbourhood craft beering at its tippity-toppest, with regularly changing wild, sour and traditional beers. Turkish food and coffee is also on the menu. We had all the time for the nenemin when we dropped by.
Go wish York Road's craft beer hang out a very happy birthday — complete with vintage, free to play Jukebox and regularly changing beers and street food, The Juke turned one last week.
In Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the Edwardian Tearooms deal in everything from coffee to a full-on Sunday roast, though we like the pork belly bites (£7.95) best.
We're guessing you've got the memo about the world-class theatre over on Southside but the Quarter Horse coffee and cake stocked cafe, open daily, might have passed you by. Free wifi.
Craft beer, natural wine and cheese toasties — gooey door stop sangers to sort out even the most complex of problems: yes, it has been too long since you went to Kilder.
You have until Aug 10 to try the pop-up tacos at this Jewellery Quarter fave. Or half a Flight of the Peach (£2.60), Attic Brew Co's pale wheat beer, will equally qualify you for a pair of comped tickets.
This, right now, is Kuula Poké's season — sunshine food, whether or not the sun is actually out. A regular poké (from £6.85) is definitely enoug for a right nice fancy lunch.
The vegan Mu Shu veggie and crispy bean bao has serious pedigree, or for brunching with a twist, try the baked eggs. An ace spot for dietary requirements of all breeds and creeds.
Break through the am-I-cool-enough-to-be-here barrier, chastise your use of the word cool, then get a coffee or fancy tea at this ever so good-looking Corporation Street cafe and vinyl store.
Tickets can be used on Thursdays or Fridays for Comedy Carousel or Friday Night Comedy taking place before the end of August. Full T&C on tickets. Go get 'em tiger.


Sweet cocktails. People who never shut about their podcast. Friends who call their dog their "fur baby". Armed with the new tee from Punks & Chancers and Alex Claridge of The Wilderness, we're saying NO BAB to all these things and more. As well as sticking it to their various pet hates, the 100% organic, Fair Wear accredited t-shirt, that's hand screen-printed in Brum is making a rather deeper point, a point about the huge rise of homelessness in the city. A fiver from the sale of every NO BAB t-shirt goes to SIFA Fireside, a Digbeth-based charity that works stonkingly hard to improve health and inclusion for the homeless of Brum. Order it (£25) for delivery later in the month. The first drop sold out in days.


If you're yet to make it to the 180 Club — Brum's first dedicated whizz bang darts bar — the St Paul's Square team have come up with two rather good excuses. To win an hour of darts for you and up to 13 pals, tag @180clubb3 on Twitter, including #ICB180CLUB in your tweet. The first fifteen people to do so will get 60 minutes of darts for absolutely nothing, during off-peak hours (winners will be contacted by DM). If you took a bit too long with your Cornflakes this morning and missed out on the competition, you can still play at the subterranean addition to The Rectory for half price (that's £7.50 for sixty minutes) any time Sunday to Wednesday, right through until the end of September. Just quote '180 summer' when you book.


Fresh from interning at three Michelin-starred The Fat Duck, Melvin Cheema is putting on his first pop-up. Malaysian born and bred, the BCU grad is doing four-courses of modern Asian plates, like the pandan mousse, cocoa meringue and gula melaka creme, pictured here in the early phases of development. We've never tried Melvin's food but at just £24 for a spot, we're definitely gambling on this 22-year-old. At Lucky Duck on Aug 13. 


Local lovelies Burning Barn Rum are doing some spicy, smoky things with their namesake spirit, which is flavoured and bottled in Hampton-in-Arden. Try their newest variant, Honey & Rum Liqueur (£29), which sold out at Birmingham Rum Festival but is totally findable at Stirchley Community market on Tuesday, together with the team's try-'em-all miniatures sets (£16). Also at Stirchley Baths from 4pm 'til 8pm, arts, crafts, dumplings and this little lot.


Imagine if there was a place where you could refine your cooking with starred up dining deity, Brad Carter, before moving on to grill God Andy Low 'N' Slow, and then you could get your produce from a food market as good as, we don't know, Ludlow's. Chasing to the cut, there is. At Taste of the Mailbox, taking place across the weekend, find Brad masterclassing with intent in the Kitchen Gallery showroom (Saturday, 3pm, £55) and Andy at Canalside demoing exactly what he does to make those Longhorn steaks from Dunwood Farm required eating (Sunday, 1pm, free). On top of that, there'll be free film screenings, cocktails for the sampling and comped food from Mailbox residents like Everyman. If wine is more your sort of thing (or, if you want it to be), there's an ever so civilised tasting session in Harvey Nichols' private dining room on Sunday from 3pm. For £20, try six drops under the tutorship of the excellent knower of all things grape, Siofra O’Brien, and chomp on a cheese platter whilst you do. More
Venue: Summer lunch menu at Opus, 54 Cornwall Street, B3 2DE; website
Choice: Pastrami sandwich (£13.75) Chooser: Exec chef, Ben

Over the last few years, going for lunch, and we mean *really* going for lunch, seems to have found its way on to the endangered list, save for on the specialist of occasions. Realising 12.30pm is no longer the time that the great and the good of B-Town necessarily wants to launch into a five-course epic, Opus has launched a different sort of lunchtime menu. Pick from
a summery list of one-coursers — starting from a wallet-approved £9.95 — but get the same beautiful Cornwall Street dining room, the same beautiful welcome and the same beautiful food. The understated sounding "ham and egg" salad (£9.95) is the ideal pick when the mercury does rise. Crunchy nursery veg from Worcester Produce — like perfect petit pois — is combined with seasonal leaves and topped generously with flaked Jimmy Butler ham hock, a just-right poached hen's egg and sauteed potatoes. The dish is seasoned immaculately and with the usual Opus bread basket, even if you're quite hungry, this dish works. If the weather's looking less optimistic, the monkfish tails and fries (£14.75) are where you're going to want to be. But for the any-day-of-the week winner, it's all about the pastrami sandwich. Layered up with pepper rubbed Hereford Longhorn beef brisket, once you've got over the novelty of eating a sanger in Opus, you'll still have time to enjoy the meaty moment with pickles, gherkins and horseradish cream on Opus' granary. In Chef Ben's words "If you're having a sandwich for lunch, then you'd better make it a proper sandwich". So screw coffee and a catch up this summer, Opus has reinvented *really* going for lunch, the 2019 edition.
Stickie Fingers opens early this month at the Custard Factory. We've seen the menu and it includes pancake tacos, waffle pops, cheesecake cones and custard soup. We know.
As is customary, Digbeth First Friday is tomorrow and includes Emily Mulenga's exhibition, which asks, 'Now that we know the world is ending soon…what are you gonna wear?'.
Save that date. The always acesome Birmingham Weekender is back from September 27 to 29 after a fallow year. Missed you x
Marmalade has had a big old facelift, with an extended terrace to take advantage of its new and improved Centenary Square view. There's also a new menu for pre-Rep Theatre sort of eating, and just because eating for everything else.
Provide has got it together with Love Letters to offer a workshop focusing on typography and signage. On Aug 17, you'll create a one-off print to take home. Tickets (£20)

"Working at the Jobcentre has to be a tense job – knowing that if you get fired, you still have to come in the next day."

Adam Rowe, winner of Funniest Joke Of The Fringe, 2018

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WORDS: Katy Drohan
PICTURES: The Juke — James Robert Burnett

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