Issue 243
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There are roughly 3.5 trillion fish in the sea, and as you've probably noticed precisely none of them reside in Birmingham. But that hasn't stopped our land locked plot from representing when it comes to the amphibious world. From modern Indian dishes, to cookery lessons, to the street food stalls that are proven to make your life a happier one, this is how Brum does fish.
Whatever the mercury is saying, there's no such thing as summer until lobster has arrived on the Opus menu. From August 1, get your own 1lb native beaut for your main as part of the two-course a la carte (£30) or as one of three-courses (£35). Always sourced fresh from the big blue bits around the British Isles, the lobsters arrive alive each morning. A stalwart in our summer diary. Until September 15. Book

Hitting up Digbeth Dining Club tomorrow (July 27), the Caribbean pop-up boss: Leave it to Esmie. Dive into a whole soft shell crab burger, rolled in jerk seasoning, and fried for just minutes on each side to crisp up their outsides. Served in proper homemade buns with avocado and coleslaw, they're more morish than a Solihull Moors versus Moor Street Station barge mooring competition.
If you grew up in Brum in the 80s and 90s, there really was only one chippy option and it was Dad's Lane. But in pubs throughout South Birmingham a war of words rages, and never has the support for George & Helen's been so strong. Wedged between Harborne and Quinton, their fish is delivered fresh every weekday from Grimsby and acquired from sustainable waters. Oh and Danny Dyer has eaten there and for our money that's as big as Muhammad Ali eating at Kebabish.
There's a time for cod and chips, double-wrapped in greaseproof. But there's also a time for fine, fine fish, treated delicately and with precision. Allepy Kerala (pictured) majors on Cornish turbot — which is super seasonal right now. The dish comes with wilted choi sum, perfect little clams and tempered Keralan coconut milk. The caraway soft shell crab (pictured top) is also totally findable at Opheem and a creation you might just recognise from chef Aktar Islam's time on BBC Two's Great British Menu. Book

Spanish belly tuna (pictured), delicate sweet Japanese scallops and perfectly caramelised scorched eel. Eat all these incredible bites as nigiri — so largely raw (save for the blow torching), on perfect little fingers of rice. Then fully gorge yourself on the e'er so fresh soft shell crab futokmaki — a big old seaweed wrapped roll of deliciousness. Gaijin's putting out easily the best sushi in the city, which is also now gettable on that Deliveroo.
Risole de camarão — without knowing what this is, we immediately need to eat it. For those of you a little less obsessed with nice sounding words, they're prawn croquettes (pictured, pre-pankoing) and you can get them, along with garlic prawns, octopus salad and salt cod fritters as part of Salcooks' Portugese pop-up at Peel & Stone Harborne. From 6.30pm tomorrow (Friday) until sell out.

If you can't see Glynn Purnell on Saturday Kitchen, he's almost definitely at the Bullring Indoor Market Saturday mornings. And his advice on where to hit? For exotic fish, speak to Rodger at C & K Ebanks. For everything else, get straight to Greg at Pearce's Shellfish. Glynn says: "I am incredibly passionate about the market and its traders — the heartbeat of this amazing city". We're going to be more like Glynn.

Fillet, gut, clean, skin, season, scale, repeat — learn how to handle all that fish you've just been convinced to buy from the market with chef Charlotte Pike at Harborne Food School. The three-hour session includes prep of a three very different Nemos, using different cookery methods like, steaming, pan frying and roasting to get to the eventual meal you'll sit down to. It's £85, on Sept 24 at 7pm. Book


Mission Impossible: Fall Out? More like Jump Out, given that’s what Tom Cruise does for half this film. Planes, windows, cars, helicopters – he’s constantly finding new things to leap or be hurled from, and it’s joyous. Cruise’s ongoing transformation into Jackie Chan reaches its highest point yet here: imagine beaming back to 1986 and telling that to people watching Top Gun. Aside from a bare-bones spy plot that means it’s about very little other than how awesome Tom Cruise is, this is easily one of the best action movies of the century, and maybe ever: there was an old Hollywood exec who said that a movie should begin with an earthquake and then build to a climax. He’d have loved this. Times & trailer


The Comedy About a Bank Robbery is, as the title would suggest, a comedy about a bank robbery. It's also "the funniest show in town" according to The Telegraph, and comes with a reassuring amount of five-star reviews from its three-year tenancy in London. Touring to Birmingham's Rep for its very first trip out of the capital, the production is by the same people as the almost embarrassingly successful The Play That Goes Wrong, and tracks an escaped con obsessed with nabbing the sort of diamond a Kardashian would get married and divorced over repeatedly. Expect a fast-paced, clever, right amount silly sort of a full length skit. From August 23 to September 8. Tickets are from £10, rising to £37.50.


Waterloo, Hastings, Leningrad, DDC's 6th birthday — it might not roll off the tongue right now but them history books are going to need an update after the next great battle. On August 11, Digbeth Dining Club has enticed KERB — and eight of its most elbow-people-if-you-have-to-just-get-me-that-food sort of traders, over to Digbeth Arena — for one huge street food-off. Taking on eight of Brum's best, with an actual line chalked down the middle of the arena and a boxing ring for a stage, the rivalries you're going to want to take an interest in go a little something like this. On burgerness, Digbeth's own OPM will have Bill or Beak to contend with, while talking Asian, Buddha Belly's got Makatcha ogling it knowingly. Competition aside, we pinned the DDC team down, and we didn't let 'em up until they told us that Smokin Lotus produces some of the finest street food they've ever tried — think prime meats slow-smoked for hours, cut through with vibrant sauces and punchy, herby salads.  Early bird tickets have rudely sold out but some of the second release remain (£7.50). And don't elbow people, you monster. What the hell's wrong with you?
Venue: Indioz, 107 Alcester Road, Moseley, B13 8DD; website
Choice: Tarka dhal (£6.95 as a main)  Chooser: Ash, owner

Where's your local? Not pub local but Indian local. Because every self-respecting Brummie's got one, and we've recently acquired a newbie. Indioz is where the happy people go to eat curry — light and fresh and full of eighties tuneage and conversation. The team behind the BYO spot spent a couple of years at Moseley institution, Imlees, learning the trade, and becoming pals with the chef, who has joined them at Indioz just a few doors down. For first bits, lamb chops (£6.05) is the obligatory order — chops that have been marinated in spices, fresh herbs and lemon before being juicified on the inside, and crispified on the out, in a tandoor oven. On middles, we went for a meat (£10.95) and a veg thaali (£9.95). The best dish was easily the buttery, creamy, garlicky, textured tarka dhal, which fortunately appears in all thaalis, and owner Ash claimed as both a personal and customer fave. Indioz is putting out very reasonable food, at very reasonable prices, and visibly enjoying doing it. The menu is warm-hug-traditional, while the service and feel of the airy spot bring the offering right up to date. And chances are, we'll be there, which you may or may not deem to be a plus.

German drinking food is the menu at Caneat tomorrow night — think wood roast pork, currywurst and sauerbraten. The brilliantly named Stirchley Wines is on beer. From 5pm.
Go for a walk *and* learn something. On Aug 4 at 2pm, Rupert Fisher's talking all things
J and Q. Tickets are £7, and that you're meeting opposite a pub sounds good to us.
Purity Ale's got a limited release session IPA. Get to Purecraft from 6pm today to try it.

Yiayia Mama's first Greek-Cypriot pop up is at Kitchen Garden Cafe on August 3. The sort of mezze you go on holiday for will abound. It's £32 for all this. Tickets

Louisa Ellis formerly of The Wilderness and Masterchef: The Professionals is at Harvey Nichols por un noche. On August 5, the Japenesey five-courser is £75, or £110 with sake and such. Call 0121 616 6028 to book.

"I've never really wanted to go to Japan. Simply because I don’t like eating fish. And I know that's very popular out there in Africa."

Britney Spears

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WORDS: Katy Drohan, Tom CullenAndrew Lowry
PICTURES:  Jack Spicer Adams (OPM burger)
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