Issue 196
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If you have even just a passing interest in our social media feeds you'll know that we have a frankly worrying obsession with mid-90s post-nightclub chowhouse Mr Egg. 'Eat Like A King for £1' was their tagline and indeed you would get fried egg and chips for one golden piece of the Queen's good coinage. More recently a truly gruesome kebab joint, the latest incarnation of Mr Egg is a Chinese street food diner. We went. Here's our learnings. 
For a restaurant that can do about ten covers, max, there is literally no need for the buzzing, flashing 'your food is ready' alert system. But it looks the bizzle.
The food's actually very good. The highlight of the menu is the mung bean wrap that's now a regular fixture on our lunch options. Hand on heart this is tasty. 
They sell merch. Mr Egg Merch, man! In the 90s this stuff would have flown off the shelves to egg-rabid clubbers juiced out of their heads on Snakebite Black at 3am...
...But Mr Egg now deals in solving the night before. So life-affirming were their fruity infusions that our ad's guy wished he had a hangover he needed fixing.  
Menu hack #1: They do a full fried squid (£6.90) which is very difficult to eat. Make life easier by having them "carve" your battered cephalopod at the table. Class.
Menu hack #2: The chilli oil isn't officially a condiment on offer but hidden away they have small pots to siphon some of this miracle sauce into, if you ask nice bab. 
Menu hack #3: They've got this stuff called plum powder. It's incredibly moreish and will probably be made illegal by the government, pre-Christmas. Get on it.
Win a t-shirt: We have a genuine (un-ironed) Mr Egg tee to give to one lucky winner. Simply head on over to Facebook to make your wildest dreams come true. 


Possibly the most tantalising food and drink creators in Birmingham are getting it together to create something truly intriguing on Bennetts Hill. Chef Alex Claridge, creator of The Wilderness (pictured left) and bartender supreme James Bowker (right), who you really should have had the good fortune to meet at The Edgbaston, have got their hands on a four-floor property, next to where Adam's started out. Bringing the next iteration of The Wilderness to life with the help of this eerie launch video, there will be a 40-cover food offering (The Wilderness currently does just 24) and, on a separate floor, a 60 to 70-cover bar which they've yet to name. And as far as interiors go they're keeping schtum — a lot about this venture is to remain a puzzler — but expect even more from the kitchen, which will be significantly bigger and more resourced than the restaurant's current home, and the sort of mad touches for which The Wilderness has become synonymous. "We've seen what can be done with a sane mind," Alex told us "thankfully we don't have that problem." Keep your eyes on this email for more news. 


As summer dies down and the blockbuster circus leaves town, how’s about a palette-cleanser from digital destruction? You won’t get more lo-fi than this – largely set in a single house, it’s the story what happens when one unnamed half of a couple (Casey Affleck) dies in a car crash, only to return to haunt the house he shared with his wife (Rooney Mara). In a pretty big gamble, the ghost is played by Affleck literally wearing a sheet over his head, like he’s going trick-or-treating. If you can get beyond that – some will find it ridiculous, others will get it – you’ll not find a horror, but film of quiet ambition, as Affleck witnesses events future and past on the same scrap of earth he silently haunts, gaining wisdom as he observes the lives of those who cross his path. It’s a Marmite flick, to be sure, but don’t forget some people love Marmite.


It's Autumn at mac Birmingham. Okay it's not but the team has this week launched their September programme, with women at its centre. Including events, visual arts and workshops, the central exhibition at Women & Protest is based on an exploration by Sarah Payen of the peace protests at Greenham Common and the role that females played. The season has a strong link to the Craftivism movement, which uses traditionally “feminine” or “domestic” arts such as sewing and embroidery to protest in quieter, non-violent ways. Don’t Blow it Handkerchiefs is one of three workshops being led by founder of the global Craftivist Collective, Sarah Corbett. Embroider a powerful message on a handkerchief as a way of influencing people to make a positive difference. And get a natty materials kit while you do. On October 7, it’s £22.
Venue: The Meat Shack, 17 Thorp Street, B5 4AT; website
Choice: Dutch Piggy (£8) Chooser: The streaky bacon made us do it

When was the last time you held a person in your arms because a burger tasted so damned good? For us, it was an hour before we wrote these words. And the manager at The Meat Shack didn't even look surprised — we weren't the first to very nearly weep over the meaty mysticism, and by God, we won't be the last. Aged beef patty adorned with dripping Dutch cheese, American cheese and streaky bacon is what this pocket of perfect is about, with ketchup, chipayo and crunchy onion flakes to do both texture and a gentle piquant. We hadn't even finished our first bite when we started lapping the room with Conga-esque excitement. And if you're all about the heat, opt for a Hell Shack (£7.50) complete with green chilli relish and Rib Man Holy F**k Sauce. Two bites were delicious but enough for us on this one — our companion in yum literally exhaled "Holy F**k" before totally getting the sauce on an almost meditative level. So very good with Birmingham Brewing Co's Pale Brummie — a thirst quenching citrusy little number. And as for the great Meat Shack vs OPM debate, we have a very clear response — we'll be eating precisely twice as many burgers. Menu


Two little ducks are putting the balls back in bingo, and you are cordially invited. Accompanied by two hours of bottomless beveraging (choose from Prosecco or Amstel) this ain't your normal competitive number crunching — think gold sequin jackets, a lotta-lotta-laughs, ludicrous amounts of hair gel and musical sojourns of the not entirely serious persuasion. Taking place at The Button Factory on August 27 and led by those crackers quackers from Rafiki's Cuisine, we ran a study and it turns out this is the best Sunday of the year to go out out, what with the day following being a bank holiday. For a bottomless billet in advance, there are a limited number of tickets for £20, rising to £25 when the first release sells out. Or get a seat for a tenner if you're not saucing. Either way, the team is putting on bar snacks for bingo-ers. And, just like in Pat Sharp's Fun House, there are prizes to be won.
  • Tamatanga is opening on Navigation Street at the end of September. It'll be Indian street food shaped. Here be their Nottingham menu
  • The first ever UK day/night test match starts tonight at Stad de Edgbaston. They've been talking about it on Radio 4 and everything
  • Change in the Inner City looks at post-war redevelopment in central Brum, and includes a Paradise preview. Closing at the end of the month at BMAG, maybe go find out what the fudge is happening?
  • DDC turns five this Friday and OPM, also celebrating 1,825 days of life-ness is bringing a special burger to proceedings. As in a burger you can't get at in their hallowed restaurant
  • Kronuts are occurring at Medicine on New Street, a pop-up bakery from the people behind the leg-end-ary Medicine Bar. It's open Friday this week, and generally also on Saturdays
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"Man who invented the hamburger was smart; man who invented the cheeseburger was a genius." - Matthew McConaughey
WORDS: Tom Cullen, Katy Drohan, Andrew Lowry
IMAGES: The Wilderness Collaboration: PixelPro Media ; Women & Protest (Press Association), Mr Egg (Just look at his banner pic

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