Issue 301
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Eat Like A King For £1 bragged Mr Egg in 1996, and by Jiminy he wasn't lying. We don't wish to get too technical, but having just got back from the continent we can confirm that a full ten pieces of the Queen's paper is now officially worth exactly jacksh*t. Or is it? Here's the very best ways to spend a tenner, right here in Brum, as chosen by the chefs, restaurateurs and bar tenders that know.
We say: 
A stunner of a little sister to newly Michelin-starred Opheem
They say: "You’d have to go for the bolognese at £7.95. A recipe I’ve been cooking for 21 years: wild boar, beef cheek, oxtail, stupid amounts of expensive Barolo, organic San Marzano tomatoes, aged parmesan and single estate olive oil. Basically, it's the most expensive ragu in Brum and probably one of the most expensive in the country." — Aktar, Chef Director
We say: 
Brum's best Spanish, bab. 
They say: "How about the tapas deal we do every weekday lunch, and Monday and Tuesday evenings. Two tapas for £7 and half a pint is £2.95. Or three tapas for £10? Pick the jamón croquetas, the bravas potatoes, the squid or the aubergine. Oh, and our pork cheek with creamed potatoes is legendary. People complain when it’s off menu and rejoice when it’s back on. It's just £9.95." — Emma, Owner
We say The Stephenson Street bao bar has had Birmingham's fluffy bun game sewn up since they launched back in January. 
They say: "Best use of a tenner with us would definitely be a bao (pictured - pork, chicken or tofu), side dish (kimchi, house pickles or fragrant aubergines) and half a pint of Asahi. That comes to a beautifully satisfying £10 exactly." — Elsie, Front of House
We say: 
The Hong Kong brunch is one of the best pre-midday bites in all of Brum. Brilliant.  
They say: "Everyday from 10am until 12pm, brunch is just £9. For that you can get two dim sum, and then your choice of congee (rice porridge — go for the Hong Kong style), a claypot rice (fried egg and preserved sausage is the winner here), noodle soup or a veg dish. Chinese tea is free, so you're walking away with £1."
— Will, Director
We say:
By gum, this new pizzeria has hit the town sprinting.
They say: "How about the classic Marinara? The original Neapolitan pizza, it's topped with mouth-watering San Marzano tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basil and extra virgin olive oil, all loaded on to our soft dough, which takes 24 hours to prepare and 60 seconds to cook. Paired with a pint of Burning Soul's Jewellery Quarter-made Citrus Haze for a total of £9.90."
— Gavin, GM
We say: 
You may think you can't find a bargain here. You couldn't be wronger.
They say: "I would recommend three naked oysters and a glass of Sicilian 2018 Rosé Sicilia DOC Planeta, which comes to £10 (without service). We have also launched our snack menu which includes smoked cod’s roe and oatcakes (£4.50), crispy Scottish squid (£5.50), haddock Scotch egg (£6.50), breaded Cornish sardines (£6.50) and pork and smoked eel fritter (£7)."
— Natasha, Owner
We say: 
Super hidden, super cool, super value.
They say: "A tenner gets you a Cherry Ingram from our new menu — and £1 change to buy a Freddo. That £10 represents three years of work to showcase the delicate, intricate and stunningly unique flavour of cherry blossom in all its beauty. Available from October 23 and insanely delicious from the outset, the key is sourcing pure Kyoto Sakura from the Gyoen National Garden and utilising numerous presentational techniques."
— Robert, Bar Director


This is your chance to win some spendoes for doing what you do on the daily: looking fly. Simply turn up on the Saturday of the Styled by Mailbox weekender in your finest threads and if you’re deemed the best-dressed shopper, you’ll receive two thou to spend in the centre. While you're there, learn about getting your face on and your hair did with demos from Marc Jacobs and Toni & Guy Essensuals, take advantage of discounts, or Q and A the bejesus out of former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman. There’s a free beard trim for the fellas, as well as a comped and suitably cheeky pint from Malmaison. On Oct 25 and 26, the event and the demos are free but the Q&A costs a crisp tenner, redeemable at Harvey Nichols. Book


Halloween was never a thing back in our day. Sure, you’d shake down your immediate neighbours for a fistful of Refreshers and a sherbet Dip Dab, but now you’re expected to actually go out to mark the occasion. Good job, then, that there’s some genuinely creepy stuff going on to scare the shiz out of you and yours. Exhibit A is Aston Hall’s Madame Manium’s Maledictorian. Touted as one of Britain’s most haunted buildings, the stunning, seventeenth century mansion will be crammed-full of creepy curios, the opportunity for jump scares galore and no doubt, the odd cotton cobweb. Just think of it as an up-market Ghost Train. All aboard. Happening on October 25 and 26 from 5pm until 9pm, tickets are £12 with entry every 30 minutes.


One of the most naturally gifted comedians around, Carl Donnelly makes stand-up look like he’s having a casual chat with friends, having reached a Roger Federer-esque Zen-like state where the funny seems to flow through him effortlessly. Carl's appearing at Glee as part of a show staged by Viva!, the vegan charity, and a stonking bill it is too. Keep an eye out for Chris Stokes, whose efficient, precise use of language makes him one to watch. And for pure gags, Adele Cliff is terrific, having featured in Dave’s Jokes Of The Fringe four years running. On Oct 26, tickets are £15.


Surprise! Your breakfast options just blew up. Today only, Morridge is once again serving up an entire porridge menu pour vous. Why today? Because it’s World Porridge Day, silly, and you can not only get your organic jumbo oats, but also do your bit for charidee at the same time (big up, Mary’s Meals). Talking toppings, we're hearing day-making things about the spiced pumpkin compote with maple pecan clusters. Get your fill until 11.30am in the Great Western Arcade, and crossy fingers that the rumours we're hearing about more permanent digs turn out to be both true and imminent.
Venue: Brewer's Social, 77 High St, Harborne, B17 9NS; website
Choice: Mud City Ribs (£13.95) Chooser: Server

If you should spot smoke billowing above the shops of Harborne High Street, do not fear — it’s probably not a fire, and it’s definitely nothing to do with the Pope. It’ll just be two smokers on top of the Brewer's Social, doing their thing. No, not a couple of Marlboro loving
parkour fans, we’re talking meat smoking machines. With Sadler's pop-up closed and the revamp done did, the good people of Harborne now have a pub other than The Plough worth eating at. We smashed our way through a half rack of ribs, cooked in Sadler’s Mud City chocolate and vanilla stout, like a mad carnivorous beaver. Served up with charred corn, Cajun fries and Bourbon beans, they had a little bit of heat and plenty of flavour from the beer. Beer, you see, is what Sadler’s is all about — they’ve been making the stuff for over 150 years. The pick of the pales on our visit was the Orange Mosaic IPA, which we could happily have "tried" five too many of. Had we not shown some uncharacteristic restraint we would have found ourselves back at the Brewer's the very next day as the chilli chips (£6.95) are everything every hangover you’ve encountered was clamouring for. Fries blanketed in a chilli made from smoked brisket, pork belly and turkey is smothered in melted cheddar — what’s not to like about that? Unless you’re vegetarian, or allergic to dairy, or don't like delicious things, there's absolutely nothing to not like about it. Menu
It's World Mental Health Day, which seems like a rather good reason to try BMAG's new mindful audio guide, which has been designed by the founder of Mindspace, to take you through the museum in a peaceful way.
Thai tapas types, Giggling Squid, are adding to their national arsenal of restaurants and opening where Zizzis closed on Harborne High Street in 2020.
Club Fierce knows how to dance like no one's watching. Join plenty of DJs for the biggest party night from the festival of the same name on Oct 19 in Digbo. Adv tickets £6
Zero waste heroes The Clean Kilo are launching their second plastic-free grocery store in November, on Bournville's Mary Vale Road. In your face, excessive packaging!
Doughballs and donuts bookend the main event at Dough, the permanent pizzeria launching at Dig Brew Co tomorrow from 5pm, which will now be open Thursday through to Sunday. Choose from regularly rotating slices right through to 20-inch sharers.

"I accidentally booked myself onto an escapology course; I'm really struggling to get out of it."

Adele Cliff, Dave's Jokes of The Fringe (2019)

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WORDS: Tom CullenRobb Sheppard, Rob Newsome, Katy Drohan, James Gill

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