Issue 198
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"What's your flava, tell me what's your flava?" demanded noughties pop lord, Craig David. Thinking there might be something in this, the city's got 17 days of deals, discounts and specials, from Purnell's to 200 Degrees via more than 30 Brum establishments. From Sept 1 to 17, here's how we'll be spending week one of the erroneously entitled Flavour Fortnight. Our people'll call your people.

We didn't bring a packed lunch either. But we do have £10, which if spent on food at Bodega, gets you a comp'ed dessert between midday and 5pm. It's probably been too long since you had a burrito anyway — it's all about the Dr Pepper marinated pork as far as we're concerned but here's the full menu in case you're thinking about branching. More

Four courses of Michelin-starred loveliness is our recommended reward for completing a pretty reasonable fraction of the working week, and you can get it for £40, lunch or dinner. Expect this sort of thing. And do book — Tuesdays have the best availability but the deal also runs later into the week and it's worth trying to nab a late reservation. More

Our team's totally split on whether breakfast is the most important of the food things. On hot drinks, there is no debate. Get your coffee and any breakfast item for £4, until 11.30amish. Or go completely radio rental with a mug'o'Joe, a sandwich and cake for £7.50 throughout the day (and subject to the rest of Birmingham not getting there first). More

We've got a serious soft spot for the Thai curries at Zen Metro. Go green with chicken, or red with beef. It's £18.95 as part of a three-course menu and they'll throw in a drink for Flavour Fortnight — not literally throw — that would be really uncalled for. Valid Monday to Friday for lunch and the meal after lunch, the one the night before breakfast. Dinner! More

You already know you'll be going there anyway, so you may as well get 2/3 pint of any draught beer on the house while you do. Order a large plate from the menu to get your refresher. And as it's Friday, probably order Purity Lawless battered fish and chips with, you guessed it, a Purity Lawless for your freeness. More

If your Saturdays don't feature a whole grilled 1lb native lobster, then you're doing the weekend all wrong. Get one of these cheeky fellas with garlic butter and French fries for your main event, as part of the £27.50 for two courses, or £32.50 for three courses menus. You'll need to book, and if reserving online, state ‘lobster offer’ in the comments. More

Biting your thumb at the traditional roast, take 20% off your food bill, all day (well, 12pm til 11pm — be reasonable) with Spanishness at Amantia. Get the gambas as a little intro to the day, then go all in with the paella mixta, because we can never decide between meat and fish. So why bother? Mention Flavour Fortnight when booking. More
The deals aren't limited to the days we've picked out. Get all over the Flavour Fortnight website for full availability.


Sure, art is subjective, but if you're not keen on the new Danny Howes exhibition, dedicated to the soon to be closed Birmingham Wholesale Market, then sadly we can no longer be friends. Home to the livelihoods of roughly 235 small businesses it'll be closing after forty years, before moving to Witton. Howes' collection captures traders going about their daily dealios. Fishmongers, butchers, grocers, cafe owners, it's an incredible snapshot painted in his trademark earthy, gritty textures. The paintings celebrate the strength of the market community, and the workplace in which relationships have been forged and deals done over four decades. It's free to stop in and take a look while prices to buy start at a cool £5,500. They do interest free credit, mind. Take a look at the full catalogue right here.


Fire features as prevalently in Island Bar's new menu as you're hoping. We've tried the newness and are requiring all people everywhere to get a Pineapple Daiquiri (£9.50), stat. Using Plantation's much-lauded pineapple rum, it's a seriously well-balanced drink, with barky notes and the right amount of boozy punch — it's also bar-manager-menu-creator Simon Gilligan's pick. Forming part of the Bartender's Choice selection, also have a goosey at Hip Flask – ace tasting drinks, designed for nights when a 5-minute wait at the bar is 250 seconds too long. Get Negronis (£7.50) and Manhattans (£8.50) stirred down from pre-mixed flasks. Oh and Simon's kinda made Flaming Moes (£2.50, pictured) for the road obligatory. Wray & Nephew overproof, orange liqueur and cotton candy doing what they do.


As twists go, we've got a lot of time for this one. How's about a free outdoor concert, taking place across three actual moving boats? Canal Serenade has been written by international composers especially for the city's waterways and forms part of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group's 30th felicitations. Premiering on September 10, and repeated on September 23 as part of Birmingham Weekender, the audience is invited to take to the canal towpath by way of auditorium. The trio of tuneage will come together outside the Sealife Centre as the composition comes to an end, followed by a pay-what-you-like concert in the CBSO Centre. And in case you’re not familiar with the BCMG, they're kinda a big deal when it comes to 20th and 21st Century classical beatage. Brrrrap. More
Venue: Tonkotsu, Selfridges Foodhall, Bullring, B5 4BP; website
Choice: Aromatic Duck Hiyashi Ramen Salad (£11.50); Chooser: Manager

This week, if you buy a ramen at Tonkotsu, one of their cocktails is yours for the quaffing on the free — if you're an I Choose Birmingham subscriber that is — which seems pretty darned likely if you're reading this. With that in mind, we thought it only right that we test out the team's new offering. A range of hiyashi (chilled) ramen salads have been added to the classic steaming bowls of noodley goodness. We had a lot of time for the aromatic duck which comes with cucumber, pea shoots and a ponzu dressing — plenty of food but not overwhelming lunching. The main event in terms of newness though was the Japanese Mac, a cocktail of Nikka from the Barrel, Kodakara Nanko Umeshu (a particularly delectable plum sake) and Stone’s Ginger Wine. Usually £8 this week there are 500 of any of the team's cocktails pro gratis when you buy any ramen. Just behind in proceedings, the Hibiscus and Lemongrass Margarita is full of flavour, and more technically full of El Jimador Tequila Blanco, Mezcal, lemongrass, hibiscus flowers, coriander seed and kaffir lime. Until 31 August, show this email to qualify for the offer. T&C apply. Full menu


The sequel to Top Gun isn’t due till 2019, but if you’re into Tom Cruise being reckless in the air, this will more than tide you over. In the lead of this true-ish tale of Barry Seal — a bored airline pilot who fakes turbulence on his passengers for kicks — Cruise is approached by the CIA to fly drug surveillance missions. He leaps at the chance, and when approached by the cartels to smuggle their product back to the US, he leaps even higher. His amateurish attempts to play both sides lead to disaster, of course, but it’s fun, glossy disaster brought to you by your old pal the Cruiser. Go see. Times


There is a place where you will find The Wilderness doing street food, Smultronställe's Rob Wood on zero waste cocktails and our newest love, Laghi's Deli, on pizza. That place is Aston Hall, where total-wise you're looking at three craft beer bars, two cocktail bars, two wine bars, 16 food traders and a market hall full of indie retailers. On Sunday 17 Sept from midday, tickets to the Independent Birmingham Festival are £8 and you'll be getting a tote bag with that, to satisfy all your totey needs.
  • Magic Door's 5th birthday party is on October 5. You'll need to be all over the ticket releases if you're wanting of a spot, which you really should be — next level production guaranteed at this particular shindig
  • The full programme for Still Walking Festival — a collection of alternative kind of guided walks — has been released, and it looks really rather worthy of your detailed attention
  • Get some Guz Khan in your Wednesday night. It's the third instalment of Wax Elephant at The Dark Horse, and it's 600 pence in. Tickets
  • Moseley Folk is this weekend. Day tickets are from £45
  • Orange wine isn't made from oranges. Find out what it is made from at Cheval Blanc, where we'll presumably be anyway, on September 12
  • Eat well, be well and move well with Thrive Festival, a day of lovely this Sunday. Tickets are from £7
  • The New Inn's closing today. Booooooo. Commiserate with 50% off until close. The deets
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"The Flaming Moe is not for sale. Do you know how much of my blood and sweat are in this drink?" [everybody in the bar spits out their drink] "Uh, figure of speech." - Moe Syzlak, The Simpsons
REASONABLE WORDS: Katy Drohan, Andrew Lowry, Tom Cullen
AWESOME IMAGES: Ross Jukes (Brindleyplace Canal)

ACESOME DESIGN: Paul Felton (banner image)

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