With news of the Jungle Bird plant based restaurant and tropical cocktail bar opening, I was keen to check out the menu, especially when I realised it was curated and cooked by my fave vegan food duo which is.. Ba-Ha Vegan.
Upon walking into Jungle Bird, you instantly get the jungle vibe, beautifully designed interior with a tropical feel!
We were seated right away, and whilst it was initially quiet, a gradual trickle of punters filled the space around us, offering a chilled happy atmosphere – whoever said Vegans were a grey boring miserable lot are so off the mark these days. Welcome to modern day cool vegan living!
The restaurant is just a two minute walk from New Street Grand Central, and specialises in cocktails without the BS, bright and beautiful plant-based dishes and some of the best service in town. DJ’s spin classic party tunes, to carefree bottomless brunches, Soulful Sunday roasts and private parties.
..a funky tropical plant based diner with cool cocktails is exactly what the city centre needs..
Jungle Bird’s menu consists of shareable small plates, mains and decadent desserts inspired by Polynesian and Caribbean tropical cuisines. Happy Hour cocktails are all day long, with a smooth Soul, Funk & Reggae playlist.
My guest and I pondered over the menu whilst a friendly member of staff brought to our table two Jungle Bird cocktails which are: Flor de Cana white rum, select apertivo, jungle bird falernum, pineapple, lime and grapefruit! These were so delicious and a wicked start to the evening.
After a short wait, and a lot of interesting discourse, our starters arrived. Maddie and I decided to share. The Tempura Florets were lightly battered cauli and broccoli served with creamy satay sauce, crushed peanut, pickled shallots and sesame. The crunchy florets were full of fresh taste and the nutty sauce just accentuated the moreish crispy veg – a winner for sure!
We tucked into the Nacho Strips, which probably are not the most elegant of dishes to sit on a plate, but do not let this fool you, they were served with lemon and roasted garlic hummus with roasted chickpeas. I lurve garlic, and nachos, so this was a match made in heaven for me, the plate was scraped clean.
Maddie opted for a Jungle Is Massive patty, a Ba-Ha protein patty, charred pineapple, red onion, tomato, crisp lettuce, sriracha spiced mayo on a brioche style bun served with seasoned fries. Vegan paties never look that appetising to me, I think because I am so used to the meat version which is usually dripping in grease/oil, but I am told, this was packed with veggie goodness and tasted better for it. After witnessing the smile on Maddie’s face I am determined to try this next time.
My main was ‘Free As A Bird’ – marinated chikn pieces, charred sweetcorn fried rice served with sauteed onions, peppers and mixed veg in a creamy garlic and hot pepper sauce. This reminded me of a Jamaican dish I tried some years back, the mixture of rice and chikn worked well and the creamy garlic and spicy sauce were knock-out! I was surprised how hot it was in parts but this is fine for me as I do like that kick in my food. Definitely one for the West Indian cuisine fans.
We didn’t have time to try dessert as I had a train to catch, but i must confess I finished with a Yeastie Boys session IPA which is as it states on the tap.. ‘tropical, hoppy, moreish’.
With so many large chains opening in the city right now, a funky tropical plant based diner with cool cocktails is exactly what the city centre needs and I sincerely hope they do well. If you fancy something a bit exotic, get yourself down to Jungle Bird and enjoy the tropical tastes of Ba-Ha vegan in a beautiful setting.
Words by Nick Byng for Grapevine Birmingham