Powered by Blogger.

A Taste of the Caribbean: Reggae Brunch, Birmingham

jerk chicken and rice being plated up by chefs at reggae brunch Birmingham

Birmingham may not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of tropical music, Caribbean food, and an incredible party atmosphere but last weekend, I was shown that it is definitely the hottest venue in town for a Jamaican themed celebration. I was invited along to experience Reggae Brunch, a five-hour long party including a three course Caribbean feast, unlimited rum punch for the first hour, and a DJ and MC to create a popping atmosphere. As someone who is definitely not usually to be found at dance parties or nightclubs (I'm not joking when I say that I'm in bed by 9 o'clock most nights), I was first a little apprehensive about fitting in at this kind of event but I actually ended up having a blast! Here's why I think you should give Reggae Brunch a whirl as well!

the Reggae Brunch venue at Birmingham Bierkeller with dancing attendees

The Experience

The fun of the Reggae Brunch experience started at the point of booking the tickets! When we were given our tickets, the brunch venue was kept as a surprise, being revealed closer to the day, which was a really fun idea. It was nice to be kept guessing a little and it added to the building excitement for the event. Our brunch ended up being hosted at Birmingham Bierkeller, a drinking and dining attraction which is typically Bavarian themed, with plenty of German bier behind the bar. But the Jamaican vibes definitely took over - the party really did start as soon as you walked in to the venue! We arrived shortly after noon and after having our tickets checked, we were assigned to a table and were given an empty glass so that we could help ourselves to as much rum punch as we could handle! The music was immediately pumping and it didn't take long for people to put their dancing shoes on - we were even dancing on the tables before long! The atmosphere was amazing and everyone got really into it, a 50-something lady got up on stage to dance in celebration of her birthday, which was fab! I loved my Reggae Brunch experience and would certainly do it again.

Reggae Brunch starter: Vegetable Patties and Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Fritter
Reggae Brunch attendees dancing at Birmingham Bierkeller

The Food

Now for the food! Reggae Brunch has plenty to offer for vegetarians, vegans, and those of a carnivorous persuasion. My sister and I, who both had the veggie option, started off with vegetable patties with a sweet potato and pumpkin fritter, served with salad and sweet chilli dressing. The sweet potato and pumpkin fritter was my favourite part of the starter - although it had been fried, it wasn't too oily and had a very satisfying texture. The flavour of the golden yellow patty was delicious too, I'm not usually a massive pastry lover but the fragrant spices inside really hit the spot! The starter was appropriately sized, not too filling and giving you a nice introduction to the flavours that were to come. 

Moving on to the main course, while the meat-eaters were served an aromatic plate of jerk chicken, us veggies were given a selection of grilled vegetable and halloumi skewers, rice and peas, a side of coleslaw, mixed salad, and a dumpling. All of the veggies were perfectly cooked without being soggy and the portions of halloumi were generous. The rice and peas worked together very well, helping to soak up a bit of the rum punch! The dumpling was a lovely texture as well, satisfying without being stodgy. Rounding things off with dessert, everyone received a portion of carrot cake with cream topping and berry coulis. The portion of carrot cake was very small, just a little square, which was a bit of a shame but it tasted delicious! It was very moist and the berry coulis worked well as an accompaniment.

Reggae Brunch vegetarian main course: Grilled Vegetable and Halloumi skewers, rice and peas, side of coleslaw, mixed salad and dumpling

What I loved:

  • The people. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, from the other attendees on the table across from us who took me and my sister under their wing and danced with us for ages, to the wonderful Jessica and Ashlee who looked after us so well - we couldn't have asked for a nicer crowd!
  • Drinks! An hour of unlimited rum punch thrown in with your meal isn't to be sniffed at! I also found the quality and taste of the drinks to be very impressive. It would have been easy for the Reggae Brunch crew to serve watered down or cheap tasting punch but our offering on the day was delicious - with enough spirit to be able to taste it but not so much that it was undrinkable. Well done to the Reggae Brunch mixologists!
  • Added extras. Upon our arrival at Reggae Brunch, we found on our seats a whistle and some colourful leis awaiting us, which were a really nice touch. Putting these on immediately got us in the party mood!

Critiques

  • Food presentation. I know from my own experience of working in the restaurant industry that catering for the crowds at Reggae Brunch must have been a very daunting undertaking, but while the chefs most certainly delivered on taste, some of the food presentation wasn't the best. The only reason that I didn't photograph our dessert was because it had just been flung in a bowl and looked a bit of a mess. 10 out of 10 for taste but perhaps the presentation is something to work on.
  • Information. On the Reggae Brunch booking page, the menu and the timings of food service are advertised, but it would've been useful to have this information on hand at the venue too. A menu card on each table would've been great, for example. Just a small touch that would save guests the trouble of Googling the essential info.

Two brunette Reggae Brunch attendees wearing leis

Tickets for Reggae Brunch start at £15 for the party only, or at £38 per person for the full event, including food and punch. This might seem pricey but for the experience that we had, I found it to be worth it and I wouldn't hesitate to attend for a second time.

Where are your favourite brunch spots? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

A x

*I was provided with complimentary tickets to Reggae Brunch in exchange for a blog post review.