Brunch is my third favourite word, after cheese and sleep. I like that it usually involves stupidly large portions and combines various ingredients that people would otherwise frown upon you eating before noon. Like most people I’ve got some favourite spots strewn across our fair city, including Urban Cafe and Chez Mal, but recently I made a return visit to Natural Healthy Foods, having heard about a new brunch menu.
Sat just off John Bright Street and opposite Mailbox (via a bloody busy road) NHF opened earlier this year to a flurry of excitement. Combining a vegan food shop, a serve yourself restaurant and a cafe, it’s always fairly busy when I walk past.
We arrived late morning last Sunday to find the tables largely full and a great buzz inside; its clearly made a bit of a name for itself now with food lovers. I’m not adverse to vegan food (see previous chat here) however my husband, Ian, arrived fairly sceptical – he considers bacon a food group.
We checked out the menu, grabbed a seat and I headed to the counter to order our food. Unlike the lunch set up – which is all self service and price dependant on weight – the brunch selection has set prices and offerings. We start with a coffee and The Super Green (£4.95); a vibrant smoothie of oat milk, apple, kale, spinach and spiriulina.
I opted for the Avocado on Toast (£4.95) adding Aubergine Bacon and Hash Browns (both £2.50). A lovely portion of food, it was also attractive and colourful. The added chilli added some spice to the creamy avocado, and the aubergine slices were chewy like bacon – that element of the breakfast was actually my favourite in the end. It surprised me as much as you reading this, believe me.
Ian went for ‘the safe choice’ of Beans on Toast (£4.95) with added Mushrooms and Hash Browns (both £2.50). As someone with a mild gluten issue he was happy to hear the toast was gluten free – as was mine. Another healthy size plate of food, he liked the homemade beans and the potatoes; more akin to roasted potatoes than hash browns but very nice all the same; I enjoyed the rosemary kick.
The brunch menu is accessible for non vegans and hearty, in my eyes representing good bang for buck, and the staff are helpful and knowledgeable. There’s also a lovely selection of vegan cakes and desserts.
If you’re looking for vegan fast food, I’d also recommend Fressh; ideal for breakfast and lunch on the go and situated next to Tilt.
Natural Healthy Foods, 24 Suffolk Street Queensway Birmingham B1 1LT
*Disclosure: I was invited to try brunch by NHF and the food was complementary for review purposes. I liked the experience so much I went back a few days later and took my friend for lunch – paid for by us. All photos, words and plant-based frivolity are mine*