Man vs Food, Soul Food Style

It must sometimes seem this blog is just a front for a viral Soul Food Project advertising campaign, but I promise you it’s not. It’s been a whole five months since I mentioned them, see! I do feel a kind of paternal instinct towards the young cheeky chappies though, plus someone’s got to teach them how to cook, right?!

Soul Food Jambalaya - how much can you handle??

Anyway, they are coming up to two years old now (my, haven’t they grown?) and they’re celebrating in suitable soul food style, with a big old Man vs Food contest. Oh yes, they’re giving you the opportunity to put yourself up against the biggest bowl of Jambalaya you can scoff down your cake-hole, or the hottest hot chicken wings you can handle. Who got game?!

It’s all kicking off at 2pm on Saturday 19th May at The Victoria. Head chef Carl Finn will be your affable host with guest DJ’s playing also. If you want to enter either contest just email I doubt I’ll enter, but I’m looking forward to watching!


Soul Food Project Burns Night/Australia Day

My mates at Soul Food Project are putting on a couple of top nights in January. Check out their website or the posters below for details. You can book for Burns Night here:

and Australia Day here:

Burns night is £15 a head for three courses at The Old Crown in Digbeth. Australia Day is £20 for 5 courses(!) and seems them back in the back bar at The Hare and Hounds.








Soul Food News

sfpOur buddies up at Soul Food Project in Kings Heath sent us over a bit of news, so we’re just passing it on…

Firstly, they have an exciting opening to join their growing team. They’re looking for a Front of House/Marketing assistant, and you can check out all the details on the attached job description: Staff Vacancy – Front Of House Assistant

Secondly, they are throwing one helluva party for Mardi Gras on the 5th March – headlining is Craig Charles coming straight down to the Hare and Hounds after recording his Funk and Soul show for BBC 6 music in Birmingham. There’ll also be DJ sets from Coldrice and Sweat and live music from Whitmo Deans and Atlantic Players. All accompanied by the best cajun food in brum, what’s not to like?

Soul Food Project unleash new menu

soulfoodprojectI was excited last week, to be invited to attend the ‘gastro evening’ launch of Soul Food Project’s new menu, the cheffy equivalent of an album launch if you like. Soul Food project occupy the kitchen upstairs at The Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath, and serve up southern-style food to discerning eaters, and drinkers with an appetite. That’s the essence of proper pub food I suppose, you have to attract a few people that would normally head to a restaurant, but maybe want to save a quid or two, but also feed the tipsy reveller who suddenly gets the munchies. The question then, I suppose, is does the Soul Food Project’s new menu hit the mark?

During an enjoyable evening comparing oven temperatures and bakery start times with the smiley Sarah Frost, we were given samples of 7 or 8 dishes off the new menu as we washed it all down with pints of Purity’s finest. The first, and finest of them all, was the Sierra Nevada hush puppies, a moorish deep-fired savoury doughnut made with corn and Sierra Nevada pale ale. Next out came the burgers, chunky locally made beef patties in a sturdy bun with a punchy soul sauce, good stuff. We sampled the consistently good Jambalaya, a great sunburst salad with halloumi and sweet potato, veggie gumbo (I thought gumbo had to have peanuts in it – am I thinking of somehting else?), and SFP’s SFC (southern fried chicken), of course.  The thirty-strong crowd were visibly stuffed by this point, but when chef’s Carl and Matt emerge with trays of the famous brownies and stunning churro’s to finish us off, who can turn that down?!

Their repertoire has massively expanded and now fills a glossy A3 menu (complete with photos!), and there are many intriguing dishes that I still want to sample (pork crackling with a bourbon sauce for a starter? yes please!). So have they managed to hit the hungry-boozer/gourmet-diner-on-a-budget balance? I think they pretty much have. The dishes are certainly good value – starters are £3-4 and mains just £5-7. The dishes aren’t refined and showy like a flashy restaurant, they’re hearty, which is how soul food should be, and perfect for fuelling-up for a night out. The resounding thing that struck me though is that there’s no one else really doing this kind of food in Birmingham, so although there’s no smears of chestnut puree or embellishments of pea shoots on the plates, I urge foodies, gourmands, and anyone wanting some honest, original pub grub, to head down and check out the new menu. I know i’ll be returning soon…

Soul Food Project – review

sfpI tend to avoid going to pubs for a Sunday roast these days – years of overcooked meat, soggy vegetables, overly salty gravy, and flabby potatoes have left me wishing I’d gone to my mums instead! I suppose not many people actually make a Sunday roast these days, so despite the crap food, I guess these pubs are providing a historo-cultural service at least!

So I must admit that on arriving for my much awaited first meal at the Soul Food Project in Kings Heath’s Hare and Hounds pub, there was a tinge of disappointment to learn that the normal menu had been set aside in favour of Sunday roasts. The disappointment didn’t last long though, as I met Alex from the Soul Food crew at the bar, who recommended the cajun beef roast and gave me a nod and wink concerning desserts!

So the beef was what I had, and I was mightily pleased with my choice. The cajun rub on the joint, which was served deliciously pink as promised, really came through on the outer edges of the beef, and permeated the gravy – it wasn’t overly spicy, but just enough to let you know it wasn’t a run-of-the-mill joint. Accompanying the beef were cooked-to-a-crunch broccoli and carrots, sweeter-than-sweet slow-roasted sweet potatoes, and a generous portion of home cooked yorkshires enveloping a spicy pork stuffing. I said at the time it was one of the best roasts I’ve had in Birmingham, and I still remember it fondly a week later. photoThe guys behind Soul Food Project Carl, Alex and Matt, kindly brought us down a sharing plate of their fine desserts, showing off an unctuous carrot cake with thick cream cheese frosting, and my favourite, their tray bake chocolate brownie with vanilla bean ice cream. All round a great sunday roast, a gentle introduction to the Soul Food Project’s southern flavours, and a desire to return mid-week to sample their daily menu – nice one fella’s!