For anyone looking for outstanding value vegan food, look no further than Natural Healthy Foods in Birmingham. Located on Suffolk Street, this wonderful vegan eatery combines tasty, beautiful and lovingly prepared food with super helpful and friendly service. Surprisingly large for a vegan restaurant (some are quite literally the size of a phone box!), Natural Healthy Foods is immaculately clean and spacious. The enormous floor-to-ceiling windows drench rustic wooden tables with natural sun light, creating a true oasis from the busy Birmingham streets outside.
Fortunately, this place is not one of those to dine out on looks alone. The highlights (among many) included the dairy-free yet richest, creamiest mushroom stroganoff imaginable, a South Indian curry that whilst jam packed with flavour was also light, fresh and delicately fruity, and the seemingly-simple but oh so delicious cinnamon roasted roots (beetroot, sweet potato etc). We also loved the rosemary roasted potatoes, raw Thai mushroom salad, home-made hummus, and the fresh, colourful, mouth-wateringly moreish pad-thai. As for that stroganoff? Good luck to any carnivore hoping to pick that out as vegan on a blind tasting, such was the meatiness of those mushrooms!
Not only are there obviously some superb vegan chefs working in tandem with the front of house staff, but they are using gorgeous and inspiring ingredients – organic, gluten free, free from refined sugar and of course vegan. Everything about Natural Healthy Foods works in perfect harmony, from the vegan food itself to the service accompanying it.
Food is served buffet-style, the pricing of which works on a simple ‘weight of plate’ method. This lovely, quirky feature allows you to sample anything and everything on the menu as opposed to committing to just a couple of dishes. You can then return afterwards to stock up on your favourites!
Of course, with savoury vegan food of such jaw dropping quality you’d be expecting a decent vegan dessert right? Well, this is where Natural Healthy Foods have you covered with a selection of tantalising treats, all of which are remarkably refined-sugar-free! The dairy-free and sugar-free desserts included a beautifully sweet, melt in your mouth lemon cheesecake, a raw carrot cake bursting with the taste of carrots, the obligatory chocolate brownie, and a picture-perfect raspberry and pitaya cheesecake containing cashews, coconut oil and chia seeds. Our past experience with ‘healthy’ plant-based desserts lacking sugar and dairy is that they also sadly lack that killer touch of sweetness, however, the lemon cheesecake and the carrot cake we tasted were decadent to the extreme and we were not disappointed! They were sweet, delicious and perfectly balanced.
The coffee menu was also outstanding, although sampling these will have to wait til our next visit! Lattes are made with almond or coconut milk and then flavoured with dreamy combinations such as turmeric, cinnamon, cacao, ginger, vanilla, liquorice and black pepper, or cacao, banana powder and lucuma. Imaginative and exotic, we’re sure these taste as magnificent as they sound!
Their menu is hugely diverse and varies depending on availability of the best, freshest mostly-organic ingredients. Items from their website sample menu that we can’t wait to try next time:
- Smokey Black Bean Chilli With Walnut Chorizo
- Creamed Red Rice Risotto with Sage Roasted Butternut Squash
- South Indian Tamarind Rice
- Wakame Glass Noodle Salad with Avocado and Wasabi Dressing
- Chilli Kelp and Black Fungus Mushrooms
- Creamy Kale with Ginger and Miso Dressing
- Zucchini Spaghetti with Creamed Porcini Mushrooms and Truffle Oil
- Probiotic Dragon Fruit Cheesecake
- Raw Key Lime Pie
A word to the wise though. We found this vegan wonderland completely by accident! Literally. We had been searching for some other places to no avail. Averting our gaze from our phones (and google maps) we looked up in the nick of time to see Natural Healthy Foods gleaming at us from across the road. We struck gold by looking up at the world instead of down at our phones, just at the right time. Take from that what you will.
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