Two Cats go roaming to 1000 Trades with a new style of food

A pop-up kitchen at Birmingham’s trendy new bar 1000 Trades will bring food lovers a style of cuisine never before seen in the city – with influences from unlikely sources.

Salt & Earth is the latest venture of Niki Astley – chef-patron at Two Cats, the laid-back Jewellery Quarter restaurant that’s received massive praise for its innovative New Baltic cuisine.
But the Salt & Earth venture is something entirely different – even more informal and with influences far from the Baltic.
Niki has taken as his inspiration Nikkei cookery – a style that draws on the influences of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian food and came about naturally with an influx of Japanese workers into Latin America.

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He explained: “Some of the influences are from elsewhere, but Nikkei food provided the inspiration.
”It’s not a style of food that’s been eaten in Birmingham before.
“Nikkei is fusion food, but something that occurred naturally with workers from Japan arriving in Latin America. It’s a very exciting style.”
Small plates will be served costing between £3 and £9.
Niki recommends two or three dishes per person.

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Dishes in the vegetable section of the menu include soy bean ramen, vegetable dashi and hot spring egg; burrata, partly-dried tomato, onion and basil; and plantain, feta, agave syrup and dried black olive.
Meat dishes include smoked black garlic pork cheek, steamed bun, crackling and roasted peanut and kimchi; fried chicken with thousand island madness sauce; beef noisette, purple potato, prawn butter sauce, coriander oil and charred onion.

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Fish dishes include octopus, purple corn, quinoa, coal and tigers milk; grits, peppercorn and bacon crumbled cobia, with gramalalta; soft shell crab, chill and garlic mooli, guacamole.
There are sweets such as sorrel granita, blitzed carrot cake, dulce de leche, blueberries and shaved fennel shortbread; coconut and black sesame mochi, strawberry, shisho and lime; and clay, chocolate, mango and chilli ice cream.
He said: “As much as I love Baltic Russian food, I miss spice, avocados, lime and so forth – it’s as much my personal and culinary background as anything else, so I wanted a place that I could bring it altogether in an interesting way.”

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1000 Trades’ John Stapleton said: “1000 Trades is a platform for the best of the Jewellery Quarter and it doesn’t get any better than Two Cats.
“Niki showcasing Salt & Earth with us is brilliant – we can’t wait.”.
Salt & Earth will be at 100 Trades from August 15-20.
It kicks off at 5pm on Monday August 15, running from from midday till 3pm, and 5pm till 10pm on subsequent days.
Bookings can be made via info@1000trades.org.uk or 0121 233 2693.

1000 Trades
16 Frederick Street, Birmingham B1 3HE. 0121 233 2693.

Two Cats
27 Warstone Lane, Birmingham. 0121 212 0070.
www.twocatskitchen.com