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.

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.

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.

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.”

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 or 0121 233 2693.

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

Two Cats
27 Warstone Lane, Birmingham. 0121 212 0070.