Another great cafe to add to the list

It would be stretching a point to suggest that Stirchley is the Shoreditch of Birmingham.

There are too many tatty shops selling unappealing goods and dusty-windowed takeaways and restaurants for that claim to be defended.
But there’s a large enough number of bushy beards, tattoos, tight trousers and affluent young mums with pushchairs to suggest that it’s heading in that direction.
Add to that an increasing number of independent shops and cafes and the argument is reinforced.
The recently-opened Caneat cafe is part of that wave.

The place

It’s a light, airy and unfussy space with a large cactus-decorated window fronting Pershore Road.
Walk in and there are smart plastic-topped tables at the front just before the counter and cooking area.

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The walls are bare wood, with a few poems on the wall for those of a literary bent.
There are plenty of children’s books, too, and, at the rear and slightly to the side, a room with a large table that looks perfect for parents keen to keep their offspring occupied whilst enjoying a coffee.

The food

The strapline on Caneat’s nicely-designed but largely unfurnished website says simply: “Breakfast. Lunch. Coffee. Cake”.
And that pretty much sums it up.
The simple but interesting menu changes frequently and, below, is the one being served during a visit for a late breakfast.

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I was massively tempted by the tortuously spelled portokalopita – a Greek cake made with yoghurt and shattered filo and infused with orange but decided to be sightly less indulgent.
The bowl of coconut porridge that I ate was a beautifully satisfying thing, of a consistency and temperature that would please Goldilocks at even her pickiest.

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Cubes of mango and black sesame seeds added interest to the porridge, which had a nice whack of salt to rein in its sweetness.
Opposite there were sounds a pleasure over sourdough toast with eggs cooked just the right side of hard and a mayo spiked with the Korean fermented paste gochujang.

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It was visually a very attractive dish, carefully plated and garnished with flat leaf parsley.
The coffees we drank were excellent.

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This was a place to which I immediately warmed – it knows what it’s about: providing flavoursome, carefully-prepared food that’s uncomplicated but certainly not dull.
It’s very different from Bloom in Kings Heath, but another great cafe to which I can’t wait to return.

Need to know

Breakfast dishes are priced between £3 and £6.
Lunches cost £6 or £7.
The place is absolutely child-friendly.
It’s open day-times Tuesday to Saturday.

Caneat
1397 Pershore Road, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2JR.
http://www.caneat.co.uk

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