Bloom, King’s Heath

Listen up, King’s Heath-le people. A new cafe has sprung from the ground on Poplar Road, bringing with it everyone’s favourite combination – coffee and brunch. 

True to it’s name, inside Bloom abounds with plants and succulents. Set against the minimalist grey, white and wood inferior it’s all very Swedish and swoon-worthy. I love it. 

Coffee takes a while to arrive, but all is forgiven once it appears. I ask for sugar out of habit, but realise upon tasting that it’s good enough not to need it; it’s rich, smooth and perfectly balanced. 

I’m pleased to see the brunch menu doesn’t stray towards standard Instagram-hipster brunch fare; only one dish on the menu features the much loved/loathed avocado. With just six options (not counting toast), it is short, but the choices are varied and interesting and I like the confidence implied. 

Even with a choice of six, I struggle to choose (disclaimer: this may be because I’m an indecisive shit) and would happily have tried every dish. The portobello mushrooms, served with truffle dressing, cashew cream, sourdough and smoked potato broth is a dish I will definitely return for. Today, however, I am sharing with my funghi-hating boyfriend so we opt for duck hash (sweet potato, spring greens, crispy shallots, fried duck egg and duck stock) and pork belly (Boston baked beans, sage aoili and charred polenta). 

I start with Bloom’s riff on pork and beans. Tried and tested flavours, yes, but Bloom absolutely do them justice here; it’s all nicely balanced and seasoned. My only gripe with the dish was that the pork fat doesn’t seem to have been rendered properly, meaning there was an occasional mouthful of mushy fat. Regardless, I was still reluctant to surrender the other half to my other half. 

All the components of the duck hash are things I love, so I was expecting to be blown away by this dish. Sadly, I felt that the execution was slightly lacking; it seemed generally underseasoned and the water given off by the greens and sweet potato meant that the sauce became too diluted. I’ve heard some rave reviews about this dish though, so it could be down to teething problems – our visit was their second Saturday trading. 

At ยฃ9 per dish, it’s not the cheapest brunch around, but if they work to get the cooking of these dishes spot on then I’d say it’s ยฃ9 absolutely well spent. Will I return? Certainly for the coffee (you should visit for this alone), and probably for the food; I’d like to eat there again once they’ve settled in.

Not quite in full bloom yet, but definitely a budding star; this is exactly the sort of place King’s Heath needs. I hope they do well. 

Visit Bloom at 32 Poplar Road, King’s Heath, B14 7AD. 

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