Latest opening: Riverine Rabbit

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Riverine Rabbit restaurant Birmingham chef Ash Valenzuela-Heeger

Related tags Riverine Rabbit Ash Valenzuela-Heeger Erin Valenzuela-Heeger South africa Birmingham Brad Carter

Ash and Erin Valenzuela-Heeger have launched an accessible-yet-ambitious Birmingham restaurant that takes many of its culinary cues from South Africa.

What:An ambitious South Africa-inspired restaurant in Birmingham’s Stirchley suburb.​ A small, stripped-back affair located on an increasingly vibrant stretch about four miles’ south of Birmingham city centre, Riverine Rabbit offers refined dishes based on high-quality produce in stripped-back surrounds.  

Who:​ Ash and Erin Valenzuela-Heeger. The former is originally from South Africa and has a cooking CV that includes highly-rated Cape Town restaurant The Test Kitchen, The Ledbury, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Brad Carter’s Carters of Moseley in Birmingham. Erin is a materials scientist by day and front of house manager by night (the restaurant trades evenings-only from Monday to Friday). The concept was originally created by Ash and her sister Mandy in Cape Town and operated as a successful pop-up in and around Birmingham throughout last summer. 

The vibe:​ Ash and Erin have undertaken most of the renovations themselves with the interior of the restaurant - which is on Pershore Road not too far away from the original Carters of Moseley site - billed as simple and stripped back ‘allowing the dishes to take centre stage’.

RiverineFood1

The food:​ The main menu is made up of a dozen or so small plates. Options include devilled egg with hot sauce; beef tartare with rapeseed, smoked soy and toasted nori; tiger prawn with piri-piri sauce (pictured above); crab muffin with brown butter hollandaise, pickled lemon and sea herbs; and profiterole with meadowsweet ice cream and chocolate sauce. Prices are extremely reasonable given Ash’s high-end cooking CV, with the most expensive dish on the menu priced at £15 and most non-snack dishes around the £10 mark. The restaurant also offers a prix fixe menu comprised of different dishes - including soba noodles in a spiced broth with spring onions and herbs; and roast quail with maitake mushrooms, Sherry and radicchio - for £30. 

To drink:​ The wine list is predominantly South African in origin with beers supplied by brewery Glasshouse, which is just down the road. A wide range of alcohol-free options are also available.

And another thing:​ Riverine Rabbit takes its name from a famously elusive species of the mammal that lives in the Karoo Desert and is a nod to its owners’ mission to support sustainable farming practises.

1464 Pershore Road, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2NT
www.riverinerabbit.co.uk

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