I was told about Bop Kitchen’s pop-up first by one of the city’s best chefs, who knew one half of the team, and then by my girlfriend who knew nothing other than she wanted a kebab. Both are perfectly valid reasons. So back to Kings Heath we go; first to the wonderful Grace & James for some cold rosé in the bright heat, then across the road to the equally wonderful Juke for a G&T and a kebab. That classic flavour combination.
It’s thriving. It would appear that the duo on the grills have brought most of South Birmingham with them. The Juke has never been the biggest of spaces and today they are open purely outside, with tables stretching out across York Road.
I’ll save you my pitiful pictures but these are the best kebabs I’ve eaten in Birmingham. Soft, pillowy flatbreads enclosing flavours that are reminiscent of everyone’s favourite pissed food yet skilled enough to have come from someone who knows their way around a chopping board. They remind me of a more polite Black Axe Mangal. The mutton kofta is pleasingly dense and full of ovine flavour, with hummus that’s retained a little texture and the occasional bite of pistachio. But it’s the chicken that you need to order. The pomegranate glazed bird and the hot sauce and apricot dukka, with the filthy addition of shards of chicken skin which crack between teeth. I’m in love with it and refuse to share.
They sell out by the time we finish up, which is excellent for a set-up only trading for the second time. I hope The Juke get them back and soon. It’s perfect beer food. I’m too old and grey and flabby to live somewhere that cool anymore, but it’s great to dip in and out of York Road. I really like The Juke. I really like Bop Kitchen. They make a great couple.
A2B took my drunk ass home for free.