REVIEW: KILO ZIRO CAFE BAR AFTERNOON TEA

If there is something that Birmingham is in short supply of, it’s quality afternoon teas. We sadly lost our champion “The Edgbaston Hotel” this year and there are not many I can recommend other than Hotel Du Vin and Qavali. My biggest pet hate with afternoon teas is that many businesses think it’s more important to shove a load of sweet treats on there and totally forget about the savoury options – cue the basic bitch finger sarnies! Come on, its 2022 – let’s think outside the box. I have struggled for ages to find a well-balanced afternoon tea that hits the spot…until now.

Currently hidden behind those pesky roadworks at the Custard Factory, it is easily missed and it’s a great shame because this place is a true gem. What was once the Clean Kilo, a zero-waste supermarket that focuses on reducing waste and your carbon footprint has now transformed into the “UK’s first zero waste café bar and refill taproom”. I have to say, as soon as I stepped in Kilo Ziro I was blown away at how beautifully decorated it is throughout. The 1920s aesthetic sits at odds with the grunge exterior of this corner of Digbeth. But delightfully so. Kilo Ziro is not afraid to stand out.

Kilo Ziro’s vision is to offer THE BEST Afternoon Tea in Birmingham but have they done that? Kiro Ziro’s afternoon tea is a celebration of small businesses who have thrown in their own creations to create a delicious and special offering. Contributors include private chef Artisan Epicurean, local bakery Sunshine Bakehouse, Holly & The Ivy from The Moseley Farmers Market, Hundred House Coffee and Born Wild Tea.

When the afternoon tea arrived, I nearly jumped for joy – “Is that a load of savoury I can see?!” You know when you have those moments where time slows down and everything goes really quiet like that film, Big Fish…I had one of those moments not with a man or a dog, but with a sandwich. I was just so happy to see a good balance of savoury and sweet, and deserts that I actually love the look of – I was sick of rolling up fruit cakes and chocolate brownies in tissue and binning them when getting home.

SAVOURIES

Goats cheese, shallot marmalade and pistachio tart.

Provolone piccante and roasted pepper piadinas

Applewood smoked cheese with chutney and chive scones

Vegan sausage rolls with poppy seeds

Home-made traditional quiche

SWEETS

Freshly baked scone with clotted cream and jam

Victoria cream sponge cake round

Rich chocolate, biscuit & sultana tiffin

Chocolate, salted caramel & Honeycomb tart

You get quite a generous offering here at Kilo Ziro. Any by now you’ve probably realised this is a vegetarian afternoon tea. However, I am a meat-eater and I certainly didn’t miss it. The vegan sausage roll was my favourite as well as the victoria cream sponge cake which was utterly gorgeous. All savoury options hit the spot and delivered on satisfying my savoury needs. Maybe they could hold back on the cheese if they want to cut back – I do feel they are being overly generous with their offerings. But when that is the only criticism you can think of you know you’re on to a good thing.

The traditional afternoon tea includes a choice of tea, coffee, or iced coffee which was amazing value for £25. We decided to try the afternoon tea with cocktails which is priced at £34 and comes with hot drinks too. They use local and sustainable ingredients and work with many distilleries plus craft beer and cider brewers to reduce their carbon footprint. It was nice to receive a bit of an education on this during our dining experience as I have to admit, I know very little about managing waste. We asked our server for a cocktail recommendation and boy did he deliver. I can’t remember the name of the one I had but it was one of the server’s own creations paying homage to his mother’s homemade rhubarb crumble. Light, fruity and with delicate notes of honey, it was delicious. My sister wanted to get in on the action but couldn’t drink so he made a mocktail version of the cocktail for her which was a really nice touch. 

We left with full bellies, smiles on our faces and me finally at peace that I’d found a great afternoon tea in the city. Given the bargain price of this afternoon tea, the quantity of treats you get and the delightful drinks on offer, I truly believe that it is the best afternoon tea in Birmingham. Book it immediately.

Thank you Kilo Ziro for having us.

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