Sending Your Date Crazy
Kings Heath, Birmingham
Vegetarian, Vegan, Pet and Coeliac suffer friendly. For some of you this will be a paradise, for others this will be an avocado on toast stained hell.
As an area, Kings Heath has been dubbed ‘like living in a trendy London borough’ and as a Londoner, I wanted to call this statement a lie and all sorts of wrong.
Yet the person who managed to put that sentence together actually had a point. Kings Heath does have several similarities to that of an up and coming London borough.
Firstly, parking is terrible and if you want to save your bumpers a bit of touching, grab a taxi or take the bus. Secondly, it seems to have almost everything on a single high-street, so you could put your date in a taxi and pick up some milk on your way home. Finally, every self-respecting newly trending borough has a store that someone who reads the Daily Mail as a ‘Hipster Hotspot’. This is that place.
Priced even fairer than your local Weatherspoon’s, Loco Lounge is one of several ‘Lounges’ located across the Midlands and the rest of the country, with staff so friendly that you feel a little weird that the ’12.5% service charge has been applied’ isn’t something you see on the receipt.
There’s a general pleasantness about Loco Lounge in fact, and if you are not a person who is pure of heart, you might be like me and choose to run away from all of the nice people by sitting upstairs.
This did make ordering a little awkward however as it quickly became apparent to me through various signage that you order much like you would at a Weatherspoon’s, by going to the till, leaving your table number and paying before the service.
My time at the till did allow me to take in the décor and how effortlessly simple a lot of it is. For starters, it feels like a living room has been placed inside a restaurant. This isn’t to make you flashback to images of a ‘Hotel Inspector’ vibe, it’s more like the Coffee shop from friends.
The mostly brown interior is saved for more plush items such as the leather and cloth seating, whilst the bulk of the colour comes from the Maple looking wood and the colourful cushions. On some of the tables, colour has been introduced to the decor with a mismatch of slabs atop the table.
At first this was going to be a mark against the Loco Lounge, as miss-matched décor is something so crazy even the name couldn’t justify it- that was until I got to take a look at the menu and everything started to make sense.
Unashamedly, the Loco Lounge takes inspiration from a time where hobble-cobble décor was the norm- since everyone just got off Rationing, the Second World War had just finished and it was the 1950’s.
It’s a welcomed stylistic queue as it normalises the plaid shirts and copious amounts of vintage denim you may be wearing if you are a hipster. Secondly, it’s colourful, vibrant and is a welcoming change to what does feel like the gentrified style of modernisation and adds to the homely feel you get the moment you walk up the wheelchair ramp and in through the door.
The food continues the pleasantries and if you are someone who suffers from Coeliac disease or have selected a Vegan lifestyle, there are categories on the menu for you.
With the combination of these three menu’s under one roof, I would fully understand your hesitations, but it seems that a separate station is used when Nuts, Gluten or Meat are cooked or prepared.
It means that for couples with different dietary requirements, or for those of you hesitant to go Vegan, Loco Lounge offers you both an experience where you can share a meal without the compromise.
The actual quality of the food however is where you may run into some problems. Whilst what comes out of the kitchen looks great and tastes completely fine, even good at a push- for some reason neither my date or I could finish our meals. This isn’t to complain about portion sizes; those were fantastic, nor is it a complaint about the cooking method of the dishes either.
In my case, it was simply because the food towards the end of the dish became a little repetitive and for my date, she found that the chicken in her Bang Bang Chicken Noodles went cold too quickly.
However, despite this we both found ourselves looking and hoping to come back because the main menu offered so much for us to hope for – and the Cocktails were tasty.
I wouldn’t recommend making Loco Lounge your next go-to Bar, nor would I recommend that you come here and only have the drinks. In fact, Loco Lounge offers you the best experience when at least a little bit of food is on offer and as such, their Tapas Tuesday is something I would suggest you take a look at if you have the opportunity.
Modestly priced at £9.95 for a glass of wine and three dishes, you’ll be picking up a tab less than £20, leaving the rest of your £40 budget to be blown on their fun and familiar Cocktail menu.
Loco Lounge isn’t going to woo your Vegan sweetheart or put your Gluten suffering admirer to rest, but the friendly face and comforting vibe here will make you feel looked after.
Light on the wallet.
Ample seating choices with an outside lounge at the rear and outside seating at the front.
Exceptionally friendly staff and warm décor gives this place a homely vibe.
Menu lets your omnivorous self dine with the Vegans.
It’s an easy going place to be.
- Food my not be great but it is far from objectionable.
Leave the Car at home, the parking here is terrible, even though there is a disused car park right out front. Take a cab instead.
Food can be Hit and Miss.
If you hate hippies, coming here is a death sentence.
Nontraditional décor is a hit with most, but if you’re here for something mega modern or something as wacky as the name suggests, take a hike.
Shallow Vegan and Gluten Free menu choices.
Forget trying to appear here after work, it’s clearly a busy place to be.