Before the Jewellery Quarter’s newest restaurant opens its doors, JQBID manager visited Warstone Lane to have a chat with Niki Astley from Two Cats Roaming. The Latvian pop-up kitchen has made quite a name for its self in Birmingham with elaborate and delicious creations.
It now seems that the cats have stopped roaming and have found a permanent place in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter. Luke got the chance to experience cosy 26-seater eatery and all of the delectable food that will soon be on offer.
When did you move to the Jewellery Quarter?
My partner Diana Fjodorova and I moved to the Quarter in March 2013. We live just off St. Paul’s Square and we’re still in the same flat today. I doubt that we would live anywhere else in the centre of Birmingham. We love how peaceful it is here while still being so close to the centre.
What attracted you to the area?
We came here from London and I really appreciated the town-like feel to the area but with still such easy access to the city centre. When I first moved I used to walk around the back streets, completely fascinated by how quiet it was. The architecture is beautiful and I used to imagine what could be hiding behind the doors of some of the grand buildings. I was convinced that one of them would make a great eatery.
It just turns out that while I was having a haircut at Jake’s Barbers – that’s also just off St Paul’s Square – I met one of his clients who owned a restaurant in the Quarter that needed some TLC. It was completely unexpected but I snapped it up and that’s how Two Cats Roaming was first born.
Tell us a little bit more about Two Cats
The food we serve is a modern approach to North Eastern European cuisine. We started Two Cats as a pop up and this will remain to some extent as the chefs bring the food out and explain what’s in the dish and inspiration behind it.
The pop-up structure was an economic decision when we first launched but it also changed the dynamic of cooking for me. When you take down the wall between customer and chef, you have to really believe in what you’re putting in front of people, as you’re more exposed and vulnerable. It kept a fire underneath me to create great food, but now we’re looking forward to serving up the same high quality food in a more established setting.
What sort of service can customers expect at Two Cats?
Once we open, we aim to create a great atmosphere for our diners. We believe that our unique food will be a great new addition to the Jewellery Quarter. We have a relaxed and unorthodox ethos and the venue is still a bistro, so it will be much more relaxed than the usual fine-dining restaurant.
What’s your favourite part of the JQ?
I love the historic buildings and anything with visible aging. Having said that, the new features of the Quarter are brilliant too. I’m really pleased with the Golden Square development. It’s opened up the whole area and has let a lot more light in. The project was actually designed by Define, the urban design firm that Diana works for. It’s nice to see that we’re having a physical impact in the area in more ways than one!
Two Cats Roaming is located on Warstone Lane and opens its doors 7th July and will be taking bookings from today onwards.