Saint Kitchen, on the south-eastern edge of St Paul’s Square in the Jewellery Quarter, has long been a part of Birmingham’s speciality coffee scene, starting life as Saint Caffé. I first visited in 2014, not long after it had undergone the transformation to Saint Kitchen, with the new owner, Will, a chef, combining Saint Caffé’s already excellent coffee with equally great food. I visited on several occasions while Will, along with head barista, Liam, was at the helm, before, in November 2019, Will passed the reins to the owners of Warwick Street Kitchen in Leamington Spa, who took over the business.
These days, Saint Kitchen continues to offer the same essential combination of great food (all prepared from scratch on site) and excellent coffee (Origin having replaced Extract when the Warwick Street Kitchen team took over). There’s a brunch menu that has a heavy emphasis on bagels which is backed up with a selection of cake, while there’s a house espresso (usually the Los Altos from Nicaragua) plus a weekly guest (also from Origin), available either a guest espresso or batch brew filter. You can sit outside at one of a handful of tables, or inside in the spacious interior.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Saint Kitchen is in the Jewellery Quarter, a 10-minute walk north of Birmingham city centre. Located in a ground floor unit of a rather unimpressive-looking building on the south-eastern side of a beautiful, green, leafy square centred on St Paul’s Church, it’s the perfect setting for a coffee shop.
The door is at the far right-hand end of Saint Kitchen with two large windows to the left. If you want to sit outside, there are three square two-person tables in front of the windows, partially shaded by the building in the morning and by two tall umbrellas in the afternoon.
Stepping inside, the counter’s dead ahead, taking up the back, right-hand corner of the room, while the open kitchen is to the left, behind an extension of the counter. This used to be hidden away behind a wall, but the Warwick Street Kitchen team had that knocked through, which helps create the sense of one large, open space.
On my most recent visit in July 2021, COVID-19 restrictions were still in place, with a sign by the door asking you to wait to be seated, although for takeaway, you can go up the counter, where there’s plenty of space if you need to wait to collect your food/coffee. The seating’s to your left, the seating between the door and the counter having been temporarily cleared away, which includes the handsome island bar to your left.
The seating starts with a two-person table in glorious isolation to your left as you enter, followed to the left of that by a row of three tables running front-to-back between the windows and the kitchen. There’s a single four-person table at the front, with a pair of two-person tables behind it.
Beyond them, against the left-hand wall, four two-person tables line a padded bench, each separated from its neighbour by a Perspex screen attached to the side of the table, another consequence of COVID-19. A four-person table rounds things off in the back, left-hand corner. The last of the seating (for now) is provided by the window-bar at the front, reduced by COVID-19 considerations to just two solitary stools.
Over the years, I’d had some lovely food and coffee at Saint Kitchen. You can see what I made of the field mushroom soufflé from my first visit in my original write-up, along with a pair of coffees: a lovely piccolo in a classic espresso cup and a flat white.
These days, you order and pay online, the menu accessed via a QR Code on the table, although there’s also a manual ordering process for those without the necessary technology. I had the halloumi and avocado bagel on my return in July. This was excellent, from the bagel itself to the toppings, the halloumi and avocado going particularly well together.
I also tried out the guest coffee, which was the Santa Elena, a naturally-processed coffee from El Salvador. I had it as the batch brew filter, being reward with a rich, full-bodied cup, rounding off a very welcome return to Saint Kitchen.
|61A ST PAUL’S SQUARE • BIRMINGHAM • B3 1QS|
|www.saintkitchen.com||+44 (0) 121 236 2940|
|Monday||08:00 – 16:00||Roaster||Origin (espresso + batch brew)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 16:00||Seating||Tables, Window Bar; Tables (Outside)|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 16:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 16:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 16:00||Payment||Cards Only|
|Saturday||09:00 – 16:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||10:00 – 16:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||Local||Visits||Original: 13th February, 6th August 2014
Update: 20th August 2018, 2nd July 2021
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