Chef Kray Treadwell opened his restaurant ‘670 Grams’ in early summer in the Custard Factory, Digbeth. The restaurant is named after the weight of his daughter when she was born four months premature. We weren’t able to make it to the 16-seater restaurant before the winter lockdown so we’ve had to do the next best thing and try one of their heat-at-home meal boxes.
The week we wanted it for he was offering a vegan meal box – that’s not the restaurant’s norm, but we thought we’d give it a go, after all we’ve always got emergency pepperamis on-hand should the lack of meat make us feel faint. Not that we knew it at the time but Chef Kray would earn himself the title of the Michelin Guide’s Young Chef of 2021 just two days later – no doubt this accolade will make tables at his restaurant even harder to come by when lockdown ends.
I think you can tell a lot about a chef by what they’re able to produce with only plant-based ingredients, and the food we ate was interesting and tasty. Forgive the plating, we tried our best but I’m sure the restaurant make a better fist of it!
We started with a shot of strawberry kimchi ‘soup’. It gave an initial impression of summer freshness but became progressively more savoury, maybe even with fermented funkiness, with lingering fruit and slight heat on the sides of the tongue. Super unusual but not unpleasant.
Next was a more conventional course of dahl samosa, rice bhaji, and spring onion chutney. The bright chutney tasted vibrant and green, with a ginger heat and tang from the onion. The samosa and bhaji were lightly spiced and had some crunch.
On from here more East Asian flavours with Thai green crispy noodles with daikon and finger lime. The green liquor had good heat and was fragrant with coriander and lemon grass, on crispy noodles and soft earthy daikon.
The tomato, smoked bread, and crispy wontons were tasty with tomato sweetness, but it could’ve done with a couple of more crackers to offset the soft texture.
Perhaps my favourite course was the potato kiev, with truffle ajo blanco and crispy capers. The breaded potato was crumbed with a slight crunch but the truffled ajo was so delightful I could eat it with anything, the salty capers cut through its richness.
The Teddy Bear bean curd was fun, and the coconut rice pudding wasn’t too sweet, with the pineapple giving it a top-end piña colada feel. I particularly loved the lotus pretzel and they look really interesting as petit fours.
Can’t wait to get to the actual restaurant!