Tom Parker Bowles hails south Birmingham restaurant praised by food critic Jay Rayner

Tom Parker Bowles called the Birmingham neighbourhood restaurant hailed as a 2022 dining highlight by famed food critic Jay Rayner as “a rather magnificent regional Chinese restaurant”

A south Birmingham restaurant highlighted by food critic and journalist Jay Rayner has also been lauded by cookbook author Tom Parker Bowles.

Rayner - who is the food reporter on BBC The One Show and a food critic for the Observer - who reviews restaurants across the country, had visited Yikouchi at Chancer’s Café, in Stirchley, Birmingham last year after reading about it on a local blog Meat & One Veg.

His visit hit the headlines after he hailed it a 2022 dining highlight in one of his latest reports for the Observer. Bowles, 48, the son of Camilla, the Queen Consort of the United Kingdom, and King Charles’ step son, landed up at the same restaurant after reading about it on the same blog run by Simon Carlo last year.

Bowles has written seven cookbooks and won the Guild of Food Writers 2010. He has appeared on multiple television food series like Market Kitchen on Good Food Channel, Food Glorious Food on ITV and Australian cooking series The Hot Plate on Channel 9.

The 48-year-old award-winning food writer’s said in a review, published on the Daily Mail in May that Yikouchi is “a rather magnificent regional Chinese restaurant”.

He added that the “menu is short and sweet.” He tried a cold tiger cucumber salad, fried chicken, “fish-fragrant aubergine” and “pork with long Turkish peppers”.

Tom Parker Bowles, Photo by Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE via Getty Images)
Tom Parker Bowles, Photo by Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE via Getty Images)
Tom Parker Bowles, Photo by Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE via Getty Images)

The restaurant inside Chancer’s Cafe is run by a couple - James Kirk-Gould and his wife Cassie, who lived in Beijing. They started the restaurant after falling in love with the Sichuan cuisine. Cassied also runs Sweetmeat Inc, which is right next to Chancer’s Cafe, and serves fudge that should not be missed.

Bowles adds: “Kirk-Gould makes no claim to authenticity, yet this is seriously good cooking. Stuff to make the heart sing and belly roar. Oh, and one of the best, and best-value lunches I’ve had in months.”

The restaurant doesn’t take bookings. It operates from Wednesday to Friday from 11am-2pm and Thursday-Friday at 6-9pm.