Kanteen has this minimalist, Scandinavian feel to it. Tones are neutral and gentle (think lots of greys, pale blues, and soft yellows), with light wooden furnishings and functional white counters. Amongst this simplicity, the floor draws the eye for a second or two with its repeating geometric patterns; a wave of organised chaos in an otherwise calm sea. But this cool, crisp and almost monochrome setting is the perfect backdrop for the food. Naturally bright with ribbons of beetroot, pickled red onions and vibrant sauces, the food is a stark contrast to the venue itself, and stands out triumphantly.
At Kanteen, the focus is serving natural food of the highest calibre (there’s no additives or preservatives here), designed to be great tasting and nutritional. Dishes are inspired by street food favourites from across the globe, including Jamaican goat curry, pork bao, Thai rice noodles, and lamb souvlaki kebab. And even though they already balance taste and nutrition, Kanteen are also driven to make dishes that look incredible too by ensuring colours, shapes and textures play a key role in everything they offer.
Not only are Kanteen a good bunch when it comes to helping people discover great tasting and healthy food, but they also do their bit to help the wider community in Birmingham and beyond. Their ‘one-for-one’ campaign promises that one meal is given to a vulnerable person for every Hot Box that’s sold at their counter, which we think is pretty damn awesome. They also regularly open their doors to the community and offer the space for meetings or gatherings with complimentary hot drinks. And if that’s not good enough, they’ve set up an employee ownership scheme, giving everyone that works there a say in the future of the business as well as shares.
If Kanteen have made it their goal to show us that natural food is anything but boring, then they’ve knocked it out of the park.