Urban Jungle Blogs, News and Press Releases

Where to begin with Kombucha...

24 April 2018 - Posted by Joe Enhari

Where to begin with Kombucha...

Urban Jungle Suffolk's Café Manager, Joe Enhari is a great believer in all things fermented. Not only does pickling and fermenting make great use of gluts from the Edible Jungle (The kitchen garden and field growing our salad and vegetables), but there are also incredible health benefits too.

Health benefits can include detoxification, improved digestion, and immune system stimulation. This effervescent, zingy beverage has also been attributed to preventing arthritis, and reducing cholesterol. It's said to enhance energy, positive moods and athletic performance as well as aiding weight-loss – why wouldn't you share Joe's passion for this seemingly magic cocktail?

Joe's Kombucha

Read on to find out all about Joe's Kombucha...

Kombucha, like several other interesting and delicious things on foodie radars at present, is an antiquated beverage. It's produced using beneficial yeasts and bacteria to ferment a base item, in this case sweetened tea. It's a hot topic at work as Head Chef Chloe, Supervisor Lily and I are all home brewers.

Chloe and Joe Head Chef
Head Chef Chloe and Cafe Manager Joe

There is sadly a great deal of speculation on its origin and specifically the time period. It is however mostly agreed upon that China and The Eurasian Steppe is the most likely place.

Being a fermented beverage, Kombucha contains beneficial micro-organisms that can boost the health of your gut flora, and lactic acids which have been attributed to the relief of lots of gastric ailments.

As if that sexy explanation wasn't enough to get people queuing at the door, it's also really delicious and, once you start playing around by adding natural flavours, more or less infinitely original. I think of it as a tasty and nutritious probiotic iced tea.

All you need to start brewing Kombucha is a jar, some sweet tea and a SCOBY. The SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts) is an odd thing to behold for the first time, a weird celestial jellyfish that's going to eat your tea before you drink it.

SCOBY Kambucha

The method

1) Brew 2 tbsp of loose tea (Assam is nice) with seven pints of boiling water, and 1 cup of sugar. Let it cool to room temperature.
2) Clean and sterilize a big Kilner jar, the large ones with the tap at the bottom.
3) Strain your tea into the jar and add your SCOBY, with a cup of tea from a previously successful brew. 
4) Leave for seven days, out of direct sunlight and at room temperature.
5) On the seventh day, taste your brew. Everyone likes their 'booch' at different levels of sweetness. Taste every day from then on and when you're happy, it's ready.

We've been playing with flavours and brew times in the Café so that we are super happy before we launch it over the bar. Chloe and I are excited to use our home grown produce such as rhubarb, to enhance our future brews.

Joe cooking

It will be on sale in the Café in May, but we will be offering it to any one who wishes to try it for the first time free of charge in the mean time. We hope to see you soon!

The Café at Urban Jungle is open every day from 10am until 4.30pm, and Saturday nights from 6pm. Book your table on 01502 559103 or book here.

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Night Times in The Jungle - Opening Night Success!

23 April 2018 - Posted by Rachel Bannon

Saturday 21st April marked the first of many fabulous Nights in the Jungle. The Cafe at Urban Jungle in Beccles, Suffolk was fully booked, the atmosphere buzzy, and the food, cocktail and diners as beautiful as ever. 

Customers arrived to the house cocktail, 'The Bare Necessities' (a house made passion fruit and gin mix, with grenadine and lime - so popular it's going to stay on the menu!) and and took their seats at candlelit tables in the restaurant, choosing from a sharing menu featuring a selection of wonderful dishes from around the world. 

The menu included signature dips such as muhammara, labneh and hummus, Portuguese punched potatoes (with sell out success!), hake cerviche, and pulled lamb shawarma. 

Head Chef Chloe is busy working on this Saturday's menu so no two weeks are ever the same, keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram page for updates. You can take a look at our sample menu here

The Cafe at Urban Jungle is open every day from 10am until 4.30, and from 6pm on Saturday Nights, with food served from 7pm. 

Browse the gallery of pictures from our opening night...

dusk at Urban Jungle Suffolk

Table 4

Laying Tables

Table 8

Liz trying the house cocktail

Table 2

Junior chef Emma making flatbreads

Table 5

Hollie making cocktails

Joe briefing the staff

chef chloe making ganash


nibbles - charcuterie

house pickles


Chocolate Brownie

Saturday Night Cocktails

Table 7

Restaurant Urban Jungle Suffolk

Table 9

Table 1

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Press Release: Chloe Webb joins as Head Chef at Urban Jungle Suffolk

19 April 2018 - Posted by Rachel Bannon

Press Release: Chloe Webb joins as Head Chef at Urban Jungle Suffolk

This week, the Cafe at Urban Jungle Suffolk welcomes Chloe Webb as Head Chef.

Chloe trained on the job in London and Essex, with a background at high profile London events and supper clubs, including Stepney City Farm’s Mexican Fiesta in East London. Chloe takes a lot of her inspiration from travelling in Mexico and Sri Lanka, and hopes to bring this to the menu in Suffolk.

Chloe and Joe Head Chef
Left Chloe Webb, Head Chef and Right, Joe Enhari, Cafe Manager

"Chloe shares our passion at Urban Jungle Suffolk, we’re extremely lucky to have her on board. She respects and cares about food, and the industry in the same way that we do. It’s only her first week but we’ve got big plans. Plans to expand and grow an already totally unique and very special dining experience in Suffolk."
Cafe Manager, Joe Enhari

Chloe has already begun to take advantage of the vegetables available onsite in the Edible Jungle, and has been fermenting red cabbage into delightfully sour and crunchy Sauerkraut - a new addition to the Mezze platter - A selection of fresh and vibrant, Middle Eastern inspired salads.

Chloe Sauerkrout
Head Chef Chloe, with her Sauerkraut

Chloe enjoyed a a successful opening night for Night Times in the Jungle on Saturday 21st April. Find out more about Saturday Nights in the Cafe here. 
Restaurant Urban Jungle Suffolk

Meet Chloe, in seven bite-size chunks...

How’s your first week been so far Chloe?
Great first day! Lots to learn from the menu, processes, and where everything is kept. It’s always hard being the ‘newby’.

What do you really love to cook at home when you have the time?
Sharing food. I’m not about fussy, fine dining. I’m into beautiful, rustic and homely food. Food that makes people happy.

What’s your ‘death-row’ meal?
It has to be a block of butter and loaf of French bread. I just couldn't justify eating an entire block of butter at any other time!

What do you love to listen to?
Rock, alternative rock, metal, as far from Ed Sheeran as possible....

What do you like to do in your spare time…?
Cook, ferment, festivals, gigs and spending lots of time cuddling my amazing cat Darius.

Guilty pleasure…?
Dawson’s Creek! I’ve just started re-watching it…. Some of the characters are pretty embarrassing.

What’re you most looking forward to within your new role at Urban Jungle Suffolk?
Getting to play with all of the amazing home grown vegetables...

The Cafe at Urban Jungle is open everyday from 10am for brunch. Lunch is served from Midday until 4pm, and the Cafe closes at 4.30. On Saturday Nights, the Cafe opens at 6pm for drinks, and serves food from 7pm. Book a table on 01502 558103 or book your table.

Find out more about Urban Jungle https://www.urbanjungle.uk.com/aboutsuffolk.asp

Read the Night Times at Urban Jungle press release here

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Evenings in Cafe Jungle

29 March 2018 - Posted by Rachel Bannon

Evenings in Cafe Jungle dining suffolk

Connecting People, Plants and Food. 

Dine in The Cafe at Urban Jungle Suffolk every Saturday night from Saturday 21st April. Join us on our opening night for cocktails from 6pm.

An extension of our daytime menu, you can expect globally inspired dishes with bold flavours, colours, and exotic influences and spices. The ingredients are carefully sourced, beautifully presented, and cleverly complimented with salad, vegetables, and pickles, grown on-site in the Edible Jungle.

The food will be full of excitement and energy, perfect for sharing (or not!) and as darkness descends in the Jungle, the fusion of dramatic leaves, twinkly lights and great cocktails and wine will make for an unforgettable experience. 

Suffolk Cafe book a table

'Put simply, our cafe is inspired by plants. Anyone who knows us can't have failed to miss that we're pretty passionate about them, and first time visitors are always blown away by the concept of bringing the nursery into the cafe, and the life and abundance of greenery within.  

The informal seating arrangement, squishy sofas, and soft cushions lend themselves to a laid back style of eating - taking your time, ordering a few dishes at a time, and sharing with friends and family. Not only are our diners totally embraced by exotic plants, we're also proud to be growing our own beautiful and colourful produce on site. The whole experience is a sensuous feast.' 
Liz Browne, Co-owner

hummus kawarma
Just one of the dishes on the current menu, Hummus Kawarma

From 21st April dine inside the Jungle, or on the terrace and enjoy a feast of fresh, seasonal food and cocktails. 

Tables are available from 6pm for cocktails, and dining from 7pm every Saturday evening. Book on 01502 559103.

The Cafe at Urban Jungle is open everyday from 10 until 4.30, serving brunch between 10 and 12. Urban Jungle Plant Nursery is open everyday 10-5.

View the menu here.

The Cafe at Urban Jungle, London Road, Beccles, NR34 8TT, 01502 559103. Contact us to book here

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Uhi's Spring Nursery update...

28 March 2018 - Posted by Uhi Millington, in Norfolk, Trade, Propagation, Nursery, NewsLetter, Suffolk

Nursery Manager Uhi's Spring Update...

So far 2018 has certainly tested us. With gale force winds uprooting a polytunnel in Suffolk, to the 'Beast from the East' who just wont quit, we continue to dust ourselves down, and push forward with positivity. 

As you may know, we're planning to move our car park from the bottom end of the nursery in Norfolk, nearer to the Cafe. We are nearly there, the next stage of work is scheduled to commence really soon and we apologise in advance for any inconvenience it may cause. We've been assured that it will be completed quickly to keep disruption to a minimum.

Now to the important stuff  -  PLANTS, PLANTS, PLANTS

In typical Urban Jungle style, all the deliveries have arrived at once in Norfolk and Suffolk so it's been manic in the Jungle over the last 2 weeks, however we've made good process in setting up the Nursery for the busy season ahead. 

1Uhis spring update
Uhi putting out the deliveries of houseplants in Cafe Jungle

The Cafes are looking stunning. We've had a big delivery of house plants which have been expertly slotted into place to create that exotic, tropical feel that Urban Jungle has become renowned for over the last few years. There are house plants for every room, for light areas and dark corners, dry, and humid places. You can hang them from the ceiling, stand them on the floor, put them on the window sill, and if you're not sure, we can advise you of what plant will suit your chosen place, and how to care for it. Our staff are always more than happy to help.

Uhi houseplants
Uhi displaying our hanging indoor plants

Houseplants by the bridge in Cafe Jungle

The Tree Ferns arrived on Friday, and they're spectacular. This delivery is made up of beautiful chunky trunks ranging from 1ft to 7ft tall, packed with croziers, just waiting to unfurl. Tree ferns are also known as 'Manferns'. If you've ever moved one you'll know why - they certainly put hairs on your chest! 

Tree ferns
Mark and Ed dealing with the Tree Fern delivery

Tree ferns
Tree Ferns ~ Dicksonia antartica

A huge delivery of trees also arrived last week. We have Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' back in stock and the beautiful weeping version Cercis 'Ruby Falls' the glowing reddish purple leaves are going to look spectacular with the ferny acid green foliage of Metasoquia glyptostoides 'Gold Rush' and Gleditsia tricanthos 'Sunburst'. 

Japanese Cherry Prunus
Japanese Cherry - Prunus subhirtella

If you are in the market for instant drama how about an oriental touch? The billowing blossoms of Japanese Cherry - Prunus 'Accolade' are a profusion of soft pink semi double flowers. For a bit of Californian sunshine we've got 6 ft tall Ceanothus 'Trewithen Blue' a great choice for growing as a specimen tree or as a wall shrub with its abundance of sky blue flowers. These are also available for delivery from our online shop. 

Acers at our Pay Hut
Acers displayed at the Norfolk Pay Hut

And last but most definitely not least 'ACERS'. We have got our hands on some huge, mature trees. We can't wait for the colour explosion in the Nursery when the leaves break open in the next couple of weeks. If you don't have room for a huge Acer, don't worry we have smaller versions too.

There are too many plants in stock to list, so whether you are looking for large, small, or for spring, summer, autumn or all year round interest, fruits, flowers and foliage, we've got it covered. 

Jen Aloe Sansevaria
Nursery Assistant Jen, displaying Sansevaria and Aloe vera in the Cafe 

We're also extremely proud to launch the War On Plastic Pots this year. 1/5 of our propagated stock will be grown in terracotta pots that can be kept and reused, or returned for cashback. Just look out for the 'Terracotta Army' on the recycled labels. You can read the full article here. 

We're open as normal over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend at both our Norfolk and Suffolk Nurseries and Cafes.

See you soon!

UJ Norfolk Nursery Manager

Uhi's spring blog

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