The Lobster Pot – Seafood – Nottingham
Mansfield Road’s venues for food are mostly places I would barely consider on the small hours on a Saturday morning. This made it all the more surprising when I heard there was a good seafood restaurant amongst the corner shops and kebab emporiums. It’s colourful exterior and signage at the top of the hill gives way to Spartan insides, a small space with plain wood tables and floors. The menu has a number of fresh shellfish items; oysters, lobsters, crab on offer. I tested the waiter on the provenance of these and he was pretty knowledgeable which is always good. Aside from the option to just get some shellfish and pile in there are traditional starters and mains as well as a number of Thai influenced dishes (which is where the owner is from).
As I thought I better test the cooking as much as the produce I went for a couple of hot dishes. One of my favourites, moules marinière tempted me to start with. I could tell as soon as it arrived that something was amiss. The sauce was very thin and seemed as though it was mostly cream and no white wine or onion to really flavour it. The mussels were fine, a decent portion though they had a fair amount of grit in so the preparation could have been better. Usually the flavour of the broth is such that I want a basket full of bread to mop it up, here I was content to let the liquor return to the kitchen.
For a main Thai red curry with Hake appealed, strong meaty fish with a punchy sauce can be a great combination. It didn’t necessarily look the part, slightly resembling a slice of toast covered in tomato soup with some orphan peppers misplaced atop. Fortunately the taste was something far different. It was a good curry sauce, perhaps not in the league of Tarn Thai or Thaikun but still skilfully prepared. The fish was well cooked too, a decent steak for £12.95 though with few accompaniments and needing a more generous portion of the sauce. We also ordered a side of vegetables, sadly they were overcooked and lacking and discernible flavour, pretty basic.
I suppose the main competition for them is Loch Fyne and if it came down to it the city’s long established seafood chain would win out in a battle between the two, it’s just more polished. With Belgo new to town too they could skim off some trade for anyone who wants a pot of mussels, somewhere I look forward to trying it out after my disappointing bowl here. Those who stumble upon The Lobster Pot are probably pleasantly surprised; it’s certainly the best restaurant in its vicinity. Having said that if it has been recommended you might be left thinking it isn’t worth making the short journey out of the very heart of the city.
Restaurant website: http://www.lobsterpotnottingham.co.uk/