Nottingham News, Sat Bains and Summer
As Summer (hopefully) arrives my blogging is becoming increasingly erratic. What is to blame? A combination of selfish friends having children & getting married, my birthday and a packed schedule in the day job. That said there are some exciting happenings and openings across Nottingham. The Herbet Kilpin is a new venue from the team behind Boilermaker and Junkyard and is just a stone’s throw from the later. It is more rounded than the cocktail or craft beer focus that defines the other bars in the small chain. There also appears to be a bit more of a focus on food so I look forward to heading down. A Nottingham establishment was also featured in The Guardian. The Lace Market Hotel got a pretty good write-up particularly the Merchants restaurant and its young chef. I had a particularly bad meal here some years ago but the new owners seems to be getting things right so will be making a visit. If it is good it could breathe a little life into the mid/high level fine dining scene of Hart’s / World Service.
Last night (Weds 22nd June) also marked the Post’s Nottingham food awards and the winners were:
Best New Venue – Baresca
Best Asian Restaurant – Zaap
Best Deli / Café – The Cheese Shop
Best Indian Restaurant – Memsaab
Best Drinks Venue – Hockley Arts Club
Best Bar None – Volt
Best International Restaurant – Baresca
Best City Centre Experience – George’s
Best Pub – The Cross Keys
Best Out of Town – Langar Hall
Outstanding Service – La Rock
Best Fine Dining – Hart’s
Overall Winner – Hart’s
My thoughts on this list are probably best left for another day but in general they have certainly recognised some good restaurants and venues in Nottingham.
A brief write up on a visit to Sat Bains
Having talked of my birthday the top billing of that weekend was the best restaurant in the country (according to The Times), Nottingham’s own Sat Bains. I have been a number of times but my last visit was just over a year ago and the menu had changed almost entirely. Amongst a procession of excellent, innovative food a couple of stunning dishes did stand out. An aged beef tartar with raw and lightly sautéed mushrooms was seasoned with lichen. A perfect marriage of flavours and textures. Desserts aren’t usually a highlight of a meal for me, you’re not hearing from a man with a sweet tooth. That said I defy anyone not to enjoy at least one of the 3 desserts on the 10 course tasting menu here. All 3 did it for me, the best was a clever mix of 3 rice-based ingredients. The meat of the dish was a rice pudding that remained rich and creamy despite being lighter than I thought possible. On top of that was some puffed rice that bought a toasty texture to the dish, a freshness was finally added by a sake (rice wine) and apple granita. It might not be for everyone but if I am paying top money this is the sort of precise, skilful cooking that I want and rest assured that flavour is not compromised for technique here.