Nan Tei – Japanese (Yakitori) – Nottingham
Its been a lean couple of weeks in posting with an unexpected visit to hospital meaning eating out and drinking wine have been in shortly supply. I’m back on my feet though and Nan Tei was first on my list to visit.
Nan Tei is not one of those places to have had a fanfare when opening, besides the demure Japanese style their location must be toward the bottom of the list of good footfall and frontage for restaurants. Maid Marian way is home to plenty of decent sites but but Nan Tei’s lot is between a dated Travel Lodge and an alleyway at the back of a pub.
It all appears a little hastily put together, as if perhaps having had to open in a hurry. Its basic but attractive enough inside with half a dozen tables and an open kitchen. The food almost entirely focuses on Yakitori, aka skewers of stuff. There are a couple of set meals At £10-15 though it isn’t entirely clear what you get for that so we decided to choose the a la carte equivalent. Individual skewers will set you back £2-3.50 each and there are some side dishes that can supplement these, rice, noodles, miso soup etc. Drinks are pretty limited with a few common soft drinks although there were a few interesting looking sakes.
Some of the menu heremay not appeal to everyone, gizzards is a journey into the unknown for a lot of us in Nottingham I would expect. That said I wanted to be a little adventurous so ordered beef tongue and chicken hearts. These were certainly amongst the best dishes, just grilled and well seasoned, easy to get wrong and be chewy is not skilfully cooked. My favourite was possibly the prawn wrapped in chicken skin, the salty dimension that was added a nice foil for the sweetness of the prawn. Mushrooms stuffed with chicken was the only dish that fell a touch below par, the minced chicken just lacking a touch of seasoning. Pleasant enough but a little dull in the flavour stakes. Classic pork with leek was better the little crunchy freshness of the vegetables pairing well with the salty pork.
Overall there isn’t huge amounts to say about the food at Nan Tei with limited interventions made to the ingredients before they get to your plate. Nothing blew me away, the traditional style of yakitori is so simple its probably unlikely too. The ingredients seemed good quality which is obviously important when there is nowhere to hide. It was a friendly and welcoming atmosphere despite a little language barrier, service was quite slow with just the owner running front of house and 1 chef in an open kitchen. You can certainly have an enjoyable meal here for £10-15 which is pretty good going, for a bit more excitement though it would be hard not to just head to Kushi-Ya instead. Great to have this option of authentic yakitori in Nottingham though.
Restaurant website: n/a