Category Archives for Nottingham

La Rock Nottingham Tasting Menu

La Rock Nottingham

Rach and I love tasting menus, we recently went to La Rock to experience their tasting menu. On the first Friday of the month, they hold a 9 course tasting menu. This menu allows you to try 9 small dishes over a course of roughly 4 hours.

We went as a group of 4 as apart of a celebration meal for it being Rach’s Birthday and our first proper meal out since we had our son Edwin. I originally tried to book a table but they were full, luckily for us they did have a cancellation. We didn’t know our friends were going as well, once we found out La Rock were more than happy to move us to a table of 4 so we could enjoy the night together.


On arrival we were given a warm welcome and asked if we wanted a seat first or shown to our table. We asked to be seated, which we were and menus were soon brought out to show what we would be having during the night.

Here is the menu for the night….

La Rock Tasting Menu - excellent 8 course tasting menu, would recommend La Rock in Nottingham - AmateurChef.co.uk

As La Rock only do a tasting once every month, they change the menu monthly. Makes me want to go back again so I can see what other dishes they will do.

We ordered our drinks, they do offer a package where you get to try a range of wines with each course. I decided not to go for this though, however one of the party did and enjoyed them.

Prior to our food starting to come out, we did get to experience a couple of different amuse-bouche. They were all very tasty, one of which really stood out. It was a mini fish and chip and it tasted just like the real thing, nice and salty. If I could find out how to make that, Id jump at the chance.

Tasting Dish One – Beetroot Variations

The first dish was a medley of all things beetroot. I have seen a few dishes that do beetroot in different ways and always wanted to try one. Its given me the inspiration of trying it, it goes to show how versatile beetroot is!

On the plate was a smudge of puree which then sat presse and mousse of beetroot, some cubed beetroot and then an amazing beetroot crisp. Sprinkled around was beetroot dust. I have to say the winner for me was the crisp, it tasted perfect.

La Rock Tasting Menu Course 1 Beetroot Variations

Tasting Dish Two – Chicken ‘Teriyaki’ Style

The second dish was chicken that was marinated in a teriyaki sauce. I loved the taste of the chicken, it had some great flavours. The chicken sat on a bed of Daikon, which is something I have never had before. Daikon is a type of radish, it’s slightly milder than your typical radish.

The daikon was then on an oriental spiced emulsion that went really well with the teriyaki chicken. Placed to the side was a crispy chicken skin, which tasted amazing!

La Rock Tasting Menu Course 2 - Chicken

Tasting Dish Three – Sea Bass

It might look like a small bit of sea bass but it is a mouthful of amazingness (is that a word?) It was cooked to perfection with a tasty skin on top. The Sea bass was on a celeriac puree with celery and a few hazelnuts that were covered in honey.

All on all the dish worked very well and I could happily eat it again and again!

La Rock Tasting Menu Course 3 Sea Bass

Tasting Dish Four – Deconstructed Beef Wellington

I have not had that many deconstructed dishes and as I love steak, I was looking forward to this dish the most. The beef sat on a bed of mushroom, garlic and chive pancake. The beef itself was incredible. It was cooked just how I like it and had a lot of flavour. I have had a few steaks in my time and must say it was impressive.

Laid over the top of the beef was a nice stick of puff pastry. You could get a nice combination of flavours and it worked really well as a beef wellington.

La Rock Tasting Menu Course 4 Beef Wellington

Tasting Dish Five – Textures of Melon

The mains were done, now it’s time to get into the desserts. This course was a palate cleanser, ready for the up and coming desserts.

There were 4 different textures of Melon. Melon spheres, Melon jelly, Melon custom and iced Melon. They all worked really well together and had some great tastes/textures. It was nice that the palate cleanser was not just a bowl of sorbet but something different and tasty.

La Rock Tasting Menu Course 5 Melon

Tasting Dish Six – White Chocolate Parfait

The first of the dessert courses was a yummy white chocolate parfait. It came with black cherry and pistachio. It all went very well and tasted great. I have to admit, I completely forgot to take the picture and started eating…what can I say it looked yummy!! 🙂

La Rock Tasting Menu Course 6 White Chocolate

Tasting Dish Seven – British Cheeses (£6 Supplement PP)

We decided to pay the extra for the cheese course. I love cheese so couldn’t really say no to having it. The dish comes as a serving for 2 people. Unlike some places you actually get a decent amount of cheese, more than enough for two people.

The course came with 4 different cheese, a nice range of biscuits, grapes and a tasty soused celery. Well worth the additional £6!

La Rock Tasting Menu Course 7 Cheese Selection

Tasting Dish Eight – Orange Laurel Posset

Now we have reached the last course of the tasting menu at La Rock. I came and I have to admit I was impressed with the plating, although was gutted it was the last course. (Even though I was very full!!)

The Posset came with a candied orange on top, there was some brand snap and a nice range of different citrus gels/textures.

La Rock Tasting Menu Course 8 - Orange Posset

Petit Fours

We then enjoyed a nice selection of petit fours. These included jelly, nut and chocolate. Ill be honest I did struggle to eat them after such a nice meal (and being somewhat full!) Each one was however very tasty and finished the meal off well.

La Rock Tasting Menu Course 9

Thoughts on La Rock Menu

The tasting menu was finalised that very week. I think they did an excellent job, everything seemed to go really well together. It would be interesting to find out the thought process and what they did to develop the menu.

After trying this menu I really would love to try another tasting night. If you don’t get a chance to go on the tasting, the normal evening menu looks just as impressive. There are a number of dishes that I really want to try, can almost guarantee i’ll be returning to La Rock.

Thoughts on Service at La Rock

I cannot fault the staff. From the moment we were seated, they were very friendly and knowledgeable on the dishes. We were told about each of the wines that were associated with each course and the staff member that served the dish also explain what was one it.

Interestingly each member of staff wore gloves when serving the plates, which I think was a nice touch.

La Rock should be proud of each of their team that night, we were very happy with the service we received.

Final Foodie Thought

If you are wanting to experience fine dining, whether during the tasting night or non tasting night then La Rock is perfect. The quality of the food is excellent and the price is very reasonable for what you do get.
If visiting Nottingham or if you live in Nottingham, this is a great restaurant to visit whether as a group or a romantic meal. On a personal level it would be incredible to learn more about the food development they do and would also be really cool to tour the kitchens/meet the chefs (maybe next time :P)

I will certainly be visiting La Rock again and do think it is somewhat of a hidden gem, as many people I have spoken to have not heard of it before. I cannot recommend it more, brilliant experience!

If you do go, please do let me know what you think in the comments below

Visit the La Rock Nottingham Website to make your booking – www.larockrestaurant.co.uk

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Bric Nottingham

Bric Nottingham - Nice restaurant in the centre of Nottingham. The Bric Nottingham Menu has some excellent choices at a reasonable priceBric Nottingham is a fairly new restaurant, attached to Hilton Hotel in the very centre of town. It was previously Nicholson’s, which was an excellent place to go for some food and cocktails.

I have wanted to visit for some time to see how different it was and to see what the food was like. I had just received my new Gourmet Society card and thought it would be a good time to have a meal out.

The Gourmet Society card gives 25% discount on the bill at Bric, which I think is a pretty good deal.


When we arrived at first didn’t really know where to go, whether we should wait to be seated or to just find a seat. We asked and were quickly shown to a table by a friendly waitress, who soon provided menus and took our drink orders.

The restaurant itself is nice, the layout is the same to Nicholson’s. It has however been redecorated and I think it does look decent. With it being attached to the hotel and a popular bar it does get quiet loud. Its not somewhere id go for a quiet romantic meal but perfect for a pre night out dinner, pre-theatre dinner or somewhere to go in a group.

What’s The Location Like

The location of Bric in Nottingham is ideal. It is pretty much in the centre, close to the INTU shopping centre. It is attached to the Hilton Hotel, so if you are visiting overnight it is an ideal spot.

The Corner House is within a couple of minutes walk, which has a number of decent bars around if you’re looking for a drink or two. There are taxi ranks just outside and plenty of bus routes, getting to Bric is incredibly easy.

I have stayed that this hotel and even though it is right in the middle of town, there is not much street noise.

What was on the Bric Nottingham Menu

One thing I do like is that the menu is not over complicated. They don’t have too many options that you just cannot decide. Although at the same time, everything sounded really nice so I did struggle to pick!

It’s always good to see a restaurant that focuses on a small selection of items and cooks them well. Instead of somewhere that tries to handle too many dishes and turns out to just be meh!

Bread Selection – £3

I like a nice selection of bread to get me started and you do get a good selection of different types of bread. It comes with a dipping oil which is nice. Id probably have a couple of different dips as there is a lot of bread when compared with the small tub of oil.

Starter – Pork Belly – £5

I love a good pork belly and these were very nice. They were covered in a cider marinade. It also came with a nice spicy dipping sauce. Id recommend this as a starter if you do like pork belly, perhaps would have like the skin a little crispier.

Bric Nottingham Menu - Starter - Pork Belly glazed in cider...yummy! Amateurchef.co.uk

Main – Pan Fried Cod Supreme – £15

The cod is pan fired and on a bed of wilted spinach and fondant potato. It then came with a lobster sauce. The fish was very nice and fell apart, so was cooked to perfection. The sauce added some incredible flavour. The only thing that id comment on was the potato to me was not really a fondant.

It was more like a roast potato as the middle was not soft and fluffy as you would expect. As I said though the whole thing did taste nice, so would recommend it.

Bric Nottingham Menu - Main - Pan Seared Cod that fell apart, incredibly nice - amateurchef.co.uk

We decided not to have a dessert, even though they did sound very nice. We were both tired and Rach was suffering from her back so we called it a night.

What was the service like at Bric Nottingham

The service was good. It was not a busy time as we had arrived around 7:30, so imagine the staff were not rushed. They did however come to check how the food was and continued to ask if we wanted any drinks, which was good.

The starter was not brought out too quickly, reassuring us that it was cooked fresh. The main came out soon after the starter, so we didn’t have to wait a long time to get our main course.

Final Foodie Thought On Bric Nottingham

Overall I do think Bric is a nice restaurant in Nottingham and a good addition to the great restaurants we have. As I said before I do think it’s more of a place you would go to as a group or pre-theatre. The food is well presented, tastes nice and is reasonably priced.

I would come to Bric again as I did enjoy it. I continue to see pictures of their afternoon teas on FaceBook and they really do look nice! Next time I go I think I’ll have to go for afternoon tea.

If you do like an afternoon tea, give it a go and tell me what you thought! 🙂

Where To Find Bric In Nottingham

Address: Hilton Nottingham, 38 Milton St, Nottingham NG1 3PZ
Telephone: 0115 934 9760
Price: ££
Website: http://bricnottingham.co.uk/

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Iberico World Tapas Nottingham

Iberico World Tapas is an incredible Tapas restaurant in Nottingham! High quality food tastes excellent! - http://amateurchef.wpengine.comI have been wanting to visit Iberico World Tapas in Nottingham for some time now. It is owned by the same people that own World Service, a restaurant that I love. Not only do I love World Service but I really like tapas food. Its perfect when you want to try a number of different dishes.

When Rach and I decided that we would go to Iberico Tapas, I went straight online to look at the menu. I was impressed right away with the way the food looked. Each dish online looked and sounded incredible!

On arriving we went down the stairs (as it is underground) of the Galleries of Justice. It is a grade 2 listed building. The inside is really stylish with nice decor and great seating.


The environment is relaxed with plenty of seating but they are not positioned to close together. We ordered a drink at the bar and waiting for our table to be ready.

What’s The Location Like?

The location of Iberico tapas is good with it being in the heart of the lace market. Its within walking distance of some nice bars such as All Bar One and Pitcher and Pendulum. Ideal if you want a couple of drinks before or after your tapas!

The fletcher gate car park is within walking distance, perfect if driving in. Taxi ranks are right near the restaurant if you are looking to get a taxi home.

If you are staying in the centre then there is a Ibis hotel, which is only a 2 minute walk from Iberico world tapas.

What Tapas Did I have at Iberico Nottingham?

There is an incredible selection of tapas to have at Iberico. I could have chosen everything on the menu!

The prices do vary but I actually think they are very reasonable. Below are the dishes that Racha and I enjoyed. I would recommend each and everyone of them.

Catalan Bread – £3.50

The Catalan bread was perfectly toasted, topped with tomato and herbs….yummy!!

Catalan Bread at Iberico Nottingham - Tasty Dish!

Ham Croquetas – £5.95

Rach had been before and told me how good these were. We couldn’t not have them this time, so I could enjoy them. Along with the ham is burnt Aubergine, Manchego and pickled shallots. (I really would recommend these!)

Yummy Ham Croquetas - Excellent Tapas at Iberico. I would recommend this one for sure!

Spicy Miso Salmon – £6.95

I didn’t try this as it was a dish Rach had. She did however say it tasted excellent and the salmon had great flavours. If you do like salmon, give it a go!

Spicy Miso Salmon from Iberico - Rach did say this one was excellent!

Potato & Onion Tortilla – £4.95

Cannot have tapas without a potato dish really! We usually have Patatas Bravas but wanted to try something different. The Potato and Onion tortilla was perfect, it was nice and soft and was a great addition.

Loved the Potato & Onion Tortilla from Iberico World Tapas in Nottingham. Was soft and went very well with the meat dishes.

Onglet Beef Skewers – £6.95

These skewers also came with a tasty truffle sauce. The beef itself was very tender and full of flavour.

I dont think you can go wrong with beef skewers, these were tasty yet very tender

Rhubarb Tart – Unknown

Rach had the Rhubarb Tart, however It was a special so I cannot remember the price. I didn’t have any myself but she did say it tasted very nice. As you can see from the picture, there was plenty of Rhubarb!

Rhubarb Tart dessert - Rach did say it tasted very nice and came with a good amount of Rhubarb

A Taste Of Something Sweet – £5.95

If you are going to have a dessert then please do get this one!!

I cannot remember everything that was on it but I know they tasted amazing. You get 5 little desserts which did include a Macaroon, brownie and a truffle. I really would recommend this one.

This is the perfect tapas dessert as it comes with 5 different little treats - Each one tasted amazing!!

What was the service like at Iberico World Tapas?

I thought the service at Iberico Nottingham was excellent. I would not have expected anything else though. Having experienced the service at World Service, I knew it would be just as good here.

We didn’t have to wait long for our table, even though we were a bit early. The waitress that served us was excellent. She was very friendly and was happy to explain dishes on the menu.

With it being tapas the dishes came out as and when they were ready. This is typical with tapas but it was done very well.

The team behind Iberico World Tapas should be very happy with their waiting staff. They should also be very happy with their behind house staff, the food was cooked perfect!

Final Foodie Thought On Iberico Tapas

One of the things I really like is the high quality food but it’s not a stuffy restaurant. Iberico World Tapas is perfect for a group meal or even a romantic meal together.

If you are looking for one of the best places to eat Tapas in Nottingham, you cannot go wrong with here. It offers high quality, sophisticated food but a relaxed environment.

Iberico Nottingham, really is a restaurant that you have to try if you haven’t already!

The only downside to Iberico World Tapas is the fact that I couldn’t try every dish. That does mean that i’ll just have to go again….hopefully soon!

Where To Find Iberico World Tapas Nottingham

Address: The Shire Hall, High Pavement NG1 1HN
Phone: 0115 941 0410
Price: £££
Website: http://www.ibericotapas.com/

If you do go or have been, let me know what you thought in the comments below

Please also click one of the share buttons below if you have a friend that would be interested in this review! Thanks!!

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The Larder On Goosegate

The Larder On GoosegateThe Larder On Goosegate is a real hidden gem, up until a year or so ago I didn’t even know it existed.The restaurant can be found in the middle of Hockley, on the first floor of a listed Victorian building. Interestingly it was originally the home of a small herbalist’s, who grew to become the well-known company Boot’s.

I went for a meal as a group as at work we had some clients and wanted to take them out for a nice meal, I had also been previously with Rach, my brother and his partner. I really like the way that it’s decorated inside with nice natural colours, the floor to ceiling windows not only provide lots of light but also allow you to watch the world go by outside.

I love the fact that The Larder On Goosegate is an independant nottingham restaurant, we should try and support independent restaurants as much as possible. I also like the fact that they are keen to support local farmers by providing local british produce. They also provide some drinks from local Nottinghamshire breweries which was nice!

What’s The Location Like For Larder On Goosegate?


The location is in the heart of Hockley, which is just a few minutes walk from the Market Square. If you are driving in, there is the fletcher gate car park which is just a couple minutes walk from the restaurant.

The tram stops very close to it as well as there being a number of bus stops and taxi ranks nearby.

The Larder on Goosegate is perfect if you are seeing something at the Ice Arena as it is just a few minutes walk away. They open at 5:30 during the week and 12:00 on friday, saturday and sunday so perfect for a pre-show dinner.

If you are looking for somewhere to drink before/after then you are in luck. Along the same street are some great bars, for example the incredible Boilermaker (I would fully recommend it!!). There are also a number of nice bars a couple of minutes walk towards to such as “All Bar One”.

What Did I have To Eat At The Larder On Goosegate?

One of the advantages of sourcing ingredients from local farmers is that the menu trends to be seasonal, allowing the owners and chefs to provide ever changing menus. Its nice to be able to go to a restaurant and be able to try something new each time you go.

Starter – Warm Pig’s head Terrine – £5.95

I love terrine and when it’s done right (like this one), it can really taste excellent! Along wth the pork terrine there was pickled rhubarb which I had not thought of before but actually worked really well. It also came with a mustard sauce which I don’t usually like but went really well with the pork.

The Larder On Goosegate - Starter

Main – Braised Blythburgh Pork Shoulder – £16.95

I would usually have a steak but wanted to try something different and as soon as I saw the pork shoulder with apple sauce, I was sold. It came with savoy cabbage and some very smooth, tasty mash potato.

The Larder On Goosegate - Main

Dessert

I cannot remember the name or the price of the dessert but it did taste incredible. The strawberries with fresh, local and full of flavour with a nice coulis. The main dessert was dark chocolate with a moose in the centre I believe. The whole thing tasted amazing and was very refreshing!

The Larder On Goosegate Dessert

I thought pricing was actually very good value and the food tasted very good. I thought each dish was presented really well and each element worked very well together, you can tell a lot of thought and effort went into creating the dishes.

What Was The Service Like?

We went mid-week around 6 so it was actually very quiet, with not too many other people. We arrived in two groups, so were asked if we wanted to be seated or sit on the sofa with a drink until everyone else arrived.

We were then seated and drink orders were taken and then food orders. The Staff were very friendly and continued to check on us to see how the food was and if we wanted any more drinks.

No complaints with the service at all 🙂

Final Foodie Thought On Larder On Goosegate

Like many people, Larder on Goosegate is a real hidden gem in Nottingham. It’s not obvious as to where it is but it offers such great food and will be a place that I visit often. The location is great, the service is great and again the food is excellent.

To really top it off, I think it’s excellent that they use fresh and local produce for their dishes. I also think we should support them by going due to it being a nice independant restaurant. I like chains but individual places such as this should be appreciated as I feel they offer a little something extra special than chains.

Where To Find The Larder On Goosegate

Address: 1st Goosegate, Nottingham NG1 1FF
Phone: 0115 950 0111
Website: thelarderongoosegate.co.uk
Price: £££

I couldn’t recommend The Larder On Goosegate enough, if you do go please let me know what you thought in the comments below

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Masala Junction Nottingham

Masala Junction Nottingham - New restaurant offering incredible food at a reasonable price.

Image Courtasy of www.nottinghampost.com

Masala Junction Nottingham is a new Indian restaurant to open just outside of the main city in Mapperley Park. It was opened by Naj Aziz, who used to own well-known restaurant Memsaab on Maid Marion Way in Nottingham.

Rach noticed Masala Junction being renovated in the old Natwest bank at the bottom of Hucknall road on the way home from work, suggesting that we join a couple of our friends and go out for a nice meal to give it a try.

The building is very nice and I thought that the restaurant was decorated to a very good standard, it looks completely different to what it did when it was a bank. There are plenty of tables but not too many to feel like you cannot have a private conversation, and overall feels open and spacious.

Whats Masala Junction Nottingham’s Location Like?


The location of Masala Junction is actually pretty good even though it is not in the centre of town. If you are stopping in the Park Inn Hotel on Mansfield road, it’s the perfect location for you to sample a nice Indian meal without having to travel into the centre of town.

There are multiple bus routes that stop within minutes of the restaurant, and go into areas such as Arnold, Bulwell, Rise Park, and Hucknall (there are roughly 17 buses numbers that go near it!!)

What Did I Have To Eat?

I was actually impressed with the menu choice as there was a very large selection of both starters and mains, more than you would expect. It took me some time to choose as there were so many id like to have tried, which just means i’ll have to visit again!

Before the starter we did share some poppadoms and chutneys which were very tasty and did look/taste as though they were fresh.

Masala Junction Nottingham Meal 1

Starter – Junction Champen – £7.25

The starter is a grilled lamb chop that is Lahori Style, which is a cuisine from the city of Lahore in Punjab, Pakistan. It did have a good kick to it with the spices but not so much that you couldn’t taste the great flavours.

This is their signature dish and I can see why as it really did taste very nice!

Masala Junction Nottingham Starter - excellent starter with nice flavours and a good kick to it!

Main – Junction Goat Ka Salan – £12.95

I have never eaten goat before so wanted to give it a go and thought this would be the perfect opportunity. The meat itself is very nice and full of flavour so I would recommend it, I just wish there was more meat! 🙂 The goat is spiced with garam masala and is also marinated in a sauce which has chilli, coriander and herbs.

With the main I did also share a mushroom rice and I had a peshwari naan bread, which also tasted very nice.

Masala Junction Nottingham Main - excellent goat curry, tasted incredible and very tender

What Was The Service Like?

I thought the service was very good, many places I have been to that struggle when they have just opened but the staff looked as though they had been open for years and knew exactly what they were doing.

We were given a friendly welcome and shown to our table, soon after the menus were handed out and our drink orders were taken. The staff seemed very friendly and were more than happy to offer some expert advice on what some of the dishes were or what they would recommend.

Each course was brought out are a reasonable time, they were not too quick or too slow. The entire time we felt relaxed and were not rushed in anyway, which was very nice.

Final Foodie Thought On Masala Junction Nottingham

Sometimes you don’t want to have to go into the centre of the city for a nice meal but at the same time you want to be able to go. Masala Junction is perfect as it is outside of the main city but easy enough to get to, but more importantly the food tastes great!

Even though its only been open for a short time, if this is what I can expect from a nice restaurant then I am sure they will have many years of success and I cannot wait to come back and try some of the other tasty sounding dishes.

I would personally recommend it if you do like your Indian food, in a restaurant that know show to do good food but have a nice, friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Where To Find Masala Junction Nottingham

Address: 301 Mansfield Rd, Nottingham, NG5 2DA
Phone: 0115 962 2366
Price: £££
Website: http://masalajunction.co.uk/

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WildWood Nottingham

WildWood Nottingham - New Restaurant in Nottingham on Kings Street. Excellent Pasta, Pizza and Grilled Dishes We decided fairly last minute that we wanted to eat out somewhere Saturday night, after passing WildWood in Nottingham a few weeks before we thought we would give it ago and booked a table. It was surprising how easy it was to get a table to be honest on a Saturday, although it is a new restaurant in the area and it was fairly early (6pm).

The restaurant itself is large and open which I think is very nice, the tables are a nice distance apart so you feel like you can have a conversation and feel like you’re not sat with the table next to you.

I also like the fact that you can see the open kitchen and clay pizza oven at the back of the room. The menu reminds me a lot of Prezzo as it does have similar food such as Pastas and Pizzas. The menu is much bigger and has a wide range of options, which I don’t always think it’s a good thing but it does give people plenty of choice.

What’s WildWood Location Like?


The location itself its excellent and is right in the centre of town on Kings Street, which is just up from the Nottingham Square (slab square). There are a couple of pubs down around the square, with some nice bars such as Fat Cats just 5 minutes walk. Revolution Cuba is just along the next street which is a nice place for cocktails as well as the recently opened Coppers.

If you are having a night out with family and want to catch a film then the CornerHouse is just a couple minutes walk, here you can find CineWorld, Indoor Golf and an arcade.

In terms of getting to and from the restaurant there is plenty of transport options. The tram stops just on the square, there are a variety of bus stops nearby from all around the city and the taxi rank is just a couple of minutes walk.

It is pretty much in the centre of town so is ideal.

What Did I have To eat At WildWood?

As I said before there’s a lot of choice, ranging from fresh pizzas made to order in the clay oven, grills and pastas. The pricing is actually pretty decent and wouldn’t say it is too expensive for adult portions, they are around £11-£12 on average per dish.

Starter – Bread and Olives (£5.55 & £3.25)

We didnt really have much of a starter but did have some garlic bread and olives to nibble on whilst waiting for our main. The garlic bread was nicely cooked and you could tell it was done in the clay oven, the olives also tasted fresh and was a nice mixture of green and black.

Main – Smoked Haddock & Cheddar Risotto (£11.20)

I don’t usually order Risotto, I do like them but never seem to give them a go. I have recently been wanting to make my own, therefore wanted to try one and see how the flavourings worked to give me some ideas.

This risotto came with pieces of smoked haddock, peas, spinach, lime juice and was topped with a perfectly cooked poached egg. It was cooked really well and had some excellent flavours, it was very filling so if you do have a decent starter you might struggle but as it was so tasty I couldn’t leave any!

Wildwood Nottingham - Main - Smoked Haddock & Cheddar Risotto - tasted amazing, the poached egg was perfect! http://amateurchef.wpengine.com

Dessert – Chocolate Honeycomb Fudge Cake (£5.75)

I have to admit I was a little disappointed with the dessert and would say they are little pricey for what you get. I did wonder if the desserts were made fresh or if they like many other restaurant chains actually order desserts in from a catering company.

The issue I had was with the honeycomb fudge cake…

I love honeycomb, as soon as I saw it on the menu I ordered it, the problem was I could hardly find or taste any honeycomb. It was in essence a chocolate fudge cake with a few chocolate honeycomb covered balls sprinkled on top. If I was going to call its a honeycomb fudge cake you would expect more actual honeycomb taste.

It tasted okay, and I wouldn’t be put off going again as like I said the main was very tasty.

Wildwood Nottingham - Dessert - Chocolate Honeycomb Fudge Cake - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com

What Was The Service Like?

The service was good, we were seen to quickly when we entered the restaurant. Our drink orders were taken quickly as well and we didn’t have to wait too long for them to come back and take our main food order.

The food came at a decent pace as well, it was not so quick that you questioned the freshness and it was to slow that you felt like you were waiting too long. The waitress was always smiling when delivering the food and seemed to enjoy her job.

Final Food Thought On WildWood Nottingham

The WildWood restaurants is a chain of restaurants that I had not seen or tried before, so it was really nice to try something new. It is a great place to go to for a family lunch, dinner or if there is a group of you. It’s a place you could eat as a couple if you fancied just eating out and perhaps going to the cinema, I wouldn’t say its a romantic restaurant.

Overall I would recommend WildWood Nottingham, the garlic bread was nice and so was the Risotto. I think a couple of improvements on the dessert and it could be even better, but I could just be picky 🙂

It is a new restaurant in Nottingham so would suggest giving it a try for yourselves, if you do go let me know what you thought in the comments below!

Where To Find WildWood Nottingham

Address: 18 King Street, Nottingham, NG1 2AS
Phone: 0115 896 0555
Website: http://www.wildwoodrestaurants.co.uk/restaurants/nottingham/
Price: £££

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The McDonalds Experience

Courtasy of http://nottinghamlocalnews.com/

Courtasy of http://nottinghamlocalnews.com/

I was recently contacted by a PR company, offering me the opportunity to visit McDonalds Clifton and experience what it was like at the restaurant and how it has changed over the years. I thought “why not”, I do like to eat McDonalds and have often wondered what it is really like back in the kitchens.

On Arrival I met the PR company, 2 fellow bloggers, the franchise owner, business manager for that restaurant and a man from the McDonald’s head office. Everyone was very friendly and the staff at McDonalds Clifton were more than happy to answer any questions. We were offered drinks and then sat to go over what would happen over the next couple of hours.

It’s crazy to think how much McDonald’s has actually changed and I don’t think I have really thought about it until I was sat talking about it. Now you go into one of the many restaurants and you can either pay at the tills or use one of the new kiosks, there are tables for the adults and children to help keep them entertained and at this restaurant there is even table service!!!


One thing that has to be said is that the food that they serve has never changed. I for one love the Big Mac and the recipe has never changed to lower costs, the portion sizes of fries from what I remember has always remained the same. Something that many companies seem to change in order to save on money.

It was interesting to learn about the staffing at McDonalds as they hire both part time and fulltime, however unlike many companies they work their hours around the staff. If someone only wants to work one shift a week then they can, if someone wants to work every day then they can as well. Perfect for people looking for additional work or for students looking to earn a side income whilst studying.

I have used the new kiosks at McDonalds a few times now and personally think they are an excellent addition. I have nothing against getting served at a till but it’s nice to just nip in, select what you want and pay for it – which is probably why I love self service at Tesco!!

McDonalds Kiosks - new kiosks to allow you customise your order

We were given a little tour of the kiosks and actually learnt a thing or two about them. If you have not used them before then i’d really recommend giving them ago. You select what burger or happy meal you want and it will then ask if you want the burger alone or as part of a meal. You can then select your side whether you want fries or salad and then finally the drink that you want.

One of the things I loved was how you can actually customise your order and food in the kitchen is actually made on a order basis and not mass produced and left on the back waiting for someone to pick them up. If you get a drink you can choose to have no ice, select fries and you can remove the salt or if you want to make a change to the burger then you can do this as well. I personally love the pickles but many people don’t, now you can select to have these taken off your burger.

They were also talking about in the future you will be able to customise your food even more by being able to add additional items to it, really improving the customer experience and getting exactly what you want.

You can also see the difference with the whole restaurant area and how they are trying to make it more appealing and less stressful for diners. The introduction of tables is one of these changes which I expect has helped families keep their children entertained whilst waiting for the food, no doubt people of all ages use them since you can connect to the net or your favourite social media site.

mcdonalds Clifton Tables - with fun tablets

After having a chat and a look around the dining area we were shown back to the staff room, which they called the crew room. Here we were given our very own hat, apron and name tag – which I really appreciate and and was a nice touch. Look at how good they look below 🙂

Visit to McDonalds Clifton - Given Hat, Badge and Apron - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com

We went through a couple of health and safety things, and then put our new apron and hat on ready to have a look around the back of the restaurant. The first place we had a look at was the store cupboard which kept all the dry stock such as sauces, paper cups etc. We looked in the walk in fridge which was very cold and then went into the walk in freezer, which believe me was incredibly cold!!

We had a quick look outside where the bins and stored, what really impressed me is how much McDonald’s seem to do about recycling. Literally everything is recycled which I think is really good. They have cages for the boxes, bins for just food. Oil is typically something that you cannot throw away, it needs to be disposed of properly. The lorry that delivers new oil takes the old oil away in metal crates and this is then recycled to become fuel for the lorry that collects it, perfect!

One thing I did notice was how clean all the areas where, even the outside which you imagine could be dirty as no one really see’s them but it was kept very clean and tidy.

Now that we had a look around the back it was time for us to get our hands dirty (in a good way not with dirt! :)) and get in the kitchen to make our own Big Mac. On entering the kitchen we had to wash our hands, all staff have to wash their hands every 30 minutes which I think it’s a good system.

We were shown how to make a Big Mac from toasting the bread, adding the secret Big Mac sauce which comes in an impressive sauce gun, adding the onion, lettuce, pickles, cheese and then finally the meat. It’s all done in a specific order and the measurements are exact, 3g of onions and 14gs of lettuce. I enjoyed eating my very own made Big Mac and I have to say it tasted pretty good!

Heres me making my own Big Mac 🙂

McDonalds Clifton Visit - Making my very own BigMac - Yummy - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com McDonalds Clifton Visit - Making my very own BigMac - Yummy - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com McDonalds Clifton Visit - Making my very own BigMac - Yummy - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com McDonalds Clifton Visit - Making my very own BigMac - Yummy - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com

This was the end of the tour and I have to say I really enjoyed it and want to thank everyone that showed us around and staff for making us feel welcome, even though I am sure we were getting in their way at times!

I do think McDonald’s has come along way, I cannot comment on any other Restaurants as I have not seen them but the McDonalds Clifton restaurant was very clean and the staff seemed to really enjoy their jobs.

We all know that McDonald’s is not going to win any prizes for the healthiest food award, just like many similar restaurants. They have however gone in the right direction by providing alternatives such as fruit and salad as well as displaying the nutritional information on the menu and product packaging. This at least gives people the power to decide if having one of their meals is suitable for their diet.

I personally don’t see any harm in eating this kind of food, if like anything it’s all in moderation 🙂

Again I want to thank the people at McDonalds, those that organized the event and the staff at the McDonalds Clifton branch.

Do do, do do do, i’m lovin it 😛

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Baresca Nottingham

Baresca Nottingham - Best Tapas Restaurant In nottingham. Recently visit Baresca Nottingham and loved it, check out my review - amaterchef.co.ukRach and I visited Baresca for lunch, we had been previous but only went for a drink and did say we should visit. The only other times we had tapas before was at La Tasca so couldn’t help compare Baresca with our experiences there.

We had gone to town to do a bit of shopping, I was keen to get myself a nice new grey suit. Not sure on what either of us fancied for lunch we remember coming here for a drink so thought why not see if we can get in, as we didn’t have a table.

On entry we welcomed and asked if we could get a table, there were plenty available but they offered to quickly clean up a table that had just been vacated so we could sit by the window. I thought this was very nice of them.


The restaurant itself looks great, with a nice atmosphere and decor. I also like the fact that all of the tables are not too close together, if you have read any of my other reviews this is a big thing for me 🙂

I also love the fact that the restaurant is something different and not a chain restaurant that you can find in every city.

What’s the Baresca location like?

The location of Baresca in Nottingham is actually pretty decent and easy to get to whether you are driving or getting public transport. Its close to the Lace Market area of Nottingham so the closest car park would be Fletcher Gate. Its also right next to one of the tram stops and there is a taxi rank just next to the tram stop.

If you are staying over in Nottingham then the nearest hotel would be the 2 Star Ibis Hotel, which is probably less than a minute walk away from the restaurant. Baresca has a nice bar but if you are looking for other places to have a drink then you are in luck, there are a few decent bars around such as All-Bar-One. There are many others such as Pitcher & Piano which is only a short walk.

What food did we have off the Baresca Menu?

As we went for lunch we had food from the Menu Del Dia, which is actually a decent menu at a decent price. For only £9.95 a head you get Flat Bread, 2 tapas and 1 side, which I do think is actually really good value.

I did also have a look at the main menu and the prices I think are reasonable and with a large selection of choices….I think I could have actually eaten a large amount of them!!

The Flatbread was very nice and crisp with salt and a number of herbs which gave it a great taste. The Flatbread came with a couple of dips, one of which had a great curry taste to it.

Rach and I both had two different Tapas, with potatoes and polenta chips on the side. The tapas mains we had were;

Pork Bocatas

These were mini sliders with pulled pork along with guindilla mayonnaise. The pork itself was slow cooked and tasted very nice with the mayo giving it a very slight kick which I thought added to the flavour.

Baresca Meatballs

These tasty meatballs were covered in a tomato sauce and then sprinkled over this was parmesan cheese. I only had the one of these so cannot comment properly but I would say that they had a bit more of a kick than I would have expected from a tomato based sauce, but they were very tasty.

Mushroom Risoni

This tapas is a rice shaped pasta dish with mushroom and parmesan and is covered in a fresh herb sauce. Rach had this one and I didn’t have any so I cannot really comment on the taste but it did look and smell amazing. Rach did say it was very nice and would recommend it.

Mussel Gratin

I have really gotten a craving for mussel since my visit to Belgo, as soon as I saw this dish on the menu I had to give it a go. The dish contain Mussel, Shallot and mushrooms and came in a nice creamy sauce. It was very tasty and I could have happily helped myself to more.

We were going to have a dessert but we both felt happily full so didn’t bother. All in all I was very impressed with the food, each dish was tasty and came out in a timely manner. We would both come here again and next time I cannot wait to try out some of the other dishes that I have seen pictures of online.

Flatbread from the Baresca Nottingham Menu, tasted great with a couple of excellent dips!   Meatballs from Baresca Nottingham Menu - this tapas was a tasty pork meatball in tomato sauce with parmesan - yummy!  Mushroom pasta from Baresca Nottingham Menu - very tasty and full of flavour tapas  Mussel Gratin from Baresca Nottingham Menu - would recommend this if you like mussels, the cream with mushrooms adds to the great flavours  Pork Sliders from Baresca Nottingham Menu - slow cooked pulled pork with a great mayo - these tasted amazing

What was the service like?

The service was actually very good from the moment we walked in and they provided us with a nice table by the window to the moment we left. As it was tapas the food was brought out as and when it was ready and informed as to what it was.

Each waiter and waitress had a smile on their face and generally seemed happy to be there, which sometimes I think is a rare thing.

10% gratuity was automatically added to the bill but the waitress did say it was optional and can be removed. We did confirm with them that they actually receive a percentage of this tip, which they confirmed so we were happy to leave it on.

Final Food Thought on Baresca Nottingham

Overall I think Baresca is a great restaurant and would recommend it to anyone looking for some nice tasty food. If you love tapas then I am sure you will enjoy it, each of dishes that I had were cooked perfectly and had some excellent flavours.

Its one of those restaurants that I feel have put a lot of effort into the decor to make it look good and really make you feel comfortable. One of the things I really like about Baresca is that it’s not just another chain restaurant, its something different and these kind of places should be appreciated!

I would actually be tempted to say that Baresca has the best tapas in Nottingham!

Love Tapas or even just love food? Check it out! 🙂

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments below on what you thought about it if you do go.

Where to find Baresca Nottingham

Address: 9 Byard Ln, Nottingham Byard Ln
Phone: 0115 948 3900
Website: http://www.baresca.co.uk/
Price: £££

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Belgo Nottingham

Belgo Nottingham - belgian restaurant nottingham.Belgo Nottingham has only recently opened, Rach and I had noticed the signs up for a few weeks and said to each other we should try it out sometime. I finished work early one Friday afternoon and met Rach in town for some lunch so we thought this would be a good time to try it out.

We didn’t book a table so was very surprised when they took us to our table as it was opening week and I know a few people couldn’t get a table. If you have ever been to La Tasca (the restaurant that were here previously) you will automatically recognise the layout as it is very similar, although it’s been redecorated and looks very good.

My only complaint is the same issue I had with La Tasca and that is some of the tables are somewhat close together, which makes me feel like I cannot have a personal conversation.

What’s the location of Belgo Nottingham like?


The location is actually very good, it’s in the lace market area of Nottingham. This is close to a number of good quality bars such as All Bar One, The Living Room and Pitcher and Piano to name a couple.

There are also a number of bus stops near by, taxi ranks and the tram does stop just up from the restaurant.

If you are driving in then you can park at either Stoney Street or Fletcher Gate car park.

The lace market does make for a great night out with the various bars, it’s also a short walk to hockley which has a number of other great bars including my favorite The BoilerMaker.

What food did I have at Belgo Nottingham?

I have not had Belgium food before so was looking forward to trying something different and authentic. Belgo have an excellent menu selection for both drinks and food, both of which got my mouth watering!!

First of all I decided to try a nice Belgian beer, I have not tried any before and decided to give St Bernardus Pater.

The food menu is also very impressive with a wide range of different dishes, I do also think the pricing is very reasonable.

Starter – Shredded Duck Croquettes – £6.00

This dish comes with 3 fried croquettes that are filled with shredded duck, along with these you get some pickled daikon and Belgo beer chutney. The chutney goes really well with the shredded duck, there is just enough for a starter.

Belgo Nottingham - belgian restaurant in Lace Market Nottingham - improvemystyle.co.uk

Main – Belgo BBQ Moules – £13.50

I have never eaten Moules before and really wanted to give them ago and where better but a nice new restaurant in Nottingham 🙂 To be honest I don’t know the etiquette when it comes to eating them but just got stuck in!!

The mussels came in a BBQ sauce which I do think was hotter than I was expecting and seemed more like a red chilli but it was still tasty. I now have a craving for more mussels and think i’ll try the herb and garlic ones next.

Belgo Nottingham - belgian restaurant in Lace Market Nottingham - http://amateurchef.wpengine.com

We did decide not to have a dessert as it was lunch and we both felt fairly full. The dessert menu is fairly small but that is because they focus on the build your own Belgian waffles, which I think is a great touch!

What was the service like?

I did think the service was very good from the moment we walked in and was given a seat to when we left, the staff were very friendly and always seemed to be smiling. The service was very quick and efficient, they came every so often to see how the food was which was nice.

At the same time though they were not too pushy and I never felt rushed to get the food eaten so the table was free.

Final Foodie Thoughts On Belgo Nottingham

I really enjoyed Belgo Nottingham, the atmosphere was great and the food was also very good. Rach did have the belly pork which she felt was not the best she has had but still very enjoyable.

Again my only complaint is how some of the tables are too close together, but I do understand why some of them are…more tables, more seats, more customers…

As I said it was the first time that I have had mussels and since having them at Belgo I have had a craving for them. I am looking forward to having them again and I am sure i’ll be visiting Belgo again to get them soon enough 🙂

Where to find Belgo Nottingham

Address: 9 Weekday Cross, Nottingham NG1 2GB
Phone: 0115 924 1765
Price: £££
Websitehttp://www.belgo.com/restaurant/nottingham

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Jamie’s Italian Nottingham

JAMIE’S ITALIAN NOTTINGHAM RATING (3.5/5)

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Jamie's Italian Nottingham EntranceRach and I had finished work on a Tuesday and as we had both had a busy day neither of us really felt like cooking. We were given a £20 voucher for Jamie’s Italian in Nottingham so thought we would give it a go.

We had been before with family and really enjoyed it, so we were both looking forward to it. It’s usually quieter going to a restaurant mid-week, which does often mean the service is a little slower. (less of a need for staff)

What Is The Location Like Around Jamie’s Italian?


The location is not bad, the restaurant is on Low Pavement street which is near the Broadmarsh shopping centre. There are a few other restaurants on the same road such as Prezzo and Carluccio’s. Continuing further up you get into more of the lace market area, where there are a few nice bars such as Pitcher & Piano and All Bar One. If you were to go for a drink after, I would recommend Pitcher & Piano for a couple.

The tram stop is just up from Jamie’s, as well as a taxi rank and fletcher gate car park if you were coming in via car.

What Did I Have At Jamie’s Italian in Nottingham?

Rach and I did just have a starter and a main, we had a little look at the dessert menu but if I am honest there was nothing that really took my fancy that day. Jamie’s Italian do offer a varied selection of desserts but didn’t really fancy any at the time.

Starter – Italian Pate Bruschetta – £5.50

The starter was a grilled bruschetta that was then topped with smooth chicken-liver pate with Parmesan sprinkled on the top. It also came with a couple of pieces of cooked pancetta. The starter was actually very tasty and to me was a fairly large started but that didnt stop me eating it all 🙂

Jamie’s Italian Nottingham Antipasti

Main – Gennaro’s Famous Porchetta – £13.95

I love pork belly or as it should be called belly pork 🙂

It was cooked slowly can you could tell as it was very tender with very little fat, the skin was also nice and crispy. The belly pork was filled with garlic, chilli and herbs which gave it a nice little kick but was not overpowering. The meat came with roasted root veg, apple sauce and salsa verde which also tasted very nice and went well I thought with the pork.
I would recommend both the starter and the main that I had, as they were very nice and I don’t personally think they were too expensive for what you got.

Jamie’s Italian Nottingham Pork Belly

What Was The Service Like?

The service I thought was okay, although as it was a mid-week dinner I do think less staff were on as it’s quieter. In the room that we were in there was only one waitress, although she was very friendly and always had a smile even though you could tell she was busy.

I think if you are going to book mid-week then you have to expect there to be less staff on than if you was to go on a Friday or a Saturday.

Final Foodie Thought On Jamie’s Italian Nottingham

The overall atmosphere of the restaurant is very good, I find the tables are spaced enough apart. The decor of the restaurant is also very nice, some online have said that it looks old and worn but I do think that adds to the charm.

It is worth knowing that Jamie’s Italian is a chain, even though the food tasted great you still knew that it was a chain and food that you had at this restaurant would be the same as food that you had at another Jamie’s Italian.

Some people online have complained that it is expensive and they charge what they want because it uses the Jamie Oliver name. Personally I don’t actually think it is that expensive for what you do get, portions are decent sizes and the food does taste very good.

Overall I would recommend Jamie’s Italian in Nottingham and don’t think you would be disappointed with the food. If you are looking for some nice Italian food with a good selection then I don’t think you can go wrong here 🙂

Where To Find Jamie’s Italian Nottingham

Address: 24-26 Low Pavement, Nottingham, NG1 7DL
Phone: 0115 822 1421
Price: £££
Website: https://www.jamieoliver.com/italian/restaurants/nottingham/

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