What's on the menu?

What's on the menu?

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Taste Testing Las Iguanas New Menu

With so many choices of different restaurants across Nottingham we're pretty sure your taste buds could travel around the world in a lot less than 80 days in the city although Latin American options are relatively sparse in comparison to the cuisines from the rest of the world. 

Last week we visited Las Iguanas Nottingham to sample some of their new menu. Aside from a visit last year to celebrate National Vegan Day it's somewhere that's never really been on our radar however it's very rare that we turn down an opportunity for a blog review so a big thank you to Las Iguanas and Gemini PR for the invite.

Las Iguanas pride themselves in offering the flavours of South America so expect  plenty of variety on the menus. They also offer all of their cocktails as 2 for the price of 1 however there's disappointingly no option to mix and match in that offer so you have to choose something you really really like the sound of instead of taking a chance on something you're not sure of. We'd have liked to have seen the option for different cocktails to allow you to try multiple off the menu to see what's right for you for future.

We opted for a Huana Party (£9.75 on 2for1) and Espresso Martini (£10.75 on 2for1)

Fancy a Huana Party?

The Huana Party came in a standard hi-ball glass and looked a little disappointing compared to those others were receiving in some pretty fancy glasses around us. The menu said it contained Beefeater Gin, Huana Guanabana Rum Liquor, Funkin Passionfuit, Bottlegreen Elderflower and Apple though all we really got was the passionfruit flavour. Adding in the elderflower was drowned out by the overpowering passionfruit mix.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Jemma visits Kayal Indian restaurant

Jemma visits Kayal Indian restaurant

Kayal Nottingham

I’ve been eyeing this place up for a little while but never seem to have the chance to go and try. So when over the Christmas period I had a girly meet up with one of my closest friends for gossip and to give each other Christmas gifts it seemed the perfect opportunity. My friend Carly had never eaten here and we both love a good curry.

Poori Bread is a little different to Naan

The atmosphere in the restaurant was rather relaxed considering it was well into the festive period and we found a nice table and were given plenty of time  to decide what wanted to order. There were so many interesting sounding dishes that it took us quite some time to make a decision. 

We both decided on Ammachi Pidiyum Kozhiyum and the Kayal Fish Curry with Poori fried flat bread. No Naan bread in sight on the menu at Kayal however plenty of other interesting options

Ammachi Pidiyum Kozhiyum

The Ammachi Pidiyum Kozhiyum- We really didn’t know what to expect but this came as two dishes. One with the curry and another with dumplings in a mild flavoursome white sauce which could be put into the curry to tone down the heat . The curry itself was between a mild and medium head- delicate in taste with very tender chicken pieces. The dumplings were fluffy as you would expect but the texture added a uniqueness to the curry. The dumplings meant that you wouldn't really need the standard side of rice with the dish and this worked well

The Kayal Fish Curry 

Kayal Fish Curry had a little more to it looking like a masala but had slightly more heat than Ammachi Pidiyum Kozhiyum.  This suited the fish rather well, it  was firm but not overcooked.  Carly would have this curry again hands down.  The sauce was a perfect consistency for the Poori bread to mop up.

We enjoyed both curries but my next visit will be sampling different curries and there is a sampler set menu option where you get bits of this and that to taste.  

Saturday, 30 December 2017

There's a Pizzastorm in Nottingham

And it's raining cheese and tomato sauce!

Your Pizza Your Way at Pizzastorm

Originally Inferno Pizza, now Pizzastorm on Milton Street aims to offer Pizza, however you want it. We previously popped in when Inferno first came to town and have to admit we were slightly baffled for the need to change to Pizzastorm- the product was good and the system worked.

Open, spacious dining area

Just before Christmas we popped in to the newly refurbished and rebranded Pizzastorm for a look and decided to pop in and sample some very reasonably priced pizzas. At £6.00 for a signature pizza it sounded exceptional value for money.

The Dirty Mighty Meaty Pizza

We opted for a Dirty Mighty Meaty and an All Day Breakfast Pizza with a side of Mac N Cheese with Bacon. £15.50 for two pizzas and a side sounds pretty good and will no doubt appeal to families whilst out shopping or off to the cinema.

The All Day Breakfast Pizza

The Dirty Mighty Meaty featured plenty of meat. Lots of pepperoni, spicy beef and piri piri checken alongside juicy red jalapeno chillis with plenty of flavour. In terms of toppings I'd like to think it was just right. Any more meat and I'd have expected the pizza to be on the oily side.

The All Day Breakfast was ordered with a soft egg and that's what we got- a SOFT egg. Too often have we requested that in the past with very differing results. I'm not sure where in the world meatballs are eaten for breakfast but they worked well with the bacon sausage, mushrooms and baked beans.

Cool booths with room for 2

Our only slight disappointment in some ways was the Mac N Cheese. At £3.50 it's a pretty much standard 'side' price but in comparison to value shown in the pizza's it somehow felt a bit of a let down. We'd have liked to have either seen either a bigger portion or something lower priced in line with the exceptionally good value of the pizzas.

For £15.50 for two well stocked pizza's and a side we were more than happy with Pizzastorm. The pizzas themselves were of a good size and pretty much a full meal  in itself.

We will happily return at some point in future.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Introducing the re-generated Walton Hotel

After a recent re-generation the Walton Hotel set back from Derby Road has been re-opened and restyled with a return towards it's former glories. The building was originally built as a hunting lodge for the Duke of Newcastle and with the newly renovated dining area you'll feel like gentry in the Grade II listed building.

Having initially been invited to a Christmas themed evening this morphed into a more traditional dinner service so we were more than happy to attend. It's probably close on ten years since I last visited the Walton's on a work night so so was intrigued to see how things had changed and I was very impressed by the transformation.

An address within the prestigious Park area of Nottingham needs for a property to have a degree of style and class in line with it's location among the properties of many of the city's elite. This area of town has seen significant investment with the recent development of the impressive Alchemilla restaurant alongside regeneration of the likes of the Sir John Borlase Warren- It seems that the Canning Circus area once again high on the list of areas to head to.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Walton Hotel

Monday, 16 October 2017

A Beer Tasting Masterclass at Brewhouse and Kitchen

Since it's opening earlier this year we've been hearing good things about Brewhouse and Kitchen from friends based to the South of the city. With a great outside seating area for summer nights and being a stones throw from the legendary City Ground and Meadow Lane stadiums means it's in a great location on the edge of thriving West Bridgford and Trent Bridge.

Outside the Brewhouse and Kitchen Nottingham

We were invited along for a Beer Tasting Masterclass with the Brewhouse and Kitchen (B&K) Nottingham's head brewer. It sounded like a great opportunity we couldn't refuse and although a Thursday night is technically a 'school night' moderation was always going to be practiced. It's a great thing to have a food and drink blog however when you have to be at the day job the following morning it certainly helps us to sample rather than over indulge as we might like to do.

As much as the beer we were looking forward to tasting some of B&K's new Autumn menu, lovingly paired with suitable beer options to really address the flavours of each dish. A beer tasting masterclass sounds great, it's on a different level if there's food involved as well.

There are a few pubs with their own brewery on site across Nottingham although I'm pretty sure none take their beer production to the levels of Brewhouse and Kitchen Nottingham with eight of their own ales brewed on site as you enter the pub. They're also offering a great Beer Masterclass for £20 that would make a great gift coming into the festive season.

The onsite brewery at Brewhouse and Kitchen Nottingham

Monday, 3 July 2017

Visiting Manor Cottage Bakery and Tea Rooms Fledborough

A Trip to Manor Cottage Tea Room and Bakery with Mansfield Road Club

Glorious Coffee and Toffee Cake at Manor Cottage Fledborough

Jem recently came across a proper little cracker of a tea room while cycling with her local cycling club out at Fledborough. From the village on the Eastern edge of the Nottinghamshire county border are handwritten chalkboard signs to Manor Cottage Tea Room and Bakery which direct you down a bridleway type road to a gravel courtyard with a suitable wall for bike to be leaned against

Plenty of space to rack your bikes up

On a nice summers morning it was good to sit outside on the tables although there was an event shelter up in case of inclement weather as well as seating indoors inside what was literally a farmhouse where you can see the kitchen and dining room. 

You could easily relax with a coffee on the comfortable Chesterfield sofas and with a big array of impressive looking cakes to choose from it was a tough choice.

Ordering my coffee firstly off so could decide whether I wanted sweet or savoury food.  My drink came promptly in a proper large mug- the type I drink from at home. 

A Proper Big Coffee Mug Like at Home

I decided that needed more savoury food with another member already ordering cheese on toast it settled what to have. I ended up opting for a large coffee and a cheesy scrambled eggs with toast.  Being asked what bread would I like and reeling off all the fresh bread options made on site was on offer.  

The sourdough bread which just come out the oven was my choice.  The other guy in the group who’s obsessed with cheese on toast had the oatmeal bread which came out served in doorstop thickness slices with ample cheese was also a clear winner on the savoury front. My own meal was absolutely delicious with the scrambled eggs perfectly done. At some places it can be a little dull and dried up but definitely not at Manor Cottage. 

Cheesy Scrambled Eggs on Sourdough Toast

The Toffee Cake looked great although I'd have needed help eating it with such a good size portion. The cake was lovely and moist as well as an easy eater, well worth trying. 

I'll definitely be dragging Liam along next time as it was well worth the ride out and back home. The light lunch menu looked great too.  

Manor Cottage Tea Room and Bakery is in Fledborough NG22 0UU
Tel 01777 228531

Inside the farmhouse at Manor Cottage, Fledborough 

Friday, 30 June 2017

Red Dog Saloon Devastator Challenge and Amazing Brisket

Red Dog Saloon beside Lace Market Tram Stop 

We love American food and Nottingham has seen a rise of late in the number of new restaurants aiming to draw us in to spend our Dollars. Red Dog Saloon have chosen a fantastic building to site their Nottingham restaurant in the busy heart of an area with big flow of people heading up from the Market Square into Hockley and towards the Lace Market beside the tram stop. No need for alarm as the tram's barely noticeable when you're inside.

The menu is mainly split between a big selection of burgers with every imaginable topping and their Pit Cooked Bar-B-Q from the smoker. The menu is very much carnivore orientated so we wouldn't recommend the restaurant for vegetarians although there is the option of a spicy bean burger on the menu.

With such a big number of eateries in the city centre a restaurant has to often offer something different or with added value. Red Dog Saloon sells itself as offering authentic Kansas City Bar-B-Q food although I'm pretty sure most of us out there haven't really got a clue what that actually means. From a look through the first pages of a Google search a signature dish appears to be Burnt Ends which doesn't appear on the Red Dog Saloon Nottingham menu but you could have a thick tomato and molasses based sauce which is typical of the region and what's not to love for the carnivore in us about barbecue food when it's cooked properly.

Choice of Buffalo (Hot Sauce and Kansas City Bar-B-Q Sauce at Red Dog Saloon

To drink we opted for a Wild River Pale Ale and a Montana Red. We were tempted by the reasonably priced cocktail menu however for us you don't drink cocktails at an American Barbecue- It's all about the beer for a barbecue.

The Wild River pale Ale and Montana Red were both £4.45  a pint. Maybe a little pricey when compared to many of Nottingham's restaurants for a beer but we haven't noticed these beers elsewhere. The Wild River was a nice, easy drinking American IPA although the Montana Red for me was a little harder work to drink but with a lot more flavour. It worked very well with the red meats from my meal. Both beers were lovely and cold and work well with the food.

Wild River Pale Ale and Montana Red Beers

For starters at Red Dog Saloon we opted for the Mozzarella Sticks (£5.50) and some Spicy Korean Wings (£6.50) which whilst not something we would have usually considered at a barbecue their promise of some Asian inspired spice caught our attention. Wings are one of the best things American inspired food brings to the table for us so it was a no-brainer to try Red Dog's.

Mozzarella Sticks and Korean Wings

The Mozzarella Sticks definitely appealed as we were about to commence an all-out meat onslaught so something not quite so meaty sounded a good idea. In our bowl came 4 generous sized Mozzarella fingers of around 4 inches (10 centimetres) in length alongside a healthy sized pot of Marinara Sauce.

As a starter the Mozzarella sticks worked fine, as always with such a cheese there was a small amount of chew needed but without this the sticks would have likely fallen apart. The crumb coating worked well although we'd have liked to have seen it mixed with a little spice. Whilst the blended Marinara dip is something we haven't noticed offered elsewhere for us it lacked a strong flavour to add to the meal. For us either a sweet chili style dip or something with that little more spice would have worked better and as Mozzarella is very mild the dish came across a little bland as a result. We'd love to see a little more flavour either to the coating or the sauce to get more out of the dish however the house Kansa City Bar-B-Q sauce worked well for dipping.

The Awesome Red Dog Saloon Korean Wings

We were very impressed with our Spicy Korean Chicken Wings. Served with 6 sensible sized wings coated in a beautiful sticky, hot and sour sauce. That really worked well for our spice loving tastebuds.

The exterior had a nice crunch with the chicken itself almost falling away from the bone. By the time we'd had 3 each we were ready to ask for another bottle of water.

Main Meals at Red Dog Saloon Nottingham

When you go out for Bar-B-Q you really have to go for the meats and it's rare to see Brisket on the menu so we had to go for that option as well as taking on the Devastator Burger Challenge.

We opted for the Brisket and Pulled Pork Combo (£17.50) which came with a choice of 2 sides so we opted for the Smoked Ham Mac'N'Cheese (usually £4.25) and the Collard Greens (Usually £2.75).

To Go alongside our Devastator Burger (£18.50) we opted for some Chicken and Bacon Ranch Fries (£5.75)

Devastator Burger with Chicken and Bacon Ranch Fries

Featuring 18 oz of Chuck Steak, 200g of Pulled Pork, 6 rashers of smoked Applewood bacon and a further size slices of American Cheese the Devastator has taken many a victim I'm sure but as a committed food blogger it was time to take one for the community in an Adam Richman style although when it arrived at the table I was quietly confident. Apparently if you finish the Devastator Challenge you can get your photo up on the Wall of Fame.

Compared to a regular burger you do seem to get a lot with the Devastator. The Chuck Steak was in the form of six 3oz patties. All juicy and tender with a subtle pinkness of how a burger should be cooked. The cheese amalgamated with all the meat so it barely feels like there's 6 slices of cheese in there.

The Pulled Pork was some of the best I've tasted with a great flavoursome rich sauce full of the caramel of molasses. The bacon had a nice crispness too, not overly salty. All in the Devastator was a pretty good burger, topped off with a nice soft, toasted Brioche bun. I couldn't wish for a better burger to challenge me. I finished all the meat but left the brioche bun.

The Chicken and Bacon Ranch Fries
We normally love a Ranch Sauce however for us the sauce really didn't work for us on the Chicken and Bacon Ranch Fries. We loved the bacon and Southern Fried Chicken bits but the Ranch Sauce used was on the sour side and really wasn't the best of choices with the dish.

For us the best part of our visit to Red Dog Saloon was the Brisket. The inch thick slab was charred round the edges for a smokey taste and had been beautifully slow cooked so your knife sled through like butter. It had a nice crisp to the edges and was definitely moist with lots of flavour. We'd happily come back for the Brisket alone.

The Pulled Pork featured a lovely, smokey Bar-B-Q sauce. It was moist, tender and very easy eating with a decent sized portion on the plate to accompany the Brisket.

Brisket and Pulled Pork From Red Dog Saloon Nottingham

As any selection from the grill comes with a choice of two sides we'd opted for the Smoked Ham Mac 'N' Cheese as well as the new to the menu Collard Greens.

We loved the breadcrumb crisp to the Mac 'N' Cheese which had a nice creamy texture underneath. The pasta for us was a little overdone instead of 'al dente' and we felt it was more a cream sauce than cheese. It was nice to have the smoked ham within the dish though in hindsight with the amount of meat already on our plates we didn't really need it on this occasion. As a side it was a nice addition instead of the standard of things coming with chips so hats off to Red Dog for giving diners the option.

The Collard Greens were a little overdone for our liking. They lacked a crunch and texture. They'd been salted and with the addition of smoked ham to the dish made it even saltier. We bought this to the attention of our server at the end of the meal and the feedback we received was very positive from the chef who had tried the dish and agreed with our synopsis. They're amending the dish for future which is a positive outcome from our visit so we hope our feedback has helped.

Oreo and White Chocolate Fudge Pie with Raspberry Custard Shake

We were struggling after such a big meal but were persuaded to try a dessert between us. The restaurant manager recommended the Oreo White Chocolate Fudge Pie and we definitely weren't disappointed.

It came with an amazing raspberry custard shake made with fresh fruit so full of flavour. We drizzled a bit over the pie but actually ended up drinking it instead of using as a sauce it was that good. The piece was a very generous size so a good sharing portion unless you have a huge appetite.

The Oreo's and white chocolate worked well with lashings of cream cheese and a chunky biscuit base. Definitely well worth being persuaded to try and with such a big portion it would be ideal to share.

Our Meal at Red Dog Saloon

We had a very nice meal at Red Dog Nottingham. Our highlights were the Spicy Korean Wings with a warming hot, yet slightly sour sauce as well as the Brisket and Oreo White Chocolate Fudge Pie. A few of the items on the menu weren't quite to our tastes but our main priority was the meat and that was very good indeed.

For an interesting meal out with friends or a relaxed date Red Dog would be a great place to visit- Most of the people around us were groups of friends out for a sociable evening.

Our Booth for the Evening at Red Dog
Red Dog Saloon is at 20-22 Victoria Street
Tel 0115 784 4844 or email nottingham@reddogsaloon.co.uk for bookings

We were invited along by Red Dog Saloon to enjoy their food and see what we thought. The feelings above are our true thoughts on our visit. We value our integrity and aim to review a restaurant based as though we're spending our own money even though on this occasson we didn't pay for food, only our drinks. We love to be invited to new and exciting places and the Nottingham Food Lovers Blog gives us and friends a great way to experience the city whilst telling our tales.