What's on the menu?

What's on the menu?

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. 

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

What Beer Do They Drink in Montenegro

We love to travel, we love food and we love our drinks too. We also don't really like to follow the usual crowds and rather like the idea of visiting somewhere different for an adventure. Our recent travels took us over to the lesser known country of Montenegro.

With a relatively short 300km of Mediterranean coastline against a dramatic mountainous we can see the country really taking off as both an adventure travel destination as well as gaining more popularity outside the Balkans as a beach destination. We love a good beer by the sea in the sunshine.

Budva's Old Town 'Stari Grad'

As a food and drink lover one of our biggest interests when setting foot in a country new to us is getting a sample of the local beer. We were intrigued to ask ourselves what beer do they drink in Montenegro

The main beer you will see in Montenegro is Nikšićko Pivo. The city of Nikšic is famed for it's brewing and the Trebjesa Brewery is the only one in Montenegro. Owned by Molson Coors it produces a selection of continental style lagers best known as a "Nik"

A Cold 'Nik'. Nikšićko Pivo at the Old Fisherman's Pub in Budva 
Now you know what to drink in Montenegro if you love a good beer. However if you love a good wine it's worth also checking out the excellent Montenegrin Krstac white wine and Vranac red wines. 

With a light slightly hoppy taste if you're like us you'll find you drink a lot of Nik on your travels to Montenegro.  

Thursday, 27 April 2017

The Nottingham Street Food Club Opening Review

Every so often we get an invite to an opening event that really grabs our attention. We love something that little bit different so the idea of the Nottingham Street Food Club really needed a visit and review. Especially when the invite promised drinks and samples.

The Nottingham Street Food Club is situated upstairs in the Intu Victoria Centre in the Clocktower Dining area off Mansfield Road. It's premise is simple- to bring street food flavours within an enclosed food court environment. We love the idea although from this evenings opening night we're a little unsure a number of things will work for the new venture.

The Nottingham Street Food Club

Monday, 24 April 2017

Hitting the Mountainous Die Zugspitze Burger at Tap Haus

Mansfield's Tap Haus has been on our list of places to visit for some time. We even tried to use the Nottingham Food Lovers name to try and get a reservation on opening weekend without joy. We've popped in for a drink on a few occasions as it's one of the few local places in the Mansfield area we can get great Continental Beers on tap including the likes of Erdinger and Kozel. 

Die Zugspitze Burger at Tap Haus, Mansfield Woodhouse

Since it's opened we've heard mixed reports regarding the food with friends leaving before even being served on the opening night and a look on the likes of Tripadvisor gives a very varied impression but after a hard day cycling and running in the Peak District we desperately needed food and with our usual go-to for pub food having had a record breaking day leading to them running out of meat our next closest option was Tap Haus. We can't always set our stall our to head somewhere for a food review but on this occasion circumstances worked in our favour.