What's on the menu?

What's on the menu?

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Good Hearty Food at the Black Bull Mansfield Woodhouse

We've been driving past the Black Bull on the a60 heading North through Mansfield for quite some time and there's always a good number of people sat in their conservatory area eating. Usually that's a good sign so we've been saying we'd pop in and try. Friday night was finally our chance to sample the Black Bull Mansfield Woodhouse.

The Black Bull, Mansfield

After a long week at work there's something deeply satisfying about heart pub food and with a pretty extensive menu and plenty of specials we could see we were in for a treat. On this occasion we ordered the Stuffed Chicken in White Sauce (£8.95) and the Mussels from the specials board (£8.95) with a portion of chips to add a little more stodge (£2.00)

Mussels in a Creamy White Wine Sauce at the Black Bull

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Sampling the Exquisite Creations of The Loom

High Pavement has seen some development over the last year. With the arrival of Missoula, Filthy's and The Loom alongside established Nottingham classic venues like the iconic Pitcher and Piano it's an area that's certainly offering more for discerning drinkers and diners.

The Loom opened late last year directly opposite the Pitcher and Piano to clearly offer us something a little different. It's frontage appears that of an 18th century townhouse which extended further into warehousing from it's historic role within the city's famed lace trade. The name comes from a 19th century loom from the building which was formerly Nottingham's Museum of Lace.

The Loom offers up something a little different. A contemporary British restaurant and Jazz bar. Last weekend we went along to taste their new Spring/ Summer food menu for one of our reviews.

Decadent dining in an 18th Century Townhouse - The Loom Nottingham

The interior of the restaurant area is beautifully light and comforting whilst keeping the feel of the original 18th century townhouse with traditional wood tables, plenty of interesting trinkets and lots of flora on display. Table sizes vary from a nice selection for couples to bigger options for family or office.

The Spring/ Summer Menu at the Loom

It's hard to believe we're into February already as the days start to get longer again and we'll soon be into Spring as the weather hopefully warms up soon. The Loom's menu could be considered to be a little minimalist in terms of it's offerings with six starter options and just seven mains however there seems to be something for everyone and it's clear straight away the attention to detail within the make-up of the dishes and therefore we were expecting something a little more flamboyant than we're used to.

We opted for the Belly of Pork, Black Pudding, Apple, Mustard and Pea Shoots (£7.99) as we love a nice bit of piggy, as well as the Blue Cheese, Pear, Walnut and Balsamic (£4.50) which sounded an intriguing combination.

Belly of Pork, Black Pudding, Apple, Mustard and Pea Shoots

Monday, 15 February 2016

Saturday Night at the Handmade Burger Co

The Handmade Burger Co Nottingham
I have to admit I usually find it hard to get enthusiastic about a burger. I hear people raving about this or that burger place and I think to myself that it's just a burger. Jem on the other hand is a little more enthusiastic so an invite to come and check out their food for a review was right up her street. With myself tagging along to see what the fuss was all about. We wouldn't usually head out for a burger with such a vast choice across the city but we'll often plump for one at the pub.

With a very modern glass frontage and hard to miss signage Handmade Burger Co is clearly making the most of it's prominent point at the entrance to the Intu off Mansfield road.

The Handmade Burger Co Nottingham,

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Visiting Mewar Haveli- Best Indian Restaurant in Nottingham?

If we were granted one last meal and had the choice I think Jemma and I would categorically opt for a curry. We love a good curry, whether it's Indian or Thai there's something about it that makes us tick. It must be the spices and gorgeous thick sauce that's asking for many naan's to dip. We've been on the hunt for Nottingham's Best Indian Restaurant for some time so jump at the chance of reviewing somewhere new.

The week we ventured South a short distance out of Nottingham to sample the delights of Mewar Haveli. Situated on the A52 heading East from Gamston island it's sensible distance outside of town without the worries over where to park. Access is via the turn off for the BP filling station.

Having surveyed some friends from Bingham, Radcliffe on Trent and West Bridgford areas who love their food it was a little shocking that none had visited up to now although they had all remarked that they'd love feedback as fancied trying Haveli.

With such a diverse array of Indian restaurants across Nottingham it's can take something special to stand out. Many of us have out own favourite local curry house but Haveli stands out in offering "Indian delicacies with a fine dining edge". With previous experience of such an experience and a fondness for Arnold's Banyan Tree I was certainly intrigued at what Mewar Haveli could bring to the table.

We were greeted to a fantastic welcome on arrival by Suraj and his team. It was clear to see that a lot of time and attention had been put into both the simple, clean decor and table setting. Every table being adorned with a beautiful Lily and tableware calling out to us that we were in for something a level above. Our initial expectations of the food were very high indeed.

Every table adorned with a beautiful Lily at Haveli

You Can Tell a Lot by a Pickle Tray

On arrival at our table out came a beautiful set of poppadoms and pickle tray with a selection of 5 different pickles to choose from ranging from a cooling raita through to a warming line pickle. Whilst not having a huge large amount of poppadoms this was complementary and a very nice touch we'd love to see in a few more curry houses.

The highlight of this was a the selection of five different dips and sauces to try with your  poppadoms. Mint yoghurt, mango chutney, a cucumber based pickle, a chilli and red onion pickle, and finally a lime pickle. Lots of fantastic choice and a step above the pickle trays we've seen elsewhere in the past.

Mewar Haveli Nottingham
The Complementary Pickle Tray and Poppadoms

Starters at Mewar Haveli

As a food blogger it's always a challenge when we visit somewhere new of getting an impression of the overall menu of a restaurant. Suraj at Haveli appreciated this and offered us the opportunity to taste a selection of the starters on offer and showcased that the team will go above and beyond to satisfy diners.

Our starter came out as a fabulously presented selection of the menu featuring Chilli Fish, an Onion Bhaji, Lamb Chop, Chicken Tikka and Malai Tikka giving us a flavour of five of Mewar Haveli's choice of starters for us to devour as well as a selection of sauces for dipping.

A selection of starters to sample- Chilli Fish, Onion Bhaji, Malai Tikki, Chicken Tikka and Lamb Chops

The starter for us was a real show-stopper in terms of presentation and impeccably cooked. We started with the chilli fish as it seemed almost a travesty to start breaking down the beautiful looking tower of starters.

The Chilli fish was beautiful, Delicately cooked in a smooth, luscious coating of chilli sauce that had a hint of warming to it without a full kick to wrestle with. We then decided to start the stack with the onion bhaji's. These were a very interesting take on bhaji's. These had a very subtle crunchy exterior and gentle, soft, slightly spiced interior.

The malai chicken was next in the stack. Moist and again delicately spiced with a beautiful coating with hints of white peppercorns and coriander enhancing a well cooked, juicy piece of chicken. The chicken tikka was more of the same with a delicately spiced piece of succulent chicken enhanced by the delicate flavouring. Usually chicken tikka becomes more about the thick glutinous sauce covering the meat whereas this was something to really savour as a meat lover.

We finished off with a small lamb chop. The flavours at Haveli seem to concentrate on smoothness and again this was no exception which a gently spiced piece of lean lamb chop really adding variety to the starters menu.

If we had to choose to eat just one of the starters again we'd both go for the chilli fish which was a real highlight of an impeccably presented and very well cooked selection that would easily satisfy most people's taste buds. Our impression was already set that Haveli concentrates on delicate flavouring to really bring the best out of their dishes.

Our starters were served with spiralised beetroot, lettuce and a little cress.

Something Different- Time to Cleanse the Palate

We've never been offered a palate cleanser before but when offered a soothing lemon sorbet we had to accept. After a small amount of heat from our starters it was a refreshing change and the homemade lemon sorbet was lovely although I reality felt my palate wasn't cleansed enough (I love lemon flavours and could have easily eaten a huge tub of the sorbet)

Lemon Sorbet to cleanse the palate

And on to the Main Show- The Curries

We really like our curries so at this point in the evening our expectations had been raised with what had gone on before. We were expecting something a little special and the team delivered that with a selection of 5 curries for us to sample and give our thoughts on. Ranging from a light and fragrant Cod Bhuna to what we would class as a medium Achari Chicken there was plenty for us to sample bought out in smaller bowls.

The Cod Bhuna featured beautiful moist, meaty cod pieces with a fragrant sauce a little different to what we've seen in a bhuna in the past. Heat wise this was at the lower end of the heat spectrum. This was a dish that could easily sway the unadventurous diner away from their humble Korma and onto something with a little more flavour without the extra heat that often accompanies. Beautifully smooth in texture this was a dish well worth sampling.

The Cod Loin Bhuna at Mewar Haveli

Next dish for us was the house speciality. Chicken Makhani. Melt in the mouth pieces of tender chicken in a mild tomato based sauce with delicate spices. The Makhani was another very easy eater and definitely another option to sway the unadventurous away from their korma's.

Chicken Makhani

Next curry option was a very pleasing vegetarian option.The Special Vegetable Curry married beautifully crunchy courgette with asparagus, baby corn, green beans and meaty mushrooms. I'm not sure I should be calling mushrooms "meaty" within a vegetarian dish but they added another layer of flavour. With the veg perfectly cooked, fantastic textures in each bit and a good variety of fresh vegetables. Whist there wasn't a lot of choice for vegetarians on the menu we believe the team will be more than happy to accommodate using one of their delicious sauces on request.

The Special Vegetable Curry

We like a bit of variety so it was nice to also try the Lamb Methi. With a little more earthy flavours from the fenugreek. Whilst lamb can sometimes add a fatty film atop a curry this incarnation had less of that and more quality lean meat to get your taste buds talking about.

The Lamb Methi

Our final curry was the Chicken Achari. Adding a pickle to the curry adds a fantastic sourness that might not be everyone cup of tea but this dish works impeccably well with the contrast in sweet and sour. A little more adventurous choice and definitely worth a consideration.

Achari Chicken

Our curry selection was served with a lovely plain naan bread which was fantastic for dipping and a portion of saffron rice which worked well with the flavours of all our curries.

Plain Naan Bread at Mewar Haveli
Our curries were accompanied by Saffron Rice

We Left Room for Dessert on This Occasion

We often go out and struggle to finish dessert. We opted for the Julab Jamun and Indian take on the Italian classic Tiramisu.

Gulab Jamun are traditional Indian fried dumplings served in rose flavoured syrup. Served here with vanilla ice cream and a piece of premium chocolate the dessert is a diabetics worst nightmare and a sugar lovers wet dream. Jemma struggled to finish her first dumpling and had to call in myself as reinforcements.

The dish was very very sweet with the dumplings tasting of a hint of cinnamon. Well worth trying for yourselves if you like things of the sweet variety.

Gulab Jamun, Dumplings with a rose flavoured syrup

I'd opted for the Indian take on Tiramisu. With the added flavours of ginger and cinnamon it certainly didn't disappoint. From the image below it almost looks like a cookie filled with a coffee cream. The Tiramisu was very light and easy to glide your spoon through with a subtle spiced taste with the cinnamon apparent without pushing things too far

Served with a jelly and panna cotta crescent and a roll of premium chocolate this was a gorgeous dessert we would happily recommend to all.

The Indian Tiramisu


Whilst it might seem a little illogical as a food and drink blogger I've taken the decision to have a dry February so we were both on Lime and Soda Water whilst at Haveli so sadly can't really comment on the wine and alcoholic drinks menu. January has been a bit of a party month so February for me is now a time for more consideration. However we did see quite a few diners being served the rather excellent Mongoose beer which having tried in the past feel works far better with a curry than standard offerings of Kingfisher or Cobra.

Our Thoughts on Mewar Haveli

We were really impressed with Haveli. We often see claims of fine dining from Indian Restaurants which don't quite match the reality. In Haveli you genuinely have a contender to Nottingham's premier restaurants if you're happy to make the trip out of town. I know it was well worth the trip for us.

Food was fantastic with our best description of many of the dishes as "smooth". The was always a gentle flow in taste no matter what dish we tried and never stark contrasts to confuse the taste buds. Our tasting was of some of the milder options although we do usually like a little more kick to our dishes. We were assured that if we wanted to ask for extra heat they would deliver and it seems customer service is clearly a very high consideration for Suraj and his team.

We arguably have never been so well welcomed into a restaurant and would happily return again which is probably why so many people keep going back to Haveli time and again. Mewar Haveli could well be Nottingham's best Indian restaurant.

Mewar Haveli
A52 Radcliffe Road (Eastbound)
NG12 2LF
Tel 0115 9816030
Or make an online reservation here


We were invited to Mewar Haveli for a review and whilst we didn't pay for our food the review above is our honest and true reflections of the evening as we value our integrity. Whilst friends and family might call it 'free food' the reality is somewhat different.