The Jukebox Café – All Day Breakfast in a kind of Builder’s Breakfast Nirvana

Jukebox Cafe chalk board

The Jukebox Café  at 18 Hartley Road in Radford is an absolute classic café in the ‘greasy spoon’ genre.

I have sampled some of their offerings over the last couple of years from their outside catering stall at the Nottingham beer festival and today I was here at the source to see what they would put on my plate.

Back in 2011 it was a regional winner in a national competition to find the best builders breakfast in the country so game on! An All day breakfast was the mission, and once I saw the menu board outside I could tell that it was going to be a pretty easy mission to complete!

The Jukebox café chalkboard is kind of a dream in the world of the ‘builders breakfast’ (and I am not even a builder). As I steadied myself for the job ahead, I wasn’t sure what the breakfast plates would look like, I was pretty sure that they were going to be substantial though!

The Big Breakfast

The BIG breakfast at the Jukebox Cafe

Considering what was on the plate this picture makes the Big Breakfast look quite tame! I like a bit of plate organisation and even a bit of plate filling slight of hand. So what you have before you is Two slices of bacon (peeking out from beneath the baked beans), Two Sausages, Two Fried Eggs, some mushroom, Two slices of black pudding, Two slices of Fried Bread, and those aforementioned baked beans and that is just on the plate in question!

How much bread? Toast and Bread abd butter

To add to the main plate (and I didn’t realise this when I ordered) I was given a plate of toast and bread and butter. There were two slices of each, way too much to really eat! I did try but just half of the toast. That was all that I could manage! I really did try!

Mug of Tea at the Jukebox Cafe

It was lucky that the whole meal came with a great big mug of tea to wash it all down with! This was the perfect accompaniment to my big breakfast.

This was not a pretty affair to watch or to eat, but it was very filling and very comforting. I liked it all and while I will not pretend that it was a gourmet affair, it was an affair with the heart as I worked my way through the plate slowly and steadily. Ok so the eggs were a bit overcooked having been flipped the yolk was not as runny as I like, but I know that there are a lot of fussy people out there who don’t like their eggs sunny side up so fair enough. The sausages were not bad at all, not the best gourmet, but they were crisp and well cooked. The bacon was fried and fine enough. I liked the fried bread as I hardly ever eat that these days and the beans and mushrooms were as named. It doesn’t really help to break it all down or to be clever when talking about an All Day Breakfast though, all that really matters is that feeling when you munch your way through a massive plateful and the way you feel for hours afterwards.

The Jukebox Café provides a Big Breakfast that matches all expectations from price to satisfaction in your belly. Just what I want and what I need when I seek such a treat!

 

The Timeout Café – Asian Fusion Street Food. Try the Mentaiko Pasta!

Timeout cafe sign

The Timeout Café hidden away on Wheeler Gate up above the shops has recently opened selling Asian Street Food. They describe themselves as a ‘Contemporary fusion café’ ‘where Asian Street Food meets Western cooking.’ I was intrigued and almost excited when I first saw that they were opening up as I love myself a bit of Street Food.

I have been in a couple of times over the past two weeks as I have tried to navigate my way through their evolving menu. So lets have a look at what I munched my way through.

Spoiler alert – I liked it all but some stuff better than others – the good stuff is at the start like this Pasta dish just a couple of cm down there

 

Mentaiko Pasta

Mentaiko Pasta

On my first visit, as I looked around the café, every single diner was eating a bowl of noodles, why didn’t I order that? It seems to have been the thing to get. Damn why did I miss out?. Now all of those diners were Asian so they clearly knew something that I did not know!  When I returned home I googled a bit and found out that the missing dish was Mentaiko Pasta, so I decided to hold off writing about the café and vowed to return at my next opportunity to give that dish a try first. I had to, I mean how could a review be complete if I didn’t eat the most popular dish on the menu?

So I was back, and somewhat to the surprise of my server who had advised me on my first visit, I ordered myself a bowlful. “Do you know what that is?” he asked with one eyebrow raised. I did (this time) and assured him that I was going to give it a whirl which seemed to cheer him up a lot.

Now when I list out the ingredients you may well rock back a moment in your chair as it does not sound that appetising to the Western palate. I can assure you though that it will end up being one of the most delicious little treats that I have eaten recently.

So what is Mentaiko Pasta? This really is an Asian Fusion dish mixing Japanese flavours with pasta or in this case spaghetti.  To make the dish, mentaiko (marinated cod roe) is mixed with butter (or mayonnaise) and hot pasta to create a pink-hued cream sauce. The sauce is lightly spicy and typically contains chili oil, soy and housemade ginger juice.

As I started to eat it, I was really surprised as I was expecting quite a briny flavour. It was so different to what my brain said it should be, it was a mild mix of sweet and salt combined with a mild spice heat. I found that the dish was so comforting and creamy. It was so easy to eat, I was shovelling it in, I can see now why everyone in the place was ordering it.

Honestly I will come back and eat this again, and if I see it somewhere else? I will order it there as well. It is a winner of a dish. Funnily enough as I was paying I asked why they didn’t recommend the dish on my first visit, the answer was that they didn’t think that a white person would like it even though it is their most popular dish amongst there Asian customers.

I just said that they should be proud to recommend it, but I can imagine that telling some of the local populace what was in the dish might put people off, people with limited adventurous spirit that is. Anyhow just Trust me you have to try it!

Anyhow I have banged on enough about that dish, so what else have I eaten here?

Takoyaki

Takoyaki

Another dish that I had my eye on for my second visit was the Takoyaki which is basically a little ball shaped treat of squid in a batter, kind of like a savoury donut. This is another Japanese street food snack, and one that I have had before or at least I was pretty sure that I had. I ate this at a street fair in Chicago when they described it as an Octopus Beignet.

I almost didn’t get to sample this dish as it was one from their tapas style menu and normally is a plate of about 6 pieces. Luckily though my choice of that Mentaiki Pasta had opened up the channels of conversation and when I indicated that I would have really liked to try it the chap taking my order said that the chef could make me a smaller plateful to try. Good man! So I was back in luck.

So back to the Takoyaki. I liked these quite a lot but I think that they need a bit of work as they seemed to have been toned down a bit. How can I describe them? well yes, they are basically a little ball of batter filled with a creamy sauce and some slightly chewy bits of squid. You get hint of ginger and a hint of soy, but I wanted much more of a packed punch of flavour, no hints give me the whole shebang! When I had googled this dish I read that the Takoyaki sauce was kind of like a blend of Worcestershire sauce and mayonnaise. I was hoping for that tangy hit, but maybe I just was expecting something that would never be there. OK so I liked them, I would like them more strolling along the street or from a stall at a food fair. Try them anyway, they are pretty tasty!

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Well now back to that first time I came in to the Timeout café. I asked what they recommended and I was pointed towards the Vietnamese spring rolls and told that they were popular. They were good and quite different from the appalling spring rolls that you get in most English Chinese restaurants. They are a bit tame, but still tasty, you really do need the dipping sauce though to make them interesting enough to choose them ahead of anything else on the menu. I wouldn’t order these again, leave them on a buffet and let me at the really good stuff. Don’t get me wrong though if I am getting a spring roll in the future, I want one of these ones!

Chicken Karaage

Chicken Karrage

The second dish I ate on my first visit was from the tapas section and that was the Chicken Karaage. They was nothing wrong with this dish, but it was a bit on the safe side. Think Japanese Chicken Nuggets and you would get the idea. I am not sure if this is exactly as the dish would be made in Japan, It seemed a bit light on the flavours and really would have benefitted from some sort of dipping sauce. Typically the chicken is marinated in soy sauce, ginger and garlic, so I suppose this could be supposed to be a light  flavour. I suspect that it also could be made with a real pack of flavour, perhaps that is not traditional but I would love it like that, lets go Fusion all in. I will say though that it was well cooked, the chicken (dark meat) was moist and the batter coating was light and airy. It just needed more seasoning and I would have been really happy. Having said that I still enjoyed eating them, but I did lose interest half way down the bowl.

TimeOut Cafe wall

I kind of like it here at the TimeOut Café, it could be my sort of place. I have heard that they are still working through the menu and working out the dishes. A Vietnamese Pho may be on the horizon and I am sure that as they get going they will work out all the kinks. I just hope they don’t sacrifice flavour or authenticity as they try to feed us good folk in Nottingham. Trust us if its good we will eat it!

You know forget what I think, just take it with a  pinch of salt (and perhaps some pepper) the café is making a buzz and we ae all taking notice.  It looks like I am not the only one of the Nottingham Food Bloggers who have been sampling their food. Alec from Frusher on Food has posted his thoughts he tried the ‘Korean carbonara’  which was something else I had my eye on so interest comments. The girls from The Bucket List (Leigh & Pollyanna) also posted a review and I was interested to see the take form the Student community, I am really enjoying reading about their travels in the city. We all seem to be heading to the same places, I wonder when our paths will cross?

Timeout chalkboard

The Timeout Café  & Kitchen is located at 14-16 Wheeler Gate head for Poundland and look out for the Chalkboard then head upstairs.

You can see what is happening on their Facebook Page and on Twitter too

TimeOut Café and Kitchen Menu (soon to be a laminated effort)

TimeOut Cafe Menu

 

 

The Bob Marley Burger at the Navigation Inn

The Navigation InnThe Navigation Burger Bar sign

This is not my first trip to the Navigation Burger Bar in The Navigation on Wilford Street. In the past I have told you “The Navigation Burger Bar – An easy recommedation – Eat Here” . It is true I still stand by that they do serve some jolly nice beef burgers here and you should come and try one.

The Bob Marley Burger

Now usually I opt for one of big meaty burgers when I eat in one of this places, a great big hunk of beef. Today though I was kind of feeling that I should deviate from the norm and perhaps stray into the lighter side and so I took a look into the coop and pondered my options from the world of the chicken. I love a bit of Jamaican Jerk seasoning so lets just hope that this lives up to the promise.

The Great Bob Marley Burger

The Bob Marley Burger

The Marley arrived topped with three huge battered onion rings that were larger than the chicken breast a top of the bun.

They overshadowed my sandwich so they were quickly dispatched so that I could get a proper look at this sandwich.

Beneath the Onion Rings

the Bob Marley Burger

On first inspection to be honest it looked like we were in some sort of food theme park. The toppings looked more like the contents of a jar of Uncle Bens than a serious Jamaican Jerk offering. I was hoping that it would taste good though as the chicken itself looked as though it had spent some time lazing on a Jamaican Beach so that was a promising start.

Inside my Bob Marley Burger

Bob Marley Burger Cross Section

It is a good chicken sandwich, the peppers are a bit too sweet and the sauce is very lightweight if you really like Jerk sauce. I suppose just as Bob Marley’s music can appeal to the masses then this sauce and chicken probably would too. If you want some serious Jerk Chicken then head over to Jamaican Ways in Radford (I like their Jerk Chicken! (read about that here). If you just want a bit of lightly spiced sauce on your chicken then this would probably suit you.

Don’t get me wrong, it is a decent chicken sandwich and there is plenty of it. The chicken was well cooked, still moist and juicy. I am still not sure about all of the peppers, perhaps a small layer of rice and peas might have been more in keeping with the Jerk Chicken theme.

The Great Bob Marley Burger Board

The Great Bob Marley Burger Plate

I would stick to the burgers next time but was glad that I tried something else just to see what was out there. I still quite fancy trying their Fish Sandwich known as the Whitby Whale. I am a little uncertain though, and might just stick to the burgers like everyone else did around me #burgerjealousyalert

I like coming here to The Navigation Inn, I am always stuffed after eating here as well, in summary good value and good fun!

It is a great pub, lots of good real ales on tap, more food than you need to eat in one go, and plenty of chances to catch some live music as well.

The Navigation Burger Bar is in the Navigation Inn at 6 Wilford Street, right next to the bank of the canal just as you cross the bridge or as they describe “Situated just a stones throw away from Nottingham Train Station and The Broad Marsh Bus Station; at Castle Lock, Wilford Street, Nottingham NG2 1AA.”

You can check out their menu here and you can see what they are up to on their Facebook Page and Twitter feed as well

The Juicy Lucifer at RedsTrueBBQ

 

The Juicy Lucifer

The Juicy Lucifer is a burger on the menu at Reds True BBQ in Nottingham.

The Juicy Lucifer is a sandwich that I have had my eye on for some time.

The Juicy Lucifer is a Mammoth beast and not for the faint hearted.

So to set the scene, a little while ago I came during opening week to visit Reds True BBQ and sampled a little bit of what they had to offer. It was free so I was kind of uncertain as how to respond to the food, I prefer to dine incognito so was a little bit out of my food comfort zone.

After that trip I started to look more at their menu and spotted this “Juicy Lucifer” burger. It was described as a Cheese Filled Burger and that set my burger degree brain ticking as I recalled the famous burger called the Juicy Lucy from Minneapolis. In Minneapolis the two competing burgers are made at the 5-8 club and at Matts Bar. I thought that this must be a variation? I was kind of right.

Me thinking on Twitter (and feeling hungry)

Tweet conversation

After a few tweets it was confirmed this was a Juicy Lucy from the 666 area dialling code. “Is that Lucifer? your burger is ready!”

Looking at the date stamp on that tweet, I really cannot fathom why it has taken me so long to get my great big fat ass back in to Reds to sample that burger sandwich. Ah look, now then, ok (personal) recriminations over, I was back, and back with a simple mission to eat this burger!

The Juicy Lucifer

The Juicy Lucifer Burger

The Juicy Lucifer is a rather elegant beast made up of two housemade steak patties (5oz) wrapped around a melted spicy 3-cheese centre. It is topped with fried onions, pickles, dirty sauce, peppered bacon, ballpark mustard, and a spicy hot wing sauce, all contained within a toasted bun. Oh my good gosh it sounds delicious, awesome possibly, and bless, even with my camera phone skills it even photographs well!

Sometime I let my memory tell the story but on this day I noted down my thoughts as I sat and ate my deviant burger;

The Juicy Lucifer, this burger was less cheesy than expected and quite a spicy effort probably due to the slices of green jalopeno that I found in there. I am sure the menu just says pickles!  I thought I was crunching down on crispy bacon (but I was very much mistaken) I was eating  slice of hells fire! The whole sandwich has a much spicier and hotter taste than I was expecting. Note to self read the menu. I was expecting a sweet tangy taste and experience just based on the three cheese blend. This is very different, but a good different, and one for the grown ups for sure. This is good, did I say that it was good, oh yes I think I just did”

In summary I was so glad that I came back to Reds True BBQ to try this burger. I know that this next comment may be questioned, but now, this burger is up in my top three options in the city. So I cant say who finishes where but you know it is a straight split between munching at 5 Guys, taking a chance at getting a table at Annie’s, or just strolling in ‘all casual like’ at Reds.

I really want to try the Pit burger next and then the Classic.

The Burger Menu

Burger Menu at RedS True BBQ

Reds True Barbeque in Nottingham is located at 11 Queens Street next to Georges Fish and Chip Kitchen and inside the space formerly occupied by Fopp Records. You can follow them (if you so choose) on Facebook and on Twitter

#lettherebemeat

 

JJ’s Food Bar for a Breakfast in a Bun

JJs Food Bar in West Bridgford

JJ’s food bar up on Boundary Road in West Bridgford is a slightly classier bacon and egg cob emporium than those which I often tell you about. It is nice and clean and friendly inside which is always a good sign. It also comes with a simple menu, mainly coming from the ‘world of the breakfast’ which makes things nice and easy.

From what I could see on the chalk board it was basically a straight choice most of the time, between a bacon or sausage cob, or a ‘breakfast in a bun’. On Wednesday they do a Hot Roast, and on Fridays they do a Roast Pork. I was in my usual ‘in between breakfast and lunch’ mode so I had my eyes on the ‘Breakfast in a Bun’ option which was 4 items for either £2.40 or £3.20 (large)

Breakfast in a Bun

Breakfast in a Bun at JJs food bar

I chose Bacon, Egg, Mushroom, and Black Pudding as my 4 items for my large bun. For the record I could have chosen sausage, beans, and tomatoes as well. All being told it was a rather decent affair. I was glad that I chose the black pudding as that gave it a nice rich taste and contrast in texture with my crispy bacon. I was rather pleased with my selection as I picked a good combination!

It was good value, very comforting, quite filling and well worth the £3.20 price tag.

JJ's food Bar Chalkboard

If I had any complaints then that was that my egg was too well cooked by the time I ate it so the yolk was not runny enough for my liking. That could have been due to the travel time between cooking and reaching my mouth so may well have been my fault. There were enough nice white tables inside to have eaten my sandwich in the café so perhaps I should have taken advantage. If I came in again and had the Roast Dinner then I probably would eat inside. I would eat in too if I had something like beans in my sandwich just to avoid the danger of unwanted bean juice spillage.

JJ’s Food Bar is up at 67 Boundary Road in West Bridgford. They are just open between 07.30 and 14.30 Mondays to Fridays

If you are in the area and need a “Breakfast in a Bun” then I would recommend stopping by to get one!

Menu Selections

JJ's Food bar Menu

 

Clifton Cob Shop selling… well cobs! and I had a nice Roast Pork cob

Clifton Cob Shop

Clifton Cob Shop at 28 Southchurch Drive is right on the corner of Varney Street. It is a simple place serving up hot and cold cobs, just the sort of place that you need in your life when you want a bite to eat at lunch and you don’t want to eat at some boring generic overpriced chain.

Inside there is a hot food counter serving mostly breakfast type items and roast meat in a cob, and a cold sandwich section, but basically you are ordering what you fancy from one of the welcoming ladies behind the work top.

Cold Sandwich Options at Clifton Cob Shop

Just below the ‘cold menu’ chalkboard they display a whole range of custom made Cakes that you can order. I just took the picture of them all lined up as they had ones for our local football teams. I like that the Notts County one was first on the list. I am not sure that I would be ordering one though. Just above the cakes is the cold sandwich menu with all your family favourites at reasonable prices. I would have been leaning towards a Coronation Chicken cob for £2 if I was in an adventurous mood. If I was suffering from the night before still then it would have to be the classic Egg Mayo for £1.90 and “hold the salad please!”

So what was I in the mood for?

Chalk Board offering

Ah now! this is the sort of chalk board that I like to see, or perhaps these are the word’s that I long to hear or is it read? at lunchtime. This was to be the primary reason for my visit a chance to get my hands on some sort of roast meat in a bun. I had scoped this place out before as I drove past so knew that there were roast pork cobs to be had in the vicinity.

Roast Pork Cob

Roast Pork CobInside the Pork Cob

OK so I am not going to go all gourmet on you, I am just going to hit you with the bare food facts. Here at the Clifton Cob shop when you ask for ‘Hot Roast Pork Cob’ you get exactly that. A great big cob filled with a reasonable amount of freshly carved roast pork. The stuffing was quite nice and the apple sauce was fair too. I did ask for some crackling which was a small mistake as it was too crunchy for my teeth to deal with. That was a bit of a shame, but I did enjoy sucking the milky fat off the jaw breaking crispy skin so that was still a small bonus. I am not going to say that this is my go to Pork Cob, but it was worth stopping the car for and the friendly welcome inside was worth popping in for as well.

For the prices and the welcome I would recommend stopping here, and once the tram is up and running it may be worth a pit stop on your way to the shops in Clifton. Why go to Greggs when you can shop local?

the Cumin Indian restaurant on Maid Marian Way

Cumin Sign

Cumin, or the Cumin Indian Restaurant to give the place its full name is located on Maid Marian Way. I have heard a lot of good things about this place, and so when it came to finding somewhere for a family birthday celebration this place was right up on the top of the list.

It seems that almost all of the restaurants on this City Centre street have won or been nominated for awards and the Cumin is no exception. Check out their website to see who and whom has favoured them in the past.

They say that the Cumin specialises in Punjabi cuisine with an East African twist (I read that after we dined there) but we were to stick with some of your old favourites and classical options.

So what did we eat?

We selected two main dishes at the Cumin to share, one with chicken, and one with lamb.

So Chicken first

Murg Malabari

Murg Malabar menu desciption at Cumin

Murg Malabar

As I said the first one was the Murg Malabari which was described as ‘Tender chicken pieces, tempered with mustard and curry leaves, delicately spiced, cooked in coconut masala’. This was flagged on the menu with two red chillies, which I think is kind of spicy but not really hot spicy. The name of the dish more or less gives up the origin of this recipe which derives from Malabar island in the coastal region of northern Kerela. The dishes from that region often feature coconut and this dish is no exception.

The key flavours come from the curry leaves which I have used a lot in my own cooking, I use them often in one of Jamie Oliver’s recipes (his everyday curry sauce) and they have a distinct aroma which fills the house for days. It is kind of hard to describe the flavour and mouth feel of the dish but I will try. It is creamy from the coconut and then a little bitter from the curry leaf and the mustard seeds also add a darker taste. This sauce was lovely and creamy with a subtle flavour that was somewhere between smoky and slightly bitter (in a good way) and it had a nice level of spicing.

After we had finished the dish we added the leftover sauce to the leftover poppadoms on the table and it was a pretty good mix. I could eat this sauce on its own and forget about the chicken to be honest.

Now the Lamb

Karahi Gosht

Karahi Gosht menu description at Cumin

Karahi Gosht

The second dish, the Karahi Gosht, was my choice and was essentially a spicy lamb dish. It was described on the menu as “Hot & Spicy Lamb cooked in a sauce with tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, and bullet chillies cooked in a karahi”. OK so the name of the cooking vessel gives away half of the name, and the rest of the name,’Gosht’, gives away the rest as it means basically ‘meat or flesh’.

I understand that in many more traditional cooked versions that the meat would be goat or mutton (goat in some countries as well) so I assume that the Lamb is for the western guys. It would be amazing if one of these local Indian restaurants did actually use goat as it is a magnificent meat and I think makes a better curry than lamb. Ok so we kind of digressed for a moment.

The flavour of this dish was very good, deep, rich and tangy with plenty of well controlled spice. Content wise  a couple of the larger bits of lamb were a bit chewy, and it was not really that spicy considering that it was supposed to have ‘bullet chillis’ in it and it had a three chilli rating. Having said that, I did like the flavour of this dish, the sauce was great, the lamb was good. I would have liked goat and maybe I will try it myself with that choice of meat.

Sag Aloo and Garlic Naan at Cumin Lime Pilau Rice at Cumin

To accompany the curry dishes we ordered a selection of your standard sundries, well we thought they were just standard, but they were actually the equal of the mains. The Sag Aloo arrived at the table looking all dark and mysterious, it was quite an amazing dish. I had been expecting to see more green in the sauce, but this was a much different affair to other Sag Aloo that I have sampled. The sauce was so dark I wondered what was in it and if it was even the dish we had ordered, but that was just my lack of understanding of the complexity of this side.

The menu description did not do it justice; “Diced potatoes cooked with fresh spinach, enhanced with delicate spices, finished with cream”. It looked nothing like that in the bowl, and it tasted way better than the sum of that list of ingredients, great job on this side Cumin, great job!

Together with the Aloo we had a Garlic Naan which was pretty good (I could have eaten two), and a portion of Lime Pilau which was a welcome variation on the Pilau rice front and somewhat different from your standard curry house options. All in all some pretty decent sides to go with our main choices.

poppadom sauces at the Cumin

I really enjoyed dining at the Cumin, it was not too fancy but that does not matter when you get good food and great service. Just the small things add up, when we arrived there was a small mix up with our reservation, nothing major and nothing to worry about, but even so they found us a table and gave us a free drink for our inconvenience. A nice touch, and if I am honest, sitting having a chat for a couple of minutes before being seated when I arrive 20 minutes early, really is not a major headache. So thanks to Cumin for such hospitality, it wasn’t necessary, but was very welcome and well received.

Mints and Chocolate at Cumin

The next thing I loved was when we got the bill / cheque and we didn’t just get a mint or a chocolate on the dish along side it, oh no! we were given a treasure chest of mints and golden foil wrapped chocolates. It was very nice, over the top, and a mistake as I will tell you my dining companion had a handful of them. To be fair though it was her birthday meal out! For the record I only had one (insert some sort of disbelief type icon here).

The Cumin on Urbanspoon

I kind of like the Cumin, it was friendly, had good food, great service, and quite importantly no white tablecloths that I could spill stuff on.

You can check them out on Twitter and in person by strolling down Maid Marian Way to find them just near to the Castle.

A ‘Fish and Chips Friday’ at Langtrys

Langtreys in Nottingham

Langtrys is a really good spot for meeting up with your mates in the City Centre for the start of a night out. It has a great location when you want to easily guide a visitor from out of town to meet you for a drink. “It’s Just opposite the Royal Centre, 5 mins walk from the Old Market Square and located just across from the Cornerhouse“.

The pub is named after Lillie Langtry an Actress from the Victorian era, why it was named after her? I have no idea. As far as I can tell that all seems a bit random to me, it used to be called The Peach Tree but the name was changed back in 1981 way before my days of real ale supping (well perhaps just a couple of years before my first secretive half a pint).

Anyhow forget the history, why should we come here to eat or drink? First off you can, more often than not, get a decent pint of beer in here. It does suffer for me a little in that they change the 7 or so guest beers pretty often, so that something you really like one week disappears by the next week. Having sad that I can usually find something that I want to sup such as a Deuchars (on occasion), but sometimes it is just a quick half before moving on. They seem to have a lot of ciders in here as well and quite a bit seems to make it onto the menu as part of the sauce for a dish.

Food wise it is fine for pub food, the menu always seems to have quite a lot on it that sounds good, the only thing is that I never really seem to see that many people eating in here. The crowd does tend to be a bit transient at the best of times with it heaving just before and just after the theatre shows start and end, so it can be hard to get a table to eat at.

I have eaten and blogged about this pub before about a year ago when I had a Pulled Pork sandwich (read more here). I have been in many times for a pint since. On this evening, we found ourselves in here on the Friday, actually managed to get table, and as it was the start of the night we felt that it would be sensible to partake of some small amount of sustenance to make sure that we lasted the night with ease.

Menu Example

Langtrys Menu

Since it was a Friday and since I have been trying to theme Fridays towards Fish and Chips, we ordered two plates of said dish. The first (and only) bonus was that there was a deal on and it was two plates of Fish and Chips for £10 (a fiver each)

Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips at Langtreys

The menu had described this as ‘Classic Fish and Chips’ – ‘A Fillet of Cod in a Lovely Light Batter. Served with chips, peas, and a Home made chunky tartar sauce’. I have to be honest and say that it was not the best plateful I have had on one of these Fish and Chips Friday’s. I prefer Haddock to Cod but putting that to one side for a moment (like the slice of lemon) whichever fish lay beneath I also like my batter to be light and crispy. Here at Langtrys, I was feeling the love of the piece of fish from the depths of some freezer. It was a bit sad and a bit on the over fried and crunchy side, at least that was how it felt as I ate it. The peas were fair enough I do like my mushy peas, they were not as vibrant or tasty as some I have eaten recently but they added something to take the dryness away. The chips were your basic pub food type in keeping with the whole plateful. I mean don’t get me wrong I ate every scrap on the plate and I left feeling full. I just didn’t walk out with ‘Fish and Chips’ joy in my heart.

I did have a really nice pint of beer though and at two meals for a tenner I felt that the Pub Grub Gods had treated my wallet favourably

Langtrys Twitter

On their Twitter Feed they describe themselves as a “Beautiful historic pub famed for glorious real ales, real ciders & perrys & delicious homemade pub classics. CAMRA Pub Of Excellence & Good Beer Guide 2014.”

They are located at 4 South Sherwood Street

Korean Bibimbap at Pan Asian BBQ

Pan Asian BBQ Nottingham Pan Asian BBQ in Nottingham lies up on Upper Parliament street alongside a number of those buffet style eating establishments. Don’t be fooled though into thinking that this is just another one in the same ilk, it is a far different beast in itself. Primarily it appears to be serving up Korean fare, but the theme is extended to Pan Asian with the addition of dishes from Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, and Singapore. Korean Speciality section of Menu Once I had opened the menu  it was going to be Korean all the away for me as I was loving the look of the Bibimbap options, a Korean speciality. Typically this dish is served with mixed rice and that is actually the literal translation of the name. Perhaps I should have gone traditional, but you know? It was an option and I  just wanted some noodles!

Chicken Bibimbap with Udon Noodles

Chicken Bibimbap with Noodles at Asian BBQ I ordered the Chicken Bibimbap with Udon Noodles mainly as it was to be topped with a fried egg. It is no secret that I am a total fried egg slut, you can put one onto anything I eat and I am a happy camper. It also just looks so pretty on the plate, well it does for just that brief moment before the chopsticks slice it up to mix it into the broth and noodles. The clay potbowl was very hot, dangerously hot and was kept away from my wandering fingers by a wooden holder. I dug into it with my quick witted chopsticks plucking chunks of braised chicken, mushroom, segments of egg and beansprouts randomly and rapidly. As I worked my way in I found the thick udon noodles that I pulled out in threads pulling them up to my mouth and sucking them in greedily. It may not have been a pretty sight watching myself or the other diners slurping at their bowls, but when you have a bowlful such as this before you, well there is only one way to go. As the bowl was emptied of its contents it was time to spoon up the soupy broth, it was a lightly spicy affair that could be enhanced by stirring in some of the hot pepper paste that came on the side. This was called Gochujang and it was spicy but not burning spicy. You could control the heat in the broth easily by adding it little by little and stirring it in. Towards the base of the bowl as the broth was slurped away you found the remnants of the noodles, a few bits of chicken and then all of the seasoned vegetables that were chucked into the bowl as it was made, daikon, zucchini, cucumber, beansprouts, and something green probably spinach. It was a uncomplicated yet complex bowl of food. Traditionally I believe it was eaten by farmers but it was also one of those dishes designed to make use of the leftovers. Either way it was a pretty good idea by whomsoever first started making it. Asian BBQ sign So overall I liked my first visit to the Pan Asian BBQ restaurant in Nottingham. I liked my Bibimbap dish immensely, and while I would be tempted to try that again, I also have my eyes on a couple of other dishes from the menu to sample. In particular I fancy a go at the Beef Rendang from the Malaysian section, and the Gyoza from the Japanese Starters. Located at 100-102 Upper Parliament Street, Pan Asian BBQ is about 3 minutes walk from the Royal Centre Tram Stop and on the route of plenty of buses.

Quality Doorstop sandwiches at Attenborough Nature Reserve

Attenborough Nature Reserrve

Attenborough Nature Reserve is located about 6 miles south of the City in the old gravel pits near to Attenborough. It has been evolving since around 1966 when part of the working pits were converted to a reserve that was opened by Sir David Attenborough. In 2005 the visitor centre was opened up and in that centre they have a rather nice café that served up tasty morsels and drinks all year around.

On the website the tell us that; “Our café has views of the lakes and islands of Attenborough Nature Reserve. With a south facing balcony it is possible to sit outside to enjoy a hot drink and a doorstep sandwich on organic bread after a healthy walk around the reserve.”

Attenborough Nature Reserve

There certainly are lovely views from the deck outside the café. I took this panorama picture of the lake the day we popped over for lunch. We didn’t actually take a ‘healthy walk’ on that visit but we did sample the door step sandwiches.

Sandwich Menu

attenboro menu

They have a good selection of your classic sandwiches here at the café, all the expected options from ham, to cheese, to egg, to chicken dressed up all fancy for you to try. There is usually a selection of hot specials on a board as well, when we were here there were a couple of hot pies, a bowl of stew, tomato soup and a minestrone soup.

The website also tells us that they have “A good selection of cakes and snacks and fair trade coffee is complemented by a home made lunch menu with delicious daily specials featuring fair trade, organic, free range and local produce”

Sandwich at Attenborough Nature Reserve

I have eaten here on quite a few occasions and have found that the best thing on that sandwich menu is the

Derbyshire Chicken, Mature Cheddar Cheese and Bacon” effort.

Attenborough Sandwich

You get a really huge doorstop sized sandwich packed with thick slices of chicken breast, a couple of slices of grilled bacon, and a thick layer of strong mature cheddar cheese. The slices of bread are cut pretty thick, but the bread is so soft, that once you start to chomp you way into the sandwich it does not seem too overwhelming. You also receive a rather generous side of salad leaves packed with tomato, cucumber, red and yellow pepper. I didn’t really need that to be honest but I did enjoy eating it as I munched my way through the doorstop.

The café can get quite busy but there always seems to be a space on a table somewhere. You just have to be willing to share you space with a fellow dog walker, twitcher, stroller pusher, or random diner. If you want to be alone then just grab your sandwich to go and stroll off along one of the footpaths that snake there way around the reserve and the lakes.

You can get here by public transport travelling by train to the nearby Attenborough Train Station which is just 5 minutes walk from the reserve and a further 10 minute walk from the Nature Centre. You can also take a bus from Nottingham Broadmarsh Station and the Derby Bus Station. I think that is the Trent Barton ‘INDIGO’ Bus Service but I would check when that is running if you read this and want to plan a visit. That bus stops at the Chilwell retail park which is about a 5-10 minute walk away. You can also park your car nearby as well. If you have the time and the energy you can also walk here from the city along the river on a number of riverside footpaths