Last night we spent the evening with the lovely people at Homemade Café at the Pavilion on the Forest Recreation Ground celebrating their 10th Anniversary. As well as an alfresco party amongst the beautiful people of Nottingham we were treated to cocktails and nibbles to taste from their new Summer Menu.
I should start off by saying that it was by invitation and although I was well plied with cocktail and wine all opinions on the food are my own and any bias I may appear to exude is purely down to my love of the ethos and the food that they produce at Homemade.
It started so well with a whole lot of cocktails awaiting to greet us as we arrived. I know that we only got one (or maybe two) but I was sold when the nearest and dearest glass was a Gin and Elderflower effort with Cucumber and Pomegranite. It was very refreshing and I must confess that I went back for a second.
I was going to say that I wasn’t a fan of cocktails in general, but then I remembered a minor predilection for Vodka Martini straight up with a twist that I developed when I was living around NYC a few years back. If I could find this Gin and Elderflower effort in town on a Friday Night then I would probably sip a couple down. Or I could just come over on the Tram to the Recreation gound and stroll to the Pavilion to sip one!
So what did we get to sample?
First up for our delectation was a salad of Feta and Beetroot that arrived on a sharing board. I looked much prettier on that board that it did after I had forked a bit onto my side dish. It was a really nice refreshing little dish. There was some sort of balsamic glaze reduction on the beetroot which had a nice taste to it, a little sweet tang perhaps, pomegranate seeds abounded through the plate and the salty feta added a nice contrast to counteract any of that sweetness from the glaze. Lots of nice leafy green bits as well to add crunch. I quite liked this salad.
Next up was a little pot of Mini Fish and Chips. The batter was really light and crispy and the fish inside was lovely and juicy still. In the base of the pot was a dollop of creamy tartare sauce and a few rocket leaves. I would have liked a little bit of salt and pepper to add some seasoning to the fish if I am being totally transparent. It was still a nice potful and if I could have found some condiments on the table I would have used them.
Another dish I enjoyed were the Chicken and Chorizo Enchiladas which also came in a sharing plate. I only had one piece and I could have eaten a whole lot more pieces. I liked the flavour of the salty and spicy chorizo and the texture of the crunchy tortilla casing. The cilantro or coriander as we call it in the UK gave a nice refreshing note to counter some of the chilli spice in the sauce. Good but I wanted more (Gosh I am so greedy am I not)
I was Loving the Pulled Pork Taco which came in little samples sizes on mini round soft Taco’s. So good that I was happy to grab a couple more from the ladies carrying them to the tables. A few people said that the sauce was a bit sweet, but I liked it like that. We weren’t sure at first how this dish would come onto the menu, would it be a set of mini Tacos’? I asked Jasmine as we left and found that it would be in a Sandwich or a topping on one of their burgers.
I am secretly (or not so secreting now) hoping that they serve it as a set of three mini tacos as a starter or as a little sharing plate. Either way I really liked my Pulled Pork Taco and I am usually the first to complain that everyone is doing pulled pork these days. In this case I am happy that the Homemade Café are doing it their way as it is my kind of food!
The two other savoury dishes that we got to sample were the Crabcakes which came on a board with a mixed green salad and lime. I think that you really needed to add the lime to get the best flavour from them. They were more of a sharing plate than a dish I would have chosen to eat on my own. The other dish was the Butternut Squash & Sage Risotto. I am not expert on Risotto so cannot really comment too much apart from that it had a strong taste of Sage. It reminded me of stuffing for a Sunday Roast and I was hoping to get a side of Roasted Chicken to go alongside it.
Now I really hardly ever eat a pudding so I surprised myself when I chose the Eton Mess and even more so when I ate the whole goddam thing and even scraped the bottom of the glass out too! It did look ever so pretty on the tray so I kind of had to eat it! Very nice indeed!
It was not easy to see what the dishes that would be on offer would be like as we just had small tasting plates. It was good enough though to get a feel for the flavours and ideas and figure out what I might be ordering when I next visit for a meal on the terrace (hint pulled pork)
It was a lovely evening and I have to thanks the team at Homemade Café on the Pavilion for making us so welcome!
I understand that the dishes on the New Evening Menu will be as follows
The Homemade Pulled Pork topped Burger
Traditional Moules Frites
The Homemade Chicken & Brocolli Pasta
Squash & Sage Risotto w/Asparagus
The Halloumi & Mushroom Burger
Homemade Chicken Enchiladas
Roasted Beetroot & Feta Salad
The Homemade Vegan Salad
Homemade Crabcakes with Salad
The Homemade Pork Schnitzel
Breaded Brie & Mango Salad
The Homemade Brownie Sundae
Belgian Waffle & Ice Cream
Homemade Summer Fruits Sundae
A Trio of Ice Creams
They will also be having a Fish & Fizz Fridays:
Choose from the Homemade Fish & Chips, Moules Frites or the Crabcakes with a glass of Prosecco for £12 per person
Just in case you were interested! 🙂