It’s that time of year, again and Himself has been barred from buying me presents, ( he can buy as many as he likes but not for birthdays or Christmas) and so it means having to put on the thinking cap for some originality. And so, as food is my thing, for Christmas we went to a superb restaurant in the City and on Christmas Eve, to boot and last week saw us off to Nottingham. This is our 3 rd visit, to this restaurant with rooms on the outskirts of Nottingham , on the edges of a trading estate, underneath the Electric pylons, but enter the gates of this former farm , peace and tranquility reign. The garden is beautiful and very practical, growing many of the specialist herbs themselves.
Sat (Satwant) Himself is a very interesting person, one of 6 children, second generation Sikh Punjabi immigrants, grew up in Derby, had a work ethic installed in him at an early age, but more or less fell into cooking by happenstance ( the cooking class, had more girls in it !)
He went to work for Raymond Blanc at the first Petit Blanc and in 1997 won the Roux Scholarship. Finally he went to work at Hotel des Clos in Nottingham, which when it went under he bought and along with his wife transformed it into a Restaurant with rooms. It has I think only 8 rooms, and on our previous visit, we stayed but be warned early booking is very much required. When staying you have the choice of the 7 or 10 course menu. The main restaurant has only 40 covers with 10 extra at the chef’s table and now 6 more on what was ( and still is ) the development kitchen whichm is called Nucleus.
Our first visit was for me to have a one on one morning in the kitchens with the chefs, which was an amazing experience and we had lunch at the chefs table. The second visit , we stayed over and ate the 7 course menu and now this our third visit was in Nucleus, where there are just 3 tables for 2 people each.
So, here we were able to watch the young Chef and Sous Chef create our lunch. Of course all of the prep marinades and sauces had been previously prepared, but the quiet calm in the kitchen has such good vibes! None of the screaming of Gordon Ramsey fame, even if that is for show!
Our meal consisted of the following:-
As far as I can remember this is, Chocolate Jelly with Shitake mushrooms, braised red cabbage ice cream with raspberry, Tapioca cake with matcha, Chinese type bun with xoxo sauce and carrots braised in liquorice, dehydrated with ground almonds!
Our first course was a scallop on ponzu squid ink jelly, with pigs trotters, wild garlic emulsion, tapioca and wild garlic emulsion and dusted with matcha.
This dish is in homage to Amish Kapoor and is made with beetroot.
Jelly beetroot, vinegar, potatoes, nasturtium leaves with braised oxtail.
And on to the third course
Baby new potatoes smoked on a barbecue with cream cheese and chives, farmed caviar from China.
For the fourth course we had pigeon leg and breast parfait on sourdough toast. I was marginally outside of my comfort zone here, and although I eat pretty much anything, I’m not sure about pigeon! However I assume this is because I currently have a vendetta against them as many have decided that my terrace is now their home !
This was followed by caramelised miso fudge with passion fruit gel
Next in line was the chocolate and yoghurt ice cream with balsamic and oil
The seventh course was macerated strawberries with two types of granita, lemon and earl grey with basil leaves
And finally, and for me this was the piece de resistance , candy floss with a surprise in the middle! Thai green curry ice cream! I can’t wait to buy my candy floss machine and try this one!