One of the best meals ever | Bar Iberia Nottingham

Prepare yourself for one of the best tapas meals ever. I know, bold claims, but it’s true. When I popped down to Nottingham on my visit a couple of weeks ago we went out for a meal and cocktails. Wanting to try something, we settled on Bar Iberico in Hockley. They didn’t take bookings but because we really fancied tapas and wanted to try it out we risked it and turned up at 7.30pm on a Friday. There was no issue, we were straight in and there were plenty of tables free downstairs (however I would say by 8pm it was pretty full). The place itself was really cool. Lots of wood which made it feel cosy and at times it did feel like you could be eating delicious tapas abroad. 
There was plenty to choose from on the menu without it being overwhelming. There were three of us there and we got eight dishes in total, which worked out great for us. We pretty much all of the dishes, the only thing we left a lot of was the patatas fritas (we ordered two portions, we only really needed one). We went for:
Patatas fritas – two portions
Calamari
Chorizo
Sweetcorn fritters
Crispy chicken
Garlic and onion tortilla
Cheese board
First up, I didn’t touch the cheese board but that’s because I don’t like raw cheese (as in cheese that isn’t cooked and on like a pizza or something). Everything else I dabbled in and it was ALL delicious. My favourite were the sweetcorn fritters, they were sweet and crispy, a winning combination. The chorizo was also great. Lots of chunky pieces that were filled with the usual delicious chorizo flavour and they weren’t at all chewy. Portion size wise there’s plenty to go around. The crispy chicken was a perfect example of this – it was never ending! But because they were in smallish bowls we weren’t over faced. Speaking of the crispy chicken that was amazing. Sticky and sweet but SUPER crispy on the outside and moist in the middle. I can’t describe how good all of this was. I’m sure my friends agree with me, everything was delish.

Seriously if you’re ever in Nottingham and fancy an amazing meal out, give this a go. Chilled atmosphere, buzzing vibes and delicious food. Win win win.

I’m heading off to Edinburgh in a couple of months, if anyone has any food recommendations of where to go please let me know!

Castle and cocktails | What you should do in Nottingham

Nottingham will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s where I spent three years of my life, on and off, making new friends, seeing new places and wandering around the streets after a few too many proseccos. So, I was very happy to find myself back there last weekend visiting one of my friends who has been there for the last 12 months doing something intelligent (go Nisha go!). When we arrived in the city it felt like we’d never left, like returning home. So I thought that this would be a good time to share a few of my ‘must do’ things if you ever find yourself in Nottingham.

Robin Hood Statue
So we’re starting at something which I didn’t actually visit until last weekend (I know, three years in the city and I didn’t visit a statue which is just sat there). It’s very close to the outside of the castle so you could go and pay Robin a visit and then go into the castle. He also makes for a very nice photo opportunity. Also somewhere to quickly pop when round here is

Coco Tang
Exposed brickwork. Dimmed lights. Underground. Got your attention? Probably not but hear me out anyway. Coco Tang is a cool cocktail bar that has something for everyone and makes a really good night out, from casual drinks to big celebrations. It’s plonked in the middle of a row of shops and you would probably walk past it if you didn’t know where to look. Once in you go down some stairs and are greeted by a dance floor, heavy house music and  We used to go all the time at uni, especially in first year, and if you decide to give it a visit I’d recommend going for a Toblerone. It’s creamy and chocolate-y and something a bit different to your usual fruity drink. Although, this time I went for a Rhubarb Spritz and that was good too – quite strong but tasty.

Go for a meal
Nottingham has some AMAZING places to go and eat. I think I remember them telling us during our first week of uni that Nottingham has the most cafes, bars and restaurants per square metre than anywhere outside of London – don’t quote me on that but there’s definitely loads. From chains to independents there’s something for everyone (plus it also has Deliveroo which is just what absolute dreams are made of). Some of my favourite places to eat in Notts are Fat Cats, Dinos and George’s. 200 degrees is also a really nice cafe. Last weekend we went to Bar Iberico in Hockley and I cannot even tell you how good it was. There will be a post coming soon about my full thought but *spoiler alert* it was pretty special.

Market Square
The poster image of Nottingham. Market Square is just an empty space that houses the Christmas market in winter and, as I found out this weekend, a beach fun fair situation in the summer. Although there might be nothing on when you visit, it’s just something you should probably do. Also there are shops nearby so why not.

(If you go to uni in Notts) Ocean
Just trust me on this one. Dress up as a lifeguard, go on your bar crawl of choice and enjoy. You can thank me later.

Pierre Le Bistrot!

I’m going to make a bold statement now, this might be the best meal I’ve had in my three years living in Nottingham. I know, bold claims but it was amazing. If you are anywhere near Nottingham then you have to take a trip to this place. I think it’s a french restaurant and it is a lovely place. Dimmed lighting inside and wood furniture gives it a cosy vibe and the relaxing music makes you feel like you are on holiday. I had such a nice time that this meal with probably stick in my mind forever.

For starter I had the calamari, which is one of my favourite starters ever. I have to say this is one of the best I’ve ever had. The squid was nicely cooked so it had substance but wasn’t at all chewy. The bread crumbing was nice and crispy and held together well, because sometimes with calamari the crispy outside can fall off. The mayonnaise had a really great garlic flavour and there was plenty of it which was good as I hate running out of a sauce. I’d definitely recommend this starter, great flavour, perfect portion size and cooked very well. Yum!

This main was insane! I’m a big fan of chicken dishes with a creamy sauce and this was no exception. Starting with the chicken, it was extremely moist and tender but the top piece had a great piece of crispy skin which I was all about. Also there was plenty of chicken so you got a lot of meat for your dollar. I’m not really the biggest fan of peas or mushrooms but when it was altogether with this creamy sauce it was delicious. The sauce was the perfect consistency, not like soup but not overly thick and the peas and mushrooms gave it a more interesting texture. All of the mains came with roasted new potatoes and some more vegetables. I had a big of cabbage which was lovely and sweet and the potatoes were to my liking too. Crispy but fluffy on the inside. This is the dish that put this restaurant to the top of my list. It ticked all of the boxes and it has left a lasting impression.

For dessert, which I have to say I was very full and had to power through, I had a chocolate torte with blackberry ice cream and a chocolate pot. This was sensational, even if I didn’t make it to the end. I was expecting the torte to come with a biscuit base, no idea why, but it was just pure chocolate heaven, like one big chocolate truffle. I also really liked the ice cream to say I’m a person who isn’t a big ice cream fan. It was really creamy and had a sweet flavour that wasn’t too overpowering. Now the chocolate pot, THE CHOCOLATE POT! It was literally a pot of melted chocolate-y goodness. Super sickly but amazing at the same time. I’d love to eat this dessert when I wasn’t as full so I could get the full chocolate effect so I may have to return just for this reason.

If you have any suggestions of restaurants I should visit then please let me know because eating out is one of my favourite things to do,

Bills! (Take Three)

I went through a phase last year of eating at Bills any chance I could but then I think I overdid it because I just wasn’t into it anymore. I’m so glad that I gave it a little break because I really loved it. I like the whole vibe of the place and I tried their pink lemonade for the first time and I would seriously recommend it, delish!

I went for the chicken burger with chipotle mayonnaise and sweet potato fries. A word of warning, it doesn’t say that it comes with anything on the menu but it comes with sweet potato fries. This dish was amazingly delicious. The bread was sweet and that is my favourite thing to have on a burger. It came with coleslaw inside which was a nice touch. I love coleslaw and it was nice because it wasn’t overly creamy and didn’t make the bread or the chicken soggy. The chicken was crispy on the outside, moist in the middle with a delicious flavour. The mayonnaise had a really nice flavour that meant it was good to dip my fries in and to have on my burger. The sweet potato fries were amazing, crispy, soft and deliciously sweet. You also get loads to say it’s just in a little can. The portion of the whole meal was spot on and I would definitely have this again!

I pushed myself a little to go for a dessert and I chose the pecan pie with malted milk ice cream. It was delicious! The pastry was thin and crisp, the pecans were sticky and sweet and it was just a nice size. The ice cream tasted like banana to me which isn’t a bad thing because it was delicious and it went well with the pie. I don’t think there’s anything else I can say about this other than yummy!

Cumin!

Curry time! I’m going to give you a massive spoiler, this place was AMAZING! We were going to go to La Tasca for a casual Friday meal but for some reason they are getting rid of the one in Nottingham so it was back to the drawing board on places to go. A lot of suggestions were batted around but then someone came up with this little gem, in the top 20 on trip advisor, and off we were on our merry way. It’s in the most random place across a main road but apparently this isn’t so random because there are loads of nice looking restaurants surrounding it so they might be getting a little try soon. The staff were really friendly, the atmosphere was really nice and chilled and I’d definitely go back. No, onto the food!

We just dived straight into mains so I had a Murg Makhini which was chicken in a creamy tomato sauce with rice and a garlic naan. It was so delicious! Everything was totally to die for. The chicken was moist (hate that word but it was so moist) and tender and the sauce was creamy and had a bit of heat to it but filled with spices that would make my tongue want to explode. The rice was your standard rice but was nice all the same and the garlic naan was great. You got lots of it which I love because I love bread and dipping it in the leftover sauce. There was plenty of food but I didn’t feel over faced and I lapped it all up! I would definitely come back here and try a little bit more, maybe some starters and a few more sides. I totally recommend coming here for a curry and if you don’t feel like leaving the house you can get a Deliveroo which is all kinds of amazing!

Rub!

You’d think I’d have realised by now not to write these posts on an empty stomach but alas, here we are! Another Nottingham restaurant today and it’s something that’s a little bit different to your ‘typical’ restaurant. I’d describe this place as kind of quirky, rocky and just down right cool! The menu was very extensive and kind of complicated to work it out but once you get your head round it, it is kind of straight forward. The food came in ‘funky’ dishes and on weird trays and I love how different it was. I really want to go back and try out some of the other dishes!

I went for chicken and waffles with fries. I wanted to go for something that I probably couldn’t have anywhere else, and come on who doesn’t want to combine fried chicken and sweet sweet waffles! It sounds insane! I didn’t really know what to expect other than the fact it was going to be an extreme mix of sweet and savoury and I didn’t know whether I was going to like it or not (spoiler alert, I did). I really enjoyed this meal! The chicken was crispy on the outside and soft in the middle and it wasn’t greasy in the slightest, which is usually the case when it comes to fried chicken. There were three waffles, all of which were soft and like your standard breakfast waffle. There were two sauces, maple syrup and a white barbecue sauce. The maple syrup was standard and went well with both the waffles and the chicken as it gave the chicken a nice and sticky outside. The white barbecue sauce was my ideal barbecue sauce as I’m not big on a barbecue flavour and this sauce just had a little hint. This little hint was also nice to go with both of the elements of the meal and sort of tied everything together. Last but not least the fries were ‘standard fries’ but to me they also had a taste of fish and chip shop chips so if you know how they’re cooked then I think they were cooked like that. Delicious and I’d definitely it again in a heartbeat!

Reds!

This was a beautiful thing.

At the moment, myself and the Nottingham Crew are trying to have at least one meal in most of the Notts eateries before we sadly leave in June next year. They’re currently adding more places to eat so soon we’ll have lots of choice but at the minute we’re working with what we’ve got. Reds has been opened for a little while now but I’ve still not had a chance to try it out so we put it in the diary and off we went. They have quite dark, ‘rocky’ vibes which is pretty cool and the table we sat at looked like a giant desk with drawers in the top. It’s one of those typical cool places and the decor really fits the food that they do.

The menu was full of loads of different things but I went for the Pulled Pork Switch with skin on fries and onion rings. I’ll get the bad bit out of the way first, I didn’t like the onion rings. They didn’t have much onion in and what onion there was had been deep fried so much that it was non existent. But everything else was literally amazing! Normally with this kind of thing it’s all bread and no filling but there was the perfect amount of each. The flavour of the pulled pork was intense, sweet, and slightly barbecue-y and I loved it! The coleslaw was creamy and a nice contrast to the meat and the bread was sweet so added a little something to the overall flavour. The chips were delicious, and I only like a certain type of chip, soft on the inside but super crispy on the out, and they had a nice, well seasoned flavour. The portion size was perfect and I’d happily go back and have this again plus try other things from the menu. Loved it!

Pitcher and Piano!

Hooray finally! A new restaurant! My family popped by Nottingham after a university visit last weekend and we went for lunch at the Pitcher and Piano. It’s a renovated church and looks stunning inside and out. When we went in it was a little confusing as to how we were going to get a table. We asked one of the waitresses but looking at people when we were there it’s as if you just find a table yourself and someone will come over. The service was great and so was the food! I didn’t sample the pudding because I was a little full and the menu wasn’t overly inspiring. The main and starter menu however had a little bit of everything so there was plenty to choose from. There was a little confusion with the starters as they came with the main but that wasn’t an issue. So, let’s get into it.

For main I went for the spicy buttermilk chicken with coleslaw and skinny fries. As you can see from the picture it looked delicious! The chicken came on the bone, which I wasn’t expecting, and was seriously moist and has a great flavour. The batter wasn’t crispy all the way round and was soggy in places but that didn’t affect the flavour. The fries were my favourite kind of chip. Thin, crisp and just great to eat. They were a little on the salty side but other than that the best chips ever. There was a lot of coleslaw but it was very tasty. The portion size (other than the coleslaw) was perfect and everything went really well together. Delicious!

The starters were called grazers and arranged a little like tapas so we got three ‘grazers’ to share between the four of us. We went for fish goujons, beef croquettes and calamari. The batter on the fish was crispy and the fish itself was soft and flaky. The beef croquettes were a little lacking in beef and were mostly mashed potato but they were still tasty. Crisp on the outside and fluffy in the centre. The calamari was delicious, and I have high expectations of calamari these days. The batter was crispy and the squid inside was perfectly cooked and not chewy at all. All three were winners and I’d love to try more!

Las Iguanas! (Take Four)

I held back on this post for a few weeks because I went to Las Iguanas two Tuesdays in a row for various birthday celebrations. The last time I went I did the standard main and dessert thing but this time I wanted to try out what tapas they had to offer, and luckily I had a friend that had the same thought. I said in my last post that their choice of main is very limited and all a bit same-y but the same cannot be said for the starter/tapas side of the menu. There is such a variety and it’s just the right size so there’s plenty to choose from but you’re not over-faced. We decided to go for three in the end, nachos with chilli, empanadas with chicken???, the little pastry things with lamb and a side of curly fries.

Let’s start with the nachos. They were incredible. It was a nice large portion that we still managed to polish off between the two of us and everything was in proportion. It came with sour cream, cheese, salsa and guacamole and we added the chilli for something like another £2. The chilli was really nice and I think that if I was just having that as a sharing starter then I’d have it again but in this situation the chilli wasn’t a necessity, but it was a nice little addition. The nachos themselves were large and crunchy, well salted and overall just super tasty.

The spicy chicken quesadillas were very tasty but I think that it may have been my least favourite dish of the bunch. Not to say that it wasn’t still good but compared to the other things that we had, it just lagged behind a little. The inside flavour was very good but overall I found it a little bread-y with not much filling. The portion size however was great as there were four meaning both of us got two each, which isn’t too shabby.

These little pastries of wonder were seriously out of this world. They were the tender lamb empanadas and on paper to me it’s like, yeah okay sounds alright, but they were so amazing that I think this was my favourite of all the dishes. The lamb tasted like lamb, obviously, and with the cranberry sauce it was very wintery but it still had a very fresh flavour. The pastry was thin and crisp but sturdy enough to be able to hold in all of the wonderful goodness that was inside. I can’t explain how good this was so you’re just going to have to go and try it for yourself. 

These curly fries were incredible. I mentioned them in my last Las Iguanas post as they came as a side with my meal and I’d say this time they were even better. They came with an aioli dip (which I also had last time) and neither of us two tapas sharers could get enough. It was creamy and garlic-y and writing about it now is making me want to eat a whole bucket of it. They weren’t a bad price either and the portion size was pretty much the same as the other actual dishes.

Overall everything was delicious and the tapas definitely wins outright in this food establishment!

George’s! (Take Two)

Oooh look, back again. You can tell that I like a place when at every opportunity I’ll go back, and here we are. Anyway, George’s, woo! Go Nottingham. I know I said it in my last post on this place but if you ever visit the wonderful Notts you need to give this place a visit. It’s something that is quirky and different but it offers familiar food. Let’s get into it!

I went for something completely different when it came to my main, cheese and onion pie. Now for someone that doesn’t like cheese that might be a bit of an odd choice but one of my housemates makes a cheese and onion pie everyone once in a while and when she can’t finish the crust she’ll give me a bit and it tastes so good! That’s why I decided to give it a go and I have to say I really enjoyed it! It wasn’t overly cheesy yet it gave it a lovely flavour. I love onions as well so that made it super delicious. The only problem I have with the pie was that at the end I found a giant lump of non-melted cheese, but that’s just because I chose a cheese pie and I don’t like cheese so whose fault is that really! The chips were as good as they were last time, soft on the inside and crispy on the outside but the beans were literally just juice and not really worth eating.

I promise that next time I’ll have a different dessert but here we are and you can click here to read my thoughts on these delicious doughnuts.