Gurkha Greatness!!!

When a local pub closes, it can often mean the end to a vibrant village community, but in Rolleston that’s not the case.  Not only have the locals got a pub back, they have also got an amazing Nepalese/Indian restaurant to boot!  

There’s nothing more that I love than a good recommendation and so, when I heard that Gurkha One was the new kid on the block – it opened June 2015 – I just had to try it! So with a full weekend and no time to book a table, I decided that a take away would have to suffice and so that’s just what we had on Sunday evening to end our weekend in style.  Gurkha One at the Crown Rolleston is, I admit, a little confusing at first glance:  Is it a restaurant?  Is it a country pub? Well it’s both! To be fair, primarily it’s a restaurant but it does have a lovely little bar and an outside beer garden, so I guess you could say it kills two birds with one stone:  amazing food and real ales on draft all rolled into one. 

outside

Onto our meal – when we arrived at 6pm on Sunday we realised that service ended at 6.30pm, so we grabbed a menu and a pint and headed to the beer garden to start choosing our dishes.  The lovely waiter was very informative, explaining their speciality dishes and informing us that as all dishes are prepared from scratch we could choose mild, medium or hot spices depending on individual taste. So in a hurry to get our order in before closing, we made our choices and sat in the garden soaking up the late afternoon sunshine.  We were soon joined by Jamil who explained that the restaurant had only been opened since June after a 10 week super-fast refit.  Chatting to him we soon realised that the team had brought a real passion to the place and we could not wait to tuck into the food.  

Chicken Korma was the first out of the bag, our daughter’s favourite (she is not a spice junky) and wow did it smell good – it was mild with a hint of warmth and a real depth of flavour in a creamy coconut sauce, the chunks of chicken were large and plentiful and she cleaned her plate in record time. I am not a Korma fan generally but I could have easily polished off a plate of this too.

 Korma

The next dish to follow was a Gurkha One speciality – Taplejung Dumba, boneless lamb with potatoes cooked in a wonderful flavoursome sauce with Nepalese spices, the aroma from this was awesome – not quite as hot as my partner tends to like his curry, but tasty never the less. He will defiantly try this again but next time he will upgrade to hot if he can. Then onto Lamb Biryani cooked Nepalese style, five spices rice and large melt in your mouth lamb pieces finished off with a tangy raita was just delicious and again smelled just amazing, as well as tasting sensational. I am not exaggerating when I say this was the best Biryani I have had to date, and I have had more than my fair share, let me tell you.

biryani

Then along came our final dish which we plated up – Chicken Tikka Bhuna, and wow – just wow!  A tomato and black pepper sauce with a generous amount of chicken tikka pieces.  We opted for a medium spice level with this dish and it was just perfect – it had a really good flavoursome kick to each mouthful and we all had some on our plates.  It was our favourite dish by far and definitely one we will be sure to order again.

 chicken tikka bhuna

We shared sides of rice, poppadums and a fresh home prepared pickle tray with handmade mango chutney which we all fought over – this was definitely not like any jar type chutney  I had ever tasted!

pickletray

 So to sum it up:  Gurkha One’s menu is spicy, its fresh, it’s vibrant, its aromatic, its filling and it’s definitelty worthy of another visit and many more takeaways.  To be fair, the dishes can be a touch on the pricey side for a mid-week takeout (take 10% off the menu prices for the takeaway) but they really are well cooked and fresh which makes them value for money.  You can taste the freshness of the dishes and the spices.  The passion in the team really does shine through in the food and we cannot wait to return because there is so many more dishes for us to try.

 If you are looking for somewhere different to visit, hurry to Gurkha One before the secrets well and truly out of the bag.  I believe even mid-week tables are filling fast so make sure you call and book to avoid disappointment.  If you love curry – you’re going to love this little rural gem.  No wonder they’re currently ranked as number one restaurant in Nottinghamshire on Trip Advisor.  Go on give it a go – its number one for a reason!!

The Crown At Rolleston

Gurkha One

Staythorpe Road – Rolleston – NG23 5SG

Tel ; 01636 819000

Email ; gurkhaone@gmail.com

http://www.thecrownrolleston.co.uk

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Food Review – The Waffle Cottage Newark

I don’t want to waffle on too much today (excuse the pun) but I wanted to tell you all about a delightful little place I came across at the weekend. Tucked away at the top end of Castle Gate is the Waffle Cottage, A quirky friendly little place that’s a delight to young and old alike. The very smiley greeting and chatty owner make a visit here a must if you are in the area.

waffle

 

After ordering from the menu I was left to read the cheeky chalkboard messages that adorn the walls, there are even blackboards and chalks on the tables to amuse you while you wait for your waffle to arrive. Great idea to keep both little and big kids amused….in fact my waffle picture was a true work of art (would not be surprised if they pop it on the wall as some of their art work!)

 

waffle cottage

There are plenty of waffles to choose from including an array of delicious homemade milkshakes including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, peanut butter and banana and my all-time favourite salted caramel – a thick, well flavoured shake that is almost a meal in itself. Of course there is also the obligatory teas, coffees and soft drinks to choose from including their very own home made lemonade which I heard one customer enjoying while I was there.

salted caramel shake

After only a short wait out came our orders, Pulled Pork waffle with a side of coleslaw. This savoury waffle was a generous size, though don’t expect a crispy Belgium waffle, these are soft American delights, still equally tasty and covered with more than enough barbeque sauce and pulled pork with a handful of shredded ice burg lettuce. The coleslaw was nothing to write home about but was a nice little accompaniment to cut through the smoked barbeque pork which sat invitingly on top of the waffle.

 pulled pork

While the waffle sizes are not overly large they are very filling and more than enough to satisfy most appetites.  But of course despite being full, you can’t leave the waffle house without trying a sweet pancake can you?  So despite having full tummies we decided to battle through and share a sweet pancake between us.

So after discussing the merits of the many combinations on offer including the seasonal specials of ‘Eton Mess’ or Pecan & Orange’ we eventually opted for Campfire Delight and boy was it a delight!  Another generous waffle topped with homemade brownie pieces – soft chocolatey and chewy, mini marshmallows, chocolate chunks, hot chocolate sauce topped off with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream. Mmmmmm tasty and enough for the two of us to tuck into.

 campfire

So if you are looking for a little piece of waffle heaven – a place that will have the kids squealing with delight and the adults smiling with satisfaction then call into the little cottage. If waffles really aren’t your thing they serve breakfasts, burgers and ice cream sundaes too. If you are looking for a place to refuel while shopping in Newark  then make a point of calling in, the waffles are tasty and well-priced – just remember to loosen your belt on the way out………..

 The Waffle Cottage

57-59 Castle Gate

Newark    NG24 1BE
01636 676115

http://www.wafflecottage.co.uk

 

Food Review – The Clock House cafe & tea room Upton Notts

Tucked away in the beautiful village of Upton, you will find Upton Hall, home of the British Horological Society.  If you are anything like me, you will have seen the sign as you drive through Upton, but never ventured up the drive.  Well, if you do, there you will find The Clock House – Café and Tea Room.

Indeed, it is a lovely café and tea rooms,  with fantastic slabs of home made cakes, delightful loose leaf tea and rich robust coffee served every day from 10am – 4.30pm but during the first Friday and Saturday of each month this place opens its doors at 7.30pm to a exclusive number of diners who wish to partake in what some would recognise as a sort of supper club. Using the very best local and seasonal ingredients this small handful of diners, the tea room must seat 30 at most, get the chance to sample six delicious courses of a monthly changing menu for only £40 per head. So after listening to people rave about this delightful little place I decided to check it out for myself this month.

On arrival we were greeted with a complementary glass of Prosecco, light and bubbly it kicked off the evening in style, after all who doesn’t love a glass of the fizzy stuff! Led to our seats, we sat at a wonderful old fashioned scrubbed table with a little posy of wild flowers, sweet peas and lavender smelled delightful, their fragrance wafting in the warm evening air which came through the open door from the lawned gardens.

Our canapé was a wonderful spoon of goats cheese and shavings of beet root, well presented and super tasty, a little something to get your taste buds tingling before moving onto the creamy cup of celery soup appetiser. Served with a side of homemade chunks of granary bread, the serving was just enough to wet your appetite but keep you wanting more….

 A lovely way to start the meal

Onto the starter which was a delightful Terrine of Smoked Chicken, an eye catching slice of flaked chicken and mushrooms with a generous side of Parma Ham, Melba Toast and a very generous spoon of Peach Chutney. Nice, tasty, light and a great dish to lead us into our main course.

a lovely starter
a lovely starter

Roast Fillet of Halibut, perfectly cooked, firm but flaky, the fish was light and fragrant with a serving of salty Samphire and paired with Cauliflower Purée, Baby Leeks, Fennel and topped off with a Sauce Vierge- that’s a wonderful combination of Tomato and Basil to the likes of you and me. This dish was a promise of summer, light and tasty, I have to confess I was truly sad as I ate my last mouthful as I just was not ready for it to end…but it had to, after all it needed to make way for dessert.

a delightful main course...
a delightful main course…

Boy did dessert put a smile back on my face – a Trio of Summer Desserts. Gooseberry Crumble, now at this point I should confess I am not a fan of these little hairy green berries, quite frankly eating them leaves me cold but WOW. The sharpness of the gooseberry combined with the amazingly sweet crumble topping was a perfect pairing, sweet and sharp flavour combining at it’s very best – I loved it. Then swiftly onto a Rum Roasted Peach, simple, fresh and flavoursome, this served alongside a wonderful Vanilla and Strawberry Pannacotta really did provide a delicious  end to a lovely meal.

So to round off the evening, I finished with a nice cup of tea ‘how very British of me’, served in a lovely china cup and saucer, my loose leaf Earl Gray came with homemade rich dark chocolate truffles and what can only be described as some grown up fruit pastilles, a small square of homemade black current jelly petit fours. Totally Yummy.

At the end of the evening Edward the chef and owner popped out to say a quick hello and thank you to everyone for joining him, you can see from chatting with him how he loves what he does, his passion for providing, good unpretentious locally sourced food is clear to see and everyone there that night seemed to share his love of the  concept and the friendly effortless way in which he delivered his menu, I know I did.

It might just be worth noting that The Clock House only has a very limited amount of wine so if you are looking to drink something in particular you are advised to bring along your own bottle. Corkage is charged at £8 per bottle but there are plenty of soft drinks and carafes of iced water if you wish.

So if you are looking for simple, well cooked local produce in an informal setting (think supper club concept, set menu, small exclusive amount of diners, all served together in an intimate friendly setting) then get the first Friday or Saturday of each month firmly booked into your diary. The following months menu is posted on their website so you can check it out before you book. Alternatively I have been told they serve some of the best Sunday lunch in the area, or call for a weekend brunch, afternoon tea, or visit and indulge in a great cup of tea and a big fat slab of homemade cake – come on what’s not to love.

The Clock House café & tea room

Upton Hall

Main street

Upton

NG23 5TE

01636 919591

Info@clockhousecafe.co.uk

Www.clockhousecafe.co.uk

a simple table dressing
a simple table dressing