Whittakers – A Contemporary Bar & Restaurant in Long Bennington.

So, having already checked out the menu the night before, I knew exactly what I was having for dinner.  Deep-fried Camembert to start, Fish and chips for main and, oh, hadn’t quite made up my mind yet as to which desert. I had thought of nothing else all day!!

We arrived for early dinner at Whittakers in Long Bennington on a not so sunny Tuesday evening. The restaurant is light and airy with the most amazing glass doors to 2 sides of the room. A lovely decked area which, on a summers evening, would be great to sit and watch the world go by with a drink of your choice. The restaurant wasn’t busy and we had a drink at the bar while Shaun chose his dinner delights. The bar is long with stools and a small seating area at the end, again the décor is up to date with stripes and neutral colours.

whittakers

Food was decided and we were shown to our table.  The host was very professional and personable.  I asked if she would recommend any dishes and her reply was “they are all good!”  With a good use of the space, the tables were set with heavy cutlery and beautiful glasses.

The starters arrived and, wow, the camembert was truly delightful – it was light and crisp and the rhubarb and Almond in the accompanying chutney worked really well.  Shaun had the duck pancakes and he refused to share as they were too good. They were big and full of rich duck meat which melted on your tongue. The teriyaki sauce completed the deal.

starterduck

So came out the fish and chips with homemade Tartar sauce.  Tartar Sauce is my favourite of them all and this did not disappoint, with the creamy texture and the saltiness of the capers it was a real hit. The fish was well cooked and the batter light and fluffy, big fat chips completed the dish. Shaun had opted for the steak:  this was cooked to perfection, simple steak with chips, mushroom and a grilled tomato. But as long as the steak is cooked correctly you need nothing else.

fish and chipssteakandchips

So on to desert, which neither of us really needed but, as our eyes were bigger than our bellies and our desire to taste more was rife, we ordered.  I went for the Panna cotta and Shaun chose the Chocolate Brownie with toffee sauce and white chocolate ice cream.  Wow!  Amazing!  The panna cotta was the best we had ever tasted, light, smooth and full of flavour. The brownie was a rich chocolate cake with a sweet sauce and a delicious white chocolate ice cream which complemented each other perfectly.

browniepannacotta

So with our tummies full of lovely food, and our belts adjusted slightly, we left for home.  I would absolutely recommend Whitakers for either a drink or a meal as the surrounding are perfect and the atmosphere welcoming.

A Contemporary Bar & Restaurant in Long Bennington.

WHITTAKERS BAR & RESTAURANT

96 Main Road, Long Bennington, Newark, NG23 5DJ T: 01400 282002

Over The Moon!

Finding ourselves unexpectedly free on Sunday and with no food in the house – we decided to pop out for a late lunchtime family treat and stumbled across The Full Moon Inn at sleepy little Morton.  Close to Southwell, this pub restaurant was nestling in the heart of the village and, having a great array of fine ales and beers for my partner, we decided to stay and sample their wonderful Sunday lunch menu.  The Sunday lunch menu was classically traditional with a contemporary twist and had enough dishes to satisfy the four of us with ease.

 The staff when we arrived were friendly and welcoming and we were quickly seated in the restaurant, drinks in hand and menus to browse.

Opting to skip the starters and move straight onto the mains we plumped for Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding (well it’s Sunday lunch after all!) Chicken and stuffing and a wonderful dish of Devonshire Crab Salad with fries. All arrived promptly and the presentation was wonderful with roast parsnips, roast potatoes and a watercress garnish. The side dishes were creamy leeks, carrot and broccoli and worked well with the roast dinners we had – just enough to fill you up but not belt bursting.

roast beefroast chicken

 The crab was a taste sensation and the accompanying mayo was perfect to dip the fries in. The salad was clean and refreshing and cut through the intense crabmeat to give a perfectly balanced dish. We all cleaned our plates without exception and we could not wait to see the dessert menu – see, there was method in our madness of not having a starter!

crab

 

Well the dessert list was once again a lovely choice with what looked to be something for everyone – we were all tempted by the yummy sounding cheese board but in the end all opted for the lure of a traditional pudding to round off the meal.  Eaton Mess came out first – a lovely mixture of fresh and tasty strawberries nestled alongside large chunks of intensely sweet meringue and bound together with layers and layers of fresh cream. A lip smacking finish to my partner’s meal.

eaton mess

 

Then onto Forest Fruit Crème Brûlée accompanied by a homemade shortbread. A crispy caramelised top which you break through to find a rich eggy vanilla brûlée beneath, the fruit just adding a delightful tartness to the sweet brûlée and rounded things off perfectly – this dish was a winner in my daughter’s eyes. 

creme brulee

 

Last, but by no means least, was the Chocolate Brownie served with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream – it was a real show stopper for my other daughter and I.  Rich and moist with a fine crust on top, intense and chocolaty the brownie caked your mouth with a sharp dark cocoa rush and was complemented beautifully by a salty caramel sauce and a vanilla ice cream – this was the real winner of the puddings in our opinion!

chocolate brownie

 

So, happily full of tasty food, we merrily paid our bill which was reasonably priced indeed and made our way back home with big smiles for a post lunch nap.  We will certainly be returning again – this time perhaps to try the evening menu and, as the weather is looking decidedly autumnal, perhaps we will nestle by the open fires or in the huge arm chairs when we do.

 

If you are looking for a friendly down to earth pub restaurant with friendly, unhurried service and a first class value for money menu then look no further. Visit The Full Moon at Morton and be sure to leave room for dessert!

 

The Full Moon Inn

Morton

Newark

NG25 0UT

01636 830251

bookings@thefullmoonmorton.co.uk

www.thefullmoonmorton.co.uk

So where to eat in Newark on a Monday night?

Ok so it’s Monday night and we have an unexpected night alone without the children – let’s go out! After a quick drink in a few of the local bars we find ourselves standing on Castle gate discussing all the options. Indian, no not on a Monday, Chinese, no too far to walk, a burger, no having that next week. Italian then??? Ooh what about Il Castello we’ve not been there for a long time.

We arrive and are greeted with a really warm welcome and are shown to our table – as the restaurant is not busy we are given a choice of where we would like to sit. We chose a table near the window, the restaurant is not big by any means but it has a lovely friendly feel to it.

Once seated we order drinks and browse the menu. Lots to choose from – the mains include Pasta, Chicken, Veal, Fish and Vegetarian dishes all with a slightly different sauce’s flavoured with herbs, vegetables, cream and spices, there is enough to satisfy anyone’s taste.

menu

For starter I choose the goats cheese, served on toasted bread with some green pesto and balsamic vinegar and a small salad side garnish. The goats cheese was beautifully cooked, charred on the outside and lovely and soft in the middle and was a tasty accompaniment to the bread and salad. Our second starter was Calamari, the batter was light and fluffy and the squid just right, easy to bite into and not over chewy as is sometimes the case it was served with a chilli mayonnaise which had a perfect little kick.

calamari

On to mains and I decided on Chicken Breast served in a Tomato, Mushroom, Pepper and Chilli sauce and my partner opted for the Veal topped with Tomato and Mozzarella. The mains came with a compliment of butter covered carrots, roasted sliced potatoes, peas and sweetcorn. The chicken was a good sized portion, well cooked, nice and moist, the sauce having a subtle fieriness every now and again, and a lovely tasty dish. The Veal was a good size with the Tomato and Mozzarella a good combination to top it off, cooked well and a tasty.

goats cheese

After clearing our plates and finishing off the vegetables we decided to look at the dessert menu….they had all the traditional Italian deserts along with some amazing sounding ice cream flavours which included Chocolate, Coconut, Hazelnut and Strawberry. Despite the desserts sounding lovely we really could not manage another thing so after a quick coffee we headed home, full and happy.

If you are looking for a lovely change on a Monday evening a visit Il Castello is a welcome change with lovely friendly staff and a menu that won’t break the bank.

Zoe

Down by the Riverside……………….

Having heard good things about the Riverside Bar & Kitchen in Farndon, we decided to head down there for a drink and bite to eat to try it out. When we first arrived it was very warm indoors so we ordered our drinks and headed outside to the patio area at the rear of the pub. There is another outdoor seating area to the front of the building, with views of the River Trent, which is nice if you want to sit and watch the boats go by to and from the nearby Marina.

riverside sign

Typical of the great British summer weather, it soon started to rain, so we headed back inside and chose to sit in the restaurant and order some food.

riverside inside tooriverside inside

We had a good look at the Summer menu, which had a great selection of dishes: starters, tapas-style small plates, mains, sandwiches, chargrills and burgers, as well as an Early Bird menu which they serve Monday-Friday afternoons.

Deciding to go for a lighter meal, I opted for the Cajun Chicken burger which came with a side of chips and fresh coleslaw. A light option it was not!! It was huge. The chicken was beautifully cooked – tender and juicy – served on a Brioche bun with a slice of Emmental cheese, tomato chutney and pesto mayonnaise. The chips were fresh, hand-cut, like proper chip-shop chips – naughty, but so nice!! The coleslaw was tasty – with the added extras of red cabbage and fennel seeds.

cajun chicken

Stuart chose the Pub Battered Cod with chips and fresh mushy peas. I have to say, it looked lovely! The fish had a really light, almost tempura-like batter, which looked great – I’m not a huge fan of battered fish because the batter is usually too heavy and greasy looking for me, but I would happily order that fish. The tartare sauce was amazing! It was freshly made and had huge chunks of chopped cournichons and capers and was really fresh and creamy. Definitely the best tartare sauce I’ve ever tasted.

fish and chips

We didn’t order wine with our meals, as we just topped up the cider that we had ordered when we first arrived. For the Fruit Cider drinkers out there, there was a decent choice. I prefer a standard dry cider, but Stuart tried the Kiwi and Lime ‘Old Mout Cider’ – a brand I have not seen before, but he enjoyed it enough to order another! Other flavours they stocked in this range were Passionfruit & Apple, Summer Fruits and Pomegranate & Strawberry – all too sweet for me, but a bit different to the usual offerings, which they also stocked.

As we had only really planned to have a ‘light’ meal, neither of us opted for a dessert, but seeing other people’s orders, their desserts look amazing!!

I am told that the Riverside also serve a very good Sunday lunch, which is big enough to satisfy most healthy appetites.

It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for nicely presented, tasty food in comfortable surroundings. We will certainly go back to try the tapas and desserts!

Liz

http://www.riversidefarndon.co.uk/

 

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

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