Veg out restaurant review – Haveli, Chilwell

Veg out restaurant review – Haveli, Chilwell

 

Who doesn’t love a good curry but they are often consumed at 11pm after a night on the beers. So I decided to break with tradition and visit Haveli in Chilwell at 6.15pm, with the added benefit of being eligible for their two for one offer on all main meals when the table is vacated by 7.30

 

HaveliThe restaurant is enormous, and that might explain why it was a bit on the chilly side. But to say it was so early about half a dozen tables were already occupied; more bargain hunters!

 

haveliYou won’t find too many familiar sounding curries so a quick chat with the traditionally dressed member of staff told me that dhal makhani was a lentil and bean dish, achari aubergines was a masala spiced dish.

 

If something a bit different and exotic doesn’t take your fancy they also have a smaller selection of more traditional dishes like balti’s, korma’s and biryani’s

 

Before we could make a decision a selection of poppadum’s and dips were beautifully presented, which we happily munched on whilst studying the menu.

haveli

We decided to bypass the starters (bhajis, chicken tikka, puris etc) and went straight for a main course. I was taken with the dhal makhani and my other half (a non-veggie) went for king prawn karahi. With a side order of boiled rice and a Roti (less filling than a naan bread – give it a try if you haven’t already)

haveli

The service was quite swift so within 10 minutes of our empty poppadum dish being removed, large bowls of steaming curry replaced it. My dish was exactly as described; beans and lentils cooked until it becomes a thick and unctuous sauce. Not the prettiest dish I’ve ever seen but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

I was really impressed with the portion sizes – we shared a bowl and rice and it was ample, any more and we would either have felt really stuffed or left a lot.

 

I absolutely loved the earthiness of my dish, it was ‘Indian comfort food’ at its best. Some might want different textures and tastes within the dish (like mixed veg) but I really liked the texture and the taste was more about great flavour than heat

My other half also enjoyed his prawn dish, which was bursting with seafood. His only minor complaint was the intensity of the tomato flavour.

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 16.53.19My review is also online at and will be in Wednesday’s Nottingham Post  http://www.nottinghampost.com/haveli-serves-indian-comfort-food-at-its-best-according-to-veggie-reviewer/story-30215419-detail/story.html

Overall I was impressed with the variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes (mine was vegan) and it was lovely to try something different. Vacating our table by 7.30 meant we qualified for the two meals for one offer, which was just as well because the prices are more expensive than most Indian restaurants. My dish was £13, the prawn dish was £17, rice and roti were both £3 each; which meant £13 was taken off the bill. Now that’s what I call a result!

haveli

Veg out – Ala Turka, Compton Acres

Veg out – Ala Turka, Compton Acres restaurant review

IMG_9943A few weeks ago I looked in the fridge and nothing inspired me so we decided to go for a bite to eat but where to go that was local and a bit different? Then I remembered reading in the local online resource the West Bridgford Wire about a new Turkish restaurant that had opened on Compton Acres. So off we went

 

It looked very welcoming from the outside with twinkling lights in the windows and flickering candles on the tables. We were seated very quickly and presented with menus, which stated that they catered for all dietary requirements including vegan and vegetarian.

 

I spoke to a member of staff who at first was unclear about the menu options available to me, but after I explained what vegan meant she was able to list quite a few tasty possibilities. The chef even came up with a vegetable stew that he could make to order as a hot vegan main course.

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 12.25.17My review is now online in the Nottingham Post and a hardcopy will be available to buy on Wednesday.

We opted for bread, dips and olives whilst we made our minds up; all of which were delicious. I plumped for hummus for my starter and the vegan stew, as recommended by the chef, accompanied by a mixed salad and rice. There were obviously more vegetarian options than vegan ones, but I would always check that the cheeses were veggie suitable. My meat eating other half ordered vegetarian courgette fritters followed by Chicken and lamb shish kebabs

 

My hummus was creamy and garlicky, but came without bread so we ordered another portion, which arrived very quickly. And my stew was intense, rich and very, very flavoursome. The accompanying salad was really fresh and colourful and bursting with goodness. My hubby enjoyed both his starter and main course. The price of all dishes was very reasonable; generally the starters were £3.50, veggie main courses were under £8 and meat and fish dishes ranged from £9- £13

 

It can be tricky eating out as a vegan let alone a vegetarian, so I would always recommend ringing ahead or speaking to the chef when you get to the restaurant, as there are often as was the case here misunderstandings about what can and cannot be included. But the restaurant was very amenable and willing to adapt their menu. I suggested that they include the stew as a standard vegan item as it was that tasty and I would happily eat it again. Next time I will ring ahead and ask if the courgette fritters could be ‘veganised’ and check that the stew was available. And I’m sure that if it weren’t the chef would have a batch ready for me!

Veg out restaurant review. Zizzi Nottingahm

Veg out restaurant review. Zizzi Nottingahm

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

 

I love Italian food but as a vegetarian it can sometimes be tricky when it comes to cheese. As regular readers will know just because it says veggie on the menu doesn’t mean it is if the restaurant or chef doesn’t understand the subtleties of vegetarianism and scatters Parmesan over everything.

zizzi-nottingham-2

 

I am also supporting veganuary so it was with some trepidation that I booked a table for two at Zizzi’s in town. But happily my concerns were unnecessary.

 

 

vegan ragu on menu

Because as soon as we sat down I saw the ‘specials’ on the wall and there was a vegan lentil ragu; we’re off to a good start! After our drinks order was taken (which included a note of vegan options) the server presented me with the ‘vegan’ menu and it was littered with tasty morsels.

 

 

NP zizziMy review is also online at http://www.nottinghampost.com/other-restaurants-take-note-vegan-menu-at-zizzi-in-nottingham-gets-the-thumbs-up/story-30078916-detail/story.html and will appear in Wednesdays Nottingham Post

zizzi NP

zizzi Vegan menuWhat delighted me the most was the addition of vegan cheese with the pizza and pasta dishes. In other establishments I’ve noticed that the vegan options are just vegetarian minus the dairy or egg. But I could choose from a vegan bruschetta with super green pesto, green goddess salad, pizzas with tasty toppings such as butternut squash, balsamic tomatoes and roasted garlic cloves to name but a few

We decided to go for the Sicilian antipasti, which included non vegan buffalo mozzarella but they kept that away from the rest of the vegan food on the wooden board. The olives, artichokes, peppers and roasted tomatoes were all delicious. And served with ‘little soul’ bread (doughy puffs baked with garlic & smoked sea salt.) Great flavour combinations that tasted really good

vegan platter

For my main course I was very tempted by the lentil rage but in the end I plumped for the vegan margherita rustic, a thinner and crispier pizza with vegan mozzarella, accompanied by a simple mixed leaf salad (just to up my 5-a-day).  Please note the glass of water (along with the red wine) – you have to stay hydrated!

vegan pizza

It was delicious and full of flavour and best of all looked like all the other pizzas being presented to diners. It even came with a pizza cutter clearly marked vegan, so no cross zizz4contamination worries. My companion ordered casareccia pollo piccante (spicy chicken in a creamy sauce with fresh tomatoes & baby spinach to you and me!), which I’m told was very spicy and tasty.

If I’d had room for dessert I would have tried the vegan coconut and chocolate ripple gelato.

I am really impressed with the effort a chain restaurant has made to offer a wide range of vegan options throughout its menu (other restaurants please take note). And it was a real treat to have food that looked and tasted like everybody else’s. It’s definitely one to revisit and this time I will forgo a starter and have that coconut ice-cream

Veg out restaurant review – the Stratford Haven, West Bridgford

Veg out restaurant review – the Stratford Haven, West Bridgford

 

tofu-steakLast month I was asked by Castle Rock Brewery to be on their judging panel for new vegan and vegetarian food that may eventually find its way on to their menus. It was a great day and the winning dish was a tofu steak made by Tom the head chef at the Stratford Haven.

 

So with that in mind I decided to pay the Stratford a visit, unfortunately the Tofu steak was not on their Christmas menu, but a nut roast was!

stratford-xmas-menu

stratford-haven-001-455x338Now anyone who knows the Castle Rock pubs will know many of them are famed for their beers rather than their food and I think the Stratford is no exception. It is a very busy, lively pub at the best of times but even more so at Christmas, so we tucked ourselves away in a quietish alcove and got ready for our pre-ordered festive menu to begin

 

stratford soupThe piping hot parsnip and apple soup soon arrived and it looked so appealing. The small bowl hid some wonderful little details, like the crispy croutons and the curly parsnip crisps. The soup was really smooth, rich and tasty. It was served with a hot white crusty baguette, which of course we ate but wished we hadn’t as it filled us up to much!

 

np-onlineMy review is feature online at http://www.nottinghampost.com/is-this-the-best-veggie-christmas-menu-in-west-bridgford/story-29996754-detail/story.html.  And will also appear in Wednesdays Nottingham Post

Nottingham Post article

Nottingham Post article

On to the main course; the nut roast. Now as a lifelong veggie I’ve had my fair share of nut roast and this was probably one of the best. It was incredibly savoury, flavoursome and substantial with a nice rich winey background flavour and topped with crispy parsnips curls. And the accompaniments really showed it off; the roasties were crispy and plentiful, the stuffing was crunchy and herby, and the veg was deliciously al dente and included carrots, Brussels and cauliflower. Hidden underneath the nut roast was spicy braised red cabbage. And all smothered in a jug of veggie gravy

stratford veggie meal

It’s not very often that a veggie dinner is equal (in looks and substance) to a meat version but in this case I think my meal looked better than my partner’s steak

 

We could have had a third course and if I’d had room I might have gone for the Christmas pub (there was also vanilla cheesecake, Christmas Sundae and cheese and biscuits). But no ‘v’ symbols were shown and I would have needed to make sure they were all suitable for vegetarians. But as I said we were both stuffed and felt two courses were more than sufficient.

 

The price was also very reasonable; £15.95 for two courses or £18.95 for three. However it wasn’t clear if the ‘Afters’ of coffee and mince pies were included in the price or extra. As it happens we were so full it didn’t matter

 

There is no dedicated restaurant area like there is at another local Castle Rock pub, the Embankment so you may struggle to enjoy a quite meal for two. But persevere and you will taste some of the best vegetarian food in West Bridgford

Where  do you think is the best place in Nottingham for a

vegetarian Christmas meal? 

Veg out restaurant review: the Kiosk, Nottingham

Veg out restaurant review: The Kiosk, Nottingham

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Many of you may recognise the name of the restaurant I recently visited but you may not recognise the venue!

 

inside-shotThe Kiosk in Sherwood was the recipient of my very first Veg Out review for the Nottingham Post back in July 2014. They have since opened up a second café in Cobden Chambers off Pelham Street, Nottingham.

My review is also available via Nottingham Post online, and will be in the hardcopy paper tomorrow.kiosk-review

Beth, the owner left the Sherwood Kiosk in the capable hands of her brother and opened her latest café in early November. She offers the same type of Middle Eastern cuisine but with her touch and flair for colour and great flavour combinations.

So it was with much excitement that I paid them a visit

kiosk-menuMy friend had travelled down from Yorkshire and I was excited to show her what Nottingham could offer. We started with some tap water that was all laid out on the tables with some glasses. After perusing the menu and looking at the specials we were still no nearer making a decision! Then Beth came over to help us out.   She carefully went through the options, describing each dish perfectly and with such care. Our minds were made up; I opted for 3 freshly made salads with a piece of Turkish bread and my friend ordered the flatbread with oil, spices and feta with 2 of the salads.

 

flatbreadSalad #1 was roast heritage carrots on a bed of labneh (hung yoghurt to you and me) topped with singed spring onions and hazelnut dukha. Salad #2 was kushari rice with brown lentils, fried onions, figs and cinnamon. And salad #3 was date Fatush green salad with dates, feta ,crisp breads and date syrup dressing. They were amazing, every mouthful was a delight and different flavours tickled my taste buds. I just wish all vegan and vegetarian food looked and tasted this good

There was no doubt I’d seriously upped my veg and fibre content that lunchtime!

 

hazelnut-dessert

 

We were having such a relaxed time we decided to stay a bit longer and share a dessert, a gluten free hazelnut extravaganza, and a pot of fresh mint tea to accompany it

 

My friend was also impressed with the food; her flatbread was heavenly. But she was equally impressed with the venue. Cobden Chambers seems to be the place to be! The Kiosk is housed in a building (part of the THiNK space) that can be used for meetings, events or just casual get together’s like the one I was enjoying.

 

cakes

 

If you want to try some different flavour combinations, nice healthy portions, and interesting veggie and vegan food the Kiosk at Cobden chambers is the place to go

Veg out restaurant review – Chaka Le India

Veg out restaurant review

Chakh Le India, Trent Bridge, Nottingham

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

chakh-le-indiaOn the way home I spotted that the old Chinese restaurant on Trent Bridge had reopened as an Indian restaurant; Chaka Le India. Cue a visit one Friday night!

 

 

 

We were welcomed by traditionally dressed staff who couldn’t do enough for us. A drinks order was quickly taken, menus presented and pleasantries passed. Good start

food-menu

potato-cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The menu was a mix of family favourites like onion bhaji and vegetable samosa. But I decided to be a bit more adventurous and ordered the Aloo Tikki Ragda, which is potato cakes served with masala chickpeas and a yoghurt dressing. The presentation was amazing and rivalled anything the meat and fish eaters had. In fact mine looked the best on the table. And the taste didn’t disappoint either; a sheer delight

 

My omnivore companions chose Fish Amritsari (fish pakoras) and Puri prawn (a puffed up deep fried bread topped with spicy prawns). They were equally impressed with their choices

 

sweetcorn-curryFor my main course I opted for Khumb makai; a sweetcorn and mushroom curry. The sauce was tomato based which makes it very nutritious without the calories and fat from a creamier sauce. It was also nice and spicy but still very flavoursome. And the portion size was perfect.

 

The non veggies had a king prawn biryani, which can be served with either a masala sauce or a yoghurt raita, the Karahi chicken and Malabar chicken, flavoured with coconut milk, chillies, curry leaves and mustard seeds. There were no complaints and all the plates were returned to the kitchen virtually wiped clean

veg outMy review is also online at Nottingham Post.  You will also be able to buy the paper on Wednesdayveg-out-le-indian

Jugs of cold tap water were regularly replaced and the service throughout was impeccable.

 

When I go again I will definitely have the potato cakes for my starter. And for my main course order a couple of ‘sides’ so I can try more. That way I can dispense with the carb heavy white rice. I think the kalojoni baingan (Aubergine cooked with onion seeds and tomatoes) and the Chana masala (chickpeas with tomatoes, ginger, onions and spices) have my name on them!

 

This has to be one of the best Indian restaurants I’ve been to all year

Veg out restaurant review – The Peacock, Nottingham

peacockVeg out restaurant review – The Peacock, Mansfield Road, Nottingham

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Last month the Peacock hotel, on Mansfield Road temporarily closed its doors for a refurbishment. When it re-opened on 5th September it had become a vegan dining pub. Yes that’s right its whole food menu was vegan.

 

Well that obviously meant I had to pay it a visit! And it seems many others had the same thought, because there was hardly a seat to be had on a Friday evening a few weeks ago.

interior-peacockEventually we squeezed ourselves in to a table for two and told that there would be a 45 minute wait and that food orders stopped at 8pm. Not a good start but maybe it shows how popular vegan food has become and how much this type of establishment is needed in Nottingham.

 

A quick trip to the bar to order drinks whilst perusing the menu, confirmed that (at the moment) it is only the food that is 100% vegan. So do be careful when ordering beers etc.

np-peacock

 

 

My review is online at Nottm Post review

 

 

 

np-paperIt is also in today’s (28/9) Nottingham Post

Now on to the menu, unless you paid attention before entering the pub you could be fooled into thinking their menu is like any other with classics such as fish, chips & mushy peas, chicken stuffing & mayo sandwich, lasagna with chips & garlic bread or an all day breakfast with bacon, sausage, egg etc

It does however clearly state on the front that it is a ‘vegan kitchen’, but it lacks any description of the ingredients

 

A quick chat with the staff answered some of the questions, but there is probably still a training need to get them all fully up to speed.

 

So a 45 minutes later two plates arrived with fish & chips and the asparagus, pea and onion pie with mustard mash

peacock-f-c

I was immensely pleased with my choice of fish and chips, which turned out to be tofu wrapped in seaweed, then battered and fried. Served with crispy homemade (skin on) hand cut chips and a generous portion of mushy peas and tartar sauce. As a vegetarian it is so rare to be able to have battered food because it is often cooked along side fish and meat products. So I really enjoyed the crunch and texture of the batter, which complimented the soft and salty filling. But because of the relatively high calorific value it is not something I would eat weekly.

peacock-pie

My other half was a little disappointed with his meal. The mashed potatoes were very dry and heavy with mustard. The dish was served with roasted veg and a salad. And in his opinion the salad should have been dropped and exchanged for some vegan gravy, which may have gone someway to moisten the claggy potatoes.

 

On the whole I was very impressed with the food and the choices on offer. It may bother some vegans and vegetarians that words like fish, battered sausage and chicken are used. But personally I’m ok with that.

 

I hope that the Peacock remains as busy, vibrant and welcoming as it was on the evening we visited. And I will most certainly be back to try their ‘all day breakfast‘

Have you been to the Peacock, what did you think?

Veg out restaurant review – Escabeche, West Bridgford

Veg out restaurant review – Escabeche, West Bridgford

 

escabecheA bright summers evening calls for some light and fresh food, so what better place to go than Escabesche in West Bridgford. It serves Spanish tapas and even has a menu of the day which includes flatbread and dips, two tapas and a side dish for a very reasonable £9.95

 

Sadly I arrived too late to take advantage of the daily menu offer, but on the plus side I could choose anything veggie. And they have quite a lot to choose from. As I often do, I rang ahead to check that the cheeses were suitable and they told me what was and wasn’t vegetarian. Good start!

menu1menu2

The service is very efficient and relaxed, so our drinks order was quickly taken and we settled in to peruse the menu. And true to their word all the options they talked about on the phone were clearly marked with a ‘v’. There is a lovely buzz about the place, staff are clearly visible and busy and there is plenty of restaurant chatter

Nottm postMy review is also featured in Todays Nottingham Post and online Nottingham Post Online

As you may know Tapas style eating is not about starters and mains it’s about small plates of food that arrive when they are cooked. I could have gone classic and had flatbread and some dips, potatas bravas, olives, potato & onion tortilla or go a bit off piste and try pickled peppers (hopefully picked by Peter Piper!), red lentil, oregano & feta burgers, mushroom risoni rice or manchego, beetroot & apple salad to name but a few. But in the end I plumped for mozzarella, parmesan, red onion & thyme flatbread, butternut squash, feta & raisin empanadillas, potatas bravas and aubergine, chickpea & tomato tagine..

 

Some of you eagle eyed readers may have spotted that I ate a dish containing parmesan, which as many vegetarians know is not suitable for us, due to the inclusion of animal rennet. But escabeche spell theirs with a small ’p’ meaning it is an Italian hard cheese in the style of Parmesan but veggie friendly.

 

All the dishes were exceptional (the empanadillas deserve a special mention) and I most certainly could have pigged out and ordered more. The portion sizes are just right and about 3 dishes per person is a good serving. Their range of veggie options is the best in West Bridgford, if not Nottingham. All in all there were 30 tapas dishes that were suitable for vegetarians. No wonder it took me so long to choose, I’m not use to that

beer

 

But I have about 28 reasons to return!

Cheers!

Veg Out – Yiannis Greek restaurant, Beeston

Veg Out – Yiannis Greek restaurant, Beeston

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

yiannis webTo celebrate a friend’s birthday we went to Yiannis on Wollaton Road in Beeston. It can be quite a challenge for some restaurants to cater for a large group, especially when it contains a number of vegetarians. But Yiannis and its staff took it in their stride.

My review is also online at Nottingham Post

 

As soon as we were shown to our table the menus were presented and a drinks order swiftly taken, including jugs of tap water

 

There was an extensive specials board, but none of the offerings were suitable for vegetarians, so I carried on scrutinising the main menu.

 

When I’ve been on holiday to Greece I’ve never struggled to find tasty veggie options and Yiannis was no exception for a starter I could have chosen from grilled halloumi, mini mezze, to a traditional Greek salad. But I opted for the hummus with pitta bread, as I knew by looking at other diner’s plates the portions were very generous and I didn’t want to feel too stuffed

The hummus was lovely and smooth and came with warm pitta. I would have loved the pitta to be wholemeal and for the hummus to have IMG_6742some salad accompaniment. But it was still very delicious, garlicky and filling

 

For my main course, again I was spoilt for choice; another mezzo option, ratouille, spanakopita (spinach and feta pie) or

 

Veggie mousaka

veggie  mousakka. I chose the later. It was served piping hot with a nice generous salad,. Instead of it being made just with vegetables it also had quorn, which made it very substantial and filling. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was glad I didn’t overdo the bread at the beginning of the meal

My fellow companions had most of the remaining menu! Including lamb Kleftico, spanakopitaseabass and beef stifado. Their portions were equally generous

 

For all of us a pudding was out of the question, we were all so full. But if we did have room we could have chosen from a wide menu including Baklava, chocolate cake, sticky toffee pudding and Greek yoghurt

 

Most starters were about £5, veggie main courses were roughly £12, meat and fish about £15, the set menu mezze £23 and the desserts £4.

 

mezze sharing for two

 

If I go again I’d be tempted to skip the starter and go straight for the mezze sharing platter for two (starter portion) all to myself. It was absolutely huge and had a lot of variety, including a really healthy looking Greek salad.

Café Roya

Veg out – Café Roya, Beeston          

It was back in December 2014 when I reviewed a vegetarian restaurant; you may recall it was the Bluebird Café in Sherwood and since then it seems to have gone from strength to strength. It has decided to adopt a vegan approach to its menu as well as branching out and opening a retail shop next door to the restaurant

cafe royaSo I thought the time was right to visit another specific vegetarian restaurant, this time Café Roya in Beeston. I went with a group of friends; one of whom was a fellow veggie and the others were confirmed carnivores.

 

 

 

It is also national vegetarian week; what better way to celebrate than highlight great veggie restaurants in Nottingham

Because of the size of our party we were asked to pre-order. Now for cafe roya menumany studying the menu and deciding what to eat is a bewildering affair because of the choices on offer. That is not usually the case for vegetarians. But in this instance I took ages to decide what to have and it was such a great feeling to know I could eat anything in complete confidence that all the ingredients were going to be suitable.

 

On the night we were shown upstairs and had a little room all to ourselves. The brick walls were adorned with twinkling fairy lights and hopes were high; or at least mine were as the meat eaters looked a little apprehensive

My review has also been published on the Nottingham cafe roya reviewPost website Cafe Roya Nottingham Post

 

 

Our drinks order was quickly taken, we were asked if we wanted to make any changes to the pre orders after looking at the specials board. And then the starters promptly appeared.

 

I had Tempeh and shitake rice paper rolls – filled with ginger, spring onion and kaffir lime leaves and a sweet and sour dipping sauce, which were delicious and, by the way, vegan. My companions had equally tasty food including broadbean and mint mille feuille and raw food tacos – gem lettuce leaves topped with garlic avocado mayo, walnut ‘meat’ flavoured. The empty plates from around the table were taken away and I eagerly awaited the next course.

 

I kept with the Asian theme and my kombu and wakame seaweed and mushroom risotto looked pretty impressive. And it didn’t let me down on flavour either. Other popular choices were buttermilk soaked halloumi – in a crisp batter served with minted crushed peas, nori tartare sauce, vodka spiked tomatoes, pickled new potatoes and preserved lemon relish and oaxacan Mole – Mexican dish with sweet potato, peppers, corn and green beans in a thick sauce made from ground peanuts.

 

With that amount of variety and range of ingredients we all got our 5 a day. The dishes were beautifully presented and the best thing was they didn’t look ‘vegetarian’, just tempting and appetising

It would have been rude not to indulge in a little dessert so I went for a small piece of chocolate cake, while others chose hot banana and custard turnovers or toasted marshmallow skewers – something generally not suitable for a vegetarian because of the gelatine.

And deep joy, I finished off the night with a creamy soya cappuccino. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at café Roya as did my carnivore companions and we will definitely be returning.