Cuzina, West Bridgford – restaurant review

Cuzina, Radcliffe Road, West Bridgford

 

cuzinaA number of years ago I can remember visiting Pappas Greek restaurant, in West Bridgford. It then closed, reopened as an Indian street food establishment, closed again and over the last few months has transformed in to a modern Greek restaurant called Cuzina.  The west bridgford wire  also contacted me as they’d featured it in their online West Bridgford resource

So the idea of tapas style Greek morsels was too hard to resist, an online booking for four was made and excitement built. As a vegetarian I often struggle to find veggie friendly cheese (the sort that is animal rennet free), so after a quick phone call to the restaurant I was able to ascertain that both the feta and halloumi were suitable. The owner Nick went to great lengths to make sure the information he gave me was spot on and also reassured me that items like the vegetable skewers were cooked away from the meat versions, so I felt confident that I would have a good night

cuzina 1Inside the setting is bright and modern, with a collection of intimate tables and areas for larger parties. Amstel on draught got us off to a good start. We were advised to order a max of three dishes each and as they are cooked and prepared to order they may come out at different times.

I saw on Facebook that cuzina’s signature dish was a Greek salad served inside an artisan bread. So that was dish one sorted, second dish was hummus and pitta (I later realised I’d gone overboard on carbs!) and my final dish was giant beans. my dining companions ordered the courgette and aubergine fritters, spanakopita spring rolls, grilled halloumi, chicken skewers, chicken gyros, calamari and a portion of chips. They all came out at different times, but my Greek salad was first to arrive so I tucked in! It was amazing. The bread was crusty on the outside but inside it had been smeared with crushed tomatoes, then filled to the brim with cucumber, salad leaves, red onion, tomatoes, olives, feta and a dressing; by far the best dish on the table. The fritters were very tasty and moreish and the beans also deserve a special mention.

greek 1

I couldn’t fault the food and if anything I over ordered. Next time (and there definitely will be a next time) I will order the hummus minus the pitta, the Greek salad and maybe…. Well I’m not sure because it was all absolutely scrummy!

 

If you visit Cuzina at lunch time then the Greek salad is enough by itself and it becomes a very reasonable meal out at £5.50. In the evening if you add on a beer or two and three dishes you will be paying over £20 a head. But what you will be experiencing is lots of taste sensations and a steady stream of food arriving at your table (which can get a little overcrowded!)

 

Cuzina is definitely a place to come to with friends and try lots of different small meals. And as I now know which cheeses are veggie friendly I will definitely come with a veggie friend or two and enjoy a Greek feast

Top 5 veggie venues in Nottingham

Top 5 veggie venues in Nottingham

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

 

Top 5Being a keen foodie and vegetarian often leads to disappointment when eating out as options can be limited, poorly thought out or at worst not vegetarian at all!!

As a restaurant reviewer for the Nottingham Post with my ‘Veg Out’ column, I regularly visit restaurants and cafes.  So I thought you might appreciate my top 5.  They are a mix of specific vegetarian restaurants or places serving really good veggie options

 

In no particular order:

empanadillas

empanadillas

 

Escabeche, West Bridgford.  This has to be the best place for Tapas veggie options; from the menu 30 dishes are suitable for vegetarians.  I would especially recommend the empanadillas, very small pastry turnovers filled with butternut squash, feta & raisin

http://escabeche.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

cafe RoyaCafe Roya, Beeston.  This is a dedicated vegetarian and vegan restaurant, cooking delicious and beautiful food.  The menu is very seasonal, I particularly enjoyed Gado gado; an Indonesian peanut curry that was so delicately spiced and beautiful to look at

 

 

pizza embankment

The Embankment, Trent Bridge, Nottingham.  First of all the building is amazing!  And the food is pretty decent too.  There is a good range of veggie options and the chef understands that not all cheeses are veggie friendly.  I recently enjoyed a tasty Pizza.  The base was really thin and crispy and complimented the toppings.  It was also generously portioned.

http://www.castlerockbrewery.co.uk/pubs/the-embankment/

 

 

Baresca asparagus eggsBaresca, Byard Lane, Nottingham.  This eatery opened last year as a tapas bar and market cafe.  Their veggie breakfast is pretty special; catalan bread, spicy scrambled eggs and lovely soya cappuccino.  The options on their evening menu is impressive too; chargrilled asparagus & fried duck egg with chilli, parmesan & almonds is delicious and well balanced

http://www.baresca.co.uk

 

IMG_5377

 

Handmade burger Co, Victoria Centre.  This is a great place for veggie and vegan burgers,  there’s 7 varieties on the menu.  The portion sizes are perfect, not too big or small but the price will mount up if you load your burger with extras.  And of all the places I’ve eaten Handmade serves the best rosemary chips

http://handmadeburger.co.uk

 

 

Potential  addition!

peacockThe Peacock Hotel on Mansfield Road, Nottingham is currently closed for refurbishment, but when it opens on 5th September the menu will be 100% vegan.  I think a visit is in order to see if it makes it in to the ‘Top 5’!

 

So which Nottingham restaurant or cafe would be in your veggie top 5?

 

The Crimson Tree, Sherwood

Veg out review – the Crimson Tree, Sherwood

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

IMG_6411Recently I took a trip back to Sherwood, my old stomping ground to experience the food at the newly re-located Crimson Tree on Mansfield Road. A while ago they took over the old cookery school on the corner of Mansfield Road and Burlington Road and have extended their range, opening times and capacity

 

The night I visited was tapas night, which is usually good news for a vegetarian because who doesn’t love patatas bravas? The menu has some family favourites including hummus, bread and olives and some interesting newbies such as warm figs with blue cheese and almonds

Nottm Post reviewMy review can also be seen at online Nottingham Post Crimson Tree  and will be in the paper tomorrow

Food aside the décor is absolutely amazing; lots of flickering candles and chandeliers, warm colours on the walls, rustic and mismatched furniture which combine to create a lovely relaxed atmosphere.

 

CT NPUpdate: catch my review  in today’s Nottingham Post (22nd June), along with the new 200degree coffee shop

 

 

IMG_6424

Veggie plate

I went with a group of women friends and as we all like different things so it made sense to order the sharing platters and to add some extra dishes. The food arrived on wooden boards and both the vegetarian and seafood platters looked really interesting and appetising.

Sorry their isn’t a picture of the complete veggie platter; it looked so good we dived right in before I could take a picture!

 

But on my veggie board was cheese stuffed sweet peppers, mixed olives, falafels, halloumi, parsnip crisps, hummus and tzatziki. All served with some soft white bread. There was such a variety of tastes and textures that was really pleasing. And a really nice touch was a scattering of very peppery watercress. We also ordered Spanakopita (filo pastry, cheese and spinach). It’s hard to say what my favourite dish was because they all worked so well together, but I especially loved the crunchy falafals. A friend thought the spanakopita was by far the best dish

IMG_6420

Seafood platter

The seafood platter for the fish eaters was equally well received. It included smoked salmon, marinated crayfish, garlic & chilli king prawns, hot smoked mackerel and marinated boquerones (anchovies apparently!) The platter also contained some tasty veggie accompaniments like the piquant pickled fennel, small gherkins and capers. They would have worked equally well on the veggie platter and if I go again I would ask for them to be added.

 

One of our group is diary and egg intolerant and the staff were very good at making sure she was aware of all the food that was ok for her. Major brownie points for them on that score.

IMG_6422

 

The dessert menu was a big too ‘cakey’ for us, so we opted for pots of tea instead

 

 

 

 

IMG_6423Overall I would definitely recommend the Crimson Tree for a vegetarian night out, but I have a few suggestions; I’d like to see a salad or two on the menu just to increase the veggie uptake, it would also be nice to have more artisan type bread like a good robust rye bread or zingy sourdough. The staff need to be a bit more attentive and organised and I would appreciate a bit more variety on the dessert menu

 

I know its early days for the revamped Crimson Tree so I expect these little issues will soon be ironed out. That aside it is a relaxed and convivial place to eat, chat and laugh.

Veg out – Signature steak house, restaurant review

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

signatureA few weeks ago it was mothering Sunday and I thought what better way to celebrate than by taking my mum for afternoon tea, but where? After scouring the Internet I found that Signature on Melton Road, West Bridgford had a lovely menu so I booked a table for four; well we couldn’t leave the men out!

signature NPMy review of Signature has appeared in the Nottingham Post.  Check it out online or buy todays paper http://www.nottinghampost.com/biggest-scones-Notts/story-28962861-detail/story.htmlIMG_5689

 

So at 3pm prompt we arrived with a card and a bunch of daffs ready for our ‘tea’. Now I have to explain that I’d previously made 2 phone calls and popped in to the restaurant to check the veggie options. They assured me they could make adaptations to meet any of our requirements. So I had high hopes

 

IMG_5542We were seated in the main restaurant with the other diners all enjoying their Sunday lunch. A quick conversation with the manager and we were re-seating in the ‘casual’ dining part of the restaurant with the other afternoon tea-ers.

 

The restaurant was naturally very busy so it took the staff a while to take our order. We asked for a variety of sandwich fillings, all on wholemeal bread and desserts that were suitable for vegetarians. I’d previously checked and was told the cheeses were not suitable so I opted for egg and cress and avocado and black pepper.

 

IMG_5544 IMG_5543Our drinks arrived, and then there was quite a long wait. Eventually some cutlery and plates arrived, shortly followed by 2 cake stands suitably groaning under the weight of our afternoon tea goodies. But it soon became apparent that not all was as it should be; the tuna and chicken were combined in to one sandwich filling, with enough for four people. IMG_5547Which possibly explained why my veggie sandwiches were missing. After a 10 minute wait the absent sandwiches arrived (although the egg was fresh from the pan and therefore rather hot!)

 

We all tucked in and enjoyed the light and soft savoury course, but I was disappointed not to see any salad in the fillings or on the plates. On to the sweet course, first of all an enormous fruit scone (the size of a tea cup) that was light and delicious, we only had two servings of jam and cream so had to ask for extra. Personally I thought as lovely as the scone was, it was too large for an IMG_5546afternoon tea as we all felt quite podged. However we ploughed on to the last sweet dish a rich chocolate mousse. Again I felt the need to call over a member of staff to check that it was veggie friendly – a quick check with the kitchen and I tucked in. It didn’t disappoint it was rich, thick and very chocolatey and not overly large. To accompany it our tea pots were replenished

 

Overall I thought it represented good value for money at £17.95 for two. (add champagne it comes to £31.95 for two).   Although as is often the case I would have preferred more savoury treats than sweet ones – maybe a mini quiche, some olives, sundered tomatoes or just simply more delicate sandwiches.  The restaurant setting is good and has a nice atmosphere. There is definitely a high proportion of regular customers– so they must be doing something right. The service was very polite and helpful if haphazard; maybe it was extra busy because of Mothering Sunday. Having said that the ‘afternoon tea’ market has a lot of competition so I would probably go to another restaurant next time I fancy some mid-afternoon delicacies.