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

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 – 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.