Harden's survey result
Sat Bains’s “special” cuisine “doesn’t miss a beat” at his much-acclaimed foodie Xanadu, which remains one of the country’s foremost culinary destinations. “Much is made of the bizarre location” – a converted motel amidst flyovers, “on the fringe of an industrial estate at the edge of the city” – “but once inside, you are cocooned in luxury” (including, if you stay, in the “quite reasonably priced bedrooms”). Both seven-course and ten-course tasting options are “hugely inventive and utterly brilliant with a superb matching wine flight”. The “chef’s table is an exceptional experience” and many regular diners also report “experiential touches like a tour of the busy kitchen after dinner with a signed menu”. “Top waiting staff too: friendly and knowledgeable, but more importantly, keen”.
“Like escaping down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland into a new world, albeit a world more relaxed than Alice’s”: when you arrive at Sat Bains’s famous foodie Shangri-la, bizarrely situated on the fringes of an industrial estate next to the A52, “a concrete and pylon forest gives way to the most exquisite and wonderful place”. Once inside the humble looking building: “a magical experience kicks in” – “staff are knowledgeable and approachable, and the food is out of this world”. There are seven-course and ten-course tasting menu options in the restaurant, and you can also book at a chef’s table (for up to eight diners) or at ‘Nucleus’ (his development kitchen) which can take up to six diners at night.
“On the edge of an industrial estate, and under the A52 flyover might not sound the ideal place to take that special someone for dinner, but the experience makes up for it in spades” at Sat Bains’s “wonderful oasis, between the pylons, concrete jungle roadways and nettles!” – one of the UK’s most impressive restaurants (with rooms), on the outer-fringe of the city. “There is no other word than exceptional to describe his cuisine” (choose from a 7-course or 10-course menu) and “the unusual combinations are amazing without being different for the sake of it” (“horseradish ice cream sandwich was one of the nicest things I’ve ever tasted! and the chicken liver muesli was also a highlight!)”. Have they been working on the service too? – “with just the right amount of friendliness and attentiveness” it scored particularly highly this year. ‘Nucleus’ is a further dining option here – a six-seater chef’s table within the development kitchen, which couldn’t be more rapturously rated by reviewers.
“Sat is a genius”, and the “edgy” and “amazingly executed” cuisine at his fringe-of-Nottingham HQ can be “beyond delicious”, both within the main dining room, or – if you want to push the boat out further – at ‘Nucleus’, a new six-seater chef’s table within his development kitchen. True “it is difficult to get away from the fact that it is a ’70s, brick, motel-like structure, in an industrial setting” amidst pylons and “under a ring road”, but for most reporters the “exceptional food more than compensates for the bizarre location”. Other niggles this year? – that it is “so expensive” seemed to grate a little more, and service – on most accounts “hugely professional” – also showed instances of being “a little automated”, or in the odd case even dictatorial.
Restaurant Sat Bains Restaurant Diner Reviews
"This was a revelation. The beautifully presented and imaginatively conceived dishes formed a well-balanced entity that represented the very top in British fine dining, although the mainly francophone staff were sometimes difficult to understand, and it was slightly disappointing to find that there no appetisers with our lovely English sparkler (Hattingley Valley). However, that paled into insignificance as we launched into the staggeringly good 10-course tasting menu which comes with an interesting guide to the dishes according to the five basic taste categories. The ‘introduction’ was a velouté of the universal favourite currently, lovage, with a gentle horseradish ice cream and a sourdough crisp, a striking palate prompter with a slight hint of curry. Then we were straight into a sequence of outstanding dishes with one of the best versions ever of smoked eel with its Granny Smith apple, truffle and dashi jelly and disks of radish - the first of a series of sensational mixes of tastes, textures and visuals. Wonderful veal sweetbread in deep-fried sweet corn followed with a caramel coating, sweet wine sauce, novel broad bean leaf and sweet corn, and then poached and fried pheasant’s egg with asparagus from Cornwall and mayonnaise plus a sauce with corn and some caviar. Sounds simple, but it tasted absolutely fabulous. We were asking ourselves if this level of cuisine could possibly continue, and right on cue came a superb tender beef tartare with a surprising beetroot jelly, puffed wheat and a judicious scatter of beetroot powder to underline the umami effect. To prepare us for the main course we were served an unusual and moreish salt-baked turnip dish with striking chilled pear, capers, the best bellota iberico ham and dashi béarnaise. A choice of main course was possible, a pleasing change from the practice in some restaurants, so my wife had top of the range Scottish salmon with an intense mushroom purée, daikon, wasabi mayo and a vegetable wrap with an accompaniment of glazed pork belly, and I went for the squab which was an absolute show-stopper. Mouthwatering, tender, slightly spiced meat wonderfully contrasted with melon, a delicious cornet of minced squab, staggeringly good black pudding with feta cheese and an amazing BBQ sauce made this one of the very best dishes we’ve had all year. A clever spicy dehydrated carrot and “jammy dodger” made for a notable palate cleanser, and then the reassuringly satisfying desserts: chocolate ganache, chocolate granita, honeycomb and shards was remarkably light for a dish with so much chocolate; coconut ice cream with a touch of mint, cherry jam and a hint of lime; and, finally, candy floss on a stick with ice cream in the middle, reminiscent of sweets popular at Nottingham’s Goose Fair. Definitely one of the best meals ever - Nottingham is definitely on our list of places to revisit."
"perfect in every way"
|Wine per bottle||£30.00|
Lenton Lane, Nottingham, NG7 2SA
|Wednesday||12 pm‑1:30 pm, 6 pm‑9 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑1:30 pm, 6 pm‑9 pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑1:30 pm, 6 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑1:30 pm, 6 pm‑9:30 pm|