With the onset of autumn and a distinct chill in the air, the summer holidays are sadly a much distant memory. Luckily for us, however, there are a few restaurants in Nottingham that evoke memories of a balmy summer spent travelling in Asia. If you’re getting bored of hall food already or your own nightly variation of pasta and you enjoy the wealth of flavours synonymous with Asian cooking then we have no doubt that you’ll enjoy visiting these restaurants. Simply go, relax, eat and forget the chiller cabinet outside for an hour or two.
Broad Street, Hockley – (01159 414 733; http://www.kayalrestaurant.com)
Kayal is a multi-award winning restaurant that has featured in the Times Top Ten Indian restaurants in the country. Specialising in South Indian cuisine, Kayal boasts an array of refreshingly non-generic dishes; there isn’t a tikka or vindaloo in sight.
Instead, its stylish menu offers a selection of Kerala cuisine that is based largely on the seafood of India’s south coast, especially the Kayal Fish Curry. Being a fairly upmarket place the prices can veer to the steep side somewhat, especially if you are ordering the seafood. However, those more willing to forgo starters and side orders can make a more affordable meal; especially if opting for a meat dish, which is generally a lot cheaper at around £5 to £7. Aside from the incredible food, one of the most appealing aspects is the comforting atmosphere Kayal offers.
Lower Parliament Street, City Centre- (01159 243 011; http://www.lantongthairestaurant.com)
The immediate description ‘opposite Oceana’ and ‘underground’ doesn’t really set the scene for what is, in fact, a delicious and elegant evening out. But whilst scantily clad party animals are busy riding each other’s disco sticks in clubland, just across the road, the only animal you’ll find on a stick is a juicy chicken satay.
Diagonally across from the club, Lantong is a family run establishment – and the owner, Paul, who can often be seen pouring himself another glass at the bar, likes nothing more than joining you for drink. Wife and mother Jib is from Thailand, so you can expect an authentic experience with food that’s as striking as it is tasty.
There are fragrantly spiced curries to delicate seafood dishes, plenty of vegetarian/vegan plates and colourful stir fries all at a reasonable price. Main courses are about £8, with a 10% student discount. The wine list is not on par with Bargain Booze prices, but it is crisp and refreshing, it has been thoughtfully put together to compliment your meal.
Notts is full of chain restaurants, but for a local, unique experience, pull up a cushion at Lantong.
Ginza Teppan-Yaki Restaurant
Mansfield Road, Sherwood- (01159 691 660)
Nestled in amongst takeaways and small high street shops in Sherwood, away from the usual student haunts, is Ginza. To start, a delicately dressed salad followed by king prawn sushi and miso soup. Then the show: our chef juggles eggs, lands one of them in his hat and then proceeds to create egg fried rice with such flair that you can’t help but applaud. From here he cooks a selection of fish and meat in front of us on a sizzling hot Teppan-yaki table. As this taste experience came to a close, another started in Ginza’s selection of homemade ice creams. One red bean, the other black sesame; so refreshing yet rich they were the perfect way to end the meal. Admittedly at around £25 a set meal each this is not your cheap student meal out, however Sunday to Wednesday a 30% discount is offered, sweetening the deal a little.
May Sum Restaurant
Upper Parliament Street, City Centre- (0115 912 2000)
May Sum is the ideal place to eat if you’re looking for quantity for a small price. Offering everything and anything from Crispy Duck to Lamb Spare Ribs, you will be spoilt for choice at one of Nottingham’s top Chinese Buffets. The bustling atmosphere depicts its popularity amongst locals and students alike and you’ll certainly feel one of the crowds tucking in to some good eastern grub, located only 15 minutes walk away from Lenton.
As well as the copious choice of ingredients from the buffet, there is also a resident chef on hand to prepare some traditional Chinese dishes, namely exotic fish and sushi, right in front of you. Drinks are also relatively cheap for you to enjoy a Tiger Beer along with your Tiger Prawns. Last but not least, visitors to this idyllic restaurant should save some space for vast amounts of chocolate fondue with a choice of fruit, jelly, biscuits and ice cream to finish off a hearty meal with a sugary kick.