Restaurant Review: Escabeche, Nottingham

Now, I must apologise, this post is a little over due to say the least! Just over a month ago now my sister, who’s a primary school teacher, had just had the dreaded Ofsted at her school! Coincidentally my Mum had had Ofsted at her school just two weeks before and hadn’t quite had the result she’d hoped. So, when my sister found out that she’d got an EXCELLENT for some part of her teaching my Mum decided it was worth taking a trip to see us in Nottingham to celebrate and give her a big well done cuddle!

For those of you who know my family…or feel like you do seeing as I post about them so much…any occasion with us involves food, eating out where possible! So, come the evening, we needed a nice restaurant for a celebratory dinner.

As cities go, Nottingham is one of my favourites for a number of reasons, one of which is its’ amazing city centre – all the bars and restaurants you could want all a stumble away from each other. But, it’s important to remember that the city centre is not all that Nottingham has to offer! Each residential part has its own high street full of independent bars and restaurants, so we headed to West Brigford to see what their high street had to offer!

We soon stumbled across a lovely looking tapas bar –Escabeche!

The name supposedly refers to “a typical Mediterranean cuisine which refers to a dish of either poached or fried fish (escabeche of chicken, rabbit or pork is common in Spain) that is marinated in an acidic mixture before serving, and to the marinade itself.” Just a bit of info for you there…you learn something new everyday!

The website has a lovely vibrant feel about it and states “It’s all about enjoying great food and drink in a relaxed and sociable atmosphere – we look forward to sharing an olive or chorizo with you soon. Salud!” When you enter the restaurant the music is lively the atmosphere is warm and the staff are friendly, just as you’d expect from an authentic Spanish restaurant.

Within minutes of being shown to our seats, we were being offered a drinks menu full of beers and wines from across Southern Europe. Our lovely waitress next explained the menu to us. They recommend 3 tapas dishes per person, so for our table of 4 that was 12 dishes to share between us (as well as a few olives and ciabatta to start). With eyes bigger than our belly it was hard to choose just 12 off of the extensive menu but after a drink or too we managed to narrow it down to the following:

Halloumi fritters with harissa mayonnaise and lime

Pork and fennel meatballs in tomato sauce with shaved fennel

Fiery patatas bravas

Salt and chilli tempura fried squid with garlic mayonnaise

Sautéed tiger prawns with garlic, chilli and parsley

Moroccan lamb stew with yoghurt and toasted almonds

Sautéed chorizo and potato with crispy egg

The sardines special (they have 2 or 3 specials at a time…)

Paprika chicken skewers with sweetcorn, parsley and garlic

Caramelised chorizo in honey and sherry vinegar

Seafood paella

Cod fritters with romesco sauce.

You should have seen us trying to order them and the waitress trying to keep up! We all certainly had a giggle (probably something to do with the wine). The dishes come as and when they are cooked rather than waiting for each dish, some left on the side as others take longer to cook. As long as you’re the sharing caring type this isn’t a problem. If anything it helps you fit it all in! (Like I said…eyes bigger than my stomach…)

The dishes are all big enough so everyone gets a taste: for example four large prawns on a plate, or four cod fritters. Though we did notice one of two dishes only came with 3 of each and some came with 5 which made it a little harder to share those dishes!!!

As for the food itself as it came out staggered it was all piping hot! There was no doubt that each dish had been individually cooked to order made from the best fresh ingredients! No frozen food here. The flavours were sensationally simple. You really could taste every ingredient on the plate.

As far as the taste and quality of the tapas was concerned, there really were no complaints!

We also opted for pudding – I had the churros with chocolate sauce. These took me back to holidays when I was a child and the churros man on the beach! The chocolate sauce was to die for, but they’d been a little heavy handed on the “dusting” of cinnamon (though it was not unpleasant!)

Price-wise, the dishes varied from £3-£6 (I don’t remember any being more pricey than this) so if you are price conscious you can opt for the lower end. The seafood dishes were usually the more expensive, but when they are using the freshest of ingredients you can’t blame them!!! We were happy with the overall price of our bill – we would probably have spent the same in a boring, predictable chain restaurant so Escabeche was well worth the money!

Overall, we had a lovely dining experience. Right from the word go we were made to feel welcome – as we were only coming in for a quick meal they happily jiggled their bookings and found room to fit us in where many other restaurants would have just turned us away. Our waitress was excellent, some of the best service I have received in a long time and the food was to die for.

Unsurprisingly I would give them:

5*****’s!

If you are in Nottingham anytime soon, don’t just stick to the city centre restaurants. Jump onto a green bus (no.s 5-9) and head into West Bridgford to find some lovely independent restaurants! You won’t regret it!

27 Bridgford Road
West Bridgford
Nottingham NG2 6AU

Telephone 0115 981 7010

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