Drenched in history and synonymous with local legend Robin Hood, Nottingham is a vibrant, cultural English city with a fantastic dining scene to boot. Check out our guide to Nottingham’s restaurants to see where local diners flock for delectable fare.
Restaurant Sat Bains
Restaurant Sat Bains is an elegant establishment specializing in modern British cuisine that resides in a converted Victorian farmhouse on the banks of the River Trent, a few miles from Nottingham city centre. Boasting two Michelin stars and a whole host of other accolades, including Restaurant Magazine’s ‘Chef of the Year’ in 2009, Restaurant Sat Bains’ mouth-watering tasting menu is overseen by chef Satwant Singh ‘Sat’ Bains, who cooks up dishes like scallops with nasturtium, grapes and an artichoke veloute and Lammermuir Hills roe deer with fermented cabbage, chocolate and kale. Guests looking for an extra special dining experience can choose to dine at the chef’s table or kitchen bench.
Housed in Nottingham’s beautiful 17th century Newdigate House, World Service is a critically acclaimed fine-dining restaurant and four-time winner of the Nottingham Restaurant Awards’ Restaurant of the Year title. A sophisticated colonial theme is present in the restaurant, complete with a stylish lounge bar serving classic cocktails and a charming walled garden ideal for al fresco summer dining. Modern British cuisine mixed with global touches crafted from seasonal fare dominates World Service’s menu with standout dishes that include starters like chicken and leek terrine with sweetcorn relish and fried corn and mains such as cod loin with braised leeks, celeriac and brown shrimp.
A local dining tradition since it first opened over 30 years ago in 1982, Perkin’s Restaurantspecialises in contemporary rustic fare crafted from quality, locally sourced produce. Based within a beautifully renovated former train station in the picturesque village of Plumtree, a short drive south east of Nottingham, Perkin’s has its own on-site smokehouse where it smokes food like fish, mushrooms and cheese and has been twice-named Good Food Guide’s East Midlands Restaurant of the Year. Head chef Sarah Newman crafts creative dishes like roast wood pigeon with red cabbage, pear and walnut salad and the seared fillet of sea bass with parmesan-crusted polenta and caramelised chicory. Saturday breakfasts, Sunday lunch and afternoon tea are also served.
In a city by no means lacking in Indian restaurants, MemSaab manages to stand out from the crowd with its focus on fine-dining and mix of traditional spiced curries and adventurous, modern interpretations of Indian cuisine. The award-winning restaurant – whose accolades include Nottingham Post’s Indian Restaurant of the Year 2013 and the British Curry Awards’ 2014 Best Curry Restaurant in the Midlands – features an elegant interior with traditional Indian furnishings offset by modern Indian art. This is perfectly matched to a menu of dishes that veer between the familiar, like slow-cooked lamb rogan josh, and the creative, like its locally farmed ostrich tandoori.
If traditional British pub fare accompanied by real ales and craft beer whets your whistle, then head down to The Cross Keys. Conveniently located in the heart of the city, The Cross Keys is perfect for re-fueling after a day spent visit local attractions like the nearby Nottingham Contemporary and, though boasting a fresh, modern recent renovation, the pub is steeped in history and dates back to the 1700s. Traditional breakfast dishes are served until midday and omelettes all day, while The Cross Keys’ lunch and evening menus offer hearty, tasty fare like mini homemade cottage pie or beer-batter fish and chips with mushy peas, tartar sauce and rustic fries.
Known for its exquisite Thai dishes, Tarn Thai first opened its doors in 2006 to a flurry of rave reviews from both critics and diners, today enjoying a dedicated following who keep coming back for more of its typically salty, sweet, sour and spicy Thai fare. Inside the restaurant, the decor is as authentic as its menu, with its own water fall and leafy plants and golden Buddha statues dotted throughout Tarn Thai’s interior. Guests can choose from tempting, traditional dishes like the tord man pla starter (deep-fried fishcake with cucumber, ground peanuts, sweet chili and shallot relish) and the ped pud khing main (stir-fried roasted duck with ginger, mushrooms and pepper).
Hotel Restaurant, European, British, Vegetarian, $$$
Inside Yamas | Courtesy Yamas Meze & Tapas Bar
Based at the classy boutique hotel of the same name, Hart’s Restaurant is a vibrant, bustling establishment serving modern British fare and widely considered one of Nottingham’s best upmarket restaurants. A stylish, contemporary interior masterminded by owner Stefa Hart features gorgeous wooden floors and intimate booth seating. Co-owner Tim Hart brings his expertise as a dedicated oenophile to Hart’s impressive wine list, while head chef Dan Burridge crafts irresistible dishes like herb-crusted braised lamb shoulder with butternut squash and curly kale and the 42 day aged Derbyshire sirloin with a wild mushroom fricassee, smoked bacon and peppercorn sauce.
A family run restaurant opened in 1998 by brothers Michael and George Ktoris, Yamas Meze & Tapas brings the authentically rich and flavoursome tastes of the Mediterranean to the heart of Nottingham. Set over two floors, Yamas Meze & Tapas Bar features a warm, welcoming colour scheme reminiscent of the Mediterranean throughout with a relaxed, inviting ambiance. Guests can enjoy tasty small plates like taramosalata, a dip made with lemon and smoked cod roe, spetzofai (a dish of chorizo sausage with peppers in a spicy tomato salsa), and the tapas classic patatas bravas – perfect complemented by Yamas’ almost exclusively Mediterranean wine list.
For a dining experience that’s a tad out-of-the-ordinary, pay a visit to The Rum House. Located down a side street in Nottingham’s vibrant Hockley area, The Rum House is a prohibition era-styled restaurant and bar serving an interesting menu of Caribbean fusion tapas and an extensive list of creative rum-based classic and craft cocktails. Dine on a selection of small plates like its jerk-crusted lamp chops, popcorn shrimp with chipotle sauce and oxtail and butterbean pot and team this with a cocktail or two, like the classic old-fashioned flavoured with Creole bitters, orange peel and muscovado sugar or one of The Rum House’s very own creations.
Nestled in Nottingham’s West End Arcade, Aubrey’s Traditional Creperie is a charming, intimate haunt serving delicious, authentically French sweet crepes and savoury galettes that since opening in 2009, and has become a local diner favourite. A gorgeous interior with white, Victorian-era tiled walls, rustic wooden tables and art nouveau inspired design details conjure the feeling of being in a Parisian side street bistro – and enchanting locale in which to enjoy a hearty galette like the smoked salmon with ginger mascapone, chives, rocket, oil and lemon or a sweet chocolate and banana crepe accompanied by a glass of Aubrey’s French cider or wine.