Apologies for the lack of posts recently - Mofo's definitely off the cards this year! Lots of good things have been happening recently and blogging's just been a bit too far down my to-do list. It's safe to say that being 30 is not as bad as I thought it'd be - so far it's just been one good thing after another.
We were in Nottingham this afternoon, a bit peckish (starving) and completely by chance a couple of hundred yards from the Alley Cafe. We planned to go for coffee + cake, but with eyes bigger than our stomachs we ended up with main courses and garlic bread too!
Despite reviews saying it's difficult to find; we had no problems at all. It's location couldn't be more central (or at least, what I define as being central). It was a bit cold for outdoor seating - luckily one of the 6 or so tables inside was free.
Here's the odd bit - it's not an overly big place, but the bar takes up approximately a third of the floor space. It's an attractive looking bar, but they probably could have made it smaller and fitted some more tables in / made it feel less cramped.
Also, I realise we're not in the South East in Nottingham, but prices were very good indeed - well below average. Almost too cheap - just inside the very good value bracket. They serve booze and cocktails too - also at unusually good prices. Service was OK - not overly attentive but not rude. Waiting times were reasonable for what appeared to be mostly made to order.
We ordered a hemp burger with vegan cheese (almost certainly mozzarella cheezly) (£6.50), marinated tofu steak with root mash (£6.85) and cheesy garlic bread (£2.50).
The hemp burger was fantastically good - definitely home made and a contender for best in the UK (far better than Saf's poor attempt!):
The tofu steak was exceptionally good for the price. The tomato component had a slight smokiness to it and root mash quite edible (generally I hate mashed root veg). I probably wouldn't order it again though - whilst the burger was burger perfection, this didn't quite hit the spot. It needed to cost more and come with some kind of starch rather than salad (which didn't seem to work with it).
We made room for dessert - blackcurrant cheesecake (£3) and chocolate torte (£3.75):
There seems to have been a recent trend amongst veg cafes/restaurants charging £5+ for puddings, but this cheesecake was simply the best I've paid money for. The flavour balance was perfect and it was satisfyingly deep. Excellent.
The chocolate torte was rich but too small - I"d have paid more for a larger portion. It wasn't quite creamy enough for me either - it was more like chocolate biscuit cake than ganache.
Overall, I'd return if in the area and would recommend. The burger and cheesecake were perfect (not a word I use often). I didn't notice their drinks menu until the end (there wasn't one on our table) - next time I'll definitely try a few.
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