It being Valentines Day today, and also half term, Mrs4 and me managed to get a few hours sans offspring and go out for our biannual adult lunch. These used to be called dates and happened regularly, but when your life is littered with little charges the opportunities present them selves less often.
Escabeche is in the West Bridgford area of Nottingham (Londoners should think ‘sarf of the river) and is run by the Perkins family. They have two other excellent restaurants in Nottingham, Escabeche being the most recent development.
Set just off the high street,the building is modern but with an eclectic interior design style. The point is in the name. It specialises in mediterranean themed dishes in a Tapas style.
Whilst they do a ‘lunch special’ I definitely wanted to try the main daily menu. I knew its contents having spent to long checking it over before printing it as part of my (don’t mention the) day job.
Mrs4 likes tapas as much as I do (as witnessed by her ability to consume the largest Seafood Platter in a Barcelona back street restaurant a few years ago, sadly no picture of the centre piece, a whole cooked octopus straddling the platter with his tentacles caressing his piscine companions) so it took 20 mins to choose. This is what we decided on.
Marinated olives, pitta bread drizzled with honey, tzatziki, hummus & beetroot tapenade. That helped us through the menu until we made the big decisions.
First up, a simple tomato, mozzarella & basil salad. Always pretty…..
Next, Haloumi Fritters in Tempura batter with Harrisa & Lime Mayonaise. Harissa Mayonaise is a great idea which I will definitly use.
This arrived at the same time as the Patatas Bravas. A good tapas regular and in this case crispy seasoned roast potatoes with a mildly spiced tomato based topping with more basil.
Next out of the kitchen came the two mains. These little bad boys really upped an already well played game. First to land was Mrs4’s choice. Moroccan Lamb Stew with carrots, chickpeas topped with yogurt, coriander and toasted almonds.
This had been slow cooked and was melty and tender. Whilst not over spiced in the Moroccan style it was Moorish rather than Spanish.
Landing shortly afterwards and also served in the same type of ‘just cooked’ pot, my choice, the dish that I crossed the river for. A Spanish country classic, Duck Leg Stew.
Another slow cooked, hearty and flavoursome dish. Cooked with carrots, barley & tiny button mushrooms, this is type of thing I could eat everyday. When we go back, whatever other selections we try, I would include this.
The last dish to arrive was grilled Mackerel with celeriac, apple & sultanas. More Moorish influence, incredibly tasty and wonderful to look for the 15 seconds before Mrs4’s fork nailed it. I like enthusiasm for food!
And so utterly sated, choosing a desert wasn’t easy but if a job needs doing, I’ll give it a go. We went for a two spoon share of chargrilled Pineapple, marinated in chilli with a coconut foam, coconut sorbet, lime & orange zest and tapioca (word missing, I’m sure it has a name, I’ll look it up and get back to you). Another really interesting combination and beautifully painted on the plate.
An utterly first class lunch. I’ve had lots of great Tapas meals but this was one step ahead.
I would recommend Escabeche to the committee. I hope their venture continues to be successful . They had a good turn out today and a Valentines evening bash later in the day.
If they did a recipe book, I’d buy it.