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chino 1   chino

Park Plaza has been situated in Nottingham for as long as I can remember and so when I was offered the chance to stay the night to have a nosy at their rooms,  I of course obliged.  Having attended and hosted many events in their conference suites over the years, it made it all the more interesting to see the other side of the hotels facilities. The check -in process was very quick and efficient and a lift took us to the tenth floor where our large room awaited- this was not a suite, this was one of their normal rooms, however the size was much larger than most basic hotel rooms, so you could have mistaken it for a suite, with a good sized bathroom and I was also pleased to see a bath- something a lot of large chain hotels now tend to not bother with in order to save room. A nice touch was the red wine and nibbles left for us on the desk, which included a selection of nuts and strawberries as well as still and sparkling water. The facilities were great with everything we needed already in the room, without the need to request- , iron, kettle with amenities, cable TV and a super comfy king size bed. Breakfast the following morning was I have to say very impressive.  A huge selection of both continental and cooked- the cooked being piping hot and served on the hatch, so you could help yourself to as much as you wanted- the traditional English breakfast we all crave after a night of Mojitos!  Other choices included, meats, cheeses, cereals, a good selection of breads and bagels with cream cheese, salmon, yogurts, fruit, pastries, muffins, fresh juices, tea and coffee. Had I not had a spectacularly generous sized meal the night before in the hotel restaurant I would have eaten much more…. Chino Latino Nottingham has always had a top notch reputation with many awards under their belt and I can see why… My recent visit was an extremely different dining experience for me, as I do not often eat Chinese/Thai food, however Chino’s Pan Asian menu somehow appealed to me and I very much looked forward to leaping out of my comfort zone of Indian and Italian food and sampling the extensive menu on offer. Our waitress Natalie was extremely welcoming and knowledgeable, seating us at a table for two in the upper part of the restaurant, where we noticed a great vibe of other diners enjoying their meals. The style of food is tapas- small dishes which come out at different times when ready and as we had a great view of the open kitchen we could watch the food in preparation, which certainly added to the experience. The cocktail menu was vast and so between us we opted for a Mojito and a non- alcoholic cocktail- Tropica- which was a delicious fruity blend of passion fruit, lime, guava and pineapple juice. To start with we ordered one of my favourites- Edamame beans with rock salt, to which I taught my dining partner the correct way in which to eat, sucking the beans from the skins, pulling the rock salt with it to give that punch of flavour. My dining partner opted for the Black Cod Tempura to begin with, which came with a passion fruit sorbet, sweet miso, paper thin sliced ginger and a clever lemon jelly that was shaped like wedges of lemon – goodness knows how the chefs did this, but I imagine it was pain staking all the same. I went for the Butternut Squash Green Bean Wantons – cute little parcels of flavour, served with a chilli and coconut salsa, the tastes were extremely exotic and combinations neither of us were entirely accustomed to, which made for an all the more fascinating dining experience for us both. Our next dishes soon arrived- Duck Breast aji amarillo miso, beautifully cooked, pink in the middle and sliced thinly, swimming in a marjoram and lime sauce with pomegranate seeds to decorate. Vegetable Tempura– a dish I have tried before and love arrived to the table next, which included delicious sweet potato, aubergine, courgette and red peppers all covered in a crispy batter, stacked high and served with soy sauce for dipping- a dish I highly recommend. The side dishes are aplenty on the menu and so we opted for Jasmine Rice and Sweet Potato Chips with rock salt, both of which were a great accompaniment to our dishes, although next time we would probably just go for one or the other, as the portion sizes are very generous- which of course is not a bad thing! Once all of our dishes had arrived to the table, we did think that perhaps we had over ordered, however having the variety and option to dip into each dish as you please and to share the plates with one another, is all part of the dining experience and so we were pleased to have had the opportunity to try so many of the wonderful flavours. When Natalie offered us dessert, we were not sure if this was going to be possible, however we didn’t want to leave without sampling the dessert platter, as it came highly recommend by our waitress.- so dessert it was! We were most certainly not disappointed in this array of colour that decorated our table, we felt all eyes from other diners look over at what we were about to enjoy and felt a sense of pride…Natalie explained to us, as she had done throughout the entire meal,  what each dish was and also interestingly how to eat it to be best enjoyed- another nice little detail. The heavily ‘mangoed’ cheese cake with mango salsa and mango sorbet was a fruity delight, almost a pana cota consistency, the Chocolate and Pistachio Tempura – a Chino Latino special looked shall I say the most simple of all the dishes- but blew me away on taste; small balls of heaven with a fondant centre that oozed out when cut open – served warm with a potent ginger syrup and ginger ice cream- ginger being one of my most favourite flavours luckily.  The remainder of the dessert platter consisted of four exotic flavours of sorbet served in spoons – Guava, Lychee, Kiwi and Mango alongside a hammock of fruit- yes an ‘actual’ miniature hammock where a colourful row of fruit lay waiting to be devoured. All in all the service, the food and the entire dining experience was one to not be forgotten at Chino Latino, it is definitely one set apart from the rest with its own unique style, attention to detail and a real passion for what they do, which really shines through and we cannot wait to return. Fiona Duncan, RSViP

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