When asked to do a review for Rocket restaurant, Nottingham I jumped at the chance, having dined at the ‘old’ Saltwater restaurant around seven years ago, I was curious to discover how much it had changed…
Walking through Saltwater bar to get to the restaurant itself which is situated at the rear of the venue was an interesting task, considering it was Friday evening and heaving with people enjoying summer drinks both inside and out on the famous terrace, which is by far one of the bars most unique selling points.
We were greeted by ‘Liz’ who was very polite and showed us to our table for two – ‘us’ referring to my lucky guest for the evening Tim my partner, to which we were shown the drinks menu and promptly ordered a glass of Merlot and a Peach Bellini.
Liz explained the specials available for that evening and left us to decide, sending over some canapés of tempura battered halloumi on mango slaw to enjoy whilst we browsed the menu.
The menu was clearly angled toward Spring /Summer with a large selection of salads with various toppings including fish & chips which looked interesting, as well as a large section of pizza’s and then there were the seasonal grills featuring chicken, steak & fish.
My eye was immediately drawn to the salad section, as I am vegetarian and quite frankly tired of being served pasta & risotto dishes as my only option when dining out, it was actually a refreshing change to see such a wide choice of toppings on one salad. As a rule I normally avoid salads given that I don’t wish to fall in line with the typical stereotype that all vegetarians only eat salad & vegetables, however the’ Chef’s Salad’ which was available with a selection of cheese and lemon dressing tempted me to break my rule.
As I had made my mind up to go for a cold main being the salad, I decided to opt for a hot starter and went with the butternut squash soup- my favourite so this had a lot to live up to, given that this is one of my favourite soup flavours and it did not disappoint- served with a swirl of cream and well seasoned I would certainly order this again.
Tim went with the fried spicy baby squid with ‘rocket’ (we thought we should order at least one thing from the menu that came with the said shrubbery, in tribute to the restaurant name) also served with peppers, spring onions and a sweet chilli sauce. As the squid was encased in a crunchy batter which then took you through to perfectly textured squid, Tim’s feedback was much of the ‘mmmm’ variety and I took that as it being somewhat amazing!
Whilst waiting for our mains to arrive, we had time to eye up the décor, which I can only describe as a mash-up of art deco and Japanese art (look up to find this) with a bit of Alice in Wonderland thrown in for good measure.
Tim’s 8oz grilled sirloin steak with red wine and caramelised onion sauce, arrived with a neat tower of dauphinoise potatoes and chilli buttered green beans- a perfect accompaniment to the Merlot ..Or is it the other way around?
The Chef’s Salad certainly shocked me solely due to the size and array of colours involved- I wished I had bought my sunglasses with me at that point, as I was pleasantly surprised by the portion size and variety of ingredients which included rocket (!), peas, sundried tomatoes, Saint Agur, pears, goats cheese, avocado cubes finished with a huge dollop of beetroot salad on top creating a salad tower which was then drizzled with lemon dressing & a sprinkle of toasted seeds.
The tastes that lasted with me were the pear and the seeds which worked really well and if I could of I would have finished the portion, but unfortunately I was defeated.
After ordering more water, we ordered dessert…key lime tart which was served with finely chopped strawberries which looked almost like red diced pepper and mint- an interesting combination with the lime and very tangy and tasty. The strawberry eton mess was a good sized portion which perhaps could have done with a little more meringue and fruit to absorb the cream as it was quite hard work to finish but delicious all the same.
We were offered tea or coffee post meal but declined as we could not possibly fit anything else in…that evening at least.
I recommend Rocket for a meal with friends or as a couple as it is an intimate restaurant with good service and good food. Expect a just above mid range price, as it is Ala carte and you won’t be disappointed.
Fiona Duncan, RSViP