The Cornerhouse Experience

Nottingham’s Cornerhouse could strongly be classed as the entertainment hub of the city and has long been a popular destination for all ages, offering various eateries, bar and leisure facilities and fun for all the family…

My most recent visit included lunch at Wagamama- a restaurant I have long been meaning to try but never quite got around to, cocktails at Chiquitos- a place I love for food, but have never thought of for cocktails and then a flutter in Funstation – we’ll come to that later…

Wagamama have recently to my delight launched a vegan /vegetarian menu, with a page of dishes for each dietary need, there really has never been so much choice for those who follow the ‘V’ sign and I had one of the first dibbs at sampling some of the dishes.

As a Wagamama novice I noticed pretty much everyone in the restaurant were using their chopsticks, so right there and then I committed to doing the same, only to swap to my fork half way through my Udon noodles (they were so yummy I didn’t have the patience with myself to eat one noodle and one pea at a time) and I don’t think stabbing a edamame bean with my chopstick counts as acceptable- more practise needed.

The service I have to say is cracking- we were greeted straight away upon entering the busy bustling venue, then shown a choice of seating – we chose the high stools at the back by the wall- cosy.  We were then given menus and acknowledged over the way by our waiter again, giving us the signal he knew we were ready to order drinks.

Drinks came -a glass of plum wine and a mango and coconut sparkling juice- very refreshing.

As ‘starters’ don’t exist at Wagamama, we went with it and ordered our main course with a side of salad and then opted to share a dessert which was more than enough.

After an explanation from the kind waiter on what exactly Udon noodles were in comparison to rice noodles (he even fetched two examples from the kitchen to show me) I opted to try the udon’s and I’m glad I did as they were really delicious with a chewy texture and came in the form of a vegan chowmein – Yasai Yaki Soba, which was a good sized portion of noodles with mushrooms, peppers, beansprouts, white and spring onions, garnished with fried shallots, pickled ginger and sesame seeds – a dish I will definitely have again.

My dining partner went for a vegetarian dish which looked and tasted equally delicious- Yasai Katsu Curry which was sweet potato, aubergine and butternut squash coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs, covered in an aromatic curry sauce, served with sticky white rice and a side salad. We also shared a Raw salad, which was a selection of mixed leaves, edamame beans, baby plum tomatoes, seaweed and pickled mooli, carrot and red onion, topped with fried shallots and finished with the Wagamama house dressing- again very impressive.

For dessert we shared the Fig & Coconut Cheesecake, which was a delightful sweet finish to a delightful experience and I look forward to returning again very soon.

Next stop was Chiquito’s for afternoon cocktails, as we arrived, we couldn’t have been given a friendlier welcome by the manager who showed us to a sunny table by the window and handed us the large menu and offered us Nachos to which we politely declined on this occasion following a hearty lunch.  A Pina Colada and Coconut Margherita were the ones for us- well why not, we were sat in the sun and felt the need to co-operate with the holiday vibe.  Absolutely delicious were both cocktails – very creamy and just the right amount of everything in there, served with of course the standard attractive tropical garnish – I will most definitely think about Chiquitos for cocktails now going forward when I visit again for food, as being an existing fan of the Mexican restaurant I would also recommend visiting for the tasty, well priced food.

Funstation was our last and final stop on the Cornerhouse tour and we had tons of fun in this place- well that is the point isn’t it?  As it was half term, there were lots of families there with their young children , but clearly the adults were enjoying the games just as much if not more than the little ones…The way it works is that you purchase a Fun Station card ( like a credit card) which is loaded with points at the till point- as much as you want to spend and then you swipe your card at each game/attraction which deducts the relevant amount of points in order for you to play (each game costs different amounts).  My firm favourite was the basketball shot- being an ex centre forward at school, I was pleased to see I hadn’t lost my touch and its actually really easy to become very competitive!  Also a favourite of ours was the motion master – with various themes to choose from including a rally race and the grand canyon rollercoaster, as well as the modern version of a coconut shy featuring laughing light up clowns, with the objective to pelt with a red plastic balls- a great stress reliever!

All in all The Cornerhouse gets my vote for an all round great place to visit if you want entertainment all under one roof- great food, great cocktails and great fun.

Fiona Duncan

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