Douglas Heath contacted me for advice on Nottingham restaurants as he is up there for the first two days of the test. I was only too happy to oblige and went one step further. As I have cousins who farm near Newark I said I would come to the City of Robin Hood (and lace) to accompany him.
I chose China Latino, a pan-Asian chain that must have some connection or franchise deal with The Park Plaza chain as their two other restaurants like this at Nottingham are located in that hotel. It reminded me of Aqua as they try to create a sexy ambience allied to a buzzy cocktail bar. It certainly resembled the Aqua in prices.
I chose a crispy duck salad. It’s a fairy standard dish and this was cooked well with a generous amount of meat and salad. For mains I went for black cod in a spicy miso sauce. This resembles the signature dish of Nobu but the cod was white and not different from any other (black or white) – except in price – I have tasted. At £29 with no vegetables I thought it a bit of rip-off. You would expect to pay that for a tranche of Turbot and the sauce I found treacly and cloying. We had a small pot of saki and two wines by the glass and it came to £70 a head without service.
We had a drop dead gorgeous Eastern European waitress who could not have been more helpful. I liked the fact that service was not included or assumed in the bill. I tipped generously and the waitress said she was returning with the change. Full marks for that.
Much of the clientele were raucous Aussies. I have never really got cricket but give me Alastair Cook in a surplice any day than big KP with his brutal tattooed forearms!!! Olly, who still plays club cricket for a team called WG Gracefully, was confident that the Ashes will be won over the next five days. Douglas kindly got tickets for him and our two lads, Tarquin and Humphrey, but I’m heading off to family at Newark and trying to avoid milking the cows!!!