Emilio’s – Arnold, Nottingham

blog, depression, dinner, drinks, Fish, food, lifestyle, nottingham, restaurant reviews, reviews

During my day job, I work in an office

During my evenings and weekends, I desperately try to build my own identity using scraps of traits that I love, but are originally owned by Nigella Lawson, Rory Gilmore, Kristen Stewart and Hayley Williams.  But tales of my ongoing identity crisis are really besides the point.

Going back to the office day job: once upon a time a few months ago, I volunteered to be in charge of our social calendar. That’s right, I am the most insufferable human you have ever come across! As part of my role as ‘social secretary’ (nobody calls me that); I plan an office night out every other month.

This month, we went to Emilio’s in Arnold, Nottingham for a mezze night. I’m still relatively new to Nottingham, having lived here just over a year. Apparently Emilio’s is a long standing establishment, which has been described to me as ‘great for a cheesy night out’. The words Butlins and Hen Do were also thrown around with this description, so make of it what you will. To be honest I thought it sounded like a laugh, so I booked us in.

We’d ordered the set mezze in advance, which cost about £18 a head. Let’s get one thing straight, I fucking love mezze. I love Greek food and most days I have the appetite of a 6’10 rugby player. Mezze caters to all of this. We started with a Greek salad, pita, tzatziki, and taramasalata. As it turns out, I still hate taramasalata. It tricks me every time. I see a pink food in front of me, and it immediately reminds me of tubby custard from the Teletubbies and I feel compelled to eat it to reengage with my childhood. Take that adult life! The salad was awesome though. I mean granted, Greek salad will never be quite as good experienced in the midst of an October chill in Nottingham, as it would be sat, gazing out to the stars settling above the warm, softly lapping waves of the Mediterranean sea. (I genuinely just had to google to which sea borders Greece to check that was right. Jesus.) But yeah, this was still pretty bomb.


Next up was calamari, and some garlicky prawns in a sort of tomatoey, caper type sauce. I’m not going to lie, neither of these were exactly to die for. The calamari was definitely not home made, which I thought was a shame, as it had that inevitable chewiness of frozen calimari. Weirdly, the best calamari I’ve ever had was at Ask Italian. Who knew? The prawns were definitely the kind of baby prawns you buy in the freezer section in Asda for about £3 a kilo, which would have been fine but sadly, they’d been a little bit overcooked. I will say though, that the sauce had a really lovely flavour to it.


I swear, this was actually tastier than it looked!

Now from here on out the evening gets a bit blurry. After 2 years spent as a none drinker due to it exacerbating my depression to an unbearable level (mega lolz), I’ve recently started having the odd boozy night out again. I’m generally a bit happier these days and I thought I’d revisit my old frienemy, Merlot. In all honesty I’m not sure it’s a decision I’ll stick with because when I have one sip of alcohol, that’s it. Party Lucy is out to play. I recently watched all 3 of Iliza Shelsinger’s comedy sets that are on Netflix, and she refers to this as her Party Goblin. One sip of liquor and the Party Goblin takes over and bad decisions will be made all damn night. So at this point in the night I’m a glass and a half of red wine in and the Party Goblin is gearing up to do some dumb shit.

I know that the next things that came out were mini spanokopita – filo pastry parcels stuffed with spinach and feta. Mine was actually a bit burnt but I mean, come on. It’s feta and pastry, like I give a shit. There’s not much you could do to that combo to make it taste bad. There was also vine leaves stuffed with lamb and rice, meatballs which I really enjoyed, and a weird triangle of fried halloumi which was definitely reminiscent of a McDonalds hash brown. Again, I’m not complaining. I like halloumi, I like McDonalds hash browns, I see no problems here. Chorizo was the main player for me though. I bloody love chorizo and this one didn’t let me down. Typically, this is the one thing I didn’t photograph.


To be honest, by the time we’d done with these I was 2 large glasses in and getting to the point of drunk where I wasn’t that bothered about food. Shockingly, that is occasionally something that happens to me. Weird things huh? I just seem to reach a level of buzz where I just get excited and want to exert some energy. Like when kids have been forced to sit through a car journey and then a tedious browse through the kids menu at pubs with play areas; and 1o minutes later they’re tearing around a ball pit with the look of the devil in their eyes. That’s me after a couple of drinks. So of course for some reason, myself and two other members of our party decided to have a plank off. Yes. A plank off. Because what goes well with drunkeness and an abundance of greek food? Ab exercises. I swear to God…

So at some point in the timeline, some chicken kebabs came out. I want to call them souvlaki, but I’m not sure if they technically have to be in a pita with salad to truly be called that? If any Greek’s happen to be reading, please alleviate my ignorance? It’s a shame I was so toasted by this point, because I reckon if I hadn’t been, the kebabs would have been the high point of the meal for me. They were (from what I remember) marinaded beautifully, juicy and tender.


The photos on my phone suggest there was also a dish of rice with something that looks like chilli in a separate dish, but who can be sure? Not I, that’s for sure. I definitely didn’t try whatever it was, as by this point, I was stuffed to the brim and ready to get my dancing shoes on. Which I did. With gusto. And that my dears, is something nobody need hear about or mention from now until the rest of eternity.

Thank you and goodnight.


Monkfish Nuggets, Chips & Mushy Peas at Cod’s Scallops

dinner, Fish, food, lifestyle, naughtiness, restaurant reviews, reviews, Uncategorized

Now, let’s get one thing straightened out here before we begin. I’ve seen numerous comments from people who don’t live in Britain about how disgusting our greasy fish and chips are. First of all, can you not? But second of all, yeah ok, actually, occasionally the chip shop experience can be a bit…off putting. But it’s important to differentiate between the crap sorts of chippies that stay open til 4am & also serve pizza and kebabs; and the places like the cod’s scallops in Nottinghamshire. Comparing the 2 is much akin to comparing Rebecca Black with Beyonce. These places pride themselves on using the freshest fish they can possibly find, perfecting their batter to a crisp, golden crunch and accompanying it with chips that will make you fall to your knees and thank the potato gods. Seriously though.

I went for my first, long awaited visit to the Cod’s Scallops on Bramcote Lane on Monday night to celebrate my Grandad’s 78th birthday. Good old Grandad. The first thing I noticed when I arrived was how small the place is. I’d definitely recommend booking a table to make sure you’re not disappointed by a long wait to sit down. Or alternatively if you fancy it, you can order to take out. 

The little details found throughout the restaurant really set the scene. For example, the kitchen is open, and the staff working there all wear handkerchief type things in their head, tightened at the 4 corners, which makes them look very ‘men at sea’. In fact the whole place ha a very nautical theme. I now wish I’d taken more photos but it was quite busy when we went in at 7pm, so I didn’t want people to think I was some weirdy creeper person taking photographs of them eating…..

Our waitress was lovely. She was bubbly and friendly without being in your face and fake. Also, when she came to bring our food, she told my Nan she couldn’t remember if she’d ordered mushy peas or not, so she had put some in a pot on the side of her plate just in case. (As it happens my Nan had ordered peas at the last minute, so yay).

There’s also a raw fish counter where you can buy fish to take away and cook yourself which I think is a nice touch. Living smack bang in the middle of the country means that REALLY fresh, good quality fish can be difficult to come by. God, thanks Geography. 

One of my favourite things about Cods Scallops is that you can order your fish fried or baked, with chips or potato salad. As we were celebrating, I went for the naughty option, but I have friends who have been and ordered the baked fish and said it was cooked and seasoned beautifully. 

As I said, I went for one of the naughty options and ordered battered nuggets of monkfish, served with chips cooked in beef dripping and a pot of mushy peas. There were a lot of fishy options available – choosing one was a bit of a struggle to be honest, much to the exasperation of my family. But seriously, you could choose from salmon, cod, haddock, sashimi grade tuna, scallops, lobster, swordfish – and that’s just to name just a few. How is one supposed to make that decision quickly?! This shit is important! If you want to have a look at the full menu, you can find their website here. If you live in the midlands, or fancy a trip here, definitely check this little gem out. It really felt like an experience rather than just a trip to the chippy.