Time Out Cafe – Nottingham

blog, dinner, food, lifestyle, naughtiness, nottingham, restaurant reviews, reviews

One of the many benefits of being with Andy, is his weird habit of needing to go into town to have a ‘wonder around’, every. single. weekend. Personally, trying to navigate my way through Nottingham City Centre, amongst the hoards of teens and yummy mummies is enough to make me want to fling myself from the nearest multi storey car park, but I suppose it wouldn’t do for us all to be the same. It was on one of his grand adventures that Andy stumbled across a sandwich board outside a door way, with a sign above it that read ‘Time Out’. See Exhibit A.

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Time Out is next door neighbours with Poundland, and honestly when we first stepped through the door I wondered if we’d made a mistake and had accidentally stepped into a corridor leading to a teenage band’s rehearsal space or something. But really, as soon as you head upstairs, the slightly dubious corridor just serves to add to the charm of Time Out.

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Life affirming messages in the corridor.

Time Out’s decor is quite frankly, an instagram wet dream. Crisp white walls create a clean canvas for quirky, ‘f you’, style phrases. There’s a coffee table with old Nintendo games for guests to play if they want to. Time Out’s decor really achieves it’s name sake. As soon as I sat down, I immediately felt detached from the rest of the hustle and bustle of Saturday afternoon Nottingham, and like I could relax.

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Time Out feels quirky, but gentle and welcoming – and whilst that’s lovely, I think it would be gross blogger misconduct if I didn’t push those qualities aside to absolutely gush about the insanely good food they serve up. Time Out isn’t just a cool studenty type place. It is that, but it’s also so much more. I can hand on heart say that the food I had at Time Out is without a doubt, the best food that has ever passed my lips whilst eating out. I remember feeling legitimately giddy when I took my first couple of bites, the way you do when you’ve just kissed someone you’ve fancied for ages for the first time. Seriously. It was THAT good.

So, let’s break down the menu. You can go tapas, or you can go regular main courses. Or if you’re Andy and I, and you’re indecisive, greedy little assholes, you can do both. And to be quite honest, the prices are so reasonable that it’s really not going to break the bank either way. Tapas is 3 dishes for £14, and the main courses cost about £7-9 each, if I remember rightly. I was actually amazed at our bill of £37.40 for 4 tapas dishes, 2 main courses and 2 drinks. Bargain!

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Clearly he was chuffed with the bill.

Our order was:  pork gyoza with melty cheesy drizzle, panko crumbed prawns, salt and pepper chicken wings AND salt and pepper fries. Apparently we were very fond of our basic condiments that day. As I’ve been working super hard on warrior training, I tried to be a little more restrained in how much I ate. Moderation, innit bruv? I had e one gyoza, one wing and 2 prawns but let me tell you, that was enough for me to make the technical assessment that this food was bomb AF. Everything was  freshly cooked, piping hot, crispy where it needed to be crispy, never greasy and every single mouth full was packed to the rafters with flavour.My particular favourites were the ebi fry (prawns), which almost bought a tear to my eye they were so delicious.

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For the main dishes, I chose a marinaded sticky beef noodle dish, whilst Andy went for a lime and lemongrass scallop spaghetti – a choice I’m fairly confident he made on the basis that I’m allergic to scallops, so wouldn’t have been able to ask for a taste. After almost 2.5 years of being with me, it seems he officially knows me too well. God damn. Given that I couldn’t taste Andy’s food, you’ll have to accept his review of ‘this is so good’, and just go with it.

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I can tell you with 100% certainty though that my main was an actual, real life, taste sensation. My ramen noodles were swimming in a pool of delicate, 4 hour beef broth, and topped with the most delicious, tender, yet sticky sliced beef in the entire world. It had that perfect umami taste that’s sweet and tangy, and I will never be able to master at home, no matter how much I try. I also had a laugh at how stupidly British I am,  when I took one of the salt and pepper fries to dunk into my egg yolk. I mean. I thought it was funny.

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Salt & Pepper Fries. AKA, Egg Yolk Dunkers.

And so that concludes our eating at Time Out. I’m not sure that anything I could write would really do my experience justice. It was just phenomenal, and I wish the owners, staff and chefs all of the success in the world – although selfishly, I hope it stays my secret little hide away a little while longer. Just in case it does becomes a jam packed foodie haven in the near future, Andy and I have decided to visit again on Friday lunch time. In our defence, we’re not usually this frequent or decadent with our eating out, but we’re both on annual leave this week so it seems only fair that we….blah blah blah, as if I need a justification. Just know this. On the menu, there is Korean carbonara that I think I need to investigate for reasons of science.

SO. Scores are in!

Ambience: 9/10

Food: 10/10

Bang for Buck: 10/10

Would I Go Again: If I could guarantee no weight gain or financial implications, I’d visit every week for the rest of my natural life.

 

Mega Veggie Loaded Stir Fry

food, recipes, weight loss

A very quick post today – my body appears to have taken to waking up with the sun, at about 4.30am and refusing to go back to sleep. I’m not convinced the matchsticks keeping my eyes open are going to hold out for much longer, but alas! That is a battle for another time.

Tonight’s tea consisted of a prawn and veggie stir fry with a half serving of brown rice. I’m usually not a carb cutter, because I believe in having a balanced meal rather than restricting. But I’d already had a bagel for breakfast, a couple of oatcakes with some fruit for a snack and a rye bread sandwich at lunch, so I felt like a half serving of rice was probably quite sufficient tonight. After all, I’m not sure 5km week night runs really require carb loading. Man. I wish.

Simply put, I bloody love a good stir fry for three reasons: A) tasty tasty Asian foods, B) great opportunity to get a bajillion servings of fruit and veg into one bowl, C) super easy to make without using 84 different pans. Giving a recipe for a stir fry seems a bit silly really, since you can basically just put any veggies you like into a pan with whatever flavourings you enjoy and go for it. But hey! Just in case anybody reading is absolutely dying to make this exact recipe

Tonight I used 5 garlic cloves, a third of a red onion, 1 spring onion, 1.5 courgettes, 2 handfuls of frozen broccoli and 1 handful of frozen green beans (microwaved together to cook before adding into the main stir fry pan to avoid excess water), 1 small pack of mange tout and a packet of raw frozen king prawns from aldi. I also cooked 80g (dry weight) of brown rice. Generally speaking, in the week I tend to make double portions so I have enough for tomorrow’s lunch.

First things first, I like to cook my rice before I crack on with the veggies. I find trying to navigate my way through rice cooking and veg stirring tends to be a recipe for stuck to the bottom of the pan rice, soggy veggies or both. Lovely. So what I tend to do is cook the rice first, turn off the heat and leave the lid on for the rice to retain the heat a bit.

For the veggie pan, I always start by softening the garlic and red onion first with a tiny bit of chilli oil. Then I add in the chunkier veg – in this case the courgette. It’s around this time when I whack the frozen broccoli and green beans in a bowl with a splash of water, cover with cling film and microwave for about 5 minutes. About 4 minutes into the microwaving process I added the spring onion, mange tout and prawns and stirred until the mange tout to the veggie pan into the mange tout shows signs of softening and the prawns have began to turn from grey to pink in colour. When the broccoli and green beans are done, drain the excess water off and stir into the pan with the rest of the veggies. To add a bit more flavour, at this point I like to add in some oyster sauce and a small splash of soy sauce. VOILA!