Sat Bains’ Nottingham ‘working class two-star’ restaurant is one of the most influential in the UK
Don’t be put off by the somewhat inauspicious location of Restaurant Sat Bains – you arrive having travelled down a rather shabby lane and it sits under a busy flyover – the incongruity is on purpose.
For Bains, if you haven’t got a fancy postcode to rely on then the food you serve has to be absolutely top notch, and in the case of his restaurant this is definitely the case.
As well as being one of the UK’s most influential restaurants in recent times, having become a breeding ground for chefing talent, it’s also one of the most ambitious. In addition to the main dining room there’s Nucleus, a restaurant located within its development kitchen where guests can try newly developed dishes; the four-seat Kitchen Bench within the pastry section of the main kitchen; and an eight-seat Chefs’ Table, with seven and 10-course menus on offer at each.
At his restaurant, Bains is in search of perfection. He’s constantly tweaking and playing with ideas, meaning that a dish one week may have morphed into something different the week after.
What you are guaranteed to get, however, is a meal of extraordinary flair and with a sense of humour at times. One dish, called ‘Lenton Lane’, is inspired by the rocky road cake and renamed in honour of the potholed lane you’ve driven down to reach the restaurant, while ‘crossover’ dishes, created to take the diner from savoury to sweet, include a playful tomato jammy dodger and carrot ‘dib-dab’.