Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms 4444

Lenton Lane , Nottingham, NG7 2SA

  • Restaurant Sat Bains interior 02
  • Restaurant Sat Bains
  • Restaurant Sat Bains rooms 01
  • Restaurant Sat Bains

SquareMeal Review of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms

Hall of FameStumbling upon Sat and Amanda Bains’ remarkable restaurant-with-rooms can be a culture shock, but persevere because this cleverly fashioned barn conversion in Nottingham’s industrial wastelands is home to one of the UK’s most astonishing culinary talents. Those who make the trip will be rewarded with some unrelentingly inspired, two-Michelin-starred cooking – albeit at frighteningly high prices. Evening meals take place in two rather neutral, stone-floored dining rooms, allowing diners to focus on Bains’ meticulously planned tasting menus – a succession of startling dishes with powerhouse hits across the board. Expect obtuse pairings and dazzling presentation, from smoked eel with turnip, apple and nori seaweed to a combo of asparagus, cured sausage, hay and truffle or a three-part celebration of new season’s lamb: pressed shoulder; sweetbreads with broad bean ‘tips’; a ragoût with braised onions.  After that, a ‘crossover’ signals the move towards sweetness in the shape of, say, raspberry, reduced milk and meringue. Amanda Bains oversees a team of sweet-natured staff, and there are irresistible picks galore on the thoughtfully assembled big-money wine list. Note: pre-booked lunches are available at the chef’s table, kitchen bench and within ‘Nucleus’ (the development kitchen).

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7.0

Food & Drink: 8.0

Service: 6.9

Atmosphere: 7.0

Value: 5.6

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

The Cheese platinum reviewer 09 June 2015

And the award for least starry entrance goes to… Restaurant Sat Bains. Its grim location feels more like a place to dump a body, but this industrial wasteland conceals a tranquil country house. I regretted heels as I click-clacked gracelessly across the pebbled drive and stone floors, but the welcome was warm and reassuring (despite bafflingly being listed as ‘Mr Helen’). A glass of Nyetimber in the cottage garden, alongside pet bunnies and a thriving greenhouse, kicked off the evening nicely. Much is made of the mighty duck egg that earned Bains his place on the 'Great British Menu’, so it appears regularly as an extra. Having plumped for ten epic courses, we forsook it… in favour of the optional cheese course, obvs. (Alas, a bite and a half of brie ‘rarebit’ does not merit £8pp in my mind). The somewhat obtuse menu might rub people up the wrong way. Each dish is given a flavour profile - whether it’s big on umami say, or a super-balanced palate cleanser. This either encourages deeper consideration of what you’re eating, or points towards a chef that’s as pleased with himself as his ingredients. (Having trained under the likes of Raymond Blanc, perhaps he’s entitled). We chose to savour every mouthful, and reaped the pure joy of 'textures of asparagus’ and scallops with ponzu jelly and piggy treats. Sea trout in mussel broth disintegrated temptingly in the mouth, while celeriac linguine with pesto was downright luscious. Simple ‘steak au poivre' inevitably had a twist; the umami-rich beef was prepared as tartare and nasturtium leaves delivered the peppery heat, while resembling trembling lily pads in a water garden. The plate looked magnificent, but uncooked meat is an acquired taste. I, for one, prefer my meat to be seared (at the very least), but I sense Chef Bains might shoo me off his premises for such philistine ways. Be sure to flag dietary preferences when booking for this very reason. I forgot, and while the first improvised alternative was flawless, the next offering recycled a distinctive element from another dish; after all, it’s not hard to spot horseradish ice cream in a line up. Rare moments of understated theatre changed the pace of the meal, and sweet courses (including a posh Aero with top-secret ingredient) were suitably unpredictable. Feeling comfortably stuffed, the chocolate log finally did us in; with its homemade confection and bonkers combos, white choc with bee pollen and camomile was one taste sensation too far. The damage for our boozy blowout was nearly £450, although you’d rack up more at a Michelin two-star in London. We were utterly smitten with our charming sommelier, who delivered fine wine matches and a novel sake with dessert. (He later emailed our bespoke list, which was an unsolicited but nice touch). All in all, Restaurant Sat Bains is very, very good; brimming with masterful tasting menus composed with fluidity and skill. But come prepared to sell your granny, all the time knowing it could miss the mark with non-foodies.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 1.0

John O. 08 September 2013

The least you can pay is £79 for the seven course set menu. We had the the 10, 10, 10 duck egg with the seven course tasting menu for an extra £15 and a cheap bottle of wine ( for this resturant) at £37. The food was mostly very well presented and clever in its construction, however, some parts of the dishes – the duck egg and the nettle soup – were boarding on the bland. The stand out dish was the scallop with pork belly. The service was seamless and exceptional and although the Resturant itself was well laid out it is bit small, and dare I say oppressive. To eat at this restaurant with a bottle and wine etc., would cost, at the cheapest, close to £300. This is too over priced for what is on offer. We have eaten at high end Restaurants where the food has had much more depth of flavour, the Resturant a better atmosphere and the cost half the price.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Beth J bronze reviewer 04 September 2012

I feel I had to come and defend the bad reviews that Sat Bains has received on here (that's not to say they aren't justified), but I had an absolutely perfect stay. We had a suite for my birthday, I have given it a 10 for value for money, this is quite possibly because I didn't pay, it's an expensive evening if you stay in the room but absolutely worth it! Our room was perfect right down to the little toiletries and home baked cookies left along side the espresso machine, but of course the main event was the dinner. Once shown into the small bar area for an aperitif we were offered another course on top of our 10 course tasting menu, do not be so hasty as to say no! This extra course is simply ham, egg and peas, but won 3 perfect 10's from the judges on the great British menu and wow did it deserve it. GET that extra course, you will not regret it. The food was cooked to perfection and was incredibly difficult to pick the best course, if one tasted the best, another was better for experience or texture… I highly recommend the 10 course tasting menu, the courses (in my opinion) are better than the 7, that's not to say I would say no to it if I was offered it! The staff were polite and insightful and more than happy to give you information about how the dishes were cooked, the sommelier was helpful with our wine choice and it didn't disappoint. Apparently no wine goes onto the list unless both sommeliers like it. Best meal I have had, best experience and am incredibly sad it's over… Let's hope I get this gift again for another Birthday gift… Hint hint.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Milton C. 16 August 2012

My wife and I visited as a birthday treat and were looking for the full modern european cooking experience. We had the 7 course tasting menu with wines to match each course. We thought it was sensationally inventive cooking, full of flavour and the wines chosen by the excellent sommelier, a fantastic match. The service was good natured and very knowledgeable. Highly recommended restaurant. We stayed in one of the rooms which was to a very high standard. We had a wonderful time, and think you should go too! Breakfast is red hot. We enjoyed the French toast and crispy bacon with maple syrup, but a passing ‘full English’ looked worth a stab at as well. The yoghurt and fruit compote was pretty damned good also.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 0.0

Matt B. 31 October 2010

Be very careful when you book into this restaurant, read the small print on the cancellation policy as there is a £360 fee. On the day we were due to go to Sat Bains my five year old son fell over and split his head open. He required stitches and the doctors advised close observation for 24 hours. I naturally called Sat Bains that afternoon and requested that my table reservation was moved to another day. They informed us that there would be a £360 cancellation fee. Despite explaining the situation they were very unsympathetic and inflexible. Unbelievably when they managed to rebook half our table allocation they still wanted to charge us the full cancellation fee. We would have hoped that a restaurant that prides itself on it's level of personal service would be more understanding of the situation. You never know when you might have to cancel last minute due to unforeseen circumstances.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

Wayne R. 23 July 2009

The location of the place is not particularly inspiring; near an industrial estate, a motorway flyover and directly beneath two huge electricity pylons. All that was missing was the stereo-typical burnt-out car on the roadside. We arrived to what looked like a 1970's bungalow with a few extensions and a gravel drive (no cladding though). The black VW Golf parked up outside with the ‘Cheff’ registration plate made us snigger; was this Lenny Henry's 80's parody of the Chef, Gareth Blackstock??!! We parked up and entered. Mmm. Knowone around. When someone eventually appeared (Mrs Bains), we were made to feel that we were an inconvenience. we were told to sign in. We were told to be at our table for 7:30pm (our original booking). We were led to our room, just about 10 yards along the corridor. The Charles 2. Pleasant room, mock English tudor/period French. The TV didn't work well. The stand-alone bath had huge cobwebs at its base and the shower curtain was cheap and badly planned. The bed was very uncomfortable; two average mattresses on top of each other to create a traditional high four-poster effect. It didn't work. After spending circa £550 for an overnight stay (£175 for the room) I'm sure they could invest in some quality furnishings. We asked (Mrs Bains) whether it was possible to delay our sitting slightly (just around 20minutes as we had a long drive and wanted to relax a little). Her answer? A straight no! When asked why she simply said that “you must be joking” that was followed by a profanity. Charming. Even though we were now on a strict deadline, we found a little time to walk out into the tiny courtyard. It is plain to see (given Mr Bains experience at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons) that they have attempted to duplicate this style; and failed. We made our way to the bar (at 7:25pm). We sat and ordered some drinks. The restaurant manager appeared to make a point of checking her watch and informed us that our table was booked at 7:30pm. Warm service! I don't think so. We chose the ten course tasting menu with suggested wines. When we asked the sommelier to explain a few of the courses versus wine choices we were simply given the impression that that we were being naive to even think that we could question their choices. There were frustrated looks when we made our table selection rather than the one we were led to (one that we were, told to sit at). The food. The food was generally good; the “9 hour tomato, 6 herbs, 1 Manni olive oil” was very good, a perfect blend; although the pork belly was 90% fat and the cheese course was very poor. Three of the wines were badly chosen in our opinion (and I can speak with authority as a qualified member of wset). My opinions; an attempt to spark up a little conversation and aloow the uptight staff to chill a little; were dismissed by the restaurant manager. The customer experience was poor. The following morning improved, far more relaxed; but perhaps that was due to the fact that they only had four out of five covers for breakfast!! Then came check out. Over-priced. £540 much better spent elsewhere. £15 charged for ice! thats a first; we have never experience that!! (we had a bottle of champagne in our room). We put it down to experience. The coverted Michelin star is awarded for exceptional service and food. They will struggle if they continue in this vein. look at the other reviews!! Poor service and cold welcomes are mentioned on many occasions. One to avoid. We will.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Robus 01 March 2009

Saturday, 7th February 2009 Sat Bains' food had the critics drooling for some time before I'd got round to eating there, my wife and I giving ourselves a birthday treat in June 2008. The food had blown us away, but we were relatively new to the Michelin experience then, spending most of the evening grinning like idiots as we scoffed a dozen delicately-cooked, elegantly-arranged dishes. We returned in February with high expectations, this time to experience the tasting room in a party of six. You've probably already read stories about Restaurant Sat Bains being situated ‘under a flyover’, but that description only tells half the story. Ignore the background traffic noise and the setting – including a handful of bedrooms around a gravel courtyard – is actually quite tranquil. Inside is a cosy, candlelit reception bar, leading through to a dining area split into one room and a conservatory. The tasting room itself is separated by a sliding door, and connects to the tiny, pristine kitchen via another one, allowing the noise and excitement of service to spill in. This informal atmosphere was perfect for us, particularly as some of our group had reservations about whether a stiff restaurant experience was for them. So, to the food: a plate of snacks that we were instructed to eat left to right brought a foamy parsnip soup topped with wild rice, a spoonful of raw tuna with ponzu and mooli, sticks of breadcrumbed salt cod and pig's head and finally a palette-cleansing block of compressed watermelon with ricotta. The first dish was a scallop, with small chunks of apple, compressed apple, bitter chicory leaves and watercress. This was followed by crabmeat, bound by a rich duck egg, overlaid with thinly-sliced turnip, ice cream and croutons, finished with a drizzle of brown butter. The purity of these dishes was contrasted by a jar of rich, sweet duck liver and sweetcorn velouté, with caramelised popcorn and gingerbread, followed by veal sweetbreads with broccoli, a broccoli puree and crushed hazelnut. The final savoury course was small hunks of beautifully-cooked woodpigeon, with squash and a smear of dark chocolate – although by this point the details were starting to get a little hazy thanks to some intriguiing selections by our friendly sommelier. We shared a plate of potent local cheeses before enjoying what the restaurant calls the ‘crossover’ course: blue cheese on a thin crispy toast with a cube of compressed pineapple. In other words, cheese & pineapple! The courses continued in this dainty, vaguely camp vein with a rack of white chocolate and beetroot mivvis, complete with sticks. After this, the curiously ugly ‘anti-griddle’ machine in the corner of the room came into play; dark chocolate and rose-petal rounds were chilled on its surface and popped into our mouths on the end of a palette-knife, possibly the only course which didn't quite live up to all the effort that went into it. We were then asked to be guinea pigs for the pastry chef, as he gauged our reaction to a new dish of sweet potato ice-cream, coconut, cashew and olive, which reminded me of a deliciously deconstructed muesli. We finished off with a passionfruit ‘supertart’; deep, smooth fruit on wafer-thin pastry served with pickled blackberry, yoghurt and apricot puree. This wonderful evening was made all the better for us by the relaxed atmosphere of the tasting room and the interaction with the chefs who had cooked our dinner. I've noticed a few negative reviews of the restaurant online, and I wonder if this is down to the service, which is perhaps more down-to-earth than you would get in a London restaurant. Aside from the northern accents, staff seem encouraged to have a personality here, which is something you don't really expect at this type of place – but we could certainly do with more of it.

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