Its been a while. My 5th year uni project took over my life for the past few weeks so apologies for not keeping this blog up to date but now that’s over I have lots to update and some exciting travel news to share in the coming weeks! And here’s the first. After consuming countless packets of instant noodles and takeaways we decided to visit this recently opened restaurant on the outskirts of “student” Beeston. I say this because to most University of Nottingham students Beeston is pretty much a beeline to the 24 hour Tesco and anything beyond seems like a distant and far flung country. In honesty this was also the furthest I’ve ventured past Beeston town centre but what you find is a thriving local eatery that could fit into a quaint London town yet here it was in a relatively unknown part of Beeston.
On a Saturday Summer’s evening, diners were overfilling onto the streets and staff were almost too busy to even serve us. This led to a few moments of awkwardness as we seemed to be constantly in the way of the waiters. However once we were seated we were pleasantly surprised by the simple and restrained decor that housed a buzzing restaurant with a relaxed vibe.
Four of us shared eight dishes and three desserts with the sad omission of the Octopus with chorizo and new potatoes which sounded similar to one of my favourite dishes at Duck and Waffle. Eight dishes was a good amount for us and allowed us to try a range of what was on offer which was separated into four categories; Nibbles, Salads/Vegetables/Bread, Fish and Meat.
Our first dish was the Ndjua on sour dough with Quail eggs, which we were warned was extra spicy. Two of my companions were spice lightweights so this was at “blow-your-head-off” levels of spice but for me, though I wouldn’t say I’m adept at downing chilies, was manageable with a numbing heat. I would have preferred the spice to be a little less so that the flavour of the quail egg could meld better but overall this was a decent start.
The Rump of Lamb with Sicilian caponata was a very tasty combination. I love lamb and I love aubergine so what’s not to love! I would have preferred the lamb to be slightly rarer but the whole dish was a great combination of tastes and the aubergine soaking up all of the flavours.
The Chargrilled serrano ham wrapped asparagus with olive oil and Manchego Cheese worked well. The grilling of the serrano ham lent a richer flavour to the asparagus that provided the substance, all capped off by the Manchego cheese that had a subtle sweetness.
For some reason we all expected the Wild Boar dish to be chunks of pork rather than salami so it was a little disappointing seeing as this dish was similar to the chargrilled serrano ham. However the onion chutney and the crackers did provide distinct flavours and textures to this dish.
The Monkfish skewers with pesto Trapanese, lemon cous cous and black olive oil were sadly one of the most disappointing dishes of the bunch. The pesto wasn’t strong enough, the bites of monkfish too small and insignificant and the couscous just didn’t seem to work as an accompaniment in a tapas dish.
The Sea Bass with pesto, Spanish potatoes and lemon syrup worked much better than the monkfish, both of which featured pesto. There was more of it but the pesto didn’t really feature in the dish instead it was the veg that dominated this dish, a decent though forgettable plate of food.
Greek meatballs in tomato and oregano sauce were well made if a little too simple. The meat was slightly on the tough side but overall this was a hearty dish that should bring glee to any meatball enthusiast!
One of the real highlights of the meal was the Japanese sirloin steak, Asian cabbage slaw. It was a visual treat and tasted it as well. I loved the vibrant colours. The steak was well done with a noticeable charring but yet again I would have preferred it to be slightly rarer. The slaw melded well with the richness of the steak and the slightly tangy notes picking up the flavours. If there was any must try dish it’s this one!
The trio of desserts were generally well made but didn’t really stand out. The White chocolate mousse with strawberries marinated in orange blossom and mint wasn’t too rich, which was surprising, though that did give it a somewhat “watered down” appearance. There were also hints of lemon surprisingly but not enough orange blossom or mint.
The Eton Mess was visually quite intriguing and generally tasted as it should do, a light and summery dessert.
The Chocolate and hazelnut brownie with passion fruit coulis and vanilla ice-cream was a heavy chunk of chocolate that seemed too big for its plate. Whilst well baked I think it could have been a smidge moister and a tarter passion fruit coulis would have made this more distinctive rather than homely.
The Frustrated Chef is co-owned by Mattias and Patrick. Mattias the former head chef at La Toque and The Library in Beeston whilst Patrick is a food enthusiast/personal development guru who after years of trying to open a restaurant finally landed on The Frustrated Chef. He has also written a book about his journey, littered with food and self development techniques. Service is on the whole friendly and Patrick is out making sure diners are happy with the meal.
Overall, The Frustrated Chef seems to tap into a new market for Beeston, they use a lot of “trendy” ingredients and modern combinations dipping their toe in a range of cuisines. By and large it seems to have worked and is a very welcome addition to the thriving food scene in Beeston, this is one I’ll be sure to revisit when I’m not looking for Asian food in Beeston!
Address: 90-94 Chilwell Road, Beeston, NG9 1ES
Telephone: 0115 922 8300
Mind the Gap:
Mon – Sun: Closed *changing on 19th June
Tue – Sat: 12pm – 3pm . 5pm – 11pm
Panda ate, shot and left.