A Sunday roast is without a doubt our favourite meal of the week and we’ve tried most of what the city has to offer in search of the best roast in Nottingham. As a result, were always looking out for one that we’ve not tried yet and our interest is definitely piqued by something a little different. A Sunday lunch is not an easy meal to cook en masse while still tasting better than you could cook at home so it’s no surprise that it’s become our foodie holy grail.
Baresca has been a favourite tapas restaurant of ours since it opened – it’s fixed price menu del dia keeps us coming back on a regular basis and it’s a great place to take friends. So, when we heard they are now offering their own quirky take on a Sunday roast we were there with nobs on.
The online menu states that you can order an individual roast with a choice from three meats: lamb, beef or pork, with an option of a sharing platter containing all three. Unfortunately the individual roasts weren’t available but the sharing platter was on the specials board.
Mouths already watering, we of course decided to partake. The sharing platter includes:
- Moroccan lamb with spiced onions
- Rosemary chicken supreme with chorizo and mash
- Pork belly with a smoked pancetta and pea fricasse
- Sautéed greens (broccoli and mange tout)
- Patatas bravas
- Spanish cauliflower cheese
All for £29.95 between us
Now, to get a gripe of mine out of the way… patatas bravas. These little blighters have been plaguing Anglo-tapas menus for years, and we don’t like them. To me, they taste like yesterday’s roast potatoes that are smothered in tomatoes in an effort to cover up the fact. I wouldn’t let them near my tapas table, so to think that they can replace a roast potato is ridiculous. Roasties are, for me, one of the main parts of a roast and just as important as the meat – patatas bravas does NOT hit the spot. We’re fully aware this is personal preference and most people seem to love them, but we had a collective groan when we saw them arrive.
On to the main event!
The Moroccan lamb was in my opinion superb. It had gone a little cold, but it is our fault for choosing to eat outside! It was cooked perfectly pink and went well with the spiced onions which were a little strong on the turmeric flavour. The only issue that we had with the lamb is that there wasn’t enough of it! With only 7 slivers, I was left wanting more. 7 is also an annoying number to serve for a sharing platter for 2 – naturally I did the gentlemanly thing and let Emily have the last one even though it was my favourite part of the meal (brownie points please!)
The chicken was so tasty and Emily’s favourite dish. When cooking roast chicken at home we use lots of rosemary and garlic so this suited our tastes perfectly. The chicken was served atop a bed of mash with delicious chunks of chorizo. Chorizo is an Anglo-tapas menu staple that we usually ignore (it’s always served swimming in oil and is just a bit of a dumb sausage compared to other European spicy sausages). However, this time the chorizo was a perfect addition – eaten with the creamy, well-seasoned mash and the beautifully moist and flavourful chicken, the whole dish was moreish. I am writing this at breakfast time and could easily eat that again right now. Mmmmmm. We would come back for this dish alone!
Pork belly is another dish that I tend to avoid after having too many bad ones in the past, it’s definitely a cut that’s at risk of being either too dry or too fatty. The perfect pork belly combines the right proportions of meat, belly fat and crackling together and we think Baresca nailed it. It was meaty and moist while the crackling was crunchy and well seasoned. Although generous (and we’re not really complaining here), the portions of pork were massive to the point of being hilariously out of proportion with all the other dishes. We would have happily shared one piece of large belly for a few more slivers of lamb or another chicken breast, which would have balanced the offering a little better.
The broccoli and mange tout were well-cooked with a nice crunch, grounding this platter closer to traditional Sunday roast territory. Not much to say about them but they were all gobbled up with gusto!
So, an interesting take on a Sunday roast but was it successful? I’m not sure I preferred it to a really good traditional roast, but it definitely made a nice change and worked perfectly eating outside on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Emily was more impressed, loving the exciting twists that Baresca added to British dishes that you thought you knew inside out. It was different without being bonkers, still keeping some traditional elements while adding something unexpected. And the meat dishes were particularly great. For this I can almost forgive the patatas bravas. Almost.
Overall score: 8/10
Atmosphere and surroundings: 9/10
Stuart and Emily