For a rare venture outside of the city centre for a Sunday roast, we settled on The Old Flower Shop on Mapperley top after having our interest piqued by the online menu. The Old Flower Shop is fairly new and (believe it or not) located in an old florist, with a modern yet cosy interior.
Although the a la carte is also available on a Sunday, there is no choice for us other than a roast. The meat options were chicken or beef (served pink or not) so we had one of each. Looking at the weekend menu, we noticed a list of interesting sounding bloody Marys, including one made with beef bullion and one with blue cheese stuffed olives. Sounding interesting, we attempted to order two of the five varieties only be told five minutes after ordering that they we’re only available on Saturdays. They couldn’t make one for us because they didn’t have any of the right garnishes, and if we did still want one it would be ‘a simple one’ and sold at £1.25 more than the menu price for the pimped versions. The waitress didn’t tell us this when we ordered and nowhere on the menu was this made clear so we were rather irritated. We begrudgingly stuck with a regular Bloody Mary which eventually came bizarrely garnished with mint. It wasn’t a great start, to be honest.
After the poor service and BM fiasco I didn’t have high hopes when the food arrived 15 minutes later but both roasts were actually excellent – enough to melt away my Bloody Mary grumpiness.
The chicken breast was the largest I have probably ever eaten and the yellowish hue on the skin and the lovely flavour confirmed to me it was a free range and organic happy chicken. It was cooked well with only a little dryness on one side and was delicious with the rich gravy and flavoursome meat stuffing. The veg contained heritage purple carrots which we thought was a nice touch and, although a little under seasoned, the cauliflower cheese was tasty. The Yorkshire pudding stole the show for me here – it is the closest I’ve ever tasted to my dad’s homemade yorkie and it was perfect. Fresh and crispy on the outside with a soft centre, I could have eaten another. The only disappointment really was the roast potatoes. They were crispy almost to the point of tasting deep fried and one of mine was pretty much hollow, shattering into crunchy shards that resembled batter scraps more than potato.
Despite there being maybe 5 servers chatting and horsing around behind the bar, the service did unfortunately let us down again throughout the meal. Although the food came quickly, two glasses of tap water were never delivered despite asking 3 times. There was no check back to the table or asking if we wanted any sauces or more drinks and the staff were hard to pin down – this led to Stuart accidentally smothering some of his beef in mayonnaise as he swiped what he assumed was horseradish from another table – hilarious yes, but avoidable.
We were absolutely stuffed and so didn’t opt for a pudding – the portion sizes here are immense. After a shaky start, we were glad to find this is one of the best roasts we have eaten out in a while and only a ten minute journey from the city centre. For a truly homemade tasting Yorkshire pudding they will go down in our history books, as well as fantastic meat and interesting veg. A success we will be repeating soon! Hopefully we caught the service on an off day , it would be good to make sure the Sunday staff know the menu and are more attentive.
Overall score: 8/10
Atmosphere and surroundings: 8/10
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