We were recently very kindly invited to eat as guests at Ego Restaurant which is a Mediterranean restaurant in the Dorset Arms in West Bridgford. We’d not heard of Ego before as we don’t often venture out of the city centre, but we both saw lots to get excited about on their online menu.
We arrived at the restaurant and were immediately greeted by very friendly, helpful staff who showed us to our table in the middle of the bright, family-friendly dining-room-come-conservatory. For a Saturday night, the restaurant was buzzing with families, friends and couples alike with a relaxed atmosphere. While we perused the menu, we greedily gobbled down an appetiser of marinated kalamata and big, green nocellara olives with a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (the best wine ever, FYI).
I couldn’t resist the herb and mustard crusted lamb rump while Emily opted for the salmon special with black pudding, chorizo and cauliflower puree after it was recommended by both servers.
After our olive appetiser, we decided to share a starter of calamari – always a good test for a Mediterranean restaurant. Good calamari is heavenly and terrible calamari is terrible so we were hoping for the former.
It arrived as squid rings (alas, no yummy tentacles here) with lemon and aoili. The batter looked quite dark but we were pleasantly surprised to find it light and crispy while the squid inside tasted fresh and not rubbery at all – although we couldn’t taste the paprika. The accompanying aioli mayonnaise was a tried and tested perfect match and the whole plate was a good sign of what was to come.
When our mains arrived, I was keen to get stuck in – my lamb was beautifully pink and looked very tempting sitting on a bright green pea puree in a pool of meaty jus. It was served with a side plate of steaming dauphinoise potatoes with golden, cheesy top.
The lamb was cooked amazingly, just to my taste, with the flavour of the mustard crumb coming through while letting the lamb shine – you could tell it was a prime cut from the intense flavour. The pea puree tasted very fresh and bold but the jus didn’t pack as much of a punch as I was hoping for. The side of dauphinoise was also tasty and creamy with a strong nutmeg flavour – this might have been too much for some but I think it stood up to the rich lamb flavours well.
Emily’s salmon dish arrived on a huuuge plate!
The salmon was sizeable, well-cooked and tasty. The black pudding and chorizo flavours complemented the fish, salty capers and cauliflower puree well by adding a touch of rich, luxurious, meaty flavour. The potatoes were cooked perfectly and seasoned well, still retaining a bit of bite which was lovely. The plating was unusual, with each element arranged separately and the dish might have benefitted from some of the elements being combined together. At a £19 price point, we might have expected homemade black pudding or a more delicate white fish, as salmon is also quite meaty. Overall, a great fish dish with good, bold flavours.
We were fairly stuffed after our generous mains but I can’t leave a sticky toffee pudding unloved – after seeing one on the desert menu it was a no-brainer and Emily liked the sound of the chocolate and salted caramel tart.
I feel like I’m becoming a bit of a sticky-toffee pudding connoisseur at the moment after eating quite a few so I was wary when it came drowning in sauce – the best I’ve ever tried was much drier with a thicker drizzle. However, on first bite my fears melted into satisfaction as the gorgeously moist pud soaked up the sweet sauce and it was actually incredibly delicious. It definitely needed the cool vanilla ice cream to balance out the rich stodginess of the dish, but it was lovely – just what you would expect from a great toffee pud: a hug in a bowl. Top marks!
Emily’s dessert was also enjoyable if a little on the sweet side.
The chocolate and salted caramel was in two layers, a thick layer of gooey caramel and a thin layer of sweet chocolate on top of crumbly pastry. It was indulgent but didn’t taste as homemade as the sticky toffee pudding, which was our favourite of the two.
So, we left stuffed and happy and the food was solid. Although our meal was complimentary on this occasion, we did note that the a la carte menu is at quite a high price point for both main courses, however it’s definitely worth treating yourself to. For more everyday dining, there is also a fixed price menu and discounted weeknight specials (such as Tuesday steak night, tapas Wednesday and kebab Thursday) that make for great value.
In summary, we loved it and will make sure that w-ego again (lol).
Emily & Stuart