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TRCH David Suchet

Purecraft Bar & Kitchen

1 July 16

We got down for a munch and a sup...

With the recent resurgence of beer as a drink for those with discerning tastes, brewers are relishing the opportunity to go all mad scientist on us, creating myriad variations of the good stuff. It seems only logical that, as with wine, you might want to select a suitable drop to complement your meal. We can’t all be beer sommeliers, so Purecraft go the extra mile to recommend the perfect accompaniment.

One large room with extra high ceilings, decor is minimal with a series of beautiful art works along one wall and a bright, striking cubist-style painting on another. We sat by the windows that gave a view over St Paul’s church, and were presented with both a beer and a food menu.

They have small plates for a quick bite or starter, and sandwiches, but we weren’t messing about, going straight for the large plates: Mauritian monkfish curry with steamed rice, and coconut and coriander chutney (£12) with a pint of Mad Goose Purity (£3.20) for myself, and the beer-brined pork belly with potato puree, black pudding and apple, and a pint of Pilsner Veltins (£4.50) for my partner.

The beer menu gives details of abv, country, IBU (International Bitterness Units scale) and tasting notes. Although we didn’t always play the game as we should – the beer recommended with my curry had “aromas of banana, cloves and spices”; sounds nice, right? Not if, like me, you believe bananas were put here on earth by Satan. My curry was not to be tarnished by such evil – cheers for the heads-up, beer menu.

The monkfish curry was divine; the firm, meaty fish had a light flavour that gave the tangy sauce centre stage. Delicately spiced, the kick came at the end of the mouthful, and the chutney provided a delightful balance. The only disappointing thing was that the poppadom lacked crunch. No one likes a chewy poppadom.

I had to be quick to get in on the action opposite me; it was vanishing rapidly from my friend’s plate. And no wonder. The pork was moist and, as I raised a cheeky, stolen forkful, I could taste the deep roasted aromas. The potato puree, a very smooth mash, was expectedly creamy. The side of apple and black pudding – diced for a more palatable experience – wasn’t intrusive, complementing the pork perfectly. I wasn’t allowed near the crackling, but was informed it was darned good.

We indulged in the classic chocolate tart (£5) with spent grain caramel and cereal milk ice cream for dessert. The base... just wow: crisp, a slight hint of salt, and the caramel was not only delicious but an innovative use of the beery by-product. The chocolate element was equally dreamy, dense but not too heavy or sweet, and the ice cream actually tasted like milk that you slosh on your cereal – the memory of it is still blowing my mind. Ali Emm

Purecraft, 13 St Peter’s Gate, NG1 2JF. 0115 934 9040

Purecraft website

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