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Food Review: The Hand & Heart

14 March 20 words: Eve Smallman

We popped down into the caves for a vegan roast... 

Nottingham’s infamous caves weave through the belly of the city, and The Hand & Heart pub is one of the best places in the city to see them. The signal from our phones disappear as we step into the restaurant downstairs. Fairy lights luxuriously drape the ceiling, romantic candles and roses are on every table, and we feel like we’ve walked into something truly unique. After forking out £16.95 for a vegan Sunday lunch, we were expecting a meal special enough to match the ambience.

The food came out in a surprisingly prompt ten minutes. Elements of the lunch, such as the nut roast and roasties obviously take much longer, so there’s clearly a well-oiled roast machine working behind the scenes. No less than you’d expect from one of the city’s prime Sunday dining destinations. To our delight, the speedy service was matched by some delicious highlights on the plate. 

The meal’s focal point, a mushroom and almond roast, was rich, earthy, and had just a hint of crunch. Mashed potato is often overlooked on a roast, but this one was so smooth and gorgeous, I would have been happy with a plate full of just that. The red wine and shallot sauce was also lovely, full-bodied and the perfect pastor to marry each element together. 

Considering the price, elements of the dish – such as the cabbage, soft roast potatoes and carrots – could have been a little better. But, given the enthusiastic praise from the meat-eating table seated next to us – who complimented them on being excellent as always – that’s less a reflection on The Hand & Heart in general, and maybe just that elements of their vegan roast needed tweaking slightly. With that said, there was still more than enough to enjoy.

Derby Rd, NG1 5BA

The Hand & Heart website

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