While the rest of the city has been kicking out new restaurants stuffed with 12ft-tall burgers that include every ingredient but the kitchen sink, an old reliable has been sitting politely on Mansfield Road, the hype barely a blip on their radar.
After working in Nottingham’s Loch Fyne Oyster bar in the nineties, Thai couple Wat and Pensri Pongsawang started up their own seafood restaurant, combining the culinary skills they’d acquired in their homeland with the ones they’d picked up at work.
Open since 2001, the quaint and homely Lobster Pot is now run by the couple’s son, Chatchai Der Pongsawang, along with their second eatery in Beeston. It’s one of those places you drive past and promise yourself you’ll check out and, frankly, you should.
We found toasty solace in the gaff on an ice-cold Bonfire Night. Quick to warm our cockles, we ordered what was a crisp house dry white wine (£4.25) and a Budvar (£3.95). A welcome treat was an immediate portion of bread and butter – we were starving, so it was nice to take the edge off a bit.
For starters, the prawns on sesame toast with a sweet chilli dip (£4.95) were mightily satisfying – crispy, stuffed to the brim, and lovely with the dip. The pate of Brandan Rost (£5.50) came in the form of a traditional smoked salmon, served with little oatcakes for us to coat in the good stuff.
Going large, for the main we had The Lobster Platter. You can either order it cold (£41.95) or grilled (£43.95) – we went for the hot one. It just weren’t the weather for chilled fish, duck. We got a whole lobster, six oysters, scallops, langoustines, mussels, and shell-on prawns. Absolutely beautiful. There was garlic butter all over the shop, lobster shell flying about – all in all, a really interesting dinner. I’ll be honest, it was the first time I’ve tried oysters and I couldn’t get on with the texture much. But I can see where they’re coming from, so perseverance may change that in the future.
Indecorum aside, the lobster was sublime. Especially the meaty bits inside the claws – you really have to work for it, giving you that extra level of satisfaction. Everything was cooked to perfection and although our fingers were a stinkin’, our bellies were a singin’.
Totally against a dessert – in theory – we eventually went for the banana split and the New York cheesecake while we perused the many awards and artworks on the shelves and walls. With an excellently friendly and professional service, we were wished well on our way. But not before they chucked out a clever little moggy who was lured in by the warmth and tantalising smells.
199 Mansfield Road, NG1 3FS. 0115 947 0707
You may know Juga-Naut as one of Notts’ finest hip hop emcees and producers, but he’s also got mad skills behind the stove, fronting his own Caribbean-inspired catering company as Chef-Jugz. With winter now upon us, we thought we’d ask him to don his chef hat and come up with a couple of recipes to trounce the traditional Christmas turkey and bring a bit of warmth to those long cold nights…