Please note, Nosh & Quaff closed permanently in May 2018.
After eating the seriously delicious Rib Tips at the Colmore Food Festival, it was only a matter of time before we took ourselves for a feast at Nosh & Quaff.
We went for a late lunch on Saturday. The restaurant was about half full and we were quickly welcomed and led to a booth.
We started, as usual, with cocktails. Dave chose the Honey Old Fashioned and I went with the Southern Gentleman. I am now revealed as a disorganised blogger, as I can remember neither prices nor contents, and Nosh & Quaff don’t have a drinks menu online to help me disguise my incompetence. I can tell you the Honey Old Fashioned was strong and really tasty, with some pleasant sweetness. The Southern Gentleman uses Chase Marmalade vodka, which made it sharp and refreshing. Perfect for citrus lovers like me.
Instead of ordering mutliple courses, we decided to order a selection of the starters and sides, and share them, tapas style. All the things we really wanted to eat was on this menu, although I’m sure we’ll be back to try some main dishes. The burgers, ribs and hot dogs we could see at other tables looked fantastic.
We ordered Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites (£3.95), Lobster Cakes (£6.75), Hunky Chunk Chicken (£3.95), Rib Tips (£4.50) and Sweet Potato Fries (£2.50).
The Mac ‘N’ Cheese Bites were probably my least favourite. They were a good size and lightly fried without being oily, but I found them a touch bland. I’d have liked a stronger cheese involved, but there were nice enough when dunked in the accompanying tomato chutney.
The Lobster Cakes were tasty little fritters made up of creole lobster, crayfish and scallions, fried in beer batter and served with a paprika mayo. These were a highlight. Again, not a hint of greasiness from the frying, and they were pleasantly spicy, especially when dunked in the paprika mayo. The lobster inside was buttery and delicious.
The Hunky Chunk Chicken is southern fried chicken, served with Sriracha mayo. The chicken was tender and full of moisture. The coating was spicy, and the mayo was packed with heat too, which I loved. Be aware of you’re not a fan of spice though.
The Rib Tips were a stand out too, as we had expected. Lumps of pork belly, deep fried and tossed in the house barbecue sauce. As before, they fell apart to the touch and the sauce is rich and tangy. I suspect it may be a cola based barbecue. Unfortunately I don’t think there were as good as the ones we had at the Colmore Food Festival. They weren’t quite as crisp, and one or two were slightly dry inside. I’m just being picky though, as they were so good before, and this version was still delicious.
The Sweet Potato Fries were a mixed bag. The first few were amazing, and I was delighted as I love sweet potato fries. I found though that as we reached the bottom of the pot, a lot of the fries were really undercooked which was a shame.
As you know, I am really fussy about service. We dealt with two waitresses, who were both friendly, and the service was fast. Unfortunately, we waited nearly fifteen minutes for our bill to arrive after asking for it, which was made extra frustrating, as we could see other people who’d arrived after us paying theirs. We eventually had to ask the barman, who was a superstar and sorted it out us for in minutes, apologised and knocked off 10% off the bill because he spotted the ‘Bálor Club’ logo on Dave’s phone case (it’s a wrestling thing, I don’t know…). Points for him, he was great. One point that did leave a bad taste in my mouth is a throwback to my own waitressing days. A table of men were having a great time hitting on their poor waitress and loudly discussing how great it was that you “don’t have to be careful what you say to the girls in here” like you do in other venues (gross) and that Nosh & Quaff is in fact “like the Playboy Mansion” (double gross). It was mid afternoon on a Saturday, which makes me wonder what on earth those poor girls have to put up with on Friday and Saturday nights, and I was disappointed to see the manager laughing along with these cretins, instead of asking them to settle down. I felt bad for the poor girls just trying to do their job, as anywhere I waitressed the manager on shift would have stepped in to protect their staff from being harassed like this.
I would definitely go back to try the main menu dishes, but I think I’ll be sticking to lunchtimes, in hopes of avoiding the ‘Playboy mansion’ type of clientele…
We paid in full (apart from our 10% wrestling discount…) ourselves. All opinions are honest and my own. They didn’t know I was a blogger.