It is important to celebrate the small victories in life. One of them is enduring “Hump Day” a term used in the context of climbing a proverbial hill to get through the week. Having a press launch on Hump Day is a stroke of genius, giving people the chance to celebrate with good food, good fun and good times.
And so it was that I attended the press night yesterday for The Head of Steam nestled on High Pavement, Nottingham. Missoula in a former life, the bar’s new avatar channels cosy gastropub vibes perfect for families, business and dinner dates.
Warm welcome aside, an appreciative glance took in the elongated bar and attentive staff ready to get stuck into service. We were placed towards the back in a comfortable booth, and perused the menus.
The drinks menu is an impressive tome and weighs half a tonne (hyperbole), featuring everything from keg beers, cask ales and champagne. We kicked off with a few expertly made cocktails.
I loved the Cherry Lollipop, which had a distinct hit of Midori, whilst dining partner’s Long Island Iced Tea had a liberal shot of 3 year Havana Club.
The food menu is diverse, and much like the Spice Girls, there is something for everyone. Fancy brunch? Head to The Head of Steam. Are you hungry but don’t know what you want? Check out the Light Bites section of the menu. Want to wrap your chops around a burger? Look no further than The Head of Steam.
We started our exciting dining journey aboard The Head of Steam express with three beer-matched starters.
Mini sweet paprika chorizo (honey glaze) were wonderfully pungent in all their paprika infused glory, tempered by the subtle sweet honeyed enrobing. These were my favourite, and so deserve a standalone photo (I am still dreaming of them 24 hours later).
Yuzu, ginger and shiso smoked salmon was very good, with a liberal spritz of fresh lemon. This may sound like an Oriental dish, but the barely-there ginger was so subtle, that it was a joy to eat with the accompanying chilli flatbread.
Chicken churrasco brochette skewers were very good, laced with warming cumin. I found the chicken moist and especially good when swiped through the cucumber raita. This platter was visually striking, and a really good way to get a flavour of a number of dishes in one hit.
For the main, I was torn between a pie and a burger; in the end, the former won. Chicken pie (pulled chicken, ham hock, sautéed leek) was delicious. The filling was extremely generous with chunks of chicken discernible in the creamy sauce. I have utmost respect for pie-makers who fill pies to the top – that is after all, how God intended pies to be enjoyed. Creamy mash, mushy peas, gravy and a liberal sprinkling of crispy onions elevated this dish to the next level.
Dining partner enjoyed her 21 day-aged Yorkshire Sirloin steak (fries, sunblush tomatoes, red onion salad), peppercorn sauce. It was succulent, and the sauce with just the right amount of pepper-based piquancy.
Dessert of profiteroles drenched with butterscotch sauce was very good too. Delicate choux pastry with light crème patisserie was a joy to eat. I have my eye on the salted caramel chocolate torte next time.
I loved it The Head of Steam Nottingham. It is a welcome addition to Nottingham’s hospitality scene, and I wish them the very best of luck. The service is impeccable, atmosphere convivial and the food very good. The pub is also dog-friendly, so if you have a pet pooch, they’ll be sure to receive a warm welcome too. With an imminent opening in Leicester, this is a brand to watch. The Head of Steam Nottingham, see you again very soon.
Eatery name: The Head of Steam, Nottingham
Open since: 22 March 2018
Address: 7 High Pavement Nottingham NG1 1HF
Mon–Wed 11:00am – 11:30pm
Thurs 11:00am – 12:00am
Fri & Sat 11:00am – 12:30am
Sun 11:00am – 11:30am
How to make reservation: Online & telephone
Call: 0115 947 6636
Head Chef: Shon
Wheelchair friendly: Yes
*Shots of the interior courtesy of The Head of Steam’s Facebook page – my battery was low and I couldn’t take any more. I promise to update next time I’m there – which will be soon*