Sat Bains is an interesting experience – not all of which is pleasant. If you don’t want to take my word for it, then read the reviews on Tripadvisor. The consensus here is that Sat and Amanda Bains are brusque narcissists who belittle diners who are not obsequious enough to kowtow to their godlike talents. Unabashedly arrogant is an understatement. Just check out the management’s response to this person’s post.
Perhaps the Bains’ are of the philosophy that even negative publicity is good publicity; controversy means that people are talking about you, no?
I have to say that the staff were congenial on the night that I went, so I was lucky not to have my evening marred by the Bains’ reportedly unpleasant company.
The restaurant is in a very unfortunate location – next to a flyover in what appears to be the middle of nowhere…
To read more of this article, you need to be a registered member of this site. Don’t worry though – registration is FREE!
[button color=”green” size=”large” style=”none” link=”http://nomadz2.phx.enscaled.us/wp-login.php?action=register”]Click Here to Register for FREE[/button][/s2If]
[s2If is_user_logged_in()]The pre-dining room next to the bar is where my friends and I were seated to peruse the menu and order pre-dinner drinks. The drinks menu is okay, not staggering. There is a lot of whiskey offered at the bar, including one Japanese option (‘Yoichi’).
The dining room is small and not particularly cosy. Someone on Tripadvisor said ‘dour’, which is a fair observation. It doesn’t provide the sort of dinner theatre environment wherein you feel happy to part with lots of money. In fact, it looks a little cheap considering it’s status. It’s a glass-metal conservatory that feels cold and impersonal. Lighting is functional but far from theatrical.
There is a little wood block for your dining cutlery that holds something like four of each implement. This seemed like a clever idea to me at first, until the waiters kept refilling it after each course, whereupon it became pretentious. I am reminded of a restaurant in Cannery Row that actually chilled it’s salad forks in a special container on your table. These are silly affectations and reek of novelty and pretension.
The food, however, is very interesting. Portions are miniscule. Picture a tablespoon’s worth for each. We had 10 courses, plus the ‘famous’ Duck egg and peas – making it 11 in total. Yes, I was full by the end, but it took three hours to get there.
The duck egg is slow cooked (apparently) in such as way as to make it soft-boiled without being runny. It’s congealed. Very tasty. Very clever.
I will credit Mr Sat Bains with being a very innovative cook. It’s not hard to mix flavours for the sake of mixing them and ending up with a dog’s dinner. But Bains has talent and the juxtapositions of flavour are thoughtful, playful and clever. But the incessant experimentation, the fly-sized portions and the clinical aspect of the room made me feel that I was in a chef’s R&D Lab, not a restaurant.
It isn’t a romantic or cosy experience but it is something that other chefs can appreciate. I’m just not sure if it’s really for the rest of us.
I’m giving good marks for the quality of the food and the imagination of the chef but reigning the score in because of the lacklustre decor and inappropriateness of the menu to its diners.
Sat Bains restaurant review in the Telegraph
Lenton Lane, Nottingham NG7 25A, England
0115 986 6566 | www.restaurantsatbains.com[/s2If]