Up ’til now, all I’ve really written about is cooking and recipes. But I don’t just cook, I eat too. I eat a lot, and I like to eat out.
Which is where “She Eats At” comes in. I’m going to start writing about the places I love to eat, once a month or so, in the hope that you will try them out. Good food is a wonderful thing, and when it’s found it should be shared.
When I was thinking about which restaurant to review first, there was only one choice. This is one of the best places I have ever, ever eaten. The food is truly amazing. They do their food as a takeaway, but going into the restaurant is one of the best dining experiences you will ever have.
It’s called The Bull and Spice. You can find it in Attleborough in Nuneaton, but unless you know it’s there you probably wouldn’t. I must have driven past it a million times without registering it before one of my friends told me it was there.
As soon as you get in, though, it’s utterly beautiful.
Small without being cramped, intimate without feeling like you’re sitting on the next table’s lap. The huge, gorgeous windows allow light in, but the room feels nice and cosy rather than like you’re sitting in a photographer’s studio. The tables themselves are laid out beautifully and the room is decorated prettily without being too fussy.
Have I heaped enough praise on the decor yet? I better start on the service. As soon as you enter you’re greeted by someone. You’re shown to your table, where your chair is pulled out for you and an open menu is handed to you. They take your napkin and flick it out, putting it in your lap for you.
We had poppadoms whilst we chose what to have for our main meal. The range of starters they have there is, quite honestly, fantastic — every one I’ve ever had has been gorgeous, especially the stuffed peppers. But I love their poppadoms. They are perfect; crisp and tasty, with a gorgeous little selection of things to dip in to. Whether your tastes run to sweet, savoury or really, really hot, these dips cater for you.
Before the staff bring out your main course, they bring out metal stands with candles inside and place them in the centre of the table. Then they come out with your rice in a little bowl, ask if you would like all of it or half of it on your plate and dish it up for you. If you only want half of it, the rest is placed on that little metal stand so that you can have more later but it is kept warm for you.
They then do the same with your main meal. The staff are the most polite people I have ever come across, and they make you feel incredibly pampered when they bring your food out.
So, the food is brought out in an incredibly thoughtful way. But what is the food itself like?
Well, it is utterly gorgeous.
Myself and Stef had Nargisi Murghi Masala. I’ve had it before and it’s perfect for me — this is minced meat, chicken tikka, onions, and tomatoes. It’s nowhere near as mild as a korma, but it’s not as hot as bhuna. It’s so, so tasty. I genuinely think I could eat it forever.
Garry had Kashmiri Chicken. This is one of his favourites; it’s chicken cooked with bananas and it’s utterly lovely. Very banana-ry, but not sweet at all. It’s so, so yummy.
James, not being a fan of spicy food, had a Chicken Korma. It was too sweet for Sarah, but I thought it was perfect. Genuinely perfect. The coconut cream in it was so, so lovely, and although it wasn’t spicy it had an incredible, rich flavour. Basically, it was lush.
Sarah herself had a Tandori Chicken Mackhani, which was creamy and delicious, but it was her fiance Nate who came out with the best meal. He asked for a “full Tandori” and got a meal fit for a king.
As much as I love my Nargisi Murghi Masala, I might have to try this next time. When I tasted it it was like a little party in my mouth. Truly, truly delicious.
We also had some obligatory Nan bread. The plain Nan is absolutely lovely, perfect for mopping up excess sauce…
But Garry and I have a bit of a soft spot for their cheesey garlic Nan, so we shared a family sized one. It was enormous, and utterly beautiful.
We all enjoyed our meals, anyway…
And by the end, all of our plates looked like this:
You can see their menu here.
Even though we were stuffed, when they brought out the dessert menus we were powerless to resist. We spent a fair while bickering over who was going to have what. Thankfully, they bring out little orange segments to clear your palate whilst you decide…
These are the sweetest, juiciest oranges you have ever tasted. Garry is mildly obsessed with them.
When desserts came…oh, my gosh.
I had a “Funky Pie”. The pastry was just perfect; sweet, soft and crumbly. The desserts are heavy on ice-cream and meringue, but as a massive fan of both these things it really wasn’t a problem.
Oh, and Stef proved that he was a grown up by having an Egg Man, which came with a free little toy.
They also, by the way, do the most incredible floater coffees. Garry looks forward to these every time they come; they are lovely.
Anyway. It was late, and we couldn’t stay any longer. We asked for the bill, and they brought it over with a few complimentary extras. By a few extras I mean Baileys for the girls and brandy for the boys…
The girls also got a rose and the boys, just to make sure that they didn’t feel left out, got a lollipop.
Which led to the brilliant spectacle of four men in their twenties sitting around a table in a posh restaurant, drinking brandy and sucking lollipops.
The food here isn’t expensive either — for two courses and a mix of alcoholic and soft drinks, it worked out at £21 each. For the food and the service we had, that is utterly incredible.
Basically, eating here is a perfect experience. Everyone I know who has been here loves it and frequently comes back — I have never been there without seeing at least two people I know eating there too. If you live in the Midlands, it’s worth making the trip here. It’s unforgettable.