Another restaurant review that is sure to whet your appetite. This time it’s MemSaab, which is one of several of Nottingham’s flagship Indian restaurants aligning Maid Marian Way (a well-known stretch of Nottingham’s central ring road). But how you ask, does a poor twenty-something student like me afford to eat here? Well, thankfully I wasn’t the one paying; however, I certainly wouldn’t begrudge footing the bill next time as this was by far the most exquisite Indian food I’ve ever experienced in the UK.
From the outset of your MemSaab experience, you’re made well aware of the restaurant’s prestigious local and national reputation by a long-list of effusively praising reviews written by the likes of The Observer and The Sunday Telegraph emblazoning the front door, as well as a proud and shimmering display of its countless restaurant awards — including Best Indian in Nottingham for four consecutive years — which face you directly as you enter. It was clear to me that the restaurant upheld standards that were far higher than that of your average high-street Indian, and that it was more than keen to assert its stature. Despite this — and to the restaurant’s credit — there wasn’t even a hint of self-aggrandizing about the overall presentation. The waiters who served us throughout the meal were impeccably mannered and attired, incredibly attentive and unerringly professional (perhaps even teetering on being slightly austere — but I won’t hold that against them). The restaurant’s interior was positively cavernous (with seating for over 150), but still made to feel intimate by its dim lighting and tasteful modern/traditional fusion décor complete with ornate Vastu Shastra stone arches and colourful avant-garde canvass portraits. As expected, the food was absolutely exquisite: the menu featured dishes from various Indian regions including Punjab and Goa, and was as varied as it was vibrant. The obligatory pre-starter of poppadoms with a side of three chutneys was perhaps the most memorable part of the meal given the sheer freshness of the homemade chutneys (the mint one was truly exceptional, I must say). My starter of local ostrich meat marinated in a tandoori spice mix was a perfect synergy of mouthwatering flavours with a delectably tender, melt-in-the-mouth texture. For my main, I opted for the Goan fish curry which consisted of silky white fish in a strong fishy-infused gravy, calmed by sweet and milky essences of coconut. Indeed, it was nothing short of culinary perfection. Sides of peshawari naan, Bombay aloo and vegetable curry were again, all thoroughly delicious and impossible to fault. In short, this was unpretentious pan-Indian fayre done according to exceptional standards.
Overall, dining at MemSaab was a memorable experience; but, being a critic, I feel I ought to ask myself if there’s any way I can possibly find fault: well, I’d say that given how immensely enjoyable the experience was, MemSaab ought to have discovered a way of slowing time by now, in order that you may enjoy your dining experience for longer. And yes, it was THAT good.
12-14 Maid Marian Way
Nottingham NG1 6HS
0115 957 0009
Open Mon-Thu 5:30pm-10:30pm; Fri-Sat 5:30pm-11pm; Sun 5pm-10pm