After such a good experience at Ibérico World Tapas (see here), I thought we should check out Escabeche – both serve tapas, both are in Nottingham and both have a listing in the Michelin guide.
One downside of visiting the two places one day apart was finding it difficult not to make direct comparisons, which is slightly unfair as, despite similarities, are also very different – to my mind, of the dishes we had ‘like for like’, Ibérico World Tapas served the better croquettes, patatas bravas and jamón.
If I were to recommend one place other the other it would be IWT – this should not take anything away from Escabeche, which we I still thought was very good and way better that the tapas places in my hometown of Manchester (although I am yet to try the ‘new’ Levanter Fine Foods in Ramsbottom).
What Michelin say: “Informal, modern, Mediterranean-inspired restaurant with a sunny front terrace. The broad main menu lists vibrant, well-presented tapas dishes, offering a great variety of flavours. Excellent value set menu.”
Jamón de Teruel D.O., 18 month aged, Serrano ham – another quality ham, not quite in the league of the ‘Ibérico de Bollota Reserva’ we had at IWT but this is also reflected in the price. The accompaniment of shaved pickled fennel and caper berries was a delight.
Beef Cocas, Catalan flat bread with truffled mushroom purée, rocket & parmesan – Escabeche serve several of these Catalan stone baked flatbreads with a choice of several different toppings; this one had just the right amount of truffle oil for our taste.
Poached smoked haddock salad, harissa slaw, pickled beetroot, apple & toasted walnuts – a simple, fresh tasting dish with lovely textures and flavours.
Mackerel escabeche, lime cured fillet, cucumber, garlic mayonnaise & flat bread – another good dish awash with good flavours; the fennel seeds adding a surprise and welcome addition to the menu description.
Seared calf’s liver, creamed potato, red onion, caper & mint jus – this was one dish that did not quite deliver on flavour as expected; the ingredients and look suggested something more punchy and robust.
Seared king scallops, anchovy butter, tomato salsa – the scallops were well cooked (Who can’t cook a scallop these days? Used to be the case that they were often overdone. Less so these days, I’ve noticed.) but it was the anchovy butter that I loved… delicious Mediterranean flavours.
Salt cod & chorizo croquettes – decent croquettes with good strong flavours.
Escabeche cauliflower cheese, toasted almonds, chilli flakes – Patatas Bravas – delightfully crispy potatoes.
Churros – Spanish doughnuts with chocolate sauce – the chocolate sauce was a little thin for my liking. Crema Catalana, blood orange coulis – my wife was very happy with her Crema Catalana… one of her faves.
Escabeche is a great place – good service, good tapas and good ambience. The people of Nottingham are spoilt.