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Reviews summary

4
Good
466 reviews
Brilliant
370
Good
45
Average
20
Poor
18
Awful
13

19 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

totally fab

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 19th February 2013

"this is one of the best michellin star rsturants we have been to, like some of the other reviewers I was a tad aprehensive to say the least before our arrival, but the worry was for nothing. The room was wonderful, clean and spacious.......but the food was even better, we even opted for the ham, peas and eggs which was certainly worth the extra money. If you want to eat cheaply then may michellin star resturants arn't for you..."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 21st April 2009

Simply sublime.

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 19th February 2013

"Reading the negative reviews on this site made me feel compelled to log-in and create an account to give my review of this establishment. I have wanted to eat at Sat Bain's restaurant for some time, and managed to do so on February 25. Having flown 3,500 miles from Dubai, I wasn't disappointed. The food and the service were amongst the best I have ever experienced - better than many 2 or 3 michelin star places in which I have eaten. Without going into too much detail over the divine tasting menu that we had, put simply, this is one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten in. From start to finish, it was a culinary delight. Sat Bains is a very, very, very talented chef (and humble with it too by the way). Yes it is expensive, but then this is far from an ordinary dining experience. It is truly memorable (and the breakfast also the best I have ever seen or eaten). The accommodation is very comfortable and quite charming. As an owner-managed and owner-run establishment, everything is done to an extraordinarily high standard. The room in which I stayed was better than many rooms in five star plus hotels, and careful little details ensured a comfortable stay. The rooms are immaculate and the beds delightful. But one must remember this is a family business therefore do not expect 24hr valet service and 24hr room service - but then that is not the point of this establishment. In response to the negative comments on this board, the establishment has to be seen to be believed. It is small, it is intimate and the overheads must be huge. This is a genuine chef-proprietor establishment, and I do not blame Sat Bains for running a tight ship. Knowing that Sat Bain himself is cooking for you is a far cry from many (michelin starred) restaurants with a "named" chef proprietor, which get by upon name and reputation alone (and often in my experience disappoint). Yes this is a pricey way to spend an evening (and my only criticism would be that it is extraordinarly expensive for this part of the UK). However, having being there and seen the magic being created in this corner of the East Midlands, I can understand where the cost is coming from. If you are looking for a treat, love your food, and looking to find a new level then this should be high on your list. I will be back!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 7th April 2009

The Best most amazing meal I have ever had WOW!

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 15th February 2013

"We dined At Sat Bain's restaurant on Friday 13th March 2009, we were able to book the Chef's Table with 12 course taster menu after a cancellation. The location was interesting but very good with easy access to major motorways as we had travelled from Hereford. Upon arrival at the restaurant one of the staff confirmed our booking, and took our coats and we were promptly shown to the "Chef's Table" this is private room which is located at the front of the kitchen, which is accessable via two sliding doors, one which leads directly to the restaurant and the other to the kitchen. At 8pm the door to the kitchen opened and we were greeted by Sat Bain's himself and he explained how the evening would progress, and that we would be served directly by the Chefs and some of the waiting staff, and encouraged us to ask any questions that we wanted. And so with the door to the kitchen being wide open, we had an excellent view of the whole kitchen and service began:- We ordered our wines and some champagne to begin, this arrived and was proffessionally served, with flair and grace. Our first course was a selection of Amuse's to tease the palate and these consisted of Parsnip soup with crispy rice, Tuna with ginger, pigs head & salt cod beignets, watermelon and goats curd. These were amazing. After this bread was produced two types one white and a treacle bread made with Double 0 flour which came with an organic butter specially produced for them from lincolnshire, we were all hooked, and we all aggreed that it was so far simply stunning. The next course was scallop with belly pork, chicory and a micro herb, visually excellent, taste brilliant, following this was poached salmon with seasame and caramel miso, but the salmon was poached at 42'C for 8 minutes this was as smooth as butter more like a confit of salmon and well I was for once was speechless. More bread was served and service seemed to flow gracefully and we could see and hear Sat at work, and it was like a conductor managing his orchestra, he and his team constantly talking at communicating with each other telling each other what was coming next and at what stage all the various tables were at. This was theatre at its best and yes there was the ocassional bit of bad language, the kitchen was spotless and the recently promoted commis wiped the hotplate down after each and every plate was delivered to the eagerly anticipating diners. The next course was Duck Royale served in small kilner jars which was sublime a sort of duck liver emulsion with gingerbread, and popcorn. the next course was sweetbreads with panfried broccoli, raspberry vinegrette, and hazlenuts, again amazing combination of flavours, and textures. following this was Hangar beef open sandwich, the intense beef flavour was to die for. Needless to say I thought all the courses were excellent and some to me were better than others and vice versa, the use of the anti griddle excellent, and if you want to know more I suggest that you book a table and find out for yourselves. Sat Bains and his highly proffessional team are very knowledgeable chefs and are very down to earth with a good sense of humour, Sat regularly comes in and he and his chefs talk you through the various courses, and he is more than happy for you to try and guess what they are and how they prepare them, he is interested in his guests and will answer any question you may have and will personally sign menus for you. On another point I had read serveral comments on this site about this restaurants policies and cancellation policies you must remember that this is their contract to you, you would not purchase a car or sell a house without one so why should a restaurant be any different. Thanks again to Sat and his team for a fabalous evening"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 14th March 2009

Manners cost nothing.

1
Awful
by
Reviewed 12th February 2013

"I never managed to sample the obviously amazing fare on offer at the restaurant or stay in the well appointed rooms. Why? Because Mrs Bain was both impatient,condescending and rude to me during the three conversations I had with her. I was left feeling totally unworthy of eating or staying in this establishment. The phrase 'the customer is always right'', has no place in Mrs Bain's work ethic.I urge you to spend you money were is will be appreciated and valued. The conversations took place on the afternoon of the 28th january 2009.I consider that I am justified in writing this review has I had made a booking and given my card details therefore I was a customer."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 28th January 2009

WHAT AN EXPERIENCE !

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 7th February 2013

"I took my wife and 4 of my employees to this restaurant as a reward for some great work. We booked the chefs table for 6 where you get to see Sat and his team work in front of you whilst you eat. This was great and you do have plenty of time to talk between yourselves as you are set back from the actual kitchen that can also be closed off for you should you wish. £95 per head for a 13 course tasting menu - we all paid £15 extra for the signature pea, ham and egg dish made famous on TV. 12.5% service charge compulsory My wife does not eat meat but eats fish and Sat provided a fish tasting menu for her. The sommellier (not sure if that is spelt correctly ?) was very helpful - nice young lad who was down to earth but clearly loved his job. He made life easy for us by just asking us our budget to spend on wine for the night and then making the selections for us. We gave him a budget of £150 and let him do the work (only 4 of us were drinking or we might have given him a higher budget as the wine is expensive!) Our bill for the night came to £915.35 for 6 including the service charge - however we did not begrudge one penny of it. When you book the chef's table you are welcomed by Sat. The chefs themselves (including Sat) bring you the food to the table and tell you what you are about to eat. (Sometimes they only tell you so much and then ask you to guess the rest which is fun !). All of the team at this place are young, smart, professional and all of them including Sat are very down to earth. It is clear they all love working for Sat and have a passion for what they do. This restaurant is small - even on a Saturday it can only hold 35 including the chefs table I believe. But you have 6 or 7 chefs preparing the food for that many guests - we were there on a Tuesday with about 25 people eating and 6 chefs working - so you can start to see why this place is unashamedly expensive for the East Midlands. If you have the chance and can afford it get a group of 6 fun people together and book the chefs table. Out of the 13 courses you will adore at least 5 or 6, you will very much enjoy 4 or 5 and you will have a couple that you might not order again given the choice ! Thing is for each of us we all had different variations of the above and things that some of us would not order again others absolutely adored. Law of averages. You will leave having experienced fantastic down to earth service and conversation with Sat Bains - he will sign your menus and he will talk to you about anything you want. If you are the kind of person who wants to pick fault with a restaurant - don't go there because the fact you are getting 13 courses wil give you the chance to find something to criticise for sure. We had one course where they forgot to provide the spoon for a dessert - but by the time they realised the three men on the table had already eaten the chocolate dessert with our fingers it was so nice ! One of the young chefs was very apologetic but he had no need to be because this was such a fun night and the tastes made up for our dirty fingers ! Sat has no qualms about his restaurant being expensive. I have eaten some fabulous meals in my life - I remember one particularly last year at the Vineyard in Newbury with their two michelin starred chef. Nottingham is improving all of the time with places like World Service, Harts etc. But if you want to experience something totally unique - you must book the chefs table here. It is unlike anywhere else you will ever eat and you will not be disappointed. Ps forgot to say if easily offended don't book the chefs table because even though their kitchen seems to run extremely smoothly every so often you will hear Sat swear Gordon Ramsay style !! (All part of the experience for us !) My staff are working hard already to earn a repeat visit !"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 7th November 2008

20 Hours of Delight

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 5th February 2013

"After recommendations from our favourite chef and restaurateur locally we decided to book in chez Sat Bains and we had a wonderful time. I rang up in advance to book ahead and was advised politely that I was too early and I was given a date to call back and book then. I can fully understand the reasons behind this and there are many both frm the business' point of view and the customer. I think the key one for me is that it is more fair to everyone especially for places liek this that get booked up very quickly. It stops "block bookings" and I wish my local hairdresser / beauty salon would adopt a similar approach! As for the cancellation policy, I was made aware of that during the conversation and yes it is strict but for places like that with high outlay costs, it needs to be. It's a business at the end of the day and if people cancel with not enough notice, money is lost. My parents used to run a small restaurant and it was so frustrating when people didn't show up when we were relying on their custom. Even more frustrating when we turn away other business because we thought we were fully booked only to be let down. The cancellation policy exists to protect the business and I think it's only fair to have one. Okay, rant over and back to the more important issue of the review! Anyway I was happy to call back and book and did so promptly thereby securing the Honeymoon Suite. It was our anniversary after all! We arrived mid afternoon and although the roads were a little confusing we were proud to be able to achieve this ourselves with neither an in car sat nav or a personal telephone activated Sat nav! We were shown to our suite which was a lovely set of rooms; living room, bathroom and bedroom. Decor was beautiful and it was a perfect place to relax for the rest of the day with a bottle of champagne! The bed was so comfortable. I want one myself. I still have drams about that bed! The jet bath was also great. Candles also kindly provided. If I had one slight criticism and it is slight, and this wouldn't stop me from wanting to come back at all, it would be that the TV is just a little too small / far away from the sofa. That's it - negativity over! The dining room was well spaced out. We were in the conservatory. Service was professional. The team managed to get the balance between warmth and professionalism just right. We've been to other comparable places and found the staff just a little too aloof or the other extreme and that is over friendly. We felt extremely well looked after. Food was divine. We had the 12 course menu but we lost count! And we opted for the ham, egg and peas - surcharge necessary but how we enjoyed it! The courses that were most memorable from my perspective were the poached skate and the venison with blackberries. All our dietary requirements were heeded to with minimum fuss so we were not made to feel awkward at all. The wine pairings were good and for the dessert courses (note, plural!) we received two different types of wine to try. The Crozes Hermitage worked a treat with the venison. It's a great place to go (especially for a celebration) as we felt so looked after in an unobtrusive way and all the food and wine gives us married couples something to talk about! Certainly the vanilla, blueberries and wild sorrel granita was baffling. Great for the tastebuds but baffling! Food has to be fun though I think. Anyway we came to the point of saturation and really needed to collapse so we staggered across the garden saying good night to the bunnies and went back to the suite. Tea was brought to us which was just what we needed after all the decadent food. In spite of all that food, we woke up and were ready for breakfast the next day. Standards did not slip and breakfast really set us up for the day ahead. Not too much. No grease and cooked to order - perfect. The crumpets and toasted brioche were delicious too. And too soon, our stay was over...so sad! Checking out was easy and I requested a copy of the menu to keep and this was brought to me quickly. Throughout the stay we were well looked after by Amanda and her team and we could see and hear Sat hard at work. As we left he was in the reception area all bright and enthusiastic about his work. It is this passion that can be "tasted" in his work. It's great to see him and his wife have such hands on roles in the business. He recommended a place in Leeds (which is where we were headed) for our evening meal and it was an excellent recommendation. So now, cost versus experience. Is it value for money? If value for money to you is an all you can eat buffet with unlimited ice cream then maybe not. Put it this way, we didn't mind signing the credit card receipt or paying the service charge because we believed the team there had worked hard to keep us happy and we had an amazing time so in that respect, it's worth the money. I guess it's about coming knowing that it's not going to be cheap but enjoying it nevertheless so if you don't enjoy spending big amounts then don't go there. We may have to save for a long long time but we'll return for sure."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 2nd October 2008

As good as ever!

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 1st February 2013

"I have previously written a review of this restuarant and hotel but felt compelled to write another as we visited again in March 2008 and I am amazed at some of the negative reviews on here as our experience was just as good as the first time around. Yet again we were greeted by Amanda Bains when we arrived who was very friendly. She even knew that we'd visited once before - I can't believe that she remembered us, they must just have a very efficient booking system that flags returning customers! We went for the tasting menu again and the food was superb. We love the atmosphere of the restaurant and found all the staff to be efficient and friendly. Some restaurants of this calibre lack atmosphere or can be a bit intimidating, but Restaurant Sat Bains has neither of these problems. We will definitely return again and would recommend it to anyone."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 24th September 2008

World Class!

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 29th October 2012

"We booked the room and dinner without problem (yes, two months in advance) with high expectations. I'm glad to report that everything lived up. The room was spacious, clean and well appointed. The staff were polite, personal and anticipated / delivered everything we requested. The food is all about flavour and how different flavours can work together to enhance taste. This works perfectly in the savoury couses, but during the sweets, things can get challenging - never a dull moment (eg. olive oil jelly with chocolate). Overall, it's opened my mind towards my own cooking and added a new benchmark of cunlinary appreciation. I would definitely stay / eat here again and would gladly recommend this establishment to others. I was surprised to find some recent negative reviews, but was relieved to read that they're mainly just comments from folk that haven't even actually visited Restaurant Sat Bains. How unfortunate for them..."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 27th July 2008

Would NOT recommend.

1
Awful
by
Reviewed 29th January 2013

"I simple wouldn’t recommend this restaurant to anyone – and we didn’t even eat there! Within minutes of us booking a table, we received an e-mail confirmation entitled “Cancellation Policy – Please Read”. Now call me old-fashioned, but that’s not a warm welcome when about to spend over £100 per head. With about 3 weeks to go before our wonderfully planned night, one of the four had to drop out, and so we politely informed the restaurant. We soon received a reply to say that we had now lost our table because of the reduced numbers. We were astonished! We’d never seen anything like it. We thought about what to do next, and decided we didn’t really want to eat somewhere with such questionable customer policies. So I mailed back, offering polite feedback about why we had cancelled - in a similar tone to that written above. With in an hour or so, Sat Bains himself rang me and gave me abuse over the phone. I did e-mail him again suggesting that he ought to consider his customer service procedures, but he declined (impolitely) and gave me permission to share my experience."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 9th July 2008

very disappointed

2
Poor
by
Reviewed 22nd January 2013

"with high expectations we arrived, service lacking. portions tiny and lacking in taste and texture, wine waiter not seen again after bottles left on table. the great man himself did not appear. we will not return and will not recommend it."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 29th June 2008

Booker beware

3
Average
by
Reviewed 2nd February 2013

"The restaurant is over priced £17 for a kir and a glass of wine(125ml). The food is good, but not value for money. Unfortunately 2 of our friends were ill and could not join us, so we were charged an extra £90 per head. Our overall bill for 2 was £430!! They will not justify the charge - the 3 course set meal is £45, so if you are booking beware and be prepared to lose a lot of maoney."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 28th June 2008

Wont be going again

2
Poor
by
Reviewed 16th January 2013

"19/04/08 Table for [email protected] I'll start by stating I met Sat years ago when I was approached by the owners of The Ashbourne Gallery where he was chef about becoming the Maître D', I found him friendly, with a real passion for food and VERY talented. However Saturday has left a very bitter taste in my mouth. We arrived at the out of the way but very attractive venue and were greeted at the entrance by a friendly lady who informed us she was Sat's wife. We were shown through to the bar area where we were asked by a young man if we would like a drink, I ordered 4 Southern Comforts and that's where the pleasant part of the evening finished! The young man barked back ”You can only have what's on the list Southern Comfort isn't on it" (NB We hadn't been given the list) I bit my tongue (it's my birthday) and perused the list and ordered 4 Gin and Tonics (Hendricks), which we were charged a staggering £44 for. We selected the tasting menu @£67 a head with four extra supplement items (2x duck egg [--]! and 2x cheeses @£15) The wine list has some good wines on it but the prices are a joke more expensive than both Gordon Ramsay at Royal Hospital Road and Le-Gavroche nethertheless I ordered a nice white and a red. Now the tasting menu option is passion of mine and a great idea and I've had it many times in various establishments over the years so I know what to expect, mainly very small courses with a larger main and sometimes desert. The meal started with a surprise course which strangely consisted of two portions of cold red pepper soup and two of hot butternut squash soup so we had to choose which we wanted but it was a "free" course and very pleasant. The next course arrived and contained a tiny slice of scallop approx 5mm thick now I know when the scallops are large enough they are often halved but this is taking things to far. When the "main" beef course arrived I was speechless, whilst it was delicious the course was once again very small and surely the waiter should have asked how we wanted it cooked, whilst I love blue/rare my friends don't. Now onto what really topped off our night when we had finished the first bottle of white I ordered another bottle the lady sommelier brought it over and my friend tasted it. She then proceeded to pour into our glasses which still contained wine from the old bottle it tasted unpleasant and I complained to the lady in question only to be told "I've tasted it it's fine" when I pointed out that she had poured the new wine into the glasses containing the old wine I was told it didn't matter it wouldn't affect the taste, I disagreed and asked her to taste wine from one of our glasses she declined and seemed incapable of any other reply except "I've tasted it it's fine" and walked away. I was upset at our treatment and placed the four full glasses into the middle of the table and asked the waitress for them to be removed and fresh glasses brought. I cannot describe how hacked off I felt so when I went to the toilet I asked for the bill which I paid totaling £556.31 including a non discretionary service charge of £61.81 which I found very hard to swallow after the service we had received. I smiled to myself as I noticed a £4.50 charge for a beer on the bill which we hadn't even had but as I was dealing with the same person as I had spoken to about the wine so I just thought I'm not a celebrity but get me out of here NOW! The final insult came as we left whilst collecting our coats once again the same lady helped my friend Rebecca with her coat commenting, "It's a bit tight isn't it" and chuckling. I notice from their website they have vacancies for a Sommelier and a Restaurant Manager, they need both quickly. I found the venue and decor very pleasing and quite liked the fact that it's in such a strange place. The food we ate was well presented, attractive and on the whole tasty but the whole thing is let down badly by portion size and I left the building feeling ripped off instead of full and content. The service we received from Sat's wife and our waitress Jessica was fine, the barman was poor and needs to learn some manners and what we received from the sommelier I wouldn't even call service."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 18th June 2008
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