Last Friday evening I had the most unexpectedly amazing meal at a local college. We booked as an early Mother's Day meal for my mother in law as she'd said good things about the restaurant in the past and we knew she wanted us to try it.
The restaurant is called Refined and is based within the Vision West Notts College in Mansfield, Notts. The college has recently undergone a huge refurbishment and looks very modern from the outside. The restaurant and kitchen is run by students being over looked by a head chef and supervisors. The restaurant itself was a nice size and nicely decorated in a contemporary theme. During the week there is a Theme Night, Grill Night and the Friday Fine Dining. My husband booked through their website and I emailed letting them know about my allergies.
We were met at the main entrance by a student and walked down to the restaurant where we were welcomed and our coats taken. We were sat at the table and straight away asked who had the food allergies. I was given a separate Allergen Menu which covered all my options (all dairy, egg and gluten free).
To start we were served an Amuse Bouche which was a Seam Bream reduction. It had a lovely delicate flavour with a hint of lemon grass and a kick of chilli. This wasn't shown on the menu but the server assured me straight away that it was safe.
For my first course I choose the Vanilla Cured Confit Salmon. It was perfectly cooked and melt in the mouth. It was served with very tasty pickled cucumber which I loved.
The second course was Borsch. I'd never heard of it before but it was described as a beetroot soup. I've only ever eaten pickled beetroot so didn't know what to expect but I actually really liked it. It was just the right size served in a little coffee cup. The server brought me out some bread separately that had been made.
For my main course I chose the Roasted Loin of Pork. It was served with a lovely array of vegetables and a delicious meatball (not exactly sure what it was) which was rich and tasty. The sauce was very tasty and the pork cooked perfectly.
For dessert I had A Taste of Raspberry. At last NO fruit salad!! It was two scoops of yummy Raspberry sorbet placed on some biscuit dust with a lovely sauce, fresh raspberries and a sweet crunchy shard. It was all amazing. More restaurants need to have these kind of desserts.
The meal was amazing and definitely as good, if not better than some of the top restaurants we have eaten at. I never once felt like I was sat in a college, it really did feel like a nice restaurant with a great atmosphere. The students were friendly, polite and very helpful. I was so grateful that they dealt with and catered so well for my allergies. I was impressed that they had been so creative whilst avoiding dairy, egg and gluten. As each course was brought out I was reassured it was free of dairy, egg & gluten. That goes a long way. I hope that these future chefs carry on producing great safe food for their customers when needed. For non allergy diners you are in for a treat with even more delicious choices.
I'd highly recommend a visit to this restaurant if you are in a area. Bookings can be made via their website. Refined Dining Restaurant