RACHEL FOX
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Clean Cut Kitchen

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Having brunched at Cartwheel Cafe and Roastery three times now and also at The Speciality Coffee Shop twice, I felt that today was the day to explore another venue. I am always on the lookout for a location that serves a menu full of nutritious food that does not lack delicious taste and also somewhere within walking distance from my accommodation. The next stop on my independent restaurant hunt was the Clean Cut Kitchen.

I was drawn to this kitchen because I loved their motto: ‘Eating well no longer needs to be a compromise. Eating healthy no longer needs to be bland or boring.’ They pride themselves of making fresh, tasty food that is passionately prepared by their chefs. This kitchen has definitely recognised the ‘clean’ food revolution that has landed in our modern society.

The cafe is located on Derby Road, about a 10 minute walk from where I’m situated at Nottingham Trent University and a 5 minute walk from the main shopping location of the Victoria Centre. I did have to use Google Maps to find my way as I had never explored this area of Nottingham before; however it was very easy to find and I could possibly go their again without my phone as a guide.

They have redefined fast food and comfort food. They have taken British favourites, such as a full English fry up and burgers, and created their own healthy versions using fresh ingredients. The menu really does cater for all dietary requirements, serving meat, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan meals, as well as showing the macronutrients for each option if people like to opt for low carb or high protein meals for example.

They offer take-out, which I chose to do this time, as well as a sit-it that is very stylish and modern-looking. The space was very light and modern, which I loved. I l adored the interior; the tables were wooden with the chairs matching the teal colour scheme of their menu. There is also the option to sit at a stool, looking out onto the street. One day I’d like to go and have lunch in the restaurant and even take some work to do while I sit in. I also enjoyed the hanging ‘Pinterest-like’ lights with large bulbs on the ends that hung above the windows: this small detail again added a focal point to an otherwise block-colour setting. I liked the neon lights above the drink stand, ‘clean’ in bright teal.

In my opinion, the best parts of their interior were the individual cork boards behind the counter showing all of the drink, food and snack options. This restaurant felt more spacious compared to Cartwheel and the Speciality Coffee Shop, however the other two do have a cosier feel to the experience.

Like the other two cafes, I found it very hard to select what I wanted to try out as a result of the wide variety of choice on offer. I wanted to have something completely different and pick something out inside of my usual comfort zone; therefore I selected the Breakfast option of the Veggie Grill. This consisted of a sweet potato hash brown, spinach, quorn sausages, homemade baked beans, tomatoes, avocado smash and rye bread toast. I paid £6.75 for all of this, which I didn’t think was too bad.

The simple dish was delightful and it came in a cardboard box that was easy to carry away. I am hoping to go back and try out other items off the menu. There are a couple of other options that I would like to try. The three egg omelette with cheddar and spinach, the Greek Marinated Tofu Kababs with cauliflower cous-cous and almond dressing or the vegetable falafel whole meal wrap. The falafels are made from chickpeas, soy bean and beetroot and it is the beetroot that put me off this time. I have tried it a couple of time and thought it just tasted like earth! However, I may be brave and try it again at some point. I was also attracted to the Clean Living Protein Boxes in which you select options from four stages. I would pick either grilled tofu or halloumi as the protein, a base of sweet potato mash or pea pasta, the peanut dressing and then you can fill the box with fresh veg, salad and nuts from the counter. I may even add a boiled egg to this.

I would definitely recommend this as a lunch/bunch spot or a take-out destination. The staff were friendly and really welcoming to all us visitors.

What appeals to me most is that the food is delicious but non processed and that I was able to grab whole foods on the move. I did have to wait a while for my food to be prepared; however I would rather this as I know that the chef was making it all fresh; I could even see him putting it together behind the counter.

They also had a display of treats on the counter ready to be purchased. I was tempted by the sweet potato brownie; however I decided to just try the breakfast instead today. The treats included brownies, protein balls, flapjacks and even protein doughnuts.

Before I went, I didn’t realise that they also offer a meal preparation service designed to help customers achieve their personal lifestyle and fitness goals. I think this is such a good idea as they create a delicious tasting meal plan designed to fuel a consumer’s busy life, while giving them back valuable time, removing the need to plan, shop, or cook.

When my mum next comes to visit me at University, I will have to show her this place as I know she’d enjoy the food. I think she would be drawn to the Salmon, Avocado and Eggs or the Super Bowl Salad: quinoa, broccoli, sweet potato, beetroot, spinach, sunflower seeds with crushed nuts and a choice of sauce and an option of adding halloumi.

Rachel

FoodRachel Fox