Ego Mediterranean Restaurant Sutton In Ashfield – A Review

Anyone who has read my blog before or even just seen me on social media knows that I love my food, so being able to review Ego Restaurant in Sutton In Ashfield (website here) was a great opportunity. As a vegetarian, especially one who tries to stick to a healthy low fat diet where I can, eating out can be extremely difficult with the choices limited. Looking at Ego’s menu online (here) I was excited and decided that I would eat off plan on this occasion and enjoy the food as it sounded amazing. Did it live up to my expectations?



Arrival and First Impressions

We had initially planned to go as a family, myself my boyfriend Stuart and our son Ben however a last minute change of plans meant we also took along Ryan, Stuarts nephew. We booked our table for 6pm on a Friday evening and arrived at 5.55pm. As we arrived we were pleased to find parking wasn’t an issue and despite it being quite a dark evening it was well lit outside which is always important to me as a mum because Ben has some difficulties with walking and trips easily but we had no problems here. As we walked in the building we could hear the normal chatter of people enjoying their meals and immediately it felt relaxing. The atmosphere was relaxed and we didn’t feel like it was the kind of place that you had to be in a shirt and tie and be careful not to make too much noise! At the entrance we were met by a gentleman who checked our booking and showed us to our table and gave us the appropriate menus checking if we required the children’s menus or not for the boys. This was appreciated as they like to be seen as young men and have appetites to match so don’t like being automatically given a child’s menu! We were told the soup of the day was Creamy Mushroom and that a member of the team would be over shortly to take our drinks order.
A view of restaurant from our table with Kitchen at back and
end of the bar just shown to the left.
A staff member, Lisa, quickly came across to take our drinks order and confirmed she would return for our food order shortly. Our table was well set with wine and water glasses however once we had ordered drinks and were not having wine these were promptly removed which avoided the table becoming cluttered. As we perused the menu other tables around us were eating and clearly enjoying their food. The restaurant was relaxing and clean and we liked the open plan layout with the kitchen visible but set back enough that it wasn’t noisy or imposing.
Starter – Grilled goats cheese, on toasted brioche with aged balsamic
vinegar, caramelised red onions, pineapple & black fig chutney.
Starters

Our food orders were taken promptly after we had been given enough time to look over the menu and we didn’t have long to wait before our starters were served. The presentation of all of our starters was perfect, clean and simple whilst also nice and stylish. I had the Grilled Goats Cheese (picture and full description above). The goats cheese was perfectly grilled so that although it was warm it wasn’t too hot and had a perfect texture, it is one of my favourite cheeses so I was very impressed that it was cooked properly as all too often places over cook it and it just isn’t as nice! The brioche was toasted nicely and proportions of balsamic vinegar, caramelised onions and the chutney were just right to create the right mixture of flavours in each bite. Stuart had the Gambas al Pil Pil (photo and full description below). The toasted sun-dried tomato bread as you can see from the photo was toasted just to the right level and the prawns arrived sizzling. Clearly freshly cooked rather than just reheated Stuart said the prawns were perfectly cooked and the flavour was great. They were very spicy, as described, but much to Ben’s surprise when he insisted that nothing would be too spicy for him – it turned out he was glad of the bottle of water we had for the table!
Starter – Gambas al Pil Pil, King prawns, pan fried with garlic
& guindilla chillies, served with toasted sun-dried tomato bread
Ben and Ryan both chose the Salmon and Dill fishcake for their starters (pictured below with full description). Ben loves his and ate every last bit from his plate as if he had never been fed! Ryan wasn’t so keen on his as he didn’t enjoy the hollandaise however he said the fishcake was nice. Stuart tasted his egg as Ryan doesn’t like eggs and for a poached egg it was clearly cooked just perfectly, something I am yet to master! The fishcakes had a good texture and looked to be very well made and cooked well. They definitely didn’t give off the impression of having been deep fried and dripping with oil like you get some places and the presentation as you can see was great. For a starter it came with a good amount of leaves too which is always good.
Starter – Salmon & Dill Fishcake, with soft poached egg,
lemon & chive hollandaise on mixed leaves
Main Course

After we had finished our starters the plates were cleared promptly and our drinks replenished where necessary. We had a wait of around 10 minutes for our main course which felt just right. We didn’t feel like they were rushing our main courses out when we had just finished our starters and it gave us a nice amount of time to chat and enjoy being all out together. During this time I observed other tables around us with cocktails and main courses, all were clearly enjoying their food and drinks and all were presented just as well as ours.
Main Course – Roast Mediterranean Vegetable & Feta Tartlet,
Topped with rocket & served with warm spicy tomato sauce
For my main course I chose the Roast Mediterranean Vegetable and Feta Tartlet (picture and full description above). As Ego is a Mediterranean restaurant I had high hopes for this main course to be freshly made and with vegetables that had some bite and you could clearly distinguish rather than the kind of batch frozen tartlet with a sloppy mixture some places would serve under the same name after popping it in the microwave! Well I was not disappointed, the pastry was perfectly cooked and crunchy without being crispy, there were large chunks of vegetables such as peppers and courgette roasted inside and drizzled with a tomato sauce that wasn’t too spicy but definitely had a something about it that I liked. It was topped as you can see with a large amount of rocket and a piece of feta. The rocket was all fresh and had clearly been put on just before serving as hadn’t been warmed up by the hot meal underneath which was great as I really hate warm leaves! I also ordered a portion of buttered new potatoes and requested them without the butter. Cooked well and served without butter these went perfectly with the tartlet.
Main Course – Piri-Piri chicken chargrilled kebab Skewered with
red onion, courgette, red & yellow peppers, house salad,
tzatziki, tomato salsa & tortillas
Stuart and Ryan both chose the Piri-Piri chicken chargrilled kebab for their main courses. Their meals arrived looking impressive and with a good amount of salad. The sauces, salad and tortillas all arrived cold whilst the kebab arrived hot. Again another indication the meals were made freshly and served immediately without any hanging around letting cold elements of a meal get warm! Ryan enjoyed his kebab and the dips however only ate one of the tortillas as he was getting full and determined to save room for dessert! Stuart enjoyed his to, both reported the chicken to have great flavour and the vegetables skewered with it to be firm and equally cooked. The meal was a good size and well presented. Both Stuart and Ryan ordered some skin on fries to have alongside their meals which came out presented well and a nice size portion for an accompaniment though the meal was big enough really so although they ate them happily they were not really needed.
Main Course – Iberian Belly Pork, Slow roast & honey
glazed with spinach,chorizo & black pudding,
thyme red wine jus & parmentier potatoes
Ben chose the Iberian Belly Pork for his main course (pictured above with full description). He had liked the sound of it on the menu and was pleased with his choice when during our starter someone on the next table had the belly pork and he liked the size of it! When it arrived Ben’s eyes nearly popped out of their sockets he was very impressed. As you can see the presentation was perfect and the meal was a good size. Ben loved his meal and would love me to cook it for him at home, unfortunately although I enjoy cooking this really is well out of my comfort zone! We were given a steak knife for it and it was sharp and cut through the meat well showing the good quality of the meat and how evenly cooked it was. I should have taken another photo at this point but to be honest we were all too keen to try our meals!

Drinks, Coffees and Desserts

Despite an extensive drinks menu including cocktails, beers, spirits, and wines both by the glass and by the bottle we all chose to drink Coca Cola and Diet Coke throughout our meals along with a bottle of water for the table. I was impressed to see that even Prosecco was available by the glass but given I was already being more relaxed with my food choices and enjoying a dessert I stuck to Diet Coke. I did however treat myself to a latte with my dessert (pictured below) which was lovely!

After our main courses we were offered the dessert menu which despite trying to eat healthily we didn’t turn down. After all how can we review somewhere and not sample such amazing sounding desserts! The dessert menu included dessert cocktails which I was very tempted by especially after seeing a nearby table have them earlier in the evening however the Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Tart was too tempting and I chose that. It probably wasn’t the healthiest item on the menu but salted caramel really is a favourite of mine and it would seem so rude not to at least try it! Well, try it I did, and finish it too! It was very well presented as you can see below and it tasted divine, to be honest with it tasting so good they could have served it in anything and I would still have devoured it! The quarter of strawberry on the top let me believe that I wasn’t being so naughty after all!
Dessert – Salted Caramel  & Milk Chocolate Tart
Served with vanilla ice cream
Stuart, being a little more health conscious than me, chose one of the Ego Mini desserts where you get a mini dessert along with a tea or coffee of your choice. He chose the Chocolate brownie and a coffee (pictured below with full description). We loved the idea of these desserts as you could still have a taste of a pudding with the rest of the family however have a smaller amount. This came very well presented and it didn’t look out of place at all, a much nicer choice than just a coffee.

Dessert – Warm Chocolate Brownie,
Chocolate brownie with walnuts, pecan nuts & sultanas,
with a black coffee, milk was in the jug.

Both Ben and Ryan were very keen on the idea of the chocolate brownie which had the same description as Stuart’s above however didn’t like the idea of it including nuts and sultanas. Initially we told them they would have to chose something else if that was the case as it wasn’t like they could remove some of the ingredients however upon asking the staff we discovered there was a perfect alternative. The boys were offered a gluten free chocolate brownie (picture and full description below) which doesn’t have any nuts or sultanas in so they still got what they had fancied and were very happy. Immediately this was what the boys opted for and when it arrived they were not disappointed. The brownie was nicely warm and just as well presented as everything else we had. We had to be quick with the camera to snap a photo of this as despite having such big meals both Ryan and Ben had done an outstanding job of saving just enough room for their dessert!
Dessert – Warm Chocolate Brownie, Flourless chocolate
brownie with chocolate fudge sauce & vanilla ice cream
Adaptability of Menu

During our visit I enquired about what we could change on our meals to make them fit in more effectively with our healthy eating diets and was surprised to discover that they can change most things on the meals. All the food is made from scratch so if for example you didn’t want butter in the risotto they can easily do this. They are happy to make meals with vegetables instead of potatoes or swap around meals to make them fit whatever dietary requirements you need. They really were so adaptable I was very impressed as we all know how difficult some places can be if you ask for extra salad instead of chips and looking at you as if you have two heads. For the staff at Ego any request is considered and adapted where possible. They even have a separate gluten free menu to save those who require a gluten free meal to be able to easily choose without looking for little symbols and asking questions. There was a great vegetarian choice and this is often rare too so that got a big thumbs up from me! The only disappointment was that there was no way they could make my salted caramel and milk chocolate tart for zero calories, so for the purposes of this review, and my greedy belly, I forced myself to order it and enjoyed it anyway!
As you can see the desserts were very much enjoyed!

The General Experience

We all enjoyed our meal out and felt relaxed in the Ego Sutton in Ashfield. There was no pressure to finish our meals and vacate the table and we could happily have stayed there all night. The boys (or young adults as they like to see themselves) felt very comfortable there and they played on their Ipads in between courses which was no problem to anyone. The atmosphere was relaxed and despite being quite busy by the time we left the staff were not rushing around as there were enough staff for the amount of customers and they were there whenever needed without watching over you as you ate! Even while the restaurant was busy it didn’t feel too noisy and had background music set just to the right volume. We didn’t observe anyone having any problems with their meals and everyone we saw was having a great time. The toilets were clean, well stocked and stylish throughout our visit. Booking was easy over the phone however you can also book online through their easy to use website after looking at the menu. To book online click here.

Drinks

Would we recommend it?

We all thoroughly enjoyed our visit and would definitely recommend it whether it be for a special meal out or just a quick drink and bite to eat after shopping in the town or even going to the football. The restaurant and staff really came across as relaxing and comfortable and everyone felt welcome, it certainly wasn’t the sort of place that you would feel out of place if you weren’t all dressed up, I can imagine in the summer it will be a lovely place to sit and eat nice Mediterranean food outside in the sun with a cocktail, of course if I haven’t won the lottery by then and moved somewhere in the Mediterranean! They have different menus available different days which can reduce the price a little on the a la carte menu, for example on Tuesday for steak night but I am sure it would still be just as relaxing and lovely experience. Definitely a perfect place for something like Mothers Day, a birthday, or just because you want a nice, special meal that you don’t have to cook! I cook all the time in our house so if anyone wants to treat me to another meal out here I certainly wont object! Also a little hint for you, if you sign up online for the Ego Club here you can get 25% off the a la carte menu Sunday to Friday, a free three course meal on your birthday, and a free bottle of Prosecco on a special anniversary day of your choice. Now what’s not to like about that? If you like the sound of that and are anything like me and will forget then sign up now while you remember! My birthday is in October and I am hoping that we will be having another meal here then and I am sure Stuart wont object especially as mine will be free. Of course every time we go between now and then I can drop the hints, and he will read this anyway so he has no excuses not to treat me!

Our food and drinks at the Ego restaurant were provided in return for a review on Just Average Jen. The words above are my own views of our visit as I will always give my honest views of a product or service and will never guarantee a company a positive review, only that I will review and give my true honest experiences. Aware that the staff may be aware I was reviewing I made sure that our experiences were the same other tables around us which they were, to ensure my review represents accurately the experiences any customer would receive.

To read about other products and services I have reviewed click here or go to the Products and Services reviewed tab on my homepage on www.justaveragejen.com
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