This is salty and greasy, but I’m rather enjoying it – me
This week, as part of a rare child-free evening, Mark and I made our way to Mexican-themed chain restaraunt, Chiquito in Nottingham city centre. Here’s what we made of it…
We arrived at the restaurant early on a Thursday evening and there were only two or three other groups of diners, so we had our choice of tables. We opted for a view out across the way to the Royal Concert Hall and commented on how polite and friendly the staff were.
Having never eaten at a Chiquito before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but we both love spicy food and certainly welcomed the little bowl of complimentary popcorn, which was very salty but delicious with a kick of sweet chilli powder.
For our starter, which appeared very promptly after ordering, we opted to share a Proper Garlic Bread with Cheese (£4.95) which was described as an oven baked garlic flatbread, oozing with garlic & herbs, but was actually more like a topped quesadilla, with a layer of cheese sealed between two flatbreads, which were then generously covered with garlic, herbs and cheese. A very greasy, salty, frankly unhealthy starter which I would never make at home, but I have to confess we really enjoyed it, although I didn’t touch the oily dip provided – the bread was already dripping!
For my main, I opted for the Veggie Chilli Burger (£9.95), a veggie bean burger topped with veggie five bean chilli, melted cheese and salad, served in a bun with a side of fries. I asked for sweet potato fries and the waiter offered to switch them with no extra charge. Bearing in mind they didn’t know we were there to carry out a review, I think that’s great service.
The sweet potato fries were piping hot, sweet and delicious with a crispy outer and fluffy interior. There was a really huge portion so I shovelled half on to Mark’s plate, which he enjoyed too.
If you’re veggie and like hot food, the veggie chilli burger is a great choice. I had them leave out the jalapenos in my order as I’m not keen on the flavour, but the meal was still really quite spicy. In essence, it’s just a perfectly good fast food burger. Nothing particularly special, but by no means bad. The burger itself was tasty with good texture (beans were detectable, not just mush) and the was salad fresh. Unfortunately, while the burger was piping hot on the outside, it was cold in the middle, which led me to think it was probably cooked from frozen. I’d already taken a huge bite from the centre before I noticed, so I decided not to send it back and seem to have escaped without any bugs.
Mark opted for the Fiery Chilli Chicken Fajita (£13.95). It’s a fair sized cut of chicken in a hot habanero chilli and lime sauce, resting on a sizzling bed of onions and red peppers. It comes with a side plate, housing the tortillas, grated cheese, guacamole and sour cream.
When we ordered, the waiter checked that Mark definitely liked hot food, which I thought was a thoughtful move. Luckily, Mark really enjoyed it and said it was hot but not unpleasantly so. Mark’s only criticism was that, since he’s not a huge fan of onions, he’d have liked to see more peppers or other vegetables on the hot plate.
For dessert, I ordered the Churros (£3.95). It might have been because I’d eaten a lot of chilli by this stage, but Mark and I didn’t feel the churros tasted of very much at all other than flour. Boasting only the scarcest coating of cinnamon and sugar, I suspect they were undercooked. They still would have been great with a decent rich chocolate sauce dip them in, but I didn’t go a bundle on the ‘chocolate flavour dipping sauce’, which didn’t taste much like chocolate at all, so I ended up leaving the majority of the generous portion I was given.
Mark’s dessert, unfortunately, was worse than mine. He opted for the Golden Nugget Cheesecake (£4.45), which was a vanilla cheesecake with honey comb and chocolate pieces. It looked fine and it a great idea for a flavour combination, but it tasted like it had been defrosted uncovered, perhaps in cardboard and consequently taken on that non-descript ‘fridge flavour’ that delicate foods tend to do. It really made it unpleasant, which wasn’t helped by the soggy biscuit base and that same ‘chocolate flavour’ sauce.
So, with all of the above and two Diet Cokes (yeah, yeah, I see the irony), the meal came to a total of £43.15. Not too bad at all for a three course meal for two.
Would I go back? Probably not. The food (except for the desserts, but let’s assume it was an off day) is fine and as spicy as you’d hope, the staff are lovely and the service is fast, but I think Chiquito is best described as ‘line your stomach before a big night out’ fodder, and that’s not really my cup of tea.
Address: The Cornerhouse, Burton St, Nottingham NG1 4BY
Tel: 0115 908 1570
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 11am -11pm; Sunday 11am -10.30 pm
Disclosure: we were given a voucher to cover the cost of the meal. No payment was received for this post. All posts are 100% honest.