Head Chef at top Nottingham restaurant reveals his best places to dine in the city

The chef whose incredible talent has seen him appear on Masterchef: The Professionals is now sharing his go-to places that he rates - have you been to any yet?
Hira Thakur is Head Chef at Cleaver & Wake where he and his team create dishes such as spiced risotto with lemon yogurt and samphire | Image Cleaver & Wake - Hira ThakurHira Thakur is Head Chef at Cleaver & Wake where he and his team create dishes such as spiced risotto with lemon yogurt and samphire | Image Cleaver & Wake - Hira Thakur
Hira Thakur is Head Chef at Cleaver & Wake where he and his team create dishes such as spiced risotto with lemon yogurt and samphire | Image Cleaver & Wake - Hira Thakur

We are blessed to have such a vast selection of brilliant restaurants and bars here in Nottingham - and we're always on the lookout for the next hot dining spot.

We're firm believers that you can’t beat a word-of-mouth recommendation which is why we thought we’d head straight to where all the action happens - in a busy restaurant kitchen. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In the coming weeks, we will be speaking to chefs in and around Nottingham to get the lowdown about the places they love to eat in the city.

The first Nottingham chef we quizzed was Hira Thakur. His cross-continental culinary journey started at his family restaurant in Shimla in the foothills of the Himalayas. 

Fast forward a decade and the intrepid chef has worked in several of Nottingham’s prestigious kitchens including Chino Latino, World Service, and Restaurant Six. 

He appeared on Masterchef: The Professionals in 2020 and took up the mantle of Head Chef at Cleaver & Wake just before Christmas last year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Family man Hira said: “I like to spend as much free time as possible with my daughters, but when I do go out there are a couple of places that I always head to as I know I’ll have a brilliant experience.”

Here are his favourite local places to eat, outside of his own kitchen. 

Top chef's best places to dine in Nottingham

1.) Kushi-ya

Kushiya is one of Hira’s favourite places to visit, which is hidden away up a small alleyway in Nottingham.

He said: “I love it because it’s small and intimate and offers incredible service, serving up simple and fresh food that combines lots of flavours together to create its own twist on izakaya dishes. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Some of my go-to orders there include prawn toast and matcha cheesecake with lime meringue which is simply delicious."

2.) Rawsha Grill

One of Hira’s most recent explorations is Rawsha Grill, a new Indian fusion restaurant based in West Bridgford, just 15 minutes away from Nottingham city centre. 

Reflecting on a recent visit, Hira said: “I had a wonderful meal here and especially enjoyed the old Delhi chicken curry which was packed with flavour.

“The naan bread was amazing too, which is not surprising, thanks to its wood-fired oven. The dishes are complemented by a great cocktail selection and the service is top-notch.”  

3.) Alchemilla

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

For a celebratory event, Alchemilla is Hira’s go-to restaurant. He said: “For those special occasions, I head to Alchemilla, which is a Michelin-starred restaurant. 

“Here I love to experience the tasting menu, usually 7 – 10 courses, which all come with a wine pairing. 

“Every dish is cooked to perfection, and they have an open kitchen, like ours here at Cleaver & Wake.

"This means you can see the chefs cooking with so much love and passion. It’s a very enjoyable experience."

4.) Binks Yard and Slice 'n' Brew

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pizza is easy to eat and the delectable combination of cheese and bread is a winner for Hira.

He said: “Sometimes only pizza will do. While there are lots of new pizza places opening in Nottingham, Binks Yard has a fantastic selection of flavours to try.

“The pizzas are all cooked in a wood-fired oven making them some of the best in the city. Slice ‘n’ Brew is also one of my favourites.”

The hospitality industry may be in a state of flux, but Hira has nothing but praise for Nottingham’s resilience.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: “Nottingham has a fantastic culinary scene that’s growing every year, and I love being part of it with the team at Cleaver & Wake." 

To find out more about Hira’s dishes and Cleaver & Wake visit the restaurant’s website by clicking here