Secret Diner Review: Café Roya, Beeston

Published on July 25, 2014

By Steve Hayward

We have a couple of friends who we go out for meals with every month. The thing is, one them is a vegetarian, which makes choosing a venue a little awkward. After a bit of research online I came across Café Roya in Beeston, Nottingham.

The place is cosy, with a nod towards Middle Eastern shabby chic décor, and old-school mix and match tables and chairs. The menu, which changes monthly, looked wonderful. It had obvious Middle Eastern influences, unsurprising really as the owner/chef is half Iranian. There were three starters, three mains, and three desserts, plus a specials board with a starter, main and dessert. We all wanted to try them all.

Our vegetarian friend was over the moon to find genuine choice on the menu. Patatas bravas soup, stuffed Lebanese courgettes, and stuffed peppers were ordered and devoured eagerly as our starters. All were beautifully prepared and cooked, and thoroughly enjoyed.

Lebanese Mezze, a broad bean and spinach burger, and an Ethiopian stew called a ‘wat’ were our choices for mains. There was a lot of swapping of forkfuls and oohing and aaahing about these as we each had a try of each others’ mains.

The puddings were grilled peaches with vanilla mascarpone, a pistachio and cardamom kulfi with fruit salad, and raw chocolate cherry mousse cake. There was also a fine cheese board. The drinks menu consisted of some very unusual but delightful wines, beers and ciders – all organic. There has been some excellent research done here.

The owner reckons that only 20% of her customers are vegetarians. She is producing spectacularly good vegetarian food with a passion and pride that even meat eaters like me can rave about. A big recommend from this committed carnivore.

Matt Wright
The author:

Matt lives in Leicestershire. He is passionate about British pubs, slow food and home brewing. He founded Great Food Club (originally as Great Food Magazine) in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town of Melton Mowbray - Britain's 'Rural Capital of Food'.