“ Address: 117 Gosford St / Coventry / West Midlands / England CV1 SDL „
A couple of weeks ago I went on a date (yep another!) and the guy taking me asked me if I fancied this restaurant in advance. Well me, I'd never heard of it! It's in a part of town I don't frequent. This restaurant is situated in our student sector where most of the pubs offer live (mainly indie) music and has some unusual trinket shops, bookshops and the like. Not a pretty part of town though by any means and it's actually incredibly noisy and lively and pretty funky and cheap!
The address of the restaurant is:
Aqua Mood And Food
117 Gosford street
Telephone: 02476 229551
The nearest car-park is 20 metres away and is 50p after 6pm for how ever long you want to park. It's a massive car park, off the main road in the city centre and when you come out plenty of pubs to choose from (not if your the driver of course!).
Honestly it's an absolute stunner and so impressive to look at I almost died when I first laid eyes on it. My description won't do it any justice I'm sure! It's luxurious and trendy and really a very impressive place to take a date or hold a party and great for buisness lunches. The outside of the resteraunt is dark wooden doors on entering. On the night I went consatina doors were fully opened to create a whole open front to let the breeze in and on the left there is a seperate doorway which is the usual way of getting in with a big red light which is like a fountain of colour as you walk in. The first thing I noticed was how impeciably clean the whole resteraunt was. It's no good when somewhere looks as amazing as this and no attention has gone into the detail like using a feather duster occasionally! Not a smudge or a speck of dust was to be seen anywhere and I looked believe me!
So The Decor:
Cream tiles on the floor and cream walls. Lots of orange and red lighting, tea lights, waterfalls, fish tanks set into the walls that are lit up. Lots of shelves with beautiful, expensive looking ornaments scattered everywhere, lots of greenery and mini trees are dotted around the place. As you walk in you are greated by a bar area and lots of seating with leather chairs and huge red sofas and little tables designed for you to chill and have a drink before your meal or slob out afterwards. The resteraunt is all sectioned off by silver barriers and in the walls there are set wooden logs sticking out here and there. It's just all so modern and expensive looking and me and my date were a bit took back by it all. The seating in the resteraunt is all on different levels and with many different sized tables with chairs and sofas are scattered about and there's plenty of seating area and tables have alot of room on them.
The whole place just felt very chilled and laid back. At no point were we rushed. It's like the staff know how confusing the menu is and how stunning the resteraunt is and that people just want to sit and gawp at it for a while. We sat for ages just looking at around and watching their huge goldfish take a swim in their tanks! When we first arrived the lights were on and then around 8pm lights were dimmed and tealights were put on every table. I did notice if one went out the staff immedietly replaced it which I thought was a nice touch. Soft music played an I thought it sounded Turkish but it was very low so you could hold a conversation without having to scream at eachother.
We were situated near the open kitchen. Although we were close it certainly wasn't off putting and you can't see the whole of the kitchen area, just the front bit so you can see a chef milling around. One guy was cooking and when I popped to the ladies I could see how clean the area was and organised and that there was a clay oven type thing, it looked lovely.
This was the bit that threw me completely! The menu is Lebanese and Italian. Now 'Aqua' prize themselves on making great food from scratch as healthy as they can. The menu is divided into sections and all dishes have their foreign names with descriptions of exactly what they are. This was really brilliantly described.
There were alot more Italian dishes on the menu than Lebanese. My only slight complaint was that there wern't that many fish dishes on the menu in Lebanese style and most appeared to be meat based which was slight problem for me as I prefer fish dishes and my date was a vegetarian who only eats fish. It took us ages to pick 2 starters to share and a main course each and it was a worry because we had no idea of their portion size and normally I can only manage a main course!
So Lebanese starters ( just a taster pardon the pun), are things like:
A casing of cracked wheat & lamb with a filling of minced lamb & spices £3.95
Deep fried balls of chickpeas & broad beans served with salad & tahini sauce £3.50
Hoummos Moutabel wa Felfel Ahmar
Chickpea, baked aubergine and red pepper dips served with warm Lebanese bread £3.95
Grilled half chicken served with chilli or garlic sauce £9.50
Grilled slices of lamb marinated in olive oil, vinegar, garlic and spices £10.50
(All of the above are served with salad and plain rice, main courses only)
Lebanese Mezza for 2 £34.95
Includes selection of starters and main course is a mixed grill served with rice, salad & bread.
Crostini al Formaggi di Capra
Grilled goats cheese & caramelised onions on ciabatta with salad and honey mustard dressing £3.85
Crayfish, smoked salmon, cucumber, rocket, red onion cherry tomato with mandarin dressing £4.35
Italian Main meals:
(wood fire oven baked)
Paese di Pollo e Pesto
Chicken, caramelised leeks, goats cheese, pesto, mozzarella and tomato £8.45
Tuna, smoked salmon, anchovies, olives, capers, dill, mozzarella and tomato £8.95
Pepperoni, marinated chicken, artichoke, mushrooms, olives, mozzarella and tomato £8.65
Penne alla Di Capra
Chicken and asparagus in a creamy goats cheese sauce £8.50
Fusilli alla Genovese
Roasted peppers, grilled aubergines and mushrooms in a pesto sauce with créme fraiche £8.25
Pappardelle Gambero e Rucola
Crayfish, cherry tomato and rocket in a garlic and pesto sauce £8.85
Traditional Mousaaka and lasanya are available and a selection of Italian salads and breads.
The menu is vast, the waiters are knowlegable and you can mix and match as you wish. Also a selection of desserts, coffees and drinks (including cocktails) are available.
So we ordered all Lebonese food as we are spicy people lol...
2 Starters and we shared both:
Pastry filled with spinach, onions, pine kernals & lemon juice £3.75
Potatoes, coriander, chillies & garlic fried in olive oil with pepper & onions £3.25
Fried aubergines, chickpeas cooked with onion & mixed peppers in tomato sauce £9.70
Grilled King prawns topped with lemon, garlic & dill cream sauce £13.90
We had to wait a good 40 minutes for our starters in a fairly empty resteraunt, however we weren't bothered and it wasn't a problem to wait anyway and we never moaned about it cos we were too busy talking. The starters came out on over sized white plates and the amount of food was very small but nicely presented and smelt great and the food was boiling hot.
I personally found the potato dish to be very dry and like overcooked potatoes. However I've never had it before so I'm willing to say maybe it was meant to be that way! It was nicely mixed and nicely spiced but me not being a massive fan of potatoes wasn't that impressed and I felt I could replicate that at home no problem at all.
The other dish was a small pasty and was nicely filled but my date must've liked that cos I didn't get a real look in lol. It tasted ok but again it never rocked my world and I found the pastry a little bit on the hard side though it had obviously just been freshly made and was boiling hot!
When finished the waiter quickly enquired if everything was to our liking to which we said yes and then we had another half an hour wait for out main courses again not a problem it was nice not to be rushed and gave me chance for a quick ciggie! At this point I was able to use the ladies and can tell you that there is a male and female toilet and there was a disabled one as well. The ladies was one cubicle, white and very clean with a nice handbasin area and a mirror and flowers and stuff, very pleasant and clean. Off the toilet area there is a beautiful garden which is partially covered with heaters, fairy lights lots of tables and leather seats and stuff and althought I don't think you can eat out here you can of course smoke and also they have them big turkish pipes out there, what they smoke in them I'm not sure to be honest but apparantly they do get used mainly at weekends! The area is so pretty and must be brilliant on gorgeous, warm nights.
At weekends this place does have belly dancers in the resteraunt and in the garden as entertainment and I can imagine this is just great! Anyway lol ....
Main courses again came out on huge over-sized plates but was made even more noticable due to the size of said plates lol
My dates mousakka looked very wet and was served in a dish and I tried some and it was very tomatoey and it looked thin and wet but he liked it and didn't moan but he did say I had ordered the best thing lol Mine came out and I had 5 large butterflied king prawns dribbled with a very small amount of white dill sauce, plain rice and some salad (really small amount of salad and rice). What I had tasted nice enough though my king prawns were a little on the tough side and truly, well there wasn't enough food.
I feel that this resteraunt wants you to order a starter, main course and a dessert and I could easily have eaten all of that. I also feel your paying for the place your eating in and the foods your offered and pick from rather than the fact it's amazing food, cos quite simply it isn't. I mean I'm not saying its rank. It really isn't but then I've eaten in some terrific places for a snip of the price of here in the past. The problem is no where does it mention the portion sizes or what to expect so if you were to walk in off the street starved and you just ordered a main meal with nothing to accompany it your going to leave just as hungry as when you walked in! By the time we left there were a lot of people in there, lots of trendy couples and groups of friends and tables were covered in food like people knew how to order in this place.
One of the classiest looking resteraunts I have ever been in I was so impressed! Food portions are a let down though and if your in a hurry this isn't the place for you. If you have a small appetite and don't mind pying over a tenner for a main course then this is the place for you. The food is flavoursome and varied, it isn't swimming in grease and is nice enough (it just didn't rock my world).
The resteraunt opens at 7pm till around 11 in the week and till 2am at weekends. As I have mentioned entertaintaiment is laid on at weekends as in the form of belly dancers. It is advisable to book on a weekend though, it isn't essential and you should be ok providing it's less than a table of 8 but personally I'd book and be aware that people do tend to stay so the place could get a bit rowdy. The staff are smart but not overly friendly and dress can be however you want i.e smart jeans etc are fine though I didn't see a pair of trainers lol. Plenty of people wearing jeans and t shirts and girls in dresses though I guess at a weekend people do dress nice to come here.
Very relaxed, my biggest complaint was on the drinks front. They were only just re doin the drinks menu to incorporate the new cocktails they are adding so we didn't know what drinks they had and couldn't see the bar from where we were sat so we just ordered a coke for me and water for my date. I couldn't tell you the prices of the drinks they were just added to the bill so as I wasn't paying I have no idea how much they were! (I would guess at over the odds tho!)
I would go here again but it wouldn't be my first choice of places to eat but it wins hands down so far in most gorgeous Cov restereraunt stakes!
Students get 15% off!
5 stars on the look of the place but it loses stars on the menu for the drinks not being complete and a loss of star on staff not being that friendly but recommended if your out to impress someone!
Lebanese meets Italian food.