As I write this, it’s Thursday afternoon. I’m slobbing on my sofa, typing away on my MacBook, with a cup of peppermint tea next to me. I’m still in a blissful food coma. Last night, Gareth and I went to the blogger’s launch event of a new pop-up restaurant in Nottingham, called Happy Dough Lucky. Holy flipping crap it was GOOD. Like, really, really, really good!
Happy Dough Lucky
At 8pm, we made our way to the steps of the Lacehouse Bar in Nottingham’s historic Lace Market. If you’ve never been, then picture this: a beautiful array of intricately detailed Victorian buildings, adjacent to the most hipster, bustling and indie section of the city. It’s defo my favourite part of Nottingham!
Once inside, we found the Happy Dough Lucky pop-up (the bright pink neon signs kinda gave it away). We were greeted by Sach, the dude behind this whole project. He seated us and offered some drinks and a few nibbles to get us going. Well – I say ‘nibbles’… they were almost a meal in themselves! Sweet chilli spiced fries with fresh coriander, alongside freshly made dough-balls infused with garlic. OH, HELL YES. Anything with garlic or mild chilli is good by me, so I was in food heaven from the get-go!
While we were scoffing, Sach popped over a few times to tell us more about their story. This is where it got really cool. I love brands that have a real passion behind them; a true reason for being. And Happy Dough Lucky have that by the bucketful! They don’t just want to serve pizza, churn out a profit and move on. They want to bring a whole new dining experience to Nottingham, inspired by their 4-month travels across Italy, Morocco and Turkey. Pretty cool, hey?
Throughout the evening, we learnt loads about the HDL team’s travels. From the spice markets of Istanbul, to the fine-dining Michelin star restaurants of Rome and Naples. They’d even covered one of the walls in the Lacehouse with candid photos of the trip. (Photos which, as we were told, are stolen by guests almost daily! If that’s not a sign of a quality pic, I don’t know what is!).
I could’ve lost myself in these travel stories and arty photos for hours… but pizza was calling my name! I ordered the veggie and Gareth opted for the nduja (which we were told is the most popular pizza on the menu).
Right, before going further I want you to forget any existing notion you might have of what a pizza is. Forget the fast-food takeaway crap, or the frozen supermarket stuff. This was real pizza. The dough was handmade, hand-stretched and rested for 48 hours. This let the yeast get to work properly, developing a deep flavour. And the texture, oh my bejesus! Soft, light and crispy in all the right places. If this is what real pizza dough is, then it’s no wonder the plain margarita is so popular in Italy. Who needs toppings, when the base is the show-stopper?!
All of their ingredients for the pizza (and everything else) is sourced as authentically as possible, inspired by the team’s travels. By this I mean: the flour is milled in Naples, the tomatoes are imported from San Marzano, meats are from across Italy and fresh veg is grown as locally as possible. They really have gone to great efforts to replicate the awesome foods they’ve sampled overseas – and it shows.
Room for dessert?
Not gonna lie, I really should have saved some of the pizza for lunch the next day. After eating the whole thing, I was STUFFED, but it was just too flipping moreish to stop! However, there’s always room for dessert. #NoRegrets 😉
Gareth and I chose to share a ricotta and chocolate hazelnut doughnut. But it wasn’t any ordinary doughnut! In true Happy Dough Lucky style, it was made from baked pizza dough. No deep frying here! The ricotta/chocolate combo was an inspiration from the team’s time in Italy – they just put their own spin on it by turning it into a doughnut. I’m actually not normally keen on chocolatey desserts, but this was sooo good. And it was even served with homemade Coco Pops ice cream. Yep, COCO POPS ICE CREAM. Cool much?!
Get your skates on…
Honestly, my photos don’t do this place justice (and that’s nothing to do with the fact that I somehow forgot my DSLR and had to rely on my iPhone camera…). Just wait ’til you try it. But be quick – Happy Dough Lucky will only be around for a few more weeks before their 12-week stint at the Lacehouse is over! Head on over to their Facebook page for all the info you’ll need to plan your visit.
A BIG thank you to Sach and the team at Happy Dough Lucky. We had the best night, leaving the venue with heads full of wanderlust and bellies full of tasty food! And that’s a pretty good evening, if you ask me. 🙂 – Mike.
Disclaimer: All food and drink was provided to us free of charge in return for an honest review. This in no way has affected what I have written; all thoughts and opinions are true and honest. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep me blogging!