Name: CookieShake Cafe
Address: 14 Upper Parliament Street, Nottingham, United Kingdom
In Their Own Words: ‘Milkshake masters and mistresses since 2006.’
So recently I wrote over on one of my other blogs, The Intrepid Cyclist, about a trip I made up the River Trent to get to Beeston. It so happens I had made that journey once before back in June to get Nottingham – now, that adventure wasn’t written up fully, but here’s the short version: I rode 20 miles along a river, I was hungry.
So what do you do when you’re low on calories and high on life?
Why, patronise an independent cafe of course!
I wasn’t just low on calories, I was also low on time – I was due to go to the Nottingham Glee Club to see a burlesque show by The Gilded Merkin (it was absolutely fantastic, by the way) and the Cafe I had intended on going to (which shall remain nameless, thanks to my No Negativity Policy) had committed two terrible crimes – firstly, closing early on a sunday and (even worse) closing even before the information on their website said they would.
This is really bad news for independents, but I will be devoting a whole blog post to that at a future date.
But one cafe’s loss is another’s gain, and so I set off to find an alternative.
I was surprised and delighted to find CookieShake Cafe – a gaming lounge and milkshake combo which should tickle the thumbs and tastebuds of the modern dairy-loving, Doom playing, digital-downloading lil’ devils out there!
Upon entering, I was immediately taken by the HUGE boards on the wall listing the number of milkshakes you could have. This place knows its core business, and it knows how to communicate it: a massive board, with clear options, clear pricing and bright colours. I was equally dazzled by the light-up board adorning the counter which tells you about all the naughty shots available.
I stared at the wall for a few minutes, paralysed by the vast amount of choice – eventually I chose a KITKAT CHUNKY MILKSHAKE (it requires capitals) for some energy, but I did need some solid food too.
The only savoury food option were cheese toasties (erroneously referred to as ‘grilled cheese’ on the menu – this is NOT America. Yet.) so I went for possibly the naughtiest one – The Mac Daddy, macaroni and cheese in a toastie. Double carbs right there!
NB: Currently the website does NOT list these cheese toasties but DOES include pizza slices. Now, my visit was back in June, however websites are not always accurate so I cannot (at this time) confirm which option will be available if you choose to visit. I’ll try to find out though!
I was one of the only customers in the cafe, which was on the one hand a bit disappointing – this is the type of place that deserves to be frequented by many patrons, especially on Saturday night as it was – but it did give me a chance to chat to the staff. Being hit with a massive adrenaline/endorphin/serotonin high from all the exercise and accomplishment, I managed to overcome my natural diffidence and talk with the good folks manning the pumps. I think I may have come across as a little too bright and perky, but we’re not here to talk about my social shortcomings. We’re here to talk about cafes, and their various qualities.
The gentlemen behind the counter were very polite and tolerant of my over-social burbling, and even seemed genuinely interested in the cycle ride I insisted on telling them about…again, this is not a blog about my awkwardness, but the fact that they were kind enough to indulge me means that customer service is pretty darn solid.
The young (argggg I am old) chap who brought my food even said he put extra M&C in my toastie as a reward for accomplishing the long journey – whether this was strictly true I don’t know, but it did give me a warm glow.
Whatever the quantity, I do know for sure that the quality was excellent. A simple dish is a complex thing, I always think – getting something ‘easy’ right and making it better – specifically, better than you could make it at home – is harder than it looks.
I finished it up and it was delicious – in fact, I went back for a second round of the (if you insist) ‘grilled cheese’, this time with chicken and pesto (I forget the name).
On to surroundings – the place is decorated in a kind of industrial-modern style, with lots of cast-iron upcycled furniture and fun decor, plus of course some games machines on which people can play if they are (unlike me) skilled at such things. Its comfy but cool and the junky-come-neon combination makes it kind-of steampunk, something which always makes me happy.
Before I left there was one more things to do – I had had a shake, but I could not leave without eating the other half of this establishment i.e. a Cookie. Had I not, I would surely disappoint my public. I’m only thinking of you, guys.
It was a nutella swirl cookie and it was absolutely lovely.
Consider my duty fulfilled.
Spekti’s Seven Fiddy Test
Plus if you choose wisely you can get a shake, a toastie and a cookie for the princely sum of £8.50 – boom!
Something other than toasties to eat! (NB: see note about Pizza above).
After a delicious milkshake you really need a palette cleanser of some kind – the toasties are great but piling dairy on dairy is sometimes a little much. Some fresh fruit hanging around might be fun, or just some not-melted-cheese-having sandwiches.
Pets Allowed? I didn’t check, but I’m guessing that due to the cables around and potential for nibbling and gnawing of said cables that it might be a no.
Alcohol? Yes – in the evening you can get some naughty drinks, including many (MANY) varieties of shots
Veggie/Vegan/Gluten Free? Lots and lots for veggies – not gelatin in these shakes! Gluten-free will of course depend on what you decide to put in your shake (ditto nut allergies) and given the limited cheese-toastie (or possibly pizza) based menu, there are no food options for GF. Despite the massive focus on DAIRY, DAIRY AND MORE FREAKIN’ DAIRY, some of the shakes and smoothies can be made vegan with soya milk too!
Additional Services? Cookishake are Deliveroo now! Check out the page here: https://deliveroo.co.uk/menu/nottingham/nottingham-city-centre/cookieshake-cafe
News on the Loos – There are (as far as I recall) only two cubicles, one ladies, one gents, but they are very clean and painted with AWESOME graffiti.
The Bottom Line
A great, fun, cafe which will hit your guilty pleasure buttons – probably in a sequence which causes you to perform an awesome beat-em-up finisher move.