It has been six months since the popular Clean Cut restaurant moved its power boxes and flavoured sparkling water cans from its first location on Derby road to intu Victoria Centre – so I went to see what the fuss is all about.

The quinoa lovers’ favourite outlet relocated in a prime area in Nottingham, with starving fitness fans and nutrition detectives ready to jump in and get their veggies on a lunch break. Tired of making my own salads, I thought it was time for me to go to Clean Cut and try out one of their specialties – the Protein Box.

The venue was empty when we got there, it was just me and my friend, both inexperienced in the clean eating industry. Clean Cut is a chic restaurant, furnished in turquoise and blue ciel tones, minimalist decorated. At the entrance, they have a range of healthy snacks, smoothies and cans of flavoured sparkling water.

A can of flavoured sparkling water and an empty venue.

The lively Christmassy background music and the emptiness of the restaurant were contradictory and slightly ludicrous, but I was determined to be enlightened by the concept of this chain, therefore tried to ignore the lack of atmosphere.

I tried the vegan falafel protein box with a sweet potato mash base topped with an array of salads and vegetables: broccoli, sugar snap peas, clean slaw, carrot and cabbage.

Two protein boxes with sweet potato mash and vegetables.

However, the sauce range is poor for a ‘healthy’ food brand. Considering their ban on sugary drinks, they should offer a wider selection of dressings other than ketchup, mayo, sweet chili and barbecue – sauces which can found at any fast food place.

“THE only saving grace was the falafel, which had a gorgeous spicy kick”

Strictly speaking, the food was just below average. There was nothing memorable about some boiled vegetables, three beetroot falafel balls and cheap sweet chilli sauce. The food was stodgy and tasteless. A touch of seasoning would go a long way here, as the vegetables were very plain. The only saving grace was the falafel, which had a gorgeous spicy kick.

A medium protein box with sweet potato mash and vegetables.

On a more positive note, I appreciate their attentiveness for sustainability by adopting an eco-friendly policy. Their decision to go for plastic-free cutlery and their implementation of strategies for effective recycling is certainly a step in the right direction!

Having said this, I would certainly return to explore more of their menu options, the selection of salad options caught my eye for a prospective light lunch.

Clean Cut, situated on the edge of the city centre.