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CRUMBS BATH & BRISTOL NO.60 MARCH 2017
TBhILEE SPECI T
A little slice of foodie heaven
JU ND O M DIA
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TOUR GENIUS! NO.60 MARCH 2017
THE WEST’S G N T TI S S A A E BE ST FE N A TASTING AFRIC H THE HEN TOURS WIT U KITC Plus
Pasta O LOcO
We’re crazy fOr it!
CausinG a splash!
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Bursts into Bath!
You’ll make of lots g in n e I’m opiz dough! a p zant! ra restau
HOT PWO'S TTHEATITMEOETOS! NO E G T YOUR SPUD
PReTTY FLY FOR a
pIzza PIe! WHY GOOD OLL' PIZZA's THE HOTTEST THING (ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT!)
’Cause it’s a
y r O I h c c this leaf
HICKORY CHICORY DOCK
£3 where sold
There’s nothing like a nice piece Of
I’m banning pizza jokes from Crumbs. They’re too cheesy
EVERYONE’S GOT A THEORY ABOUT THE BITTER ONE
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ADMITTEDLY, SAVAGE GARDEN almost definitely didn’t have chicory on their minds when they wrote that lyric, but I’m shamelessly appropriating it for the purposes of this month’s mag – and also for reminding you that the ’90s did bring with them some right classics. I digress. Back to chicory. This leaf has perhaps spent a bit of time in the shadows over the last few years, with its bitter flavour considered offensive to many a palate. Y’see, bitterness has been largely bred out of our diets, with naturally bitter ingredients endlessly cultivated to have less of that bolshie earthy flavour, and to be more mild and sweet mannered. (Oh, and that theory that we instinctively don’t like bitter flavours thanks to an evolutionary will to avoid poison? Tosh.) Lately, though, bitterness has returned to our plates and our glasses, with these spikey flavours becoming all the rage in both kitchens and behind bars. And this is only a good thing – bitterness is thought to aid digestion by getting all those helpful juices flowing. (Tip: this is an ideal and totally watertight justification to drink a Negroni as an aperitif before every meal you eat from now onwards. You’re so welcome.) If you find chicory – or any other bitter ingredient, for that matter – a little too harsh, then you can either salt it, cook it to modify the taste, or balance it with sweet and sour ingredients for a harmonious mouthful that you’ll find anything but offensive. Whichever method you fancy, embrace your bitterness this month, yeah?
Jessica Carter, Editor email@example.com
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JESSICA CARTER firstname.lastname@example.org DEVELOPMENT EDITOR
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TREVOR GILHAM CONTRIBUTORS
MARK TAYLOR, OLIVER EVANS
Table of Contents
NO.60 March 2017
08 HERO INGREDIENT We choose chicory 12 OPENINGS ETC The tastiest news and events 18 TRIO Thai, but not as you know it 20 LOCAVORE The bar distilling its own spirits
KYLE PHILLIPS firstname.lastname@example.org
Amazing recipes from the region’s top kitchens
DEPUTY ADVERTISING MANAGER
NEIL SNOW email@example.com ACCOUNT MANAGER
ALANA MEDFORTH firstname.lastname@example.org ACCOUNT MANAGER
LORENA CUSSENS email@example.com PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION MANAGER
SARAH KINGSTON firstname.lastname@example.org DEPUTY PRODUCTION MANAGER/ PRODUCTION DESIGNER
CHRISTINA WEST email@example.com CHIEF EXECUTIVE
JANE INGHAM firstname.lastname@example.org CHIEF EXECUTIVE
GREG INGHAM email@example.com large version
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30 Avonmouth Angler pizza, by The Stable 32 The chicken and the egg, by Richard Guest 35 Scallop and ham gratin, by Omar Allibhoy ADDITIONAL RECIPES
10 Chicory, burrata and pear salad, by Freddy Bird 47 Cardamom doughnuts, by The Matatu Kitchen
KITCHEN ARMOURY 41 SUPPER CLUB An East African Sunday lunch 50 THE WANT LIST Riding the teacups
AFTERS New & notable restaurants, cafés, bars 76 Pasta Loco 78 The Clifton Sausage 80 Lido
MAINS 54 PIZZA PRIDE All you need to know about the local pizza scene 64 ’TASTIC TATERS Time to get your spud seeds... 69 THE GUIDE GUIDE Food tours to take yourself on
PLUS 82 LITTLE BLACK BOOK We ask Henleaze butcher Peter Molesworth where to get a great steak in Bristol...
INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES
ON YER BIKE
GETTING YOUR GROCERIES in Bath just got a whole lot easier. Three Bags Full is a new online delivery service that aims to champion local producers and farmers in the greenest way possible. As a result, these guys will collect your order from the relevant producers in the morning (which include meat and poultry from Hartley Farm, coffee from Easy Jose, and baked goods from Bertinet) and deliver your food the same day – by way of eco-friendly electric cargobikes. But that’s not all: as well as being free of emissions, delivery is also free of charge – happy days, eh? And if you’re not able to be in when they deliver, no worries; there’s an ‘in-fridge delivery’ service, meaning you can give the local team access to your home, so they can unpack your food for you. Not only bloomin’ convenient, this also makes all the wasteful packaging that couriers usually use redundant. Keep your eye out for these nifty little delivery bikes in Bath... ✱ threebagsfulldelivery.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
emember Pale Rider? Sort of like Shane, with Clint Eastwood as a mysterious, two-fisted preacher protecting gold rush-era prospectors from the gun thugs hired in by big time mining. At one point, early doors, the preacher confronts some bully-boys at the local general store, seeing them off with a swiftly-grabbed axe-handle. “There’s nothing like a nice bit of chicory,” Clint says, as the bad guys lie bleeding on the floor. [[Actually, he said hickory - Ed.] Ah, yes. The dense, highly shock-resistant American wood. Sorry, my bad. But then, all things chicory are quite confusing, with its multiple names and variants, from the frizzy-leaved, lion-maned plant we usually call curly endive to the striking, white-veined, red-leaved variation most often known as radicchio, not to mention plenty of pale versions that look a bit like a Cos lettuce. In UK supermarkets you’ll most often find a pale yellow, torpedo-shaped version called witloof or witlof, which has tight white heads and which is often sold as – thus adding to the confusion – ‘Belgian chicory’, ‘Belgian endive’ or plain old ‘chicory’. It’s this, mostly, that we’re talking about here. All the closely-related chicory varieties are members of the dandelion family, short-lived perennials that we generally grow as annuals, which – if left alone – will produce pretty blue flowers, giving the plant a raft of further names: blue daisy, blue sailors, blue weed and so on, with our favourite being wild bachelor’s buttons.
chicOry Sturdy, assertively flavoured, and often very pretty, chicory – in all its confusing forms, from endive to radicchio – is one of the joys of the winter table…
We’ve been eating chicory forever – top ancient Roman poet Horace, living just before Jesus, rarely ate anything but chicory and olives – and, as well as the Belgians, we’ve Italian cuisine to thank for its current acceptance in things like salads. Few leaves are more crisp or more bitter than chicory’s, but in a good way. Most of us think they work especially well combined with milder, sweeter lettuce varieties – but they’re actually delicious on their own, which is how the Italians eat ’em, often with the simplest of olive oil dressings. Chicory is great paired with a single other item, too – perhaps pear, apple, blue cheese or radish. And it is even better when cooked, making it a highly versatile staple of the winter larder. Take the whole heads and steam them, grill them, bake them or poach them, it all works; stir-frying the leaves is excellent, too. The flavour actually becomes more pronounced through cooking, though, so either start with mild varieties or embrace the bitterness – which does, after all, make it the perfect foil for rich, fatty meats. Ham and cooked chicory is a classic combination, but it goes with most other proteins, too: fish or game birds, venison or steak. As always with veggies, you want to pick chicory that’s as crisp and fresh-looking as possible, with springy, tightly-packed leaves and no sign of insect damage. As chicory doesn’t keep brilliantly well – storage in the dark, perhaps wrapped up in a paper bag, is ideal, as it gets increasingly bitter when exposed to light – it’s best to eat it right away. Chicory is good for you too, being laden with vitamins (A, B6, C, E, K) and minerals from zinc to magnesium, calcium to potassium; it all sees this little plant credited with helping with heart disease and the digestive system, most commonly, but everything from arthritis pain to the immune system, too. Which type of chicory should you buy? They all have their virtues, but regular chicory is great, and we’re also fond of the chewy, fleshy radicchio – actually what the Italians call a range of red chicories – as it’s guaranteed to liven up a salad, visually as well as through texture. (It tastes even better when cooked, though.) Though there are some field-grown versions, many of the best chicory varieties are actually a forced plant – kind of like with rhubarb – wherein, after the first heads are grown, they’re cut back leaving only the root, from which a new head grows in the chilly dark of the growing shed; it’s this process, called ‘blanching’, that gives you the white of Belgian endive, and the white-veined dark red of radicchio. Without it, chicory wouldn’t be so pretty, waxy, or comparatively sweet and mild-flavoured – indeed, you’d wind up with longer, thinner, dark green, and super-bitter leaves, rather than the glorious winter treat we do have. After all, as another incarnation of Clint would perhaps have it, “A plant’s got to know its limitations.”
R E C I P E
Freddy Bird serves up some inspiration on how to put this month’s Hero Ingredient to use in the kitchen…
CHICORY, BURRATA, POmeGRaNaTe, PEaR, WaLNUT aNd mINT SaLad (SERVES 2 AS A STARTER)
My first experience of chicory, as a child, was not good – braised and covered in béchamel, baked in the oven and swimming in bitter water. I had no idea back then that I would grow to be crazy for the stuff. I love the firm texture and the delicate balance of bittersweet chicory, and its ability to withstand dressings and avoid wilting. This is a salad we currently have on at the Lido (and which Jess, incidently, tried a version of in her review on p80!). The sweet pear, sour pomegranate, bitter nuts and leaves combine so well with the creamy burrata – and it only takes 5 minutes to make!
For the dressing: 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil juice of ½ a lemon
– For the dressing, emulsify all the ingredients with a whisk and season to taste with salt and pepper. – Gently tear the burrata in half and place on the plates. Lightly season. – In a bowl, simply toss all the salad ingredients together with the dressing. Check the seasoning and then drop the salad over the burrata. It really is as simple as that – but works so well!
For the salad: seeds of ½ a pomegranate 1 burrata 1 chicory, separated into leaves handful of walnuts handful of mint leaves, torn 1 ripe pear, sliced
✱ LIDO, Oakfield Place, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2BJ; 0117 332 3970; lidobristol.com
For more details or to book call Bristol 01179 226699 Bath 01225 311232 KohThaiTapas
S T A R T E R S
A new indie Caribbean joint just opened on Stokes Croft, and if you can see past the impressive collection of rums displayed on the backbar, you’ll find a really good-value menu. Caribbean Croft’s starters (of which you can choose three for £13) include some sizeable mussels and jerk chicken wings, then there’s a list of dishes from the coal grill (think marinated aubergine and the like), as well as mains and sides (the latter being really reasonably priced at £1.50-£2.50). The food has a proper home-cooked feel, and features wellbalanced spices which avoid being too overpowering. There’s a daytime menu too, with some novel brunches listed on it. The restaurant is decked out with raw wood and low-hanging vintage bulbs, making for a cool, weathered, industrial-style look.
PHOTO: NEIL WHITE
FUNDER STORM WEEKEND The Seed Fund is back for 2017, and is BREAK officially open for entries. A competition conceived by branding consultancy The Collaborators, it aims to give the most promising new food and drink businesses and entrepreneurs the support they need to make the big time. This year, it’s partnered with Great Taste in order to extend its reach to biggest audience in its four-year history. Following the closing date for entries on 16 March, 12 businesses will be shortlisted and given access to exclusive seminars and professional mentoring sessions. One winner will then receive a year of branding and marketing support, worth more than £100k.Check out the website for details on how to enter. ✱ theseedfund.co.uk
In case we didn’t have reason enough to look forward to the weekend, Polpo in Bristol has launched some new events. On Spritz Saturdays (£14.50 per person), the Venetian-style Whiteladies Road restaurant is inviting customers in to learn how to create three signature cocktails (the Polpo Spritz, Bristol Negroni and Cynar Gin Fizz) and then, of course, drink ’em. These masterclasses include a selection of cicchetti to nibble on as you shake and slurp, too. And as for Pizza Sundays, kids are encouraged to create their own pizzas, as parents get busy with the new main menu. You can pre-book or just turn up for either of these weekly offers. Go on, treat yerself. ✱ polpo.co.uk
Want to be in the mag? Tag your Insta picks with #CrumbsSnaps and your pic could be here next month!
CAKE OF THE ART
Bath has a new bakery, folks. Didi Cakes opened on Walcot Street at the end of Jan, and specialises in cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes (notice a theme?), tarts, croquembouche, and Euro-style slices. There are savoury treats, too – how does hot-from-the-oven quiche sound? The new biz has been set up by husband and wife John and Daniella Murray – John is a British Roux scholar and Daniella grew up in LA, where her father owned an uber-popular celebfrequented restaurant. The pair have previously owned dessert and patisserie companies in Australia and California, and have now chosen their favourite spot in Bath to launch their newest venture. Coffee and brekkies are also on offer, and the pair can take private and wholesale orders, too. ✱ didicakesbath.com
Tipi restaurant Yurt Lush has just launched a brand new dinnertime service. Previously running theme nights (think curry, steak and the like), it’s now got a relaxed three-course offering on the go. The bistro-style menu is made up of a concise collection of seasonal dishes that are at once happily straightforward and carefully thought out, designed to make the most of underused and often wasted produce. Think along the lines of ewe’s curd with Parmesan, beetroot and chicory; beef shin with January King cabbage and rapeseed mash; and rhubarb and custard fool. Falling in line with the Eat Drink Bristol Fashion group’s principles, all these dishes are ethical, traceable and sustainable. Served Wednesday to Friday evenings, the menu is priced at £15 for two courses, and £18 for three. Can’t argue with that really, can you? ✱ eatdrinkbristolfashion.co.uk/yurtlush
The guys behind specialist spirit and wine shop Weber & Tring’s, and speakeasy cocktail joint Red Light, have just opened business number three – Le Poivrot. Here’s the deal: it’s a little different to its cousins, in that the focus here is very much on vino – of the French variety, to be precise. Conceived as a contemporary wine bar, it sits on Colston Street in the centre of Bristol, and serves a broad selection of regularly changing bottles from across the Channel. There will be an evolving selection of food available, too – so visit feeling peckish! ✱ twitter.com/lpoivrot
@withmustard_uk pairs her malfatti with pumpkin and pistachio
@jennychandleruk coordinates her condiments with her cookbook
IN THE DIARY... (23 February) MATT WILLIAMSON AND VINE TRAIL WINE DINNER The former Flinty Red chef will cook a fivecourse meal matched to organic and biodynamic wines at Hamilton House, tickets £50; wefifo.com (9 March) RNLI FUNDRAISER DINNER A five-course dinner by Michelin-starred Josh Eggleton will be cooked up at his Chew Valley gaff Salt & Malt, tickets £50 from the café; saltmalt.com
QUICK BITES... British Pie Week kicks off on 6 March, so Pieminister is bringing back two of its old faves: Big Cheese (local Cheddar and potato) and The Guru (lamb dhansak), and selling pie feasts for a fiver all week. Happy days! Another Café Grounded has just popped up, folks – this one’s in Henleaze, right next to the Orpheus Cinema, and has the same cosy vibe and comforting menu as its siblings...
S T A R T E R S
the wild west
We’ve theSouth SouthWest Westfor forgreat greatfood foodand and drink, drink, We’ve been been scouring souring the and have come up trumps with these newcomers… 1 SPRING A LEEK Tracklements Sticky Leek Jam, £3.05/250g The Wiltshire-based condiment maker uses leek, mustard seeds, garlic and caramelised onion to create this dark, sticky jam, which packs a tasty punch. A pretty versatile number, it (of course) loves cheese and cold meats, but its punchiness also means it works well to cut through hot, rich dishes, and its sweetness is great with saltier nibbles. Sticky Leek Jam is a limited edition product and is hitting shelves in March, so get yer mitts on it while you can… Available online. ✱ tracklements.co.uk 2 WHAT A BANGER Organic Old English Sausages, £4.54/pack of 6 These belting bangers are
more to it than a simple hit of heat. The Original won’t see you breathing fire, though if you do like wince-inducing spice, SHC’s Habanero sauce is where it’s at. (Find out more about this cool Bath biz at crumbsmag.com.) Available from Eades in Bath and online from Taste of Bath. ✱ somersethotsauce.co.uk
the result of a collaboration between Devon’s awardwinning Well Hung Meat Company and Bristol’s ethical grocery shop, Better Foods. They’re made by hand from great-quality, organic, local pork to a formula developed by Phil Haughten (founder of Better Foods). Phil came up with the recipe to recreate the homemade sausages he used to eat as a child. Find these top bangers at Better Foods, or online. ✱ wellhungmeat.com
4 DUDE FOOD Dude Coffee and Smoke Gift Boxes, from £20 This Bristol business puts together food gifts using locally made produce. They’re all built around different coffee blends: we had the Purple Brownie box, and the Ethiopian coffee in it has hints of fruit and chocolate, so it was accompanied by artisan dark choc topped with berries, brownie mix, and
3 FIRED UP Somerset Hotsauce Company Original Sauce, £4/140ml The result of a lot of chillibased experimentation, Somerset Hotsauce Original tastes fresh and punchy, with hints of herbs and fruits, and has much
coffee barbecue rub. The recipe cards show you how to make the most of each item, and it all comes in a little wooden crate. Available to order online. ✱ dudecoffeeandsmoke.com 5 JOOSY GOSSIP Bensons Joosed Junior, £3.49/4x250ml We love Bensons, not only because they believe in supporting British orchards and only using naturally occurring fruit sugars in their drinks, but because they’re based in the South West. Our mini Crumbs’ tester (who’s known to be more than a little picky), slurped his blackcurrant and apple drinks (now available in these handy multipacks) down in a matter of seconds. Available from Waitrose. ✱ bensonstotallyfruity.co.uk
Spring SE T M E NU S
From £9 one course • £12 two course • £14.50 three course THE COTTAGE INN 01179 215256 Baltic Wharf, Cumberland Road, Bristol BS1 6XG
THE LAMB HOTEL 01934 732253 The Square, Axbridge BS26 2AP
THE OLD RESTORATION 01242 522792 55-57 High Street, Cheltenham GL50 1DX
THE MILL AT RODE 01373 831100 Rode, Frome BA11 6AG
THE SWAN INN 01934 852371 Rowberrow, Winscombe BS25 1QL
THE PELICAN INN 01275 331777 10 South Parade, Chew Magna, Bristol BS40 8SL
THE WOOLPACK INN 01934 521670 Shepherds Way, St Georges, Westonsuper-Mare BS22 7XE
S STTA A RRT E T RS E R S
AskYour yourWaitress waiter Ask Who knows the menu best? Who makes the greatest impact on your experience? Who knows the drinks menu best? isWho whip up the ultimate liquid Front-of-house yourcan friend! refreshment? Front-of-house is your friend!
Where else have you worked locally? Before this I was at the nearby Bell’s Diner [K and K is on Picton Street, Stokes Croft], – and before that I was running a pub in North London. How did you get into the industry? I had a job in the pub next to my house when I was about 16. It mostly involved serving chips to coach trips – but it gave me the taste!
HARRIETS OF FIRE
What do you like most about your career in hospitality? Working with interesting people from all walks of life. And the food – I simply couldn’t work somewhere without it serving amazing food now!
Look, it’s Harriet Wylie from Katie and Kim’s Kitchen
What’s the concept of the café? I don’t think there is a concept; it’s just good, seasonal food made fresh every day and cooked by good people. Nothing is pre-prepared, and nearly all our ingredients are organic.
So, Harriet, what are your main duties at Katie and Kim’s? It’s a pretty free-flowing environment, so you can find me washing up, making coffee, mixing bread or DJ-ing!
How would you describe the atmosphere, front of house? It’s pretty relaxed and warm. We can get very busy, so we’re often running around and sometimes may seem a bit confused – but we have a secret system in place…
How long have you been in the hospitality game for? Ten years (oh, wow – I’ve only just realised it’s been that long). I worked in pubs, cafés, restaurants, jazz bars and circus-themed cocktail bars before ending up here. And when did you start at this joint? Just over a year ago now.
What skills have you learnt since coming here? My coffees are looking pretty good these days, and I have picked up a lot of information about sourdough. What sort of customers do you get? Everyone. Our pricing is very kind to the wallet, and we’re in no way ‘exclusive’, so we get all sorts in – which is great.
What’s the most popular dish you do right now? Sourdough with bacon, eggs, avocado, date chutney, aioli and tarragon oil. And to wash it down? Our ginger tonic. Tell us, what do you reckon makes this place unique? Probably the fact we’re not trying to be. Everything that’s been served or designed is just what Katie and Kim want; they’re not trying, but they do it so well. What do you think gets customers returning again and again? The custard tarts! If you came in for some grub, what would you order? The cheese scone with bacon, and a grapefruit juice. Tell us: what makes great customer service, as far as you’re concerned? Being nice, empathetic and quick. It has to be natural, though. Where have you visited locally where the customer service was excellent? Bell’s probably has the monopoly on service; the team sits perfectly between relaxed and formal. Where do you like to go and eat when you’re not working? I love Bravas for a good time with no pressure. If I was feeling a bit fancier, though, I’d splash out on Wilsons for food that’s impossible to fault, and served by wonderful people. And finally, what kind of food do you cook at home? I have made something of a name for myself as a one-pot girl… ✱ katieandkimskitchen.com
THIS COULD BE YOU! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org crumbsmag.com
S T A R T E R S
ALL Thai’d UP
Thai food has become a staple of our local restaurant scene, but here are three eateries which are rethinking this classic Asian grub, and serving menus with a difference… KOH THAI
This group of restaurants (which has wellestablished branches in both Bath and Bristol) combines traditional Thai cookery with a more mordern European dining out experience. Wondering what that might look like? Think Thai, served tapas style. With the group having lately celebrated its seventh birthday, and the Bath and Bristol sites having been around since 2013 and 2014 respectively, it seems that this is a popular concept, too. Speaking of popular, word is that punters can’t get enough of the chicken satay and the crispy beef – just in case you’re a bit overwhelmed by the choice, as the menu is pretty sizeable, after all. And when it comes to the appropriate dinnertime lubrication, the restaurant has just the thing. Its Japanese beer, Asahi, is probably the favourite slurp, with the Bath and Bristol branches getting through a pretty significant 14,000 pints last year. Almost everyone cooking at these restaurants is indigenous Thai too, meaning that they really know those flavour and texture combos that make Thai food so darn appealing. ✱ koh-thai.co.uk
Husband and wife John Jeremy and Mantanee Lewis opened JP Destiny in 2014, serving Asian fusion food. Chef Mantanee grew up in Thailand, so that has accounted for the main inspiration behind the cuisine, although this chef is also interested – and very well-versed – in Chinese and Malaysian cooking. This combination of influences makes for an intriguing Asian menu with a strong Thai backbone. In fact, the two most popular dishes on the whole menu are traditional meals from Mantanee’s native country: a creamy massaman chicken curry, punctuated with peanut and cooled with coconut, and the fresh, creamy and aromatic Thai green curry. For Mantanee, there are a few really important secrets to preparing authentic Thai food. Ingredients are, of course, up there, she tells us, but also, less obviously, is precision timing – cook something just that tiniest bit too long and it won’t be right. Thai food is all about being fresh and bright with a good crunch, after all – something that you won’t be short of at this great value joint.
Having launched just under a year ago, this Bristol Thai joint comes from the same team as popular Asian eateries Sticks & Broth and Khao & Bao. Both European and Asian influences are used to create a menu that’s not trying to replicate that amazing bowl of food you had on the roadside in Chiang Mai, but instead to offer a delicious and unique take on it. Pad Thai comes in a couple of different guises: you can have it with confit duck, or try out founder Som Miller’s own variation, made up of fried rice noodles, bean sprouts, spinach, egg, peanuts, tamarind and either grilled prawns or tofu and mushroom. Following the launch of the new lunch and dinner menus, the masaman curry with beef brisket has quickly established itself as a favourite, too. Plenty of inspiration has been taken from other cultures as well, though, so you can expect bao, ramen noodles and even Asian-inspired burgers at this kooky eatery. (Oh, and don’t overlook the impressive selection of craft beer on offer to wash it all down with, too…) ✱ bangkokjoes.co.uk
LOCAVORE – Someone interested in locally produced food and drink, not moved long distances to market
S T A R T E R S
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BEN BONCIN HALE
Did you know some guys at The Rummer in Bristol have started distilling spirits in the old cellars? Well, you do now, and you’re about to learn a whole lot more about it all, too… First off, let’s do intros. Tell us a bit about yourselves… David Blatch is head distiller, and licks the labels on the bottles. David has not licked labels before, but has licked other things, and is an excellent bartender, too. Mike is junior distiller and bottle counter. He has counted before, but has a blind spot for the number seven – hence we pack into cases of six. Brett Hirt does the product testing and shape throwing. He was the under-16s Bristol Shape Throwing champion...
Well, that’s quite the insight into the team. We hear the distilling biz is run separately to The Rummer; care to take us through the concept? We thought we would experiment with our company structure, so we have set up the new company as a collective: the people involved in the production own it. We have an open invite on the website to join the collective; if you can bring skills, and love gin, then you will be most welcome! We called it The Bristol Spirit Collective, because we
couldn’t think of a better name, and didn’t think we’d be asked the question. We like to be thorough! So, what inspired you guys to start distilling in the first place? It was the latest in a long line of ‘brilliant ideas’ that nobody was brave enough to back down from. We have run lots of projects in The Rummer – from pickling squirrels and making blue cheese Martinis, to creating mildly explosive bottled cocktails. crumbsmag.com
All of these projects gave us a firm appreciation of safety eyewear, and beat out any fear we might have had of highpressure equipment and brain-melting alcohol strength. Sounds like you learnt some lessons the hard way there. Speaking of which, what was your first distilling attempt like? It was terrible. Really don’t want to talk about it, as is brings back horrific memories of having to drink 10 litres of the stuff. (It perhaps wouldn’t have been as bad if we’d had mixers and glasses, though...) Moving swiftly on, then; what kind of a still are you using down in those cellars of yours? A shiny one, called Hazel. She is a hybrid still, so she purifies the alcohol in the column before passing the vapour through the botanicals. It is the best and most traditional way to make gin. You can’t just throw botanicals and alcohol in the boiling vessel and expect a decent gin to come out the other end. And how many spirits do you (and Hazel) make? Presently four. We have three gins – Bristol Dry Gin, Bristol Dry Gin Docker Strength (55% ABV), and Turbo Island Edition (75% ABV) – and Bristol
Vodka. All of these products have been extensively tested (on ourselves), and we can guarantee they work. We won’t ask you to elaborate on what you mean by ‘work’, there. Instead, we’ll ask how those drinks differ from others on the market. We are not making a gin for people who like to wear a cravat while talking about gin. We are making a gin for people who like to drink gin, and talk about something else at the breakfast table. We will probably be branded heretics by saying this, but gin is not really a premium product; its roots are firmly bedded in working-class alcoholism, and we put ‘gin for the people’ on our bottles to remind us of that. How would you describe Bristol’s craft spirit scene? Craft spirits are very much in their infancy here. We really hope that we can show Bristolians that craft spirits are not just for foodies and cocktails, and that you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy local products. And what makes this city great for starting up new businesses like this, do you reckon? There is a strong independent movement in Bristol, but that’s only there because of the willingness of
Bristolians to embrace new ideas and products, and to look for better ways to get things done. Bristolians have never been afraid to walk a slightly different path – and are proud of their city and what it produces. So, it’s the residents themseves that make this city great for young businesses. Where can we sup upon your spirits, then? The Rummer, The Boardroom, The Glassboat and The Hare are amongst the pioneers who have displayed impeccable taste and city pride by stocking our products. We are not available in off-licenses because of a ‘strawpedo’ incident that we won’t go into right now… C’mon then, give us your favourite cocktail recipe to use your gin in. It’s called the Bristol Twister. One part is 25ml, and it goes like this: 1 ½ parts Bristol Dry Gin 1 part Campari 1 part The Collector vermouth 2 parts grapefruit juice – Shake all the ingredients together. – Strain into a cocktail glass. – Prepare for contentment. ✱ therummer.net; @therummer; facebook.com/therummerhotel
S T A R T E R S
The freshest, most inspirational cookbooks of the month
COOKING LIKE MUMMYJI Vicky Bhogal Grub Street, £25
MR SINGH’S FABULOUS FIERY COOKBOOK
Pavilion Books, £14.99
First published in 2003 but out of print for a decade, this award-winning book has been revised and redesigned, complete with new photography. The 100 recipes in Cooking Like Mummyji cover traditional Punjabi dishes as cooked by families in British homes, rather than the Anglicised food served in most Indian restaurants. Lighter, fresher and healthier, they range from simple vegetarian dishes like sukke chole (dry chickpeas) and ‘cheat’s saag’ to main meals like coriander masala tandoori roast chicken, and roast lamb Desi-style. The chapters on Indian breads and accompaniments (including ten-second yoghurt and mint chutney) are worth the price tag alone. As far as books on Indian home cooking go, this is a modern classic.
What started out in a garden shed in London 32 years ago has turned into an international business for Popa Singh and his family, with his ‘secret recipe’ chilli sauces and pastes sold all over the world. Influenced by the family’s Indian, Kenyan and English heritage, the fiery products feature heavily in these Anglo-Asian recipes. Whether it’s Granny Singh’s spicy scrambled eggs or Punjabi paprika porridge for breakfast, a lunch of spicy chicken couscous and fragrant lamb curry with cumin rice or main meals such as black chickpea stew or classic chicken and rice, this spicy collection of simple recipes is sure to inject some welcome heat into your cooking during these colder months.
NATIONAL TRUST FAMILY COOKBOOK
Claire Thomson National Trust Books, £20
The follow-up to her debut, Five O’Clock Apron, Bristolbased food writer (and family food ambassador for the National Trust) Claire Thomson continues on her mission to improve family mealtimes with this delightful collection of childfriendly recipes. Quick and healthy breakfasts, school lunchbox ideas, speedy postschool suppers and relaxed weekend lunches: this book covers all eventualities and, with three young children of her own, Thomson’s recipes are all tried and tested several times. From three-bean and cheese quesadillas and pea and halloumi fritters to cauliflower jalfrezi and boiled clementine cake, many of the recipes are thrifty and easy to make using what you have in the fridge or cupboard. This book is packed with solid, no-nonsense family fare.
THE REALLY QUITE GOOD BRITISH COOKBOOK Edited by William Sitwell Nourish, £25
What do you cook for people you love? That was the question asked of the 100 chefs, bakers and local food heroes who contributed to this beautifully designed book. A delicious snapshot of the diversity of British food culture, the book features recipes from the likes of Rick Stein, Angela Hartnett, Mark Hix, Russell Norman, Jeremy Lee, Thomasina Miers and Richard Corrigan. The book looks at British dishes that originate from far-flung places, which means chicken tikka masala pie sits happily alongside such quintessentially British dishes as toad in the hole. Even better: a portion of the royalties from the book’s sales goes to The Trussell Trust, which runs food banks all over Britain.
From: LEON: FAST & FREE by Jane Baxter and John Vincent (Conran Octopus, £25)
S T A R T E R S
LEON: FAST & FREE Jane Baxter and John Vincent Conran Octopus, £25
The seventh book from Leon is subtitled ‘free-from recipes for people who really like food’, and every recipe is gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free. As a chain, Leon has always championed ‘freefrom’ options on its menu, and owner John Vincent and chef Jane Baxter have pulled together a fantastic collection of recipes that demonstrate that cutting out gluten, dairy and sugar doesn’t mean compromising on flavour or enjoyment of food. Using substitute ingredients (there is a detailed section on creating a ‘free-form’ store cupboard), these recipes take inspiration from all over the globe, and include the likes of almond milk porridge with banana and cinnamon; aubergine polpettini; soba noodles with avocado sauce; spiced chicken liver salad with mustard seed vinaigrette; and lemon polenta cake with blueberries.
LEON LAMB AND RHUBARB KORESH (SERVES 4)
2 onions, peeled and chopped 2 tbsp olive oil 750g lamb shoulder, diced 1 tsp ground turmeric 300ml chicken stock 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley 1 bunch mint 1 bunch coriander small pinch saffron, soaked in 2 tbsp hot water 1 lime, juice only 500g rhubarb, cut into bitesize pieces coconut sugar, to taste extra herbs, chopped, to finish
– In a casserole dish, soften the onions in half of the olive oil for 5 minutes, then remove from the pot and set aside. – Brown the meat over a high heat in batches. You may need to add a little more oil. When all the meat is browned, return the onions to the pan and season with salt, pepper and turmeric. – Add the stock, or enough just to cover, and bring to the boil. Then turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and cook for about 1 hour on a low heat. – Meanwhile, finely chop the parsley, mint and coriander
and heat the remaining oil in a pan. Fry the herbs, stirring all the time, for 7-10 minutes. This concentrates their flavours and gives them texture. – Add the fried herbs, saffron and lime juice to the lamb after it’s cooked. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes. – Now add the rhubarb, and simmer for 10-15 minutes more. – Taste for seasoning – you may want to add a touch of coconut sugar at this point. – Serve sprinkled with the extra chopped herbs.
“Wonderfully fresh flavours... inherently satisfying dishes; staff are cool and calm and the atmosphere terrific.” MICHELIN GUIDE 2016
COMPLIMENTARY SPRITZ for you and your guests when dining To redeem, simply quote ‘crumbs’ on arrival Polpo Bristol 50 Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2NH 0117 973 3100 www.polpo.co.uk
A cut above...
AWA R D S 2 0 1 4
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Bristolâ€™s Best Butcher 250 North Street, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 1JD Tel: 0117 966 3593
Try our new tasting menu Longmead Gospel Hall, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3EB Tel: 01225 446656 12-16 Clifton Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1AF Tel: 01173 291300 Email: email@example.com www.themintroom.co.uk
Chef! WHAT TO MAKE, AND HOW TO MAKE IT – DIRECT FROM THE KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES
Highlights TURN UP THE BASE
A special seafood pizza, made with local grub Page 30
No one cares whether the chicken or the egg was first when tucking into this dish... Page 32
A right proper Spanish tapas dish from a right proper Spanish chef Page 35
Mozzarella can make or break your pizza, so be sure to get hold of the good stuff...
Plus 35 NEWBIE ALERT! There’s a new tapas joint coming to town
ShOW US The dOUGh
Mix up your pizza toppings with this Stable seafood specialâ€¦ 30
Pizza is mega-satisfying to make at home, no? You get to take all the day’s frustrations out on a hunk of dough, top it with whatever you wish, then cook it just for a matter of minutes. And if you aren’t one of the lucky ones with a wood-fired pizza oven in your back garden (one day, one day…), then fear not. You can still make a mean pizza; just make sure the oven is screaming hot. This recipe is from The Stable – a West Country pizza group which started in Dorset and has restaurants in both Bath and Bristol. The original recipe uses lovely local produce – Jacksons of Newton Abbot smoked mackerel and Severn and Wye smoked salmon – and a homemade tomato sauce. You won’t use all of the tomato sauce for one pizza, so make sure to portion up and freeze the leftovers for next time.
THE AVONMOUTH ANGLER PIZZA (MAKES 1) INGREDIENTS
For the dough: 4g sachet dried yeast ½ tbsp sugar 150ml lukewarm water 250g strong white bread flour ½ tsp sea salt For the sauce: olive oil 1 clove garlic, crushed small bunch basil, leaves picked and finely chopped 250ml bottle of pasata Toppings: 50g spinach 90g smoked mackerel (we use Jacksons of Newton Abbot’s) 80g smoked salmon 60g mozzarella, grated small handful parsley, chopped ¼ lemon METHOD
– Start by making the dough. Add the yeast and sugar to the warm water, stir, then leave for a few minutes. – Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Slowly add the liquid to the flour and stir with a fork; it will start to get sticky. When you
A Grape Match!
With wine writer Angela Mount Malvasia del Salento 2015 £10.25, Great Western Wine “The main flavours of this dish are smoked fish, so it needs a wine with just as much punch and power. Stick with white wine here, and stay in the Italian homeland. I’ve recently discovered this versatile Italian white; gentle, soft and packed with melon and peach character, it has an edge of spice which is a perfect complement to the smokey, powerful flavours of the salmon and mackerel.”
get to this stage, flour your hands and knead the dough until all the ingredients come together. – Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it for approx. 10 minutes, until the it starts to become more elastic. – Place back in the bowl, cover and leave in a warm place until doubled in size – this will take approx. 45 minutes. – Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat up a glug of olive oil in a pan, and gently fry the garlic in it for 1 minute. Add the basil leaves and gently fry for another minute. – Add the pasata and allow to simmer for around 20 minutes over a low heat. Add sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Put to one side to allow to cool. – When ready to assemble your pizza, preheat your oven to 240C/475F/gas mark 9, with a baking tray, pizza tray or pizza stone inside. – Roll the dough out into a circle, until it’s around 12 inches in diameter. Then spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce over the top, and cover with an even layer of spinach. – Scatter over the mackerel and salmon, and then the mozzarella, making sure all the toppings are evenly distributed. – Transfer to the hot oven tray or stone and cook on the top shelf of the oven. Once the mozzarella has melted, and the crust turned golden and crisp, it’s ready. This will take around 10 minutes, but it’s worth keeping a keen eye on it. – Scatter over the chopped parsley, and serve with the lemon wedge.
✱ THE STABLE, 1-3 Westgate Building, Kingsmead Square, Bath BA1 2AE, and South Building, Canon’s Road, Bristol BS1 5UH; stablepizza.com
Neither the chicken nor the egg comes first in this dish by Richard Guest…
The Kendleshire is a golfing and events venue in Coalpit Heath, just north-east of Bristol and maybe the original setting of Babe. And its chef is on a mission. “I have a huge passion to change the way people perceive golf club catering,” explains Richard Guest, who stays up to date with trends, techniques and styles by keeping a keen eye on what’s going on in the capital’s food scene. “We offer a wide range of different menus – 11 in total – and use carefully-sourced produce in our dishes.” This paricular recipe is a popular choice at the restaurant, and the kitchen team tweak it to fit the season – so feel free to swap out the baby turnips and carrots for whatever seasonal veg is around when you make it!
CHICKEN, DEEP-FRIED EGG, CARROT and BLACKBERRY JUS (SERVES 1) INGREDIENTS
2 baby turnips, halved 2 baby carrots 1 Savoy cabbage 2 rashers of bacon 1 chicken breast on the bone 2 carrots, finely sliced 50g butter punnet of blackberries 100ml red wine 2 free-range eggs 20g plain flour 20g stuffing mix vegetable oil, for deep frying
– Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/ gas mark 4. – Boil the baby turnips and carrots (or alternative seasonal veg), putting 1 leaf of the Savoy in the water for twenty seconds before removing. – Meanwhile, fry the bacon strips until crispy, then thinly slice. – Slice the inner leaves of the Savoy thinly, and cook in the boiling veg water for 30 seconds. – Drain and combine with the bacon. Wrap this mixture in the outer leaf, and then in cling film, to form a ball. Set aside in the fridge. – Heat a pan on the hob and put the chicken breasts in to seal, cooking for 4 minutes either side. Then transfer to the oven for 14 minutes. – Meanwhile, boil the sliced carrots until soft, then drain. Put in a blender with the butter, and blend until you have a purée. – Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and set aside to rest. Put the blackberries and a red wine in the same pan over a moderate-high heat. Stir, making sure you incorporate all the flavour stuck on the bottom of the pan. Reduce over the heat until you have a thick sauce. – Boil 1 of the eggs for 4 minutes, then remove and run under cold water. – Whisk the other egg in a bowl, and pour the flour and stuffing mix into two more bowls. – Peel the boiled egg. Roll it first in the whisked egg, then the flour, then the stuffing mix. – Heat the oil in a pan. Once hot, deepfry the egg for 3 minutes. – Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the cabbage ball, still wrapped in cling film, to heat through for 2 minutes. – To serve, spread the carrot purée on a plate, and place chicken on top. Add the veg. Unwrap the cabbage ball and cut it in half and add to the plate, and finally pour over the blackberry jus. – We serve this with fondant potato and pearl barley. ✱ THE KENDLESHIRE, Henfield Road, Coalpit Heath, Bristol BS36 2UY; 0117 956 7007; kendleshire.com
No.15 Great Pulteney
The perfect classic-meets-contemporary hub for a relaxed and delicious lunch in the heart of the city. Vibrant seasonal salads, roasted meats, fish and tempting tarts and cakes are at the heart of what we do. The light and airy space is wonderfully unique too; you’ll find an antique chemist’s shop unit lining the walls, filled with beautiful old apothecary bottles and curious collections. Wednesday – Sunday, 12noon - 5pm
01225 807015 no15greatpulteney.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org Follow us on @no15gp
Originally from Madrid, London chef and restaurateur Omar Allibhoy shall be well acquainted with Bath soon enough… Omar came to the UK in 2008, and has been championing proper Spanish tapas ever since. His Tapas Revolution restaurants have proved pretty darn popular on these shores, too – and the same can be said for his first cookbook of the same name. Things aren’t slowing down for Omar, though, and there are a couple of things that will see him visiting our fine patch in the not-too-distant future. First, his second book, Spanish Made Simple, hit the shelves late last year, and he’s subsequently holding a talk and tasting at Topping & Company bookshop in Bath. Planned for 17 March (tickets from £8, visit toppingbooks.co.uk), the event will see him demonstrate the kind of low maintenance Spanish grub that lines the pages of his new volume. And, even more exciting, is the news that Bath is getting its very own branch of Tapas Revolution. The new Southgate gaff is set to open this May, so stay tuned for updates!
OMar GOSh! SCALLOP and SERRANO HAM GRATIN, SERVED IN THE SHELL (SERVES 4 AS A TAPA) INGREDIENTS
8 scallops in their shells (you can ask your fishmonger to open them for you) 275ml whole milk 30g butter ¼ Spanish onion, finely chopped 30g serrano ham, finely chopped 30g plain flour 4 tbsp breadcrumbs 1 salted anchovy 1 sprig fresh parsley
– Open the scallops and use a sharp knife to separate the meat from the shell. Scrap any ugly bits so that you’re left with the white meat and the red roe. If you don’t like the roe, just remove it. Wash the shells and scallops, pat dry with kitchen paper and set aside. – Warm the milk in a small pan over a low heat, and preheat the grill to hot. – Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium pan over a medium heat and fry the onion and the ham for a few minutes until the onion is soft and transparent. Add the flour and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring continuously, until the flour has a light toasted colour. – Add the warmed milk, little by little, and a pinch of salt and white pepper, stirring all the time until you have a smooth and silky white sauce. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes,
stirring to make sure that the sauce doesn’t stick to the pan. – Tip the breadcrumbs, anchovy and parsley into a food processor and blend. – Line up the shells on a baking sheet and place a scallop on each shell. Cover with a couple of spoonfuls of the ham béchamel and sprinkle over the anchovy breadcrumbs. Grill for 5 minutes and serve hot.
✱ Recipe from Spanish Made Simple: Foolproof Spanish Recipes for Every Day by Omar Allibhoy of Tapas Revolution (Quadrille £20); photography by Martin Poole; tapasrevolution.com
newly refurbished ... Widbrook Grange Restaurant Modern farmhouse cooking from our award winning chef in an elegant grade 2 listed farmhouse, now completely re designed Also open to non residents for dinner
To see what all the fuss is about and to book a table call 01225 864750 or email email@example.com www.widbrookgrange.co.uk
Widbrook Grange Hotel Bradford on Avon BA15 1UH
24 KELLAWAY AVE, REDLAND BRISTOL BS6 7XR
Monday: Closed Tuesday - Friday: 10am - 2:30pm, 4pm - 11pm Saturday: 10am - 11pm Sunday: 10am - 9:30pm
0117 924 5450
Bar • Kitchen Dining
MOTHER’S DAY LUNCH
GEORGE’S FLOWER SCHOOL
Sunday 26th March 2017 2 Courses £22.50 • 3 Courses £28.00 Children 10 and under £10, 2 courses
Saturday 25th February 10am
Come and join us for an amazing Mother’s Day lunch in our cosy country pub on the edge of Bradford-on-Avon. Get your and family together and relax on the luxury sofas by the fire in our comfy bar. Children and dogs welcome.
All ladies will receive a super gift, with our love.
TO BOOK CALL
Spring flower workshop with Grace of “Young Blooms” £35 to include morning coffee Demo, all your flowers, lunch and a glass of wine.
67 Woolley St, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1AQ • firstname.lastname@example.org • thegeorgebradfordonavon.co.uk
Armoury CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS
Here’s a question for you: what food does social media love best? I’d say pizzas or burgers, maybe, but then there are plenty of folk posting avocado dishes and sushi, too… What about the humble waffle? Okay, so they are slightly American – or, rather, Belgian by way of America – but people love sharing their late breakfasts and brunches, and plenty of the most decadent of them now feature waffles front-and-centre, whether topped with blueberries and honey, or bacon and maple syrup. As comfort food, a warm waffle is hard to beat – fluffy and crunchy and golden like the sun – but they can be messy to make, and hard to get right. That, of course, is where the Smart Waffle from Sage by Heston Blumenthal comes in.
WAFFLY NICE You are waffle, says Matt Bielby, but I like you
It looks like a posh Breville Sandwich Toaster... A tiny bit, but while most sandwich toasters leave you with crumbs and molten cheese everywhere – and remember, they’ve got a much simpler task on their hands than successful waffle making – the Smart Waffle’s wrap-around moat captures and cooks any sticky overflow for easy (and tasty!) clean-up. Plus, the waffles always come out perfect. It’s still a lot of kit to make just one thing, though. Perhaps – but have you really considered all the variations the waffle offers? This beast can automatically work out the cooking time required for whatever style you’re after – Belgian waffles, classic American waffles, chocolate waffles or buttermilk waffles – and their colour too, from pale to dark; it even lets you customise the settings to invent your own. And if the Smart Waffle is too much of an investment for you, there’s a smaller, cheaper version – the No-Mess Waffle – too. This makes a single round waffle rather than two rectangular ones, so aesthetic considerations (and sheer greediness) may well impact on which one you go for. Okay, say I buy one. Now what do I do? Eat waffles for every darn meal? You say that like it’s a bad thing. But no, think of all the variations possible: waffled stuffing! Waffled French toast! Waffled mac ’n’ cheese! There’s a whole world of easy culinary adventure to explore with this thing – not unlike those student days, in fact, where the only inroom choice was a toastie, using whatever odds and sods you had lying around… ✱ The Smart Waffle costs £169.95 (and the No-Mess Waffle £99.95) from Leekes of Melksham, and branches of John Lewis, Debenhams and Lakeland; sageappliances.co.uk
THIS MONTH crumbsmag.com
10 The Mall | Clifton | BS8 4DR | 0117 360 0288 | email@example.com | www.nutmegbristol.com
‘SERATA SPECIALE’ Don’t fancy cooking midweek? Need a little treat to tide you over till the weekend? Each week we choose some of our favorite regional Italian dishes, give them a little twist and offer them to you at the special price of £12.50 for 2 courses or £15 for 3 courses. Available 6pm-10pm Tuesday-Thursday. Full a la carte menu also available. For more details visit www.rosemarino.co.uk
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The Supper Club
LINKS AFRICA The Matatu Kitchen supper club is serving African food like – we’re confident enough to bet – you’ve never tried before…
Words by JESSICA CARTER Photos by EMLI BENDIXEN
or all the diverse cultures and culinary experiences Bristol has on its books, there are still some styles of food that perhaps haven’t been repped as widely as they deserve. That’s just one of the reasons the novel Matatu Kitchen supper clubs are going down such a bloomin’ storm. Taking inspiration from their strong East African links, the guys behind it – Fozia and Edwina, with Somali and Kenyan heritage respectively – began hosting dinners late last year. Their mission: to introduce Bristol to this region’s food. Although perhaps a bit more challenging to define than, say, Indian or Italian food, East African fare is nothing if not pretty darn exciting in its variety. The influence of trade links across the Indian Ocean – predominantly with the Middle East and India – is constantly evident, and especially so in the Somalian offerings. (After all, that country has generous stretches of coastline and a strong maritime history.) Couple this with the fact Africa’s believed to have the longest history of human inhabitation on the planet, and you know you’re going to get some interesting grub, right? And especially when it’s cooked by Foz and Ed. The pair rarely try to produce exact replicas of traditional dishes, but instead use the styles, principles and techniques of Somali and Swahili food to create modern meals that are unmistakably rooted in the customs of East African cooking, but also relevant to contemporary diners and the food scene we’re all so spoilt with on this turf. The particular supper club that we went to (and we were ruddy lucky
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Stylish country inn & rural retreat just a mile and a half from Bath city centre
Recommended by The Michelin Guide 2017 â€œWe would like to congratulate David and his team at the Wheelwrights Arms on their listing in The Michelin Guide. Some of us have been associated with the Wheelwrights Arms for ten years and hope to be for many more.â€?
Top Lane, Whitley, Wiltshire SN12 8QX 01225 704966 T f @peartreewhitley
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to be there, as all their latest dates have sold out pretty sharpish – though please keep your eye out for more), was a Sunday lunch at the ace Wilsons, on Chandos Road. Two long, communal tables stretched the length of the modestsized, light-filled dining area (this really is a great spot for a daytime meal, with the windowed frontage filtering in buckets of sunlight, illuminating the white walls), and there were families, couples, and pairs of friends sat together at both. We took seats next to Jan and Mary – owners of the restaurant – and their curly haired, avo-loving toddler, Robin. Everyone had kicked off this BYO affair as appropriate (i.e. with plenty of wine), and we were soon being served a pheasant consommé, spiked with vodka, burnt green chilli and a Grow Bristol coriander shoot – a fiery, hearty, really savoury shot that the ensuing cold weather has had me craving ever since. The menu proper began, though, with this issue’s Hero Ingredient, chicory. The bitter leaves – like little crisp, pale saucers – were filled with small chunks of sweet chopped date and walnut, and crumbs of spiced, salty Somerset goats’
( supper club )
(cardamom doughnuts) INGREDIENTS
cheese. Crimson pomegranate seeds, which burst in the mouth to release their sweet-sour juice, were peppered over the top. This exciting assembly of tastes made sure all zones of the tongue were woken up and ready to go. Mini sambusas – fried, stuffed pastries which are the Somali equivelant of samosas – came next. One was filled with roast squash and coconut, one with pickled ewes’ cheese and spinach, and the other contained Foz’s mum’s own spiced lamb recipe. Alongside them on the plate was a neat pile of fresh salsa, which we got all authentic with and ate with our fingers. There were two sauces on the table to go with this dish and, between you and me, I’ll go to great lengths to get recipes for ’em. One was a moreish, spicy tamarind sauce called shigni, and the other, bisbas, saw punchy green chilli and coriander balanced with cooling yogurt. The main course was bush chicken choma – tender pheasant, marinated with mango and served with sweet potato and a sukuma wiki (Swahili-style greens, not a million miles away from kale). Plates of warm mandazi rounded off the meal: these yeasted, fried doughnuts
were served with a mega-refreshing coconut and lime ice cream, and a little pot of chai-spiced caramel sauce, for dipping. (Er, or drinking, if you’re us.) Foz told us these are often served as a nibble to go with a cup of coffee or chai; the African equivalent of tea and biscuits, then. Speaking of coffee, we got cups of a really good Zanzibari brew; served black, it was rich and aromatic, lifted by notes of zingy cardamom. With only two in the kitchen, and one smiley Foz managing front of house, this supper club had a real relaxed, authentic homeliness to it. The chilled-out, social atmosphere and friendly hosting made for a Sunday lunch that I’d pick above a roast any day of the week. ✱ thematatukitchen.com
HAVING A PARTY? This section of Crumbs is all about foodie celebrations with style. Could you do it better than these guys, or any of our other recent Supper Club hosts? If so, send venue pics and 50 words on why you’re the host with the most to: firstname.lastname@example.org
60ml warm water 200ml coconut milk 112g caster sugar 2 tsp dry yeast 600g plain flour, plus extra for kneading 1 heaped tsp freshly ground cardamom vegetable or sunflower oil, for deep frying icing sugar, to dust METHOD
– Put the warm water, coconut milk, sugar and yeast in a jug and sit it in a warm place for 5 minutes or so, until it starts foaming. – In a large bowl, mix the flour and cardamom with a pinch of salt, then pour in the liquid. Mix well until all the ingredients have been fully incorporated, then turn out onto a clean, floured surface and knead well. Add more flour, if needed; the dough should be slightly wet, although still manageable. – Return the dough to the mixing bowl and cover with a clean damp tea towel or loose sheet of cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size. – Once risen, turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knock the air out. – Knead a little to make the dough really smooth and elastic, then roll it out to 2cm thick, and cut into bite-size pieces with a sharp knife. Choose any shape you like. – Deep fry in vegetable or sunflower oil at 190C until golden brown, carefully flipping half way. Once cooked, remove from the oil and place on a plate covered with kitchen roll. – Dust the doughnuts with icing sugar. We serve ours with chai caramel sauce, ice cream, and tropical fruit for dessert, or with chai tea or Zanzibari coffee for elevenses.
food & drink
that won’t cost you the earth
THE CURFEW PRIVATE HIRE Our upstairs lounge, available for private hire, has its own bar, big screen TV and fantastic staff to help make your event a success. Be it a business meeting or birthday party, the Curfew has everything you need.
The Curfew Please contact Dan or Emily on 01225 313747 for details 11 Cleveland Place West, Bath BA1 5DG
Our weekly changing lunch, dinner and tapas menu is superbly put together using the finest local ingredients.
WEDNESDAY NIGHTS – A tasty trip to the jewel of the Empire with “Curry and a Drink” offer
THURSDAYS – Our famous Burger Night A tasty homemade burger and a pint for £10! SUNDAYS – Award-winning roasts from 12-6pm and after 6pm marinated ribs and a pint for £10.
6 DOWRY PLACE | HOTWELLS | BRISTOL | BS8 4QL PHONE: 01173 290 352 WWW.ROSEOFDENMARK.CO.UK
T H E WA N T LI S T
Whether your hot bev of choice is green tea, fresh coffee or South American yerba mate, we have the vessel for you…
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1 BEDAZZLE BISSATE GOLD TEA GLASS £10 Your Moroccan tea deserves to be sipped in appropriate style, and this pretty little tea glass will do the job nicely. Find it at T2 in Bath and online. ✱ t2tea.com 2 DIPPED TERRACOTTA ESPRESSO MUG £11.95 If you like your coffee short and strong, get your mitts around this fair trade terracotta mug from North Africa, which has been handmade and dipped in glaze. Sourced by Devon-based Nkuku, it’s also sold by Somerset e-biz, Decorator’s Notebook. ✱ decoratorsnotebook.co.uk 3 METAL FRAMED CUPS IN ELECTRIC GOLD, SET OF 2 £16.95 These classy cups by Barista & Co look even better filled with freshly brewed coffee (and there’s a cafetiere to match). Find them at Fig1 at Wapping Wharf in Bristol, and online. ✱ fig1.co.uk 4 MATEO AND BOMBILLA £10 With the energizing kick of coffee and health benefits of herbal teas, yerba mate may well be the next big brew; and to drink it proper, like, you’ll need a mateo (that’s the cup) and bombilla (the filtered straw) from Bath-based Yuyo. ✱ yuyo.co.uk 5 TEA BOWLS £14 Go authentic with your alternative tea, and sup it from an Asian-style bowl, like this one from Comins Tea’s shop in Bath. ✱ cominstea.com
Fr ! n o ti la 800 al £1 st h In rt ee W o
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A SMALL ARTISAN PIZZERIA IN BRISTOL’S WONDERFUL GLOUCESTER ROAD Our pizzas are inspired by Pizza al Taglio in Rome and will melt in your mouth. They have a base that is not only crispy, but also light and airy. We use the highest quality ingredients available and many of our pizzas are finished with fresh seasonal produce that will titillate your taste buds and leaving you longing for more.
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Tel: 0117 382 2235 3a Regent Street, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4HW Shop3Bistro @Shop3Bistro
TOP CULINARY CAUSES, FAB FOOD DESTINATIONS, AND PEOPLE THAT MATTER
Mains Highlights CRUST TRIES Pizza is big news right now, and here are some of the major local players Page 54
YOU SAY POTATO
Time to get those Wellies on and head out into the garden Page 64
We explore the buzzing local food tour scene Page 69
There is almost too much choice when it to comes to eating great pizza in Bath and Bristol. (Woah, there! We said almost...)
WAYS to explore Bath and Bristol’s food scenes...
PiZza GLut Mains
You may have noticed that you canâ€™t swing a fork without hitting a new indie pizzeria on this fine patch â€“ and that makes us jolly pleased. Here, Mark Taylor meets the local pizza pros behind them to explore the oh-so-varied offerings...
he pizza scene may have been dominated by national high street chains for decades, but Bristol and Bath have seen an explosion in indie artisan pizza businesses recently, all of which are giving the big boys a run for their money. From Bristolian Pi Shop, run by the Michelin-starred Casamia team, to Pizzarova in a shipping container and mobile start-ups, the number and range of venues is rising faster than a sourdough crust in a blazing wood-fired oven. “I think the recent explosion in Italian pizza is a reflection of people looking for increasingly authentic food when eating out,” says Tim Coffey of Bath’s Real Italian Pizza Company, where the classic Margherita is the best seller, followed by a version topped with Italian meats. In its tenth year, this place is a veritable veteran of the scene, and Tim thinks the USP is still the wood-fired oven.
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“For a long time, places like ours were few and far between, and it was hard to find authentic wood-fired pizza in the UK. There are not many chains that go to the trouble of installing wood-fired ovens, as you need a good team of chefs that know how to work with this living, and challenging, type of oven.” Former banker-turned-chef Steve Gale came up with a winning formula too, when he launched Flour & Ash in Bristol. Specialising in sourdough pizzas and homemade ice cream, the Cheltenham Road original was an overnight success, and picked up a glowing review from Jay Rayner along the way. It has since opened a second restaurant in Westburyon-Trym, and best-sellers include the signature ox cheek ragu pizza. “I think people have seen the light, and now realise that pizza doesn’t have to be greasy, flaccid and tasteless,” says Steve. “Once you have tried really good pizza, it’s hard to go back.” Flour & Ash doesn’t take shortcuts, and it’s this artisanal approach that sets it apart from the big chains.
Steve says: “Some places use longproved yeasted dough and call it sourdough, when it isn’t. They run gas or electric ovens and chuck a couple of twigs on and call their pizza ‘wood-fired’. They select ingredients by price rather than quality. We believe every little compromise has an impact. Okay, it’s the harder path, but we think you can taste the difference.” It’s this very difference in taste and texture that has made The Oven in Bath such a success since it launched in March 2016; the Saw Close restaurant’s chef, Fabrizzio Mancinetti, won Pizza Chef of the Year 2016 because of the quality of his creations, which are made with dough raised for around 36 hours and baked at between 400-500 degrees centigrade for no more than 90 seconds. “It’s much more difficult than it looks,” says manager Mark Mentzel. “Fabrizio makes it look easy, but he’s been doing it since he was nine. Even if you have a recipe, there are many ways it could go wrong: the dough has to be mixed in a certain way, the temperature of the
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Seems like pizza can come in all shapes, styles and sizes on our patch these days – and the pizzerias themselves are just as varied
water is important, and so it the way the dough is rested. The room temperature is also critical. It takes months of practice to get it right.” And it’s not just about the pizza itself either, something Krow Coles of Moorland Road, Bath’s new industrialstyle pizzeria Fire and Brew knows. “Sure, anyone could open a pizza place now, but to make it into a sustainable and vibrant venue takes a whole load more effort and skill. We have personality and quality. We’re not driven by a chairman and a million shareholders, so we can afford superior ingredients and encourage our customers to stick around and make their visit as relaxed and fun as possible. This means there’s never any rushing them out the door to turn the table around and get the next sitting in, which is sometimes the case elsewhere.”
One of the first in the new wave of Bristol pizzerias, Pizza Workshop in Southville has worked to create a similarly laid-back and inclusive feel for its customers – with a modern look and canteen-style seating – to reflect their good-quality but straightforward offering. “We have focused all of our energy on creating the very best pizzas that we possibly can,” says Catharine Ross, who tells us that the chefs here use a 75-yearold sourdough starter, brought over from Italy. However, the way they cook pizzas here is somewhat different to most other pizzerias. You see, this restaurant uses a Scandinavian electric oven, rather than a wood-fired version. “We had a wood-burning pizza oven at home for 20 years, so we understand the challenges that they present,” explains Catharine. “We deliberately chose not to use a wood-fired oven, because during a busy shift it is very difficult to maintain a consistently high temperature which is evenly distributed. And blind trials
carried out in the US revealed that people are not able to distinguish what type of oven pizzas have been cooked in.” Also not taking the traditional route is Bath Pizza Co, part of the Green Park Brasserie; its pizzas are inspired by the Bath Farmers’ Market that takes place outside, rather than by Italy. Alex Peters says: “We sell loads of our Homewood Cheeses Farmers’ Market special, made with Tim and Angela’s fantastic sheep’s cheese from Ubley. Also popular is our homemade pesto and Tunley Farm chicken pizza – that’s a real crowd pleaser. “We’re fresh, local and bespoke; we have some fantastic weekly specials, using produce from local farmers and food producers literally metres from our oven. We’re really proud to be offering something unique. “We’re making awesome pizza, and because we’re not on the high street, we’re able offer better prices than the big chains with huge overheads.”
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However you prefer your pizza, there’ll be the perfect option for you somewhere in Bath or Bristol
Another Bath pizza business with lower overheads than most is Pizza Bike, run by Angel Ganev. This mobile pizzeria pops up at Green Park Station from Thursday to Saturday, and at The Bell Inn, Bath, on Sunday. It also appears in Bristol at local markets, festivals and events. Angel says: “The Pizza Bike is an ultralight mobile catering unit that can be set up virtually anywhere, at any location. By keeping our overheads and expenses low we can spend more on quality ingredients, and offer our customers a much better pizza at much better prices than the big players. We focus on quality; all of our pizza dough is handmade with sourdough culture, and toppings are sourced from local companies and traders. We’re arguably the smallest pizzeria in the world, too, which makes us pretty unique.”
Another business that started out as a mobile caterer – although this one was in a converted Land Rover Defender – is Bertha’s, which opened its first permanent restaurant in Bristol’s Wapping Wharf last year, and rapidly became one of the city’s go-to pizzerias. Owners Graham and Kate Faragher named the biz after the three-tonne, hand-built pizza oven that was made by fourth-generation oven maker Stefano Ferarra in Naples. Graham says: “We’re obsessive to the extreme about our dough, and use our toppings to showcase the best of local produce. Everyone’s looking for value, and it’s something we strive for; we don’t do discounts, but instead aim for good value all the time.” Things worked the opposite way for Bristol pub The Victoria Park, which
looked outside its pre-existing restaurant kitchen and into to the garden to launch an alfresco pizza kitchen last year. It has proven so successful that the team have introduced online ordering, as well as a special app. Owner Luke Freeman says: “Personal service and a personalised app with the option of delivery on pizzas (with no delivery charge) means that customers can deal with us directly to ensure they receive the maximum level of service – with no hidden fees. We also offer delivery of our varied range of craft beers and wines, which are the perfect accompaniment to pizza.” With all these new offerings popping up at a rate of knots, you might begin to forget about the old faithfuls; although, with the calibre we have, you might not be forgiven for it. Paul Stewart, co-owner of longestablished A Cappella in Totterdown, has been in the pizza game for years, and thinks the recent explosion was pretty inevitable, really. “Pizza is a real crowd-pleaser, as it’s quick to cook, fun to share, filling, and good value for money – we are not surprised it’s gaining in popularity. A Cappella itself is a neighbourhood restaurant, so has such a different vibe from the high street chains. Larger chains are often forced to bring in their bases frozen, and use more pre-prepared ingredients to deal with such high volume of customers.” They’ve not been tempted to compromise their quality in the name of competition, mind: “Our pizza dough is made daily on the premises. You can’t beat a personal touch, and it gives us a degree of flexibility to accommodate our customers’ personal preferences.”
WOOD-FIRED SOURDOUGH PIZZA & ICE-CREAM
ANY PIZZA £9 before 6.30pm www.ﬂourandash.co.uk
WESTBURY-ON-TRYM 38 The High Street Westbury-On-Trym BS9 3DZ Tel: 0117 330 0033 Email: BS9@ﬂourandash.co.uk
BEST PIZZA CHEF IN ENGLAND
PAPA INDUSTRY AWARDS WINNER 2016 “When it comes to pizza, nothing beats the crust from a wood-ﬁred oven” Daniel Young – Sunday Times
3 & 4 SEVEN DIALS, SAWCLOSE, BATH BA1 1EY O1225 311181 · ENQUIRIES@THEOVENPIZZERIA.CO.UK WWW.THEOVENPIZZERIA.CO.UK
CHELTENHAM ROAD 203b Cheltenham Road, Bristol BS6 5QX Tel: 0117 908 3228 Email: contact@ﬂourandash.co.uk
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Gloucester Road’s Planet Pizza might be another of the longer-established pizzerias, but it doesn’t rest on its laurels, either. Owner Mark Edwards says he continually looks at trends and his customers’ needs and demands, adapting the menu accordingly from time to time – which plays a huge part in the restaurant’s long success. “We all look out for good value and great offers, and our deals of £6 for any nine-inch pizza during the day (Monday to Friday), and our Tuesday pizza and pint for £8.95, are very popular.” With dozens of different pizzas and a wide range of creative toppings, Bocabar at Paintworks offers one of the largest pizza menus in Bristol. Owner Mel Banks says: “As well as our long list of over 30 different pizzas, we have monthly specials that use local and seasonal produce. We also have a very wide range of local and craft beers, ciders and ales from Bristol and the surrounding area to complement our pizzas.” With bestsellers including the Bahia Picante (tomato sauce, Mozzarella, pepperoni, chorizo, roasted red peppers, black olives, chilli basil and freshly ground black pepper) and the vegetarian King Bobra (tomato sauce, butternut squash, goats’ cheese, sundried tomatoes, caramelised red onion and marinated artichokes), Bocabar certainly has a pizza for any taste or craving, but it’s also about offering good value, which Mel agrees is particularly important with this market. Mel says: “Our customers are price dependent, but that’s why we are always so busy. Our huge 13-inch pizzas are a great size for sharing, and that makes them very affordable.”
Somewhere that also has exceptional choice is Bath’s Dough. Although, this doesn’t just apply to its toppings... “We offer a choice of alternative bases, from home-made gluten-free to hemp, grano arso, seaweed, multi-grain, kamut, chocolate dough and more,” explains head chef and co-owner Emiliano Tunno. “We’re passionate about offering pizza for everyone. There aren’t many places you can find this style of pizza, even in Italy.” Learning the art of pizza making is something that this restaurant takes seriously, with all staff trained by the Associazione Pizzaioli Professionist (APP). The APP is the academy of pizza, teaching students about everything from the dough to the finished product and the ‘acrobatics’ of pizza-making. These are people who have chosen pizza making as a career, and it’s the subsequent attention to detail and passion that makes Dough such a popular choice in a city that’s increasingly well served when it comes to quality pizza. Emiliano spent six years learning the different techniques to be ready to work
in the restaurants and teach others about the art of making pizza. “I’ve done this job since I was 15, so for me it’s always been about pizza. Pizza is an essential, easy meal, which makes people happy, and lots of folk in Bristol and Bath have cottoned onto that.” Jim Bishop of Bristol-born mobile biz Mission Pizza agrees with Emiliano about the magical mood-enhancing properties of pizza. “It’s seen as a great leveller, a classless food that, in times of economic downturn and political uncertainty, is accessible to all, comforting, and easily shared – a satisfying full meal at a good price.” And Jim and his team have gone one better in their mission to encourage inclusivity, by specialising in vegetarian and vegan pizzas, not only to cater for non-meat-eaters, but for customers looking to eat more conscientiously too. “We only serve vegetarian and vegan pizza; we’re trying to show, through pizza, that it’s possible to cut down on meat and still eat amazing food. At the end of the day we just want to sell quality, reasonably priced pizza. No pretences, just us doing our thing.” And to finish, let’s touch on Bristol’s newest pizza joint, shall we? Romanesca on Gloucester Road is doing something different yet again. Here, you’ll find Rome repped in the offerings, as opposed to Naples, the pizzas being more rectangular and served on wooden boards. This is the first restaurant owned by former marketing pro and keen home baker Greg Hyne, but it’s an ambitious, straight-up, pizzeria whose paint was probably still tacky when it received its first glowing review...
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TaTerS GONNa TaTe To Matthew William Harris, there’s no such thing as an average spud; he’s planting all kinds of varieties after visiting a local potato day…
up, it’s here; the time has come to buy your potato seeds and get back out in that garden. Right now is when both green-fingered squares like me and budding growers are starting to deliberate all the ace new varieties of fruit and veg we can grow over the next few months. Indeed, most of us are already welly-deep in seed catalogues, or ploughing through the web for promises of unusual, tasty, bug-proof varieties, all hoping to discover the next best veg. This year, however, I’ve composted the seed catalogues and instead pulled on my best woolly hat to head for the promised land: the original Potato and Seed Day, held at Castle Cary. Now in its twelfth year, the festival, organised by Pennard Plants, is touring the West Country, bringing with it buckets of traditional and unusual seed potatoes, hand-picked heritages, and every other pip, kernel, bean, tuber and nut you could imagine, all to get us growing this spring. Whether you’re an experienced gardener and allotment veteran, or haven’t grown so much as a spot of cress since primary school, the friendly Pennard lot are happy to talk veg. I was like a kid in a sweet shop there, ending up with wide eyes and wider
TATERS TO TRY
Newbie growers, go for a classic Vivaldi, the multipurpose spud. It’s creamy textured (great for mash) and kind on beginners. Pot, bucket and bag growers, try the Sarop Mira variety. I’ve grown heaps from one plant in a pot – and they’re darn tasty, to boot. A common favourite flavourwise is the Red Duke of York, which grows large potatoes, excellent for roasting – just watch out for the bugs.
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READY, STEADY, GROW
Start by standing the little seed potatoes (small dents/knobby end pointing to the sky) in an egg box or similar, and placing in a light, frost-free place. Now wait!
From March onwards you’re good to go. Plant them, sprouted end up, in loose, composted soil in a sunny spot when the soil is warm. If you’re planting in the ground, each seed should go into a hole 12-15cm deep, and have 30cm between it and the next one. You can also plant in a pot, bucket or eight-litre potato bag. For these, use one seed with multipurpose compost and make sure there are holes for drainage.
Water with common sense, making sure the soil is damp. (If you want to really push the boat out and spoil your spuds, feed them seaweed fertiliser every week.)
When the plants are 10cm tall, earth them up. Pile the soil up around the base of the plant, up to their leaves.
After 10-13 weeks, you’ll have yourself some spuds! Grab your fork, tip them or pull them out, and cook them however you see fit.
Remember to label and date your spuds – you will forget what you have otherwise, even if it’s just one in a pot. And make sure you note the variety: after all, a potato is never just a potato.
bags, filled with all kinds of treats. Think the tasty Pink Fir Apple salad potato (great boiled and mixed into a winter cashew mayonnaise slaw); the Rudolph (a good all-rounder British spud that makes for a damn tasty roastie, seasoned with salt and cracked black pepper); and the Mayan Gold (a Peruvian potato grown by the Incas and prized for its exotic flavour and ability to make golden, buttery mash). When you visit an event like this, also keep your eyes peeled for French potato seeds – available as of mid-February – especially the pretty, deep red Cherie salad potato, and robust, flavoursome Aloutte maincrop. Be on the look out for great deals too, with offers on seed sachets, and a single potato seed priced at 24p (good value, when you think that you can get around 1kg of spuds per plant). So cheap, they’ll doubtless leave you change for a cuppa.
But why should I bother, you might be asking. A spud’s a spud. Well, yes – and no. The thing is, if you want all the flavour and satisfaction that can be had from a home-grown potato, plucked fresh from the ground and coated with clumps of mud from your very own garden, growing your own is definitely worth it. You’ll find more than 80 types of potato seed at every Pennard Plants event, along with those for apple tomatoes, oca tubers, catmint for the cat, onions, garlic, flowers, and soft and top fruit plants: everything you need to start growing your own produce.
✱ Local upcoming Pennard potato events include 26 Feb in Frome; 4 March in Bath; and 11 March in Timsbury; for more information check out pennardplants.com
An Oxford boy now calling Bristol his home, Matthew is likely to be found out and about in various locations in the South West, creating and caring for some extraordinary gardens. He has established a rapidly growing reputation as a gardener, designer, grower and all round stand-up guy.
Mother’s Day 26th March
We are a friendly, family owned inn offering hearty home cooked food, in a small country village setting. Whether you are local or travelling from further afield, you are guaranteed a warm welcome.
SUNDAY LUNCH SERVED BETWEEN NOON-5PM
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Tunley Road, Tunley BA2 0EB • 01761 470408 Email: email@example.com • f T @kingwilliam84 www.kingwilliaminn.co.uk
Best Western Plus Centurion Hotel Charlton Lane, Midsomer Norton, Nr Bath BA3 4BD | 01761 417711
5 DAYS COOKING LESSON TOUR AT THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE CINQUE TERRE
Discover Bristol one bite at a time
Have an amazing culinary adventure whilst enjoying a stunning and unforgettable part of Italy Our fun Taste Bristol Tour is available every Friday and Saturday and includes at least 10 food or drink tastings from some of Bristolâ€™s best independent foodie destinations. Join us on our cookery courses which are guided by award-winning professional chefs. Youâ€™ll be buying your ingredients from the local market, and enjoying your dishes accompanied by the quality local wines.
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We can also arrange bespoke corporate and private tours to suit your needs. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07860 770436 to speak to one of our experienced guides.
Ashville Park, Short Way, Thornbury BS35 3UU | Tel: 01454 418046 www.6oclockgin.com | @6oclockgin www.bramleyandgage.com | @bramleyandgage
WHAT HAPPENS ON TOUR… Mains
With endless food tours cropping up across the region, and the demand for them expanding at such a high rate, Jessica Carter talks to local culinary guides to find out why they’re becoming the way to explore a city…
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To anyone that hearts food, edibles mean way, way more than simply sustenance. And we’ve never had more reason to believe that to be true than now, with our patch having developed such a thriving, inclusive and conscientious food culture. Food is, then, a great means by which to explore this region – or any other that you want to get to know. Pro chefs concur, too: did you catch any of Rick Stein’s Long Weekends series, or maybe you’ve seen the new James Martin’s French Adventure? Both shows work on the premise of getting to know different regions, meeting the people who live there, and experiencing the culture – all through the medium of local food. Luckily for us, though, we don’t have to get a TV show commissioned to do the same thing; food tours are becoming big news, and are proving to be a really popular way not only to acquaint yourself with an unfamiliar city, but also make new discoveries on your home turf. In fact, Brian Iles, who founded food tour company Eat Walk Talk in central Bristol last summer, says he gets a pretty even split of tourists and local Bristolians. “We’ve had a really interesting mix so far; about 50 per cent are local, 20 per cent are from other parts of the UK, and the remaining 30 per cent come from abroad. I had thought most people would have been from outside UK...” Alice Dalrymple and Jo Scholefield, founders of The Bristol Food Tour, also see a majority of locals on their popular Stokes Croft tours. “A lot of people comment that they’d never think to go to the places we take them to eat, but then we hear from the restaurants that they end up going back for a meal, which is really great to hear,” says Alice. Jennifer Dugdale set up Savouring Bath around a year ago, and says, in fact, it’s
rather common to see locals surprised at finding great spots they didn’t know about. “I have had journalists who think they already know the special places of Bath, and then are amazed by new discoveries,” she says. “And I’ve had residents of the city, living here for 30 years, who tell me they can’t believe what they have learned and tasted on the tour.” Indeed, and as is often the way with food, these tours go way deeper than what you chew on… “Food is bound up in a country’s history and culture – you can often see the influence of location on the food, and also of the people who have lived and worked there,” says Brian. “Bristol food is a mixture of cultures and influences, and in our food tours I try to highlight where things are from and how they fit into Bristol’s history as a port and multi-cultural society. I take people to the historical centre, so they get a little of everything Bristol is famous for: food, Brunel, street art, architecture. I’m told I do this through the medium of bad jokes!” Which brings us to perhaps the biggest sell of these tours: they’re bloomin’ fun. “We like to keep groups as small as possible – it lets us have a real dialogue with people,” says Jo, as the pair talk about the social side of their biz. “No matter what mix of people we get on a tour, we know right away that we all have common ground in our interest in food. Our tour has a focus on sharing food, and keeping things relaxed and fun. In fact, we enjoy the groups so much that we’re always sad to leave them at the end!” Sounds good to us, but what actually happens on a food tour? Well, you can guarantee there’s eating. A lot of eating. “We have around eight to ten stop-offs,” Alice says, “and you get a generous taster at each – we want people to be full by the time they leave us.” The same story is true of Eat Walk Talk; having taken myself off on an epic culinary exploration with Brian, I was all but rolling home, after trying everything from the jalapeño poppers at Grillstock in St Nicks, to the famous spiced cinnamon buns at Harts Bakery, and the entire spectrum of gelatos at Swoon.
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During these tastings, visitors often get to chinwag with the people behind the food – something that Jennifer sees them particularly enjoy. “My guests love the places where they get to meet the owner and have a conversation. These are people like Duncan Glendinning of The Thoughtful Bread Company, Rob Comins of Comins Tea, and James Hunter at Hunter & Sons. When people get to see and hear for themselves the passion of the producer and what drives them to create, they can’t help but catch the enthusiasm.” And this is an enthusiasm that’s certainly growing; all of these local tour guides have seen the appetite (ahem) for food tours increase considerably over the last few years. “Food tours started to gain popularity in the early 2000s,” says Jennifer, “and
were soon offered in capital cities around the world. Recently, however, eating has become a universal form of entertainment, and a very big topic on social media, meaning that similar tours can now be found in many smaller destinations – like Bath.” Brian points out even more reasons as to why these kinds of tours have started to become so popular. “It’s a really efficient and effortless way to get to know a city,” he says, “and to orientate yourself in a short period of time. It’s also a great way to have a taster of something you might have not tried before – and you get to find places you probably wouldn’t on your own, too.” Between just these three companies, you can cover much of Bath and several cool neighbourhoods of Bristol – think Stokes Croft, the Old City, and soon even
Bedmo, thanks to The Bristol Food Tour’s latest addition. But these kind of city tours aren’t the only way to go; if your interest lies in a specific area of food or drink, then you might fancy a more concentrated tour, like one of those below…
Find out more about these ace tours Eat Walk Talk, Bristol centre and Old City, £35; eatwalktalkbristol.com The Bristol Food Tour, Stokes Croft and Bedminster, £35; thebristolfoodtour.com Savouring Bath, central Bath, £35; savouringbath.com Six O’Clock Gin, Thornbury, £25; bramleyandgage.com Dunleavy, Wrington, £5; dunleavyvineyards.co.uk Doriatour, prices on request; doriatour.com
FOR THE GIN LOVER
FOR THE OENOPHILE
FOR THE TRAVELLER
6 O’CLOCK GIN
This family-run distillery has been making 6 O’Clock gin here since 2010, having already established a fruit liqueur business. So, if you think you know all there is to know about gin, these guys may well surprise you on their distillery tour. Learn about everything from the history of the spirit itself, to the botanicals used in gin and the distilling process. And you get taken way beyond that point, too; guests will learn about everything from bottling to mixing, and get a cheeky sample of the 6 O’Clock range from their expert tour guides, too.
Meet Ingrid, the owner of this Somerset vineyard, which was planted in 2008, and hear all about how it was grown and is maintained, asking all the questions you like along the way. You’ll gain an insight into the world of English wine production, and get the chance to sample Dunleavy’s own wine in the gorgeous countryside. Tours run mid-April to October, and need to be booked in advance.
Guests will learn about the history of this innovative, sustainable outfit, set in Somerset’s largest vineyard. They’ll get to grips with English viticulture, explore the 11 acres of vines, and (of course) sample the vintages. See what these guys do differently to large commercial vineyards, and learn how they prune, tend and harvest carefully by hand.
Fly out to Pisa from Bristol and have this Bath-based biz help you explore the beautiful coastal area of La Spezia in Italy. Led by a Bathonian and English-speaking Italian, the five-day cookery tour takes you to a charming collection of traffic-free fishing villages; mountainous, costal and rural landscapes; and open food markets. What’s more, you’ll be tutored by a celebrated Italian chef in how to make traditional dishes using locally grown ingredients. What better way to acquaint yourself with an area where food sits so close to the heart of its culture, eh?
Afters NEW RESTAURANTS DEVOURED, NEW CAFÉS FREQUENTED, NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM
Highlights ITALIAN JOB Dinner at the pasta joint everyone’s raving about Page 76
WHAT A BANGER
Classic British food from a new Bath opening Page 78
THE POOL KIDS
We dive into Lido’s tasting menu Page 80
When you can’t decide which ice cream to try at Lido, one of everything is the only way to go...
lengths swam in an outdoor pool – in January!
( I N G E N I O U S I TA L I A N S )
Mark Taylorâ€™s face is hardly an unfamiliar site at this little pasta joint, but no matter how many times he visits, the novelty never wears offâ€Ś
elcome back, bad boy. That was the tongue-incheek message printed at the top of my menu when I arrived for my latest meal at Pasta Loco. As far as I can recall, it wasn’t a reference to any inappropriate behaviour on my part during previous visits, but then this was my tenth time here since it opened seven months ago, and it is the sort of laid-back place where it’s easy to get carried away... Occupying what for years was a curry house on Cotham Hill, this pasta restaurant was opened last summer by Bristol-born cousins Ben Harvey and Dominic Borel, both of whom have Italian and Indian roots. This is their first restaurant together and is a true family affair, with Ben’s 70-year-old dad helping with most of the building work and interior design. Chef Ben cut his teeth in a number of notable local restaurants, including the influential and much missed Quartier Vert. More recently, he ran the brilliant Café Mulino pop-up in St Werburgh’s with brother Joe, who now cooks across the road from Pasta Loco at Bellita. Prior to Pasta Loco, Dominic worked in Australia, managing a number of Sydney restaurants and bars. With his shaven head, beard and tattoos, he’s a formidable host, and his head-spinning Negronis and espresso Martinis are already the stuff of local legend. The small, cheese-wedge shaped space with mushroomy walls is filled with framed family photographs, blacktopped pine tables, and lamps covered in brown paper, much as you might find in a backstreet Venetian bar. On a stormy Friday night, the place was packed and the low-lit atmosphere almost club-like, not least because vintage Barry White and Chic were oozing from the speakers and Massive Attack’s Daddy G was in for dinner. It seemed wholly appropriate that one of Bristol’s most famous sons was in the restaurant, really, as the owners share a similar back story, having grown up around St Werburgh’s and spent their childhood in St Paul’s and Easton. Such DNA can be spotted in the food and, although the cooking is primarily Italian, it has a more multicultural influence, which is demonstrated particularly
well by the occasional appearance of a fantastic goat curry ravioli dish. The menu is concise and changes most days, with four starters, five main courses and three desserts. The pasta is made fresh every day in the tiny kitchen, using an Italian pasta machine. A starter of crab and crayfish wasabi mayo salad with pickled ginger and peanut soy dressing (£6) was an Asianinfluenced dish with a real freshness and lightness of touch. It was beautifully balanced, as was an accompanying glass of White Dot, a supple Greek white from an interesting and lively wine list that offers plenty of good drinking by the bottle for under £25, and tops out below the £40 mark. Across the table, The Boss’ smoky starter of spiced aubergine Imam Bayildi,
pickled peppers, yoghurt and mint (£6) was a Middle Eastern classic with an added twist of fried pasta for extra texture and crunch. She chose equally well with her main course of orzo in crab bisque with Cornish mussels, chicory and samphire (£14.50), the rice-like orzo pasta coated in the richest, creamiest shellfish sauce with a generous amount of plump and juicy mussels, slices of bitter chicory and samphire for a salty crunch. Pappardelle with 24-hour salt marsh lamb fillet, cherry tomatoes and salsa verde (£14.50) was sensational – the wide, silky ribbons of pasta coated with minty, herby salsa verde and the slices of pink lamb as soft and tender as any I’ve eaten. It was a dish hard not to fall in love with, as was an insanely rich chocolate delice (£6.50) teamed with salt caramel and the lightest, wobbliest panna cotta, gently flavoured with espresso and grappa. It was an ethereal end to the meal. The Boss, meanwhile, was virtually purring over her frangipane Swiss roll and caramelised apple with rum and raisin ice cream (£6.50). A cool and relaxed restaurant serving exciting food and drink at fair prices, Pasta Loco has the genuine feel of eating at the owners’ family home, and that’s what makes it so irresistible – whether you’re a ‘bad boy’ or not.
✱ PASTA LOCO, 37A Cotham Hill, Bristol BS6 6JY; 0117 973 3000; pastaloco.co.uk
( N E W E X PA N S I O N S )
THE CLIFTON SAUSAGE, BATH
Well known in its home city of Bristol, this classic British joint has burst into Bath, so Jessica Carter took the opportunity to pop in for lunch 78
ust over two years ago, the 15-year-old Clifton Sausage was bought by Simon Quarrie – who had been managing it for a decade – and his wife, Joy. The couple took it on with big plans in mind, fully intending to give the menu a makeover and expand into other cities. And that’s just what they’ve done. The menu now has a British classics section, as well as a separate sandwich selection and set menu for lunchtimes. And the latter is good value, too; at £9.95 for two courses and £11.95 for three, it includes the likes of ham hock and parsley terrine with piccalilli; Cotswold lamb, mint and apricot sausages with mash; and affogato with amaretto ice cream.
This new site launched last October, taking over the former Cowshed on The Paragon – a venue that’s proved somewhat tricky for restaurants in the past. Set ups and layouts have been kept pretty much the same inside, as has the team; indeed, from chatting to them it seems like the majority of staff have remained, and the transition been very smooth. The same calm, cheery service that I remember from Cowshed made us feel right at home at The Sausage, as we took a seat next to the floor-to-ceiling windows at the back of the restaurant. The view looks across a paved terrace before then dropping off into the Bath countryside, and has to be one of the best from any dining room in the city. With a Bath Ales brew in hand, we made our orders, deciding to sidestep the Grazing Platter of cured meats and salads (£13.50), and the crispy tempura prawns with sweet chilli jam and coriander ’slaw (£8), to choose starters of whitebait (£5) and Bath Blue soufflé (£7). The whitebait came first (by quite some time; it was all but finished by the time the soufflé arrived, if I’m being totally honest). The fish, generous in their size and number, were coated with a light, crisp batter and accompanied by tartar sauce and salad leaves which had been tossed in a mustard dressing. The soufflé wasn’t the traditional kind; a light and spongy bake sat on its side, steeped in a pool of cheese sauce. The punchiness of the Bath Blue was balanced with creaminess, ensuring it wasn’t too pungent. Two slices of nicely charred bread sat on the side, in addition, although after finishing the whole thing I realised that was quite a lot of stodge to be kicking off a meal with – even for me. Although the homemade beef and chorizo burger in a sesame seed brioche bun (£12), and pan-friend duck breast
with cherry purée (£18.50), did turn our heads, it was bangers all round for mains, with toad in the hole (£11.45) and that day’s special of wild boar sausages (£10.45). We chucked in a last minute order of veg (£3.50) too, in the form of red cabbage, to keep our mums happy. Veggies have a choice of Glamorgan sausages and an option from the ‘classics’ – currently a lentil, wild ’shroom and cashew nut roast – so aren’t hard done by. Back to the bangers, though: they’re all made to The Clifton Sausage’s own recipe by Havercroft’s butchers in Weston-super-Mare. They were of a really decent size, and had a delicately crisp skin and lovely crumbly texture in the middle, thanks to the leanness of the meat. The Yorkie on the toad in the hole was stonking, with an impressive crust. On that dish, the gravy was served on the side – something I’d, with hindsight, probably ask for on my own dish next time. Why? Well, it was so richly flavoured, and had been poured over my plate so generously (thumbs up for that; I
can’t be doing with stingy gravy portions), that it was a struggle to appreciate the wild boar’s delicate flavour. The mash was, as you’d expect from a restaurant that’s been making it for 15 years, really good. Creamy but not too heavy, my sizable dollop was punctuated by tiny, crunchy spring onion slices – although, that said, the special black pudding mash was pretty tempting, too. Dessert was a slab of super-moist sticky toffee pud (£6), drenched in butterscotch sauce and served with vanilla ice cream. It’s great to see trad British favourites done well, but the availability of this kind and quality of fare – and, thus, the competition that The Clifton Sausage has to struggle against – has increased considerably since 2002. It looks like the guys here have plenty of fight and ambition, though, and it’ll be interesting to see how this venue serves them. ✱ THE CLIFTON SAUSAGE, 5 Bladud Buildings, The Paragon, Bath BA1 5LS; 01225 433633; cliftonsausage.co.uk
( O L D FAVO U R I T E S )
It’s been more than eight years since this historic site (which was almost ripped down in the ’90s) was restored – high time Jessica Carter checked it out, then...
he Clifton Victoria Baths was built as a public facility in the 1800s, charging a one-shilling admission and towel hire fee when it first opened. By 1990, though, parts of the site had been sold off, and the pool was in need of some serious TLC. It closed that year, with demolition being a likely option – that is, until it had a very welcome grade II listing slapped on it. In the end, it was the guys behind Bristol’s Glassboat restaurant that saw the site’s potential, and restored the pool, along with the building that hugs it, installing a restaurant, bar and spa there. However swish this may sound, and however handsome the surrounding Georgian neighbourhood is, it doesn’t take long, once arriving, to realise just how laid-back and inclusive Lido really
is. The staff are chilled out, cheery and helpful, making non-members feel just as welcome as regulars. Indeed, non-members can pay one-off fees to come and use the pool, sauna and steam room. Having got there early, that’s exactly what we did, braving the midwinter temperatures to get a few lengths under our belts in the open-air pool, before being rewarded with a treatment, and finally making it to the restaurant. Yeah, what a hardship, eh? Exec chef Freddy Bird (you know, him from page 10) cooks with plenty of Mediterranean (especially Spanish) influence, treating his great-quality ingredients with thought and simplicity. He’s also really into fire – in a cheffy way, as opposed to an ASBO-inducing way, mind – and much of Lido’s food is cooked in the wood-fired oven. You have a choice to make when it comes to eating here: there’s a list of proper Spanish tapas, a set menu (£20 for three courses), an a la carte, and ‘Birdfood’. The latter (£50 a head) is
an ever-changing five courses of what Freddy reckons is best that day. And he is pretty trustworthy in our book – so we were more than happy to let him pick. Golden croquetas were first to arrive from the kitchen. The silky, delicatelyflavoured filling of the first mouthful had me slow my chew right down as soon as it filtered across my tongue. Whisps of crabmeat were bound together in a béchamel sauce laced with brandy, Anís del Mono and white wine. The well-balanced, lava-like interior (it has to be hot for the filling to be loose and velvety) was so on-point that I didn’t even bemoan the slight burn I inflicted on the roof of my mouth. Totally worth it. There were also ham versions, the lovely, gooey, cheesy filling studded with chunks of pink meat. Wood-fired scallops – golden and caramelised on the edges – joined the croquetas on that board. The meat bathed in a pool of buttery juice, pimped up with a blend of finely chopped mint, parsley, dill and tarragon. Each came in its shell, which was blackened from the wood fire it had been cooked in, and was substantial, meaty and subtly smoky. They were, C and I agreed, the best example of this mild-flavoured mollusk either of us had eaten for a long time. Peeling the red shells from the Carabineros – the prawns’ tentacle-like legs curled into crisp spirals – revealed precisely cooked pink-flecked flesh that not only looked like lobster, but tasted similar too, with a soft, juicy sweetness.
Light, milky burrata acted as a bed for bitter chicory leaves, slices of pear (subtly sweet, having softened in the dressing), chunks of walnut and a peppering of sour pomegranate seeds. Finished off with a careful smattering of sherry dressing, it was a really well-balanced plate. A wedge of brill had been whipped off the charcoal grill at exactly the right moment, and was peppered with punchy capers and placed next to a dressed muddle of kohlrabi, chervil and brown shrimp, of a lovely peachy hue. Also having been nicely acquainted with the charcoal grill was a leg of Pyrenean lamb, sporting a cracking crust and pastel pink flesh. It was sliced and laid on a heap of verdina beans alongside a gently fiery salsa verde. By this point, maximum capacity was in plain sight, but we cracked on with a gorgeous prune and Pedro Ximenez soufflé with sherry-spiked custard, and a few ice creams (try the creamy and aromatic wild pepper and bay). Safe to say, then, the food was belting – Lido’s recent place in the OFM Best Restaurant shortlist was well-earned. And it was enhanced by the setting: the floorto-ceiling windows overlook the pool, lined with Victorian changing rooms. Unlike back in the 1800s, you don’t need to be in the mood for a dip to have reason to visit Bristol’s Lido; the imaginative and well-excecuted food at its ace bar and restaurant is, happily, plenty reason enough. ✱ LIDO, Oakfield Place, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2BJ; 0117 332 3970; lidobristol.com
When he’s not at the block, Bristol butcher Peter Molesworth will likely be found in one of these local joints… BREAKFAST? Primrose Café in Clifton;
Now add this little lot to your contacts book Primrose Café, Bristol BS8 4AA; primrosecafe.co.uk Parsons Bakery, Bristol BS9 4JP; parsonsbakery.co.uk Lloyds Greengrocer, Bristol BS9 4JP Majestic Wines, Bristol BS9 3AP; majestic.co.uk The Canteen, Bristol BS1 3QY; canteenbristol.co.uk Bell’s Diner, Bristol BS6 5QB; bellsdiner.com Kondi Brasserie, Bristol BS9 4JP; kondibrasserie.co.uk Paco Tapas Bar, Bristol BS1 6SY; pacotapas.co.uk The Hillgrove, Bristol BS2 8LT; dawkinsales.com Aqua Italia, Bristol BS1 4RR; aqua-restaurant.com Wilsons, Bristol BS6 6PF; wilsonsrestaurant.co.uk Wallfish Bistro, Bristol BS8 4DB; wallfishbistro.co.uk Greens Restaurant, Bristol BS6 7AH; greensbristol.co.uk The Kensington Arms, Bristol BS6 6NP; thekensingtonarms.co.uk Dynasty, Bristol BS1 6JJ; dynasty-bristol.co.uk
I love to sit outside on a Sunday and watch the tourists – and life in general – go by. BEST BREW? Parsons Bakery do a good decaf mocha, bespoke for me, and is just next door to our shop. FAVOURITE GROCERY SHOP? Lloyds Greengrocer on Henleaze Road always has lots of ultra-fresh and seasonal produce. BEST WINE MERCHANT? I use our local Majestic because they do several great tasting, low strength beers which you can’t get anywhere else – like St Peter’s Bitter and Camden Pale Ale. They also do fun tastings, where I always buy too much wine! SUNDAY LUNCH? My own at home, I’m afraid! Cooking is a real pleasure, and it’s the only chance after a busy week to relax and check the quality of the meat we are buying. I like to open a bottle of the red stuff for a late roast with all the trimmings. QUICK PINT? The Canteen at Hamilton House in Stokes Croft does fantastic beers, and usually has a band… so maybe not recommended for a quick pint, then! POSH NOSH? Bell’s Diner has a great variety of really interesting dishes, and is very cosy and intimate. FOOD ON THE GO? Kondi, next door to us in Henleaze. Wonderful food, with really simple, fresh ingredients. CHEEKY COCKTAIL? Paco Tapas – my fave is a beer with a cherry in it!
HIDDEN GEM? The Hillgrove is a Dawkins Brewery pub, so has a tremendous range of guest beers as well as their own brews. It also has a monthly rotation of inexpensive menus from pop-up kitchens. I have had some of my best meals there. SUPER STEAK ? Well, naturally, it would have to be one of our own six weekmatured T-bone steaks! FAVOURITE NEW OPENING 2016?
Wilsons on Chandos Road. Unusual, simple menu. They have a different take on cuts of game, using whatever the owner has been given, shot, or traded for a drink. WITH FRIENDS? Aqua on Welsh Back is always fun, and has something for everyone. I particularly like dining near water, too, and it’s right next to the river. COMFORT FOOD? Wallfish in Clifton has great fishy stuff, which I adore – and has a very relaxed feel. WITH THE FAMILY? Greens on Zetland Road. The variety is great, and the ‘children’ can move onto the delights of Gloucester Road for something more exciting to finish off! BEST BURGER? The Kensington Arms. As you’d expect, I’m a bit fussy about ingredients and quality – especially when it comes to meat – but this place passes muster. BEST CHINESE? Dynasty in town is authentic, delicious and frequented by the Chinese community. ✱ henleazebutchers.co.uk