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CRUMBS BAT H & BRISTO L

BACKROOM #75 A little slice of foodie heaven ANSIDA ! PAN A BOYs PUNCH BOWL M A Y 201 8

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NO.75 MAY 2018

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Does the King of Russia eat anchovies?

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CRUMBS BAT H & BRISTO L

BACKROOM #75 A little slice of foodie heaven AND! PAN ASIA BOYs PUNCHBOWL MAY 2018

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FROM THE REGION’s BEsT CHEFs

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Does the King of Russia eat anchovies?

No, he likes Tsardines!

A pine-apple!

EDITOR

JESSICA CARTER jessica.carter@mediaclash.co.uk DEVELOPMENT EDITOR

MATT BIELBY matt.bielby@mediaclash.co.uk ONLINE EDITOR

DAN IZZARD dan.izzard@mediaclash.co.uk ART DIRECTOR

TREVOR GILHAM ADVERTISING MANAGER

NO ANChOVIES, PLEASE

KYLE PHILLIPS kyle.phillips@mediaclash.co.uk DEPUTY ADVERTISING MANAGER

NEIL SNOW neil.snow@mediaclash.co.uk ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE

ALISTAIR TAYLOR alistair.taylor@mediaclash.co.uk PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION MANAGER

SARAH KINGSTON sarah.kingston@mediaclash.co.uk PRODUCTION DESIGNER

GEMMA SCRINE gemma.scrine@mediaclash.co.uk CHIEF EXECUTIVE

JANE INGHAM jane.ingham@mediaclash.co.uk CHIEF EXECUTIVE

GREG INGHAM greg.ingham@mediaclash.co.uk large version

MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 mediaclash.co.uk © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. MediaClash reserves the right to reject any material and to edit such prior to publication. Opinions are those of individual authors. Printed on paper from a well-managed source. Inks are vegetable-based; printer is certified to ISO 14001 environmental management. This month we cheered on the Bristol competitors at the Toast of Paris cocktail event, checked out the new Le Vignoble wine bar in Bath, and went for a gander at The Ivy Bath Brasserie’s fancy new terrace (over breakfast, obvs).

large version

THE SONG THAT has lent its lyric to this letter is a funny old one. It begins with a girl making an innocent snack (anchovies and lettuce, as it goes), and sees her wrapped in cellophane by three strangers, flown to a different country, experimented on by scientists, and turned into a bowling ball. Moral of the story? Leave off the anchovies. (Yeah, I have a few questions, too.) While the idea of living the rest of my days as a bowling ball is less than appealing, I’m going to take the risk and carry on enjoying these fishy little fellas. (What can I say? I like to live dangerously...) Like most people, probably, my appreciation of anchovies was slow to gain momentum, beginning with the moment I first bit into an anchovy-heavy pizza slice as a kid and promptly spat it out. In their whole, preserved form, they’re pretty poky, to say the least. But when chopped up and cooked gently they melt down into this gorgeous salty, umami-rich substance – a great base for sauces – and I worked my way up from there. Paco Tapas in Bristol serves a banging anchovy dish sometimes: punchy from their white wine vinegar brine, they’re served simply with a gorgeous olive oil. Properly good stuff. In other, less scaly news, we’ve been intently following reports on the government’s plans to deal with packaging waste; it’s never been a more relevant subject for the catering industry, with takeout food and drink ever on the rise. (Short version: the bottle deposit scheme is a-go, it seems, while the latte levvy has been shelved). We’ve spoken to local pros about how they’re dealing with the issue of single-use packaging. Get comfy and tuck in, why don’t you?

Jessica Carter, Editor jessica.carter@mediaclash.co.uk

Did you know we have an app? You can read both editions of Crumbs – Bath and Bristol, and Devon – on iTunes or Android. Search ‘Crumbs’, or go to crumbsmag.com

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STARTERS 08 HERO INGREDIENT Dishy little fishy 14 OPENINGS ETC A fresh batch of gossip 23 TRIO Meet the hunter gatherers CHEF! Amazing recipes from the region’s top kitchens 31 Almond croissants, by Skye McAlpine 32 Tortilla de patatas, by Richard Buckley 36 Langoustine wonton, by Barbora Ormerod 39 Chocolate orange cheesecake, by Chris Benton 41 Crab tortellini, by Vincenzo Spitali ADDITIONAL RECIPES

12 Salsa verde, by Freddy Bird 24 Sausage and egg bucatini, by Russell Norman KITCHEN ARMOURY 51 IN THE STUDIO Knife making in the woods with the Savernake boys 59 WANT LIST Cutting edge cutters MAINS 66 SO TRASHY How we can help put paid to single-use plastic 77 THE INDEPENDENT We take stock of Bath’s indie restaurant scene AFTERS New and notable restaurants, cafés, bars 92 Punch Bowl Alehouse and Kitchen 94 The Sorrel Restaurant at Ston Easton Park 96 Pan Asia PLUS! 98 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Nathan Lee gives us a peek inside his contacts book...

Table of Contents NO.75 MAY 2018


STA RT E R S INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES

4-6 MAY CRUSH WINE WEEKEND

This new event aims to celebrate everyone’s favourite grape-based bevvy by way of tastings, talks, vineyard tours, food pairings and special wine menu offerings. You’ll find venues and businesses across Bristol taking part, from restaurants like Birch and Box-E to producers like Dunleavy. Even tour company Cycle the City is in on it. Follow on Twitter for more. twitter.com/crushweekend

11-13 MAY FOODIES FESTIVAL

This huge food festival is coming back to Durdham Downs in Bristol, with live cookery, brand new workshops, markets and kids’ activities. In attendance will be GBBO and MasterChef stars, as well as local chefs like Jan Ulster of Wilsons, and Crumbs columnist Freddy Bird from Lido. Adult day tickets are £24; book online. foodiesfestival.com/bristol

16 MAY EXPLORING WHISKY WITH RACHEL MCCORMACK

Author of Chasing the Dram, Rachel is hosting this event at Allium as part of The Bath Festival. She’ll be sharing the stories, recipes and knowledge she gathered while travelling across Scotland on a whisky mission. Ideal for both whisky buffs and novices, the talk will include several tastings – not to mention a barrel (ahem) of laughs, we bet. Tickets £12. bathfestivals.org.uk

dUE FEST FESTIVAL SEASON IS A-GO! AND THERE’S ALREADY PLENTY OF ACTION TO GET YOUR TEETH INTO…

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26-27 MAY VEGFEST

This long-standing annual vegan event has a new location for 2018: Ashton Gate. The stadium will house demos, talks, tastings and feasts, as well as street food, kids’ entertainment, and music and dance performances. Could the 16th Vegfest be the biggest and best yet? Adult day tickets from £11; buy online. bristol.vegfest.co.uk


aNChOvy FEW THINGS ARE TASTIER THAN A GOOD ANCHOVY – THOSE FAST-DARTING DENIZENS OF THE FOOD CHAIN’S LOWEST LINKS – AND FEW ARE MORE DISAPPOINTING THAN A POOR ONE

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Anchovies are tiny, oily things; salt water forage fish lurking pretty much at the bottom of every food chain they ever meet. They can be found in most of the world’s oceans – anchovies tend to avoid only the very warmest and coldest seas – in large schools that love the shallow, muddy water of estuaries and bays. Though traditionally caught in the Med and off the coast of North Africa, they’re far from unknown in our waters too, or as far north as Norway. Elsewhere, Peru has a particularly huge anchovy industry. Wherever it hangs out, though, the humble anchovy is in danger. Sea bass and tuna, dolphins and seals, seabirds of every stripe: they’ll all wolf down an anchovy. And with most of the 144 or so species, we’re happy to let them get on with it. One kind of anchovy, though, we eat. With most types too easily damaged by net fishing, it’s only the hardy Engraulis encrasicolus – or

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European anchovy – that you’re likely to find in a British restaurant or deli. A slim, silvery blue-green fish with a pointy nose and forked tail, it can grow nearly eight inches long in its three-year life, though it’s usually caught before it gets anywhere near that big. Though little, it has large eyes and jaws – earning it one of its Spanish names, boquerón, or ‘big mouth’ – and feeds on plankton during the day, retreating closer to the shore at night. Since they love a full moon, they’re traditionally fished using a light known as a lamparo, which is hung from the bow of a small boat floating within the perimeter of a purse seine net. The light fools the fish into thinking it’s the moon, and lures them to the surface – and their doom. IT WAS, OF COURSE, the ancient Greeks who spread the art of fish salting across the Mediterranean, and anchovies were the most highly prized salted fish of all. They were used in garum – a pungent sauce of salted anchovy guts, dried in the sun, flavoured with herbs, and allowed to decompose – that was beloved of the Romans who came after them, and is described in contemporary accounts as either gorgeous or rank, depending on who you read. It became the condiment that built the Roman Empire, however, a couple of drops said to transform a bowl of gruel or render a meat stew exquisite. And there’s science to support this, too. Like salt, you see, anchovies are a natural flavour enhancer, being rich in insinuate – a compound that combines with the glutamate in beef or lamb to emphasise its intrinsic meatiness – which is why lamb roasted with anchovy tastes so much ‘lambier’ than usual, and anchovy-based Worcestershire sauce makes such a difference to cottage pie. Anchovies were also considered an aphrodisiac by the Romans, and so – unsurprisingly – various regions soon started to specialise in catching them, with fish from Catalonia – the so-called ‘Anchovy Coast’ – considered best of all. Indeed, by the 16th century the region was

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awash with anchovy factories, which fought tooth-and-nail with Naples and Sicily for the title of ‘top salting centre’. Later on there were anchovy factories on Spain’s Atlantic coast too, but though these only date back to the arrival of Sicilian salters during the 19th century, today their output dwarfs that of Catalonia – and is dwarfed in turn by Morocco, which now leads the world in canned anchovies. The biggest North African factories employ well over 1,000 people, while Catalan traditionalists shake their heads in despair, complaining that they keep their costs down by using smaller, more damaged fish, which they cure faster and dry as fillets in centrifuges. It is, in fairness, a problem. Throughout the Med, anchovy numbers are declining, probably due to a combination of unusually hot summer seas (they hate it when temperatures go above 20C) and huge mechanised French trawlers which scoop up everything in their path. It means too many small fish are being killed before they’ve had a chance to breed. FRESH ANCHOVIES ARE AMAZING, but a rarity. They travel badly and don’t stay fresh long, meaning the best place to enjoy them is the Med, eating fish that have just been landed by small boats. Looking and tasting not unlike sardines, they’re similarly good for you, packed with fatty acids, protein, B vitamins, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D, helping with everything from cardiovascular disease to healthy bones. (Since they’re too small and short-lived to retain mercury, they’re better than most fish in this regard too.) The preserving industry, of course, is what allows most of us to enjoy the anchovy. Main season runs from April to the end of the summer, when fish are rushed to the factories and given an initial salting, then are gutted, beheaded, and placed in vast barrels, alternating anchovy with sea salt, and squashed under heavy weights. The salt turns to brine and preserves the fish, which are left to ripen for three months or more, at which point they’re packed in oil or more salt for shipping.

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What should we do with them? Anchovies make a great storecupboard standby – try mashing a couple in butter, then melting over meat, grilled fish or sautéed vegetables – and crop up in a surprising number of household-name condiments. There’s Worcestershire sauce, of course, but also Gentleman’s Relish and most Asian fish sauces; even the word ‘ketchup’ comes from a Chinese anchovy sauce called ‘ke-chiap’, which we brought back to Europe and added tomatoes to, the fish content slowly shrinking over the years until one day ketchup didn’t contain fish at all. During the Middle Ages anchovies were largely considered food for the poor, and there are plenty of great frugal dishes that include them: a simple Venetian pasta with onion and anchovy may sound a little ordinary, for instance, but the onions cook to sweetness and the fish melts in its salt for a punchy umami taste that’s truly extraordinary. You can get away with cheaper anchovies in something like this, saving the posher versions (Ortiz is one well-liked brand) for when you’re making salade niçoise or, yup, adding a salty jolt to pizza. And you can get much more ambitious, of course – like the great chef Ferran Adrià of El Bullí, the famous former restaurant on the Costa Brava, who made dishes like anchovy-topped grilled watermelon and anchovy gelato. Other fun Catalan staples include anchovy-chard fritters and a sauté of anchovy and apple. (The Catalans love the sweetand-salty thing.) However brave you’re willing to get, though, the humble anchovy always punches above its weight, adding power and depth to just about any savoury dish.

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R E C I P E

SALSA VERdE FREDDY BIRD DRESSES THIS MONTH’S HERO UP FOR USE WITH ONE OF ITS BEST PALS... FRESH, BRIGHT-EYED ANCHOVIES are a rare annual treat, simply grilled over fire and served with a little lemon and Maldon salt, they need nothing else – just to be eaten as soon as possible! No one ever seems to turn their nose up at them. For some reason, however, the salted anchovy is treated with caution by so many. I could eat them by the bucketful – give me a piece of crusty bread and a tin of perfect salted anchovies any day over a bowl of nuts as a snack with my beer. You have to choose well, though; not all salted anchovies are equal... They also bring so much to so many sauces, and really enhance the flavour of roasted meat; I often blitz capers and anchovies with butter and then rest my steaks in it. Here, though, I’ve used them in a punchy salsa verde – the perfect accompaniment to spring lamb. (Or fish, or anything for that matter; I eat the stuff from the fridge with a spoon, given half a chance!) Currently, I serve this salsa verde at both the Lidos with Pyrenean lamb, sweetbreads, fried anchovies and sage, soft, slow-cooked verdina beans and grelos. The combination is pretty much unbeatable. For the salsa verde, it is imperative that all the herbs are super fresh. I also like to just pulse everything in the food processor for a coarser texture – don’t leave it to blitz for ages. Likewise, don’t chop by hand – I find it tends to split, and the flavours all taste rather separate. Lido, Oakfield Place, Bristol BS8 2BJ; 0117 332 3970; lidobristol.com

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3 garlic cloves 1 ½ tbsp good Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar (with a good balance of sweetness and acidity), plus extra to taste 10 anchovy fillets 4 tsp capers (brined, not salted) 2 heaped tsp Dijon mustard 1 big handful flat leaf parsley 1 big handful mint leaves 1 big handful basil leaves extra virgin olive oil 1 First, blitz the garlic, vinegar, anchovies, capers and mustard until smooth(ish). 2 Add the herbs and a glug of olive oil and pulse in a food processor, pushing down the herbs to ensure an even consistency. 3 Add more olive oil until the desired consistency is reached (aim for a thick mayonnaise consistency). 4 Leave the sauce for around 20 minutes to allow all the flavours to mix, then taste again, adding more mustard or vinegar where necessary. The mustard should be quite punchy, but without overpowering the flavour of the anchovy.


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Openings etc S T A R T E R S

RIC H H OW M A N

BOULES UP

D ER RY N V RA N C H P H OTO GRA P H Y

Bath Boules week is coming soon, and there are some final spaces for street food vendors to snap up – so anyone interested in offering their gastronomic services should make haste and get in touch. The event runs from 10-17 June and will see Bath’s Queen Square once again transformed into a summer festival scene, with parties, films, talks and all manner of convivial shenanigans on the go. It culminates in the legendary Bath Boules tournament, for which a vast array of street food vendors will set up shop on the weekend to feed the crowds of players and spectators. Think: massive street party. The Boules weekend is free for everyone to attend, and there will be plenty of locally produced grub (and top-notch tipples) from street vendors. Businesses looking to get involved should email annie.miekus@mediaclash.co.uk. bathboules.com

A-PLUS

Bath’s Scallop Shell restaurant has only gone and bagged itself an AA rosette. The fish and chip gaff isn’t a one-trick pony – sure it does a bangin’ battered fillet, but it also serves a whole range of fresh, sustainable seafood, from rock oysters to razor clams, cuttlefish to crab. And don’t even get us started on those chips... All of the above was duly noted in a recent inspection, and has seen an AA spokesperson praise the range and quality of the offering, and comment on how this place stands out among the fish and chip crowd. What’s more, the brand new upstairs bar has also just opened – exceptional timing right, for toasting the new accolade? thescallopshell.co.uk

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Q&A

LOOK HERE, IT’S JEREMY WILKINS, BAKER AT ROSEATE VILLA

GET STUFFED The team behind Cotham Hill’s popular Pasta Loco have unveiled their long-awaited second gaff on St Stephens Street, Pasta Ripiena. Its chef, Joe Harvey, has an altogether different cooking style to his brother Ben, who cooks at Pasta Loco, so expect simple, delicate dishes of stuffed pasta, prepared with great-quality ingredients. The monthly changing menu offers small plates of ravioli as well as large, allowing diners to mix and match. Open for lunch and dinner, Monday to Saturday, this exiting newcomer to the Bristol restaurant scene – also headed up by Ben and Joe’s cousin and front of house hero, Dom – can seat just 22. Expect a concise selection of great wines, as well as the aperitifs that the flagship joint has become known for. twitter.com/pastaripiena

CORNERED

The old Meatliquor site in Stokes Croft is being transformed into something pretty exciting: Corner 77. Having been taken over by Kieran and Imogen Waite, who are also behind Bravas, Bakers and Co and Cargo Cantina, it’s now to be an indoor food market and bar. After seeing this kind of set up on their travels (think the much larger scale Time Out Market in Lisbon, for instance), the pair saw potential in this former department store in creative Stokes Croft. Inside, expect about five vendors cooking up their diverse menus, as well as a buzzy bar with eight beer lines (ethical brewery Freedom being the lead brewer) and lots of seating for both drinkers and eaters. We’ve heard whispers of events such as tap takeovers, supper clubs and music performances here, too. Watch this space. (Or, should we say, corner?) facebook.com/corner77bristol

Where might we know you from? I worked front of house at Bath’s Abbey Hotel for over six years, just before taking the role here at Roseate Villa. So you swapped front of house for the kitchen, then? Yes. I remember that, when working front of house at a hotel restaurant in Barton on Sea, I’d see the heat and intensity of the kitchen and think that I could never work in it. But as I got older and became more confident in the kitchen, I decided to make the change and start cooking. And when did you begin cooking? I’ve always loved being in the kitchen. It first began when I was a child; my mum and I used to bake crumble, using apples from our garden. What’s the toughest part of being a baker, then? Having to work through the night! My body tells me so many different things, I’m just beginning to get used to it. What’s the most satisfying thing about your job? It’s such a dream to work with delicious ingredients that make people happy. Who doesn’t love sweet cakes and freshly baked bread? And what attracted you to Roseate Villa? I used to walk past the building by Henrietta Park all the time, and I remember how striking I thought it was. So when the opportunity to work here came up I jumped at the chance.

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What’s new now you’re in the kitchen? We have just started doing afternoon teas for the first time. And, if you’re staying with us, expect to be woken by the smell of fresh bread; I bake it at 5am each day. Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without? Being a baker, it has to be scales! It’s all about the science, ensuring every measurement is spot on. Which other local restaurants do you like to eat in? The King William in Bath – the fish and chips are amazing. I always recommend visitors to go to The Garricks Head to try the Bath Chaps, too – meaty, salt-cured pig cheeks. Delicious! What makes the local foodie scene so great, d’you think? Bath has such strong independent businesses and a great diversity of food. Favourite cookery book? The Larousse Book of Bread by Éric Kayse; it's my go-to when experimenting with new recipes. Foodie heroes? Duncan Glendinning of The Thoughtful Bread Company. His ethos, beliefs and product are so inspiring. It’s what led me to make the decision to bake. roseatevillabath.com


S T A R T E R S

ThE GRAPe and The GOOd NEW AVENUES

Emersons Green spot Avenue Café has just launched a new evening service on Fridays and Saturdays. Instead of shutting down late afternoon, the doors will stay open and the kitchen will switch to a different menu, offering a selection of starters and small plates (halloumi and sweet corn fritters with sweet chilli dip, and baked Camembert, for instance); main courses (think Cajun and sun-dried tomato burger, and dill and caper crusted salmon); and desserts. To wash it all down, expect a selection of wines and cocktails, and lots of interesting gins. There are more plans in the pipeline too, as the team look to launch all-day Sunday brunches in May. avenue-cafe.com

A new wine merchant and bar has arrived in Bath. Le Vignoble (that’s French for ‘the vineyard’, y’know) can be found in Milsom Place, having opened at the end of March. As well as a huge selection of bottles to buy and take home, customers will find more than 30 varieties available to drink by the glass, too. This place uses Enomatic Elite machines, which preserve the wine and stop it being spoilt by oxygen, while also keeping it at the ideal temperature for serving. Fancy, right? Food comes in the form of tapas, and the qualified team are on hand to talk all things vino, should you be after some advice. levignoble.co.uk

RAISE A ROAST

There’s a new roast in town, folks: Clifton’s Wellbourne has just launched Sunday lunch service. Using the top-quality ingredients that they’re known for, the chefs now cook up some pretty special meals on the first (or last!) day of the week, including dry-aged sirloin of beef, monkfish tail on the bone, and mushroom Wellington. All the options come with homemade Yorkie, roast potatoes, veg and cauli cheese (cha-ching!). Desserts are included in the £20 price tag too, and will change up regularly. wellbourne.restaurant

CAN-DO

Popular Southville café Tincan Coffee Co is to open another branch on Gloucester Road. This new location reps something of a homecoming for co-owner Adam White, who used to live in the neighbourhood, and both he and business partner Jessie Nicolson are relishing the prospect of joining the hotbed of independent businesses here. The launch is penciled in for the end of April, with the new café promising to serve up the usual range of speciality coffees – including its very own espresso blend – as well as brunches, homemade sausage rolls and a range of toasties. Having began life as a travelling coffee biz, brewing at events from a converted Citroen HY van, the business has forged a strong fan base since opening its first permanent premise on North Street. tincancoffee.co.uk

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S T A R T E R S

ASK YOUR WAITER

Q&A

LOOK, IT’S FRANK ILETT, GENERAL MANAGER AT STEAM Been here long? Since opening in 2016. What do you like most about working in hospitality? This industry is great for meeting people from all walks of life. We all have one thing in common – and that’s wanting good food and drink! You are able to form close relationships with customers, a lot of whom you may have never had the chance to meet. What’s the best thing about working at Steam? The staff have their ideas heard and we all work together to improve. That’s the beauty of working for independent businesses – you are able to work very closely with the owners and management.  And the most challenging part? Being the filter between the eccentric owner and everyone else! He has a million new ideas every day, and working out which will work and which are mental can be rather difficult... Describe the atmosphere at Steam. Some people say it feels like something out of Harry Potter, some think it almost feels like an old late night jazz club, but my favourite comment so far is that it is like being at a festival – only in a pub. I think that is a great description.  And what kind of customers do you get? It varies so much. We have a big student following, but we also get people of all different ages and from all walks of life. It definitely makes things interesting! What are the bestselling dishes? Our Sunday roasts get better every week. And drinks? We love our ale at Steam, and have five cask lines and four keg lines which have really taken off. With so many great local breweries to choose from, we don’t have to look far. Where have you visited locally where the customer service was excellent? Pasta Loco has got it completely right – I think their customer service is up there with the best. steambristol.co.uk

PIG LOVE

The guys behind Pigsty at Cargo have announced they’re opening a second site in May. The new restaurant is on Gloucester Road in Bristol, in a building which rather aptly happens to have been a butchers until the ’50s. The space is being restored and refitted to transform it into a cool, comfortable restaurant – much larger than its Cargo sibling – which nods to its culinary history. Expect the same kind of chilled-out, pork-celebrating menu as you’ll find at the popular flagship joint, with the kitchen serving up breakfasts, lunches and dinners. The local guys behind the restaurants are also responsible for The Jolly Hog, an award-winning brand of sausages and bacon – so they sure know their stuff when it comes to all things pig. pigstyuk.com

WHAT A FIND

The Lost and Found has landed in Bristol with a new branch of its curious cocktail bar. You’ll find it on Queens Road in Clifton – the former Bottelino’s site – mixing up cocktails as of 20 April. This place has an old-world, antique-like feel, with plenty of mahogany, marble and brass touches to the decor, and tufted velvet furnishings. Each of The Lost and Found’s concept bars is based on a different character, and this – the first South West location – is all about Elizabeth E. Lightfoot, ‘mythical professor of astronomy and astrology’. She gives her name to a concoction featuring Gosling’s black rum, yellow chartreuse and Briottet crème de mure (oh, and edible glitter, natch). As well as cocktails, the team serve up food – think evening meals like beef ragu pappardelle, bottomless brunches and afternoon teas. the-lostandfound.co.uk

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S T A R T E R S

THE INSTA FEED

HIP SHOPS

@danmoonchef snaps his parsnip, goat’s curd and spiced raisin creation

WOLF WINE

T @joannaclifford checks out @sbcatering_atavola’s recent pop-up

@kirstie_young_photography has an early dinner @gopalscurryshack Want to see your pics in the mag? Tag #CrumbsSnaps and you ruddy well might do next month!

branding. This isn’t a million miles away from his is a wine merchant – but not as what’s happening in wine too; we’re just you know it. You see, owner Sam perhaps not exposed to as much of it. Shaw started out in the wine Bottles here start at around £12, for goodindustry in his early 20s, and quickly quality wines and fair deals for producers. grew pretty bored of the There is a cheaper option, though; boxed experience. The same conventional wine styles, the confusing language that was used wine from When in Rome starts at about to talk about them, and the outdated £8.50 for 75cl. This economically packaged attitudes really didn’t do wine has (finally) been picked anything for him, he tells us. up on by big outlets, but this So, after travelling abroad entrepreneur is way ahead of What: Wine (and beer, and discovering loads of the curve – he’s been on the cider, coffee...) small-batch wines and case (ahem) for ages. Where: Green Park Station, Bath BA1 1JB fascinating producers, he “Boxed wine is a big When: Mon-Fri set up Wolf Wine to emerging trend,” Sam says. 11am-7pm; Sat 9am-6pm; showcase them, and offer a “It’s so much cheaper, ’cause Sun 11am-5pm contemporary and you’re not paying for the accessible take on the wine packaging and the shipping is merchant concept. easier. Instead of paying for Not quite sure what that would look like? all of that, you’re literally only paying for the Picture this: a wooden hut in Bath’s cool actual wine, which means you get far greater Green Park Station, where shelves are lined quality for your money.” with a constantly changing selection of really Tip noted. Also becoming popular is limited-supply wines, made by savvy, smallorange wine (which outsells white at his scale producers who question conventional place!) and lighter reds, too (reds being his production and thrive on the new. Picture a biggest seller overall). young, chatty, down-to-earth guy in a woolly Intruigued? Swing by for one Wolf Wine’s hat and jeans, talking to customers. monthly tastings, or go to its regular event at In fact, Sam usually gets instantly directed Bath’s Dark Horse to start expanding your to the craft beer section whenever he turns wine repertoire. And you needn’t worry up to a drinks event for the wine. He might about wine snobbery at any point here, even be about the vino, but he tells us that the if you’re a total novice. subject of craft beer is really quite relevant. “The whole point of doing things this way Think about the craft beer movement is to make wine less scary,” says Sam. “It can – thanks to a boom of small, experimental be made to be really intimidating for people breweries, there’s a whole spectrum of beer – which is strange, because wine is created styles available to all of us now, and they’re for socialising and enjoyment, right?” exciting, accessible and have on-point wolfwine.co.uk

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Temporary chefs, waiting & bar staff permanently required! www.cateringinternational.co.uk

Email: info@catserv.co.uk - Bath 01225 480240 - Bristol 0117 929 4777 BATH | BRIGHTON | BRISTOL | CARDIFF | CHELTENHAM | COVENTRY | LONDON | SOUTHAMPTON | SWINDON


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RIGhT heRe, RIGhT NOw THIS MONTH WE’VE BEEN SCOURING OUR LOCAL AREA FOR NEW AND NOTABLE FOOD PRODUCTS MADE RIGHT HERE...

1. Bristol Twenty Tea and Coffee Co Twenty One Ten, £6.60/500g. This special blend was created by local tea and coffee supplier Bristol Twenty, in memory of its founder, Roy Ireland. With the business now taken on by the second generation, it’s donating £1 for every pack sold to Bristol hospital charity Above and Beyond. A medium roast espresso bend, it’s available ground or in whole beans; we’ve been brewing it up on a hob top espresso maker and drinking it black to best appreciate its whispers of fruit and nut. Find it on the website; bristol-twenty.co.uk 2. Warren’s Bakery Pie Thins, from £2.45. With light, multi-layered, flaky puff pastry, these pie thins sure cause a few crumbs – but we reckon a bit of post-snack debris is worth it. Having just launched in Cornwall’s oldest bakery (which happily has a branch in Bristol), the pie thins have something of a samosa quality, and come stuffed with either spiced chicken and spinach, or spiced veg. We’ve been warming them up in the oven and tucking in for lunch. Available from Warren’s Bakery in Bristol; warrensbakery.co.uk 3. Step and Stone Lavosh Flatbread, circa £4.50/100g. Lavosh might come from the Middle East, but these crisp breads are baked fresh in Long Ashton, Bristol. Step and Stone is a social enterprise that employs and trains young people with learning disabilities, and the team makes five different flavours. We especially loved the rosemary with chunky flakes of sea salt, and the black-spotted poppy seed varieties, and have been dunking them in hummus, using them to scoop up veggie stews, and crunching on ’em with soup. Find them at Hugo’s, Papadeli and Chandos Deli, among other local indies; stepandstone.co 4. Nutcessity Salted Date and Walnut Spread, £4.99/180g. Made in Eastville in Bristol, this spread (which is vegan, and also certified organic by the Soil Association) is the newest addition to the Nutcessity range. It balances earthy nuttiness with sweet date, and has a gentle but moreish salty edge to make it oh-so spoonable (from the jar straight into your gob). Use it as a spread for toast, or get creative and introduce it to your baking repertoire. Available at Better Food in Bristol; nutcessity.co.uk 5. Just a Splash Culinary Alcohol, £1.99/100ml. This Cheltenham-based biz is all about making cooking convenient and affordable – unlike, say, having to fork out for a whole bottle of booze just to use a couple of teaspoons’ worth in a recipe. Alcohol is particularly effective for achieving that depth of flavour we crave, so skipping it would be a proper shame – but these new little pouches mean you won’t ever have to. The range includes brandy, sherry, port, Marsala and rum, and they’ll stay good for three months after opening. Buy them online from Ocado; justasplash.co.uk.

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Trio

dISPaTCheS

EVER WONDERED HOW CHEFS GET THEIR PRODUCE? IT’S FROM HUNTER-GATHERER BUSINESSES LIKE THESE, WHO SEEK OUT THE BEST PRODUCERS AND DELIVER THEIR GOODS TO THE LARDERS OF PRO KITCHENS ALL OVER THE SOUTH WEST...

JONES FOOD SOLUTIONS

N IC C I P E E T

N IC C I P E E T

You know that saying about little acorns? Well, it springs to mind here: just over 100 years ago, this pretty sizeable oak tree was born as a tiny little outfit (a tuck shop, to be precise). It was all down to founder Catherine Lucy Jones, whose family still owns and operates the business more than a century on. Nowadays, the Midsomer Norton biz delivers 6,500 different food products to restaurants, schools, bars, festivals and the like, across the south and west. These guys source everything from confectionary to booze to fresh groceries for their customers – including meat from the awardwinning family butcher Paul Loader, based in Radstock. Indeed, lots of the producers that this biz works with are local – Wyke Farms is another. In fact, Wyke actually teamed up with Paul Loader to help create some new cheese-infused sausages and burgers for the supplier. Sounds intriguing, no? lfjones.co.uk

TOTAL PRODUCE Total Produce is a hefty global outfit with a depot in Bristol’s bustling 100-year-old Fruit Market. Chefs around these parts know the local team well, and they supply everyone from the Michelin-starred Casamia to casual pubs and neighbourhood restaurants, like Clifton’s Wellbourne, which is known for its unusual ingredients. Aiming to link up growers and producers with professional chefs, the team are forever expanding their range to meet the requests of their customers and keep up to speed with changing food needs. “Kalettes have to be one of the largest growing trends,” says Jay McMillan. “The demand for them over the last year was huge, with growers having planted more crops to keep up with this demand. Interesting vegetables as a whole are on the rise too, potentially due to the popularity of the plantbased diet happening at the moment.” totalproducelocal.co.uk

LA BOTTEGA

In the early ’50s, newly weds Rosa and Calogero Tarallo left Italy for Britain. As you’d expect, the couple pined for the traditional Italian food that they just couldn’t get on these shores. So, to remedy this, they founded La Bottega (which translates to ‘the shop’ from Italian). At its beginnings in 1975 it took the form of a small deli-style outfit, importing fresh, seasonal Italian food. Finding success within its UK-based Italian community, the business grew and is now run by the couple’s sons, Sam and Joe, as a wholesaler, covering Bath, Bristol, West Wiltshire and North Somerset. Specialising in Italian and continental food (although they’re also great for hunting down speciality food from Africa and Asia), they have a top collection of regional produce from both Italian artisans and larger brands – think cured meats and charcuterie, olives and oils, to name but a few. labottegaltd.co.uk

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WE’VE A HANDSOME BATCH OF HARDBACKS FOR YOU THIS MONTH, EACH WITH A UNIQUE SPECIALIST SUBJECT, RANGING FROM THE ART OF MENU CURATION TO REGIONAL COOKING...

GOAT: COOKING AND EATING

James Whetlor (Quadrille, £20) A chef-turned-producer, James has received national recognition for his venture into rearing the dairy industry’s unwanted billy goats for meat. This, his first book, begins by explaining the ethical, cultural and historical context of goat, and his down-to-earth and eloquent writing style will have you on board with his cause just a few pages in. If you did need more convincing, though, then the 90-odd recipes that follow ought to do it. (James’ own dishes are supplemented by entries from celebrated chefs such as Olia Hercules and Gill Meller.) From West African peanut curry and tacos to steamed dumplings and Devonshire hotpot, the varied recipes take inspiration from global cuisine. They’ll teach you how to prepare different cuts in a variety of ways and encourage you to really broaden your culinary horizons.

VENICE: FOUR SEASONS OF HOME COOKING

Russell Norman (Fig Tree, £26) “To say that Italian cooking starts with the ingredient would be a significant understatement,” says the Polpo author in his newest recipe book. And, deciding to experience this ethos firsthand, he rented an apartment in Venice for a year to become acquainted with the markets and produce of each season – as well as have a kitchen to cook it all in. The fundamental role of the ingredients here means recipes are divided into seasons, the author cooking and writing in real time during his stint as an expat. The gorgeous photography captures not only the freshness of the simply prepared produce (and we mean simply; many of the recipes have just a handful of ingredients and instructions) but also the dishes’ homecooked, Italian character. The vignole (a brothy stew of fresh spring veg), spinach and ricotta malfatti, and almond cake are some great dishes for easing yourself into Venetian-style home cooking.

by ‘seasons’, we don’t mean the traditional four; when it comes to growing food, Tommy sees the year in three parts, which he calls The Hunger Gap, Time of Abundance, and The Preserving Season. Looking at things this way makes it more possible to depend almost entirely on his own land – cooking with fresh ingredients when they are plentiful, and preserving them for when they’re not. Using a select few ‘root ingredients’ that can be grown and foraged for here in Britain, recipes range from condiments like elderflower vinegar and wild garlic oil, to snacks like kale with yoghurt, and impressive mains such as Jerusalem artichoke risotto, and John Dory with lemon verbena stock.

ROOTS

Tommy Banks (Seven Dials, £25) Brought up in a farming family, Tommy cooks in a way that is directly shaped by the seasons and the produce they bring. And

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Not just a collection of recipes, this is an education on the rhythms of seasonality and respect for ingredients.

KRICKET

Will Bowlby (Quadrille, £26) Named after the author’s London restaurant, Kricket is all about contemporary Indian-style food. Will Bowlby is a British chef who, at the age of 24, moved to Mumbai to set up a new restaurant, creating a menu of European food that would excite the tastebuds of an Indian audience. A couple of years and several awards later, he left to travel around the subcontinent, and eventually opened his own place back in the UK in 2015. Kricket took off big time, and now Will has documented a host of its recipes for home cooks to recreate. Although many are a little cheffy in style, the dishes – which range from breads and chutneys to meaty creations, vegetablebased plates and desserts – avoid complicated technique, specialist equipment and unusual ingredients as much as possible, with alternatives suggested for what readers may not have access to. Restaurant favourites such as the Kerelan fried chicken and bhel puri jump out as must-cooks.

HOW TO EAT A PEACH

Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley, £25) Diana’s latest book is a collection of menus as opposed to stand-alone recipes, showing careful consideration for the meal as a whole – from aperitif to dessert. The thoughtful but attainable menus are designed to flow in terms of flavour, satisfy appetites without over-filling, and be practical enough for the cook to prepare while entertaining. At the same time as outlining some simple rules of menu curation (don’t repeat ingredients; cream should only appear in one course; leave no more than two dishes to cook last minute), she grants license to bend them, encouraging the reader to use their instincts. Many of the menus are based on places, such as ‘Take me Back to Istanbul’, a meal of roast aubergine with goat’s cheese; squid with chilli, dill and tahini; lamb kofta; sweet pickled cherries; and Turkish coffee ice cream. Anecdotes and memories are peppered in and around the recipes, heightening the urge to recreate them.

From Venice: Four Seasons of Home Cooking by Russell Norman (Fig Tree, £26)

I MAKE THIS dish when I want pasta for breakfast. I also make it when my children ask for it. They like to help me cut the sausage meat out of the skins and roll it into little balls. I have to admit, I enjoy that part too. You could, of course, use any pasta shape you like with this sausage and egg sauce, but there is something particularly pleasing about the thickness of the bucatini and the fact that there’s a tiny hole running all the way through it like a straw. My children have fun trying to suck air through the tubes. (If I’m honest, I might occasionally do that, too.)

SAUSAGE AND EGG BUCATINI SERVES 4

4 excellent-quality spicy Italian sausages flaky sea salt 400g dried bucatini extra virgin olive oil 6 large egg yolks 150g Parmesan, grated freshly ground black pepper 1 Start by slicing the sausages lengthways with a very sharp knife and pushing the sausagemeat out into a bowl. Discard the skins. Add a pinch or two of salt and roll the meat into small balls, roughly 5 per sausage, 20 balls in total. Set them aside. 2 Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the bucatini according to the packet’s instructions, minus 1 minute. 3 Meanwhile, heat a couple of glugs of olive oil in a very large frying pan with deep sides, and sauté the sausagemeat balls until they are golden brown on all sides. Turn the heat to very low. 4 Beat the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl and add most of the Parmesan, mixing together thoroughly. 5 Reserve a cup of the starchy pasta cooking water, drain the bucatini, add it to the pan with the sausage balls, and incorporate fully. Turn the stove off, pour in the yolk and cheese mixture and turn over several times, adding several twists of black pepper. It is important that you allow the heat of the pasta to warm the egg mixture rather than the stove – this prevents the eggs turning to scramble. Loosen the sauce a little with the reserved pasta water if necessary. 6 Transfer equally to warmed bowls, making sure all the eggy, cheesy sauce is used, and finish with the remaining Parmesan and a final good twist of black pepper.

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CHEF!

WHAT TO MAKE AND HOW TO MAKE IT – DIRECT FROM THE KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES

Take a croissant and times it by the power of almonds, and you have a breakfast treat that’s more than the sum of its parts

H I G H L I G H T S

PLANT PLOTS

This vegan lunch might need plotting a day ahead, but it’s worth it Page 32

PRAWN STAR

P L U S !

Prawn or langoustine; this seasonal recipe can work with either Page 36

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The Wine Guy goes all Italian Stallion on us

SAY CHEESE

This simple cheesecake doesn’t even require an oven Page 39

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Recently refurbished and taking bookings T: 01225 865 657 E: thecastle@flatcappers.co.uk The Castle Inn, Mount Pleasant, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, BA15 1SJ

Recently refurbished and taking bookings T: 01275 857 473 E: thebattleaxes@flatcappers.co.uk The Battleaxes, Bristol Road, Wraxall, Somerset, BS48 1LQ


C H E F !

aLmONd VaN heLdeN AS SHE PREPARES FOR HER UPCOMING TRIP TO BATH, SKYE MCALPINE SHARES A RECIPE FROM HER NEW BOOK…

Skye McAlpine is the Venice-based blogger of From My Dining Table. She’s just penned and shot her first recipe book, focused on Venetian home cooking, and will be at Topping and Company in Bath on 16 May to host a special three-course supper of dishes from the book. This almond croissant recipe is just one example of the tempting and refreshingly simple recipes that can be found in her collection. She writes: “Just like the kranz, kiefer became part of the Venetian way of eating when the Austrians occupied the city in the early 19th century, and you will see these buttery almond croissants drenched in icing sugar for sale first thing in the morning in bakeries, coffee shops and pasticcerie across town. Smaller than standard almond croissants, they are exquisite. I often manage two for breakfast, not least because they are very moreish. “The recipe here is very simple, as it uses ready-rolled puff pastry. The most important thing to remember is to seal the croissants well, so the filling doesn’t ooze out while they cook. Otherwise, you can’t really go wrong.”

ALMOND PASTE CROISSANTS MAKES 10 2 x 320g ready-rolled puff pastry sheets 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten 30g flaked almonds 2 tbsp icing sugar

Recipe taken from A Table in Venice: Recipes from my Home by Skye McAlpine (Bloomsbury, £26); photos by Skye McAlpine

For the filling: 90g ground almonds 70g caster sugar 1½ tsp apricot jam 1 large egg white, lightly beaten with a fork

1 Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. 2 To make the filling, put the ground almonds, sugar and jam in a bowl with a pinch of salt and mix well. Add the egg white and stir until you have a thick paste, rather like marzipan. 3 Lay out the puff pastry sheets on a work surface and cut out 5 triangles from each one, 12-14cm wide at the base and 24cm long on the sides. Spoon 1 tsp of almond paste onto the base of each triangle, centred and about two-fingers’ width away from the edge. Resist the urge to overfill here: you really just need 1 tsp, or the filling will spill out in the oven. 4 Fold the bottom edge of the triangle over the filling, trying to tuck it under, and roll the pastry up as tightly as you can. Gently fold the tips under into the horns of a croissant, pinching where needed to seal. Repeat this with the remaining pastry triangles, then arrange them on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. 5 Brush the croissants with the beaten egg yolk to glaze, then sprinkle liberally with the flaked almonds. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden all over. Remove the tray from the oven and sift the icing sugar generously over the piping-hot croissants, so that some of it melts into them. Let them cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack. Eat warm or cold. Tickets for Syke’s event at Topping and Company cost £26 and can be bought online at toppingbooks.co.uk

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POweR PLaNTS

BATH CHEF RICHARD BUCKLEY GIVES US A TEMPTING TEASER FROM HIS NEW COOKBOOK, PLANTS TASTE BETTER...

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Before I made the decision to go completely plant-based, this was one of my favourite snacks, reminiscent of lazy mornings in Spain drinking strong bitter coffee and looking out across the mountains, writes Richard. I decided to create my own version of tortilla after being served so many sad, limp imitations in vegan cafés along with that other poorly made vegan classic, the farinita. This dish is a hybrid: it takes the technique from a tortilla de patatas and the flavour and depth from a well-made farinita. Dare I say it, I think I prefer this to the classic, eggbound version. Just make sure you prepare the gram flour batter a day or two ahead.

TORTILLA DE PATATAS WITH CRUSHED TOMATO SALAD SERVES 4-8 For the tortilla: 100g gram flour 150ml water 800g floury potatoes (baking, maris piper or rooster) 500-750ml olive oil 1 brown onion, sliced 5g sea salt

2 When ready to cook, prepare the tomato salad. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water, then transfer to cold water, and peel. Cut them into 5mm dice and put in a small bowl with the oil, sherry vinegar and salt. Crush gently with a fork, then add the shallot and tarragon. Stir everything together and set aside for the flavours to mingle. 3 Cut the unpeeled potatoes into 1cm dice, place in a saucepan and completely cover with the olive oil. Gently heat the oil until it starts to boil, stirring gently to prevent the potatoes from sticking. Once the oil is bubbling, add the onion and simmer, gently stirring often, for 10-15 minutes until the potato is cooked. 4 Once cooked, immediately pour the mix through a sieve set over a saucepan, allowing all the oil to drain into the pan. While the potato is still piping hot, tip into a large bowl, stir in the salt and add the gram flour batter. Stir to mix well. 5 Put a couple of tablespoons of the reserved oil into a non-stick 23cm frying pan and heat gently. When hot, tip the potato mix into the pan and flatten it down, pressing to make sure there are no gaps. Fry gently until firm and the bottom is golden brown. 6 Make sure the tortilla is loose in the pan then, firmly holding a plate over the top, turn the pan over to deposit the tortilla onto the plate. Slide the tortilla back into the frying pan and fry until the underside is golden brown. 7 Turn out onto a board and allow to cool to room temperature before cutting into slices and serving with the crushed tomato salad and bread.

For the tomato salad: 4 large, ripe, sweet tomatoes (the best you can buy) 15ml olive oil 1 tsp sherry vinegar ¼ tsp sea salt 1 small shallot (not a banana shallot), finely diced 10 tarragon leaves, diced Recipe from Plants Taste Better by Richard Buckley (£25, Jacqui Small)

1 Sieve the gram flour into a small sterile jug, and whisk in the water to form a smooth batter. Put somewhere warm (at about 22C/71F) for 24-48 hours. The longer the fermentation time, the better the flavour.

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A GRAPE MATCH! Ailala Souson Ribeiros Do Avia £13.95, Great Western Wine Richard Lecoche of Great Western Wine says, “This is a fresh and fruity Spanish red, perfect for springtime drinking. It’s weighty enough for the tortilla, and luscious enough for those sweet tomatoes. Yum!”


The multi award-winning Jetty Restaurant in Bristol City Centre offers a vibrant yet relaxed atmosphere, alongside fantastic menus. Set within the former banking hall, The Jetty offers an abundance of character, with its restored interiors, featuring tasteful banquette seating, sleek marble surfaces and bespoke lighting features. It’s the perfect place to gather with friends, open a bottle of wine and soak up the ambiance of our city restaurant. The Jetty prides itself on using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients alongside an eclectic wine list and innovative cocktail menu. Varied menus include the express lunch offer, pre-theatre dining and the sumptuous brand new a la carte menu launched this spring! For a fantastic dining experience in the heart of the city, look no further than The Jetty. 49 – 55 Corn Street, Bristol BS1 1HT T: 0117 203 4445 E: bristol.jetty@harbourhotels.co.uk www.bristol-harbour-hotel.co.uk


WhAT I WONTON

BARBORA ORMEROD COMBINES PEAKSEASON INGREDIENTS FOR A SPECIAL SPRING PLATE... Founder of online cookery school The Devilled Egg, Barbora’s got lots of recipes up her sleeve that involve minimal fuss, but give great results. “It’s no secret that food often tastes better on its home turf,” saya Barbora. “Maybe it’s the local cooking. Maybe the climate. Or maybe it’s in our heads. Something similar may be at work when foods are in season, especially when combining ingredients whose natural availability coincide. “This is one such dish. All the elements are prepared simply, the better to showcase their natural harmony and awesome flavours. If getting hold of langoustine is a hassle, feel free to use large, fresh prawns instead.”

LANGOUSTINES WITH AROMATIC PURÉE SERVES 2

6 langoustines small bunch asparagus (roughly 100g) knob of butter For the purée: 1 tbsp coconut oil (or rapeseed) 1 small white onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped ½ tsp fresh ginger, minced ½ tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground coriander ½ lemongrass stalk, chopped ½ tsp green peppercorns, crushed 2 kefir lime leaves 400ml coconut milk 2 tsp Thai fish sauce 1 lime, juice only 100g watercress 1 tbsp coriander, chopped (leaves and stalks) For the wonton: ½ lime, zest only 1 tsp of coriander (leaves only), roughly chopped 2 wonton wrappers vegetable oil (or any neutral oil), for deep frying 1 For the purée, heat the oil in a pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and a large pinch of salt. When the onion starts to turn golden, add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, lemongrass, peppercorns and kefir lime leaves. 2 Prep the asparagus spears by breaking off the ‘woody’ bottom of each stalk – add these to the saucepan and keep the tops for later. 3 After 1 minute, pour in the coconut milk and fish sauce, then simmer for 15-20 minutes to allow the flavours to come together and for the liquid to reduce. 4 Add the lime juice and the watercress. Once the watercress has wilted into the sauce (but is still bright green) add the coriander, then strain the sauce. Pour the contents of the strainer into a blender. Blend the mix, adding just enough of the spicy coconut liquid to turn it into a smooth, thick purée. Season to taste and keep warm. 5 Now cook the langoustines by boiling them in salted

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C H E F !

water (1 tbsp salt per 1 ltr water) for 4-5 minutes. Check whether they are cooked by looking at the underside of the tail. The flesh should be opaque and milky white – translucent flesh means they are undercooked. 6 When they’re done, plunge them into cold (ideally running) water. Peel them by tearing the tail and using kitchen scissors to cut the underside of the shell open. Pull out the gastro-intestinal tract (the black line on the back). 7 For the wontons, chop 2 of the langoustines up (not too finely) and mix with the lime zest, coriander and a pinch of salt. Get the wonton wrappers ready (they dry out quickly, so keep them covered with cling film). 8 Place 1 tsp of the filling into each wrapper. Brush the edges with a little water and fold over, into a triangle, sealing with a little pressure. Bring the two bottom edges together in front of the filling, and seal. These can be done up to 1 hour ahead and kept in the fridge. 9 Cook the asparagus by frying in a griddle pan for 2-3 minutes on a high heat to get those lovely scorch marks.

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10 Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat, and add the whole langoustines to warm up (make sure you don’t overcook them, though). 11 Heat a deep fryer (or the oil in a deep pan) to 190C. Deep fry the wontons for 1 minute, until golden and crunchy. 12 Spread the purée on the plate first, then add the asparagus. Top with the langoustines and wonton. thedevilledegg.com

A GRAPE MATCH! D’Arenberg Dry Dam Riesling, McLaren Vale £12.75, Great Western Wine “The orange blossom sweetness and citrus fruit acidity in Chester Osborne’s ripper of an Oz Riesling will cut perfectly against the spicy Thai langoustine,” reckons Richard Lecoche.


C H E F !

CHOCOLATE AND ORANGE CHEESECAKE SERVES 6 300g digestive biscuits 125g butter 500g cream cheese 75g icing sugar 2 oranges 350g milk chocolate

ORaNGe Is The New BLacK CHRIS BENTON SHOWS US HOW TO KNOCK UP A FANCY NO-BAKE PUD

Orchard Lounge, 66 Fore Street, Trowbridge BA14 8HQ; 01225 767511; facebook.com/ theorchardlounge

Chris is the head chef at The Orchard Lounge in Trowbridge. He has over 17 years experience in the industry, but his passion for food emerged much earlier than that, when his nan taught him to bake as a young ’un. At The Orchard Lounge, he ensures that locally sourced ingredients are used where possible in all of his recipes. He makes everything here fresh, from the soup of the day to the tartar sauce, the salsa to the falafel – and, of course, the decadent desserts, like this little number.

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1 For the base, crush the digestive biscuits until you have a fine crumb. Melt the butter and mix with the biscuit until fully combined. 2 Press this base mix into 6 moulds (or use a large tin to make one cheesecake for sharing, if you prefer). Chill in the fridge for 30-40 minutes. 3 Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. Sift the icing sugar in, and add the juice and zest of the oranges. Beat again until combined and smooth. 4 Place a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water to form a bain marie (make sure the bowl does not touch the water). Put the chocolate into the bowl and let it melt until there are no lumps. 5 Fold the melted chocolate gently into the cream cheese mix, then pour into the moulds on top of the bases. Chill for 2 hours before serving. We garnish with melted chocolate, orange peel and fresh mint leaves.

A GRAPE MATCH! Patricius Late Harvest Tokaji Katinka £13.95 (half bottle), Great Western Wine “The evocative scents and flavours of candied peel, acacia honey and honeysuckle in this little Katinka will pair perfectly with Chris’ decadent pudding,” says Richard Lecoche.


THE WINE GUY

faMiLy vaLues

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TRADITIONAL ITALIAN GRUB SCORES TOP COMFORT FACTOR POINTS WITH OUR ANDY CLARKE...

verybody needs a friendly Italian in their life. And before I moved back west, I had one just around the corner in suburban South West London. We didn’t go all the time, but it was great knowing it was there whenever you needed the hug that only a family-run Italian eatery can give you. When I’m back in the area, Lino and the team at Terra Mia always give a warm welcome, homemade food, wine that won’t break the bank and comforting service – so go say hi if you’re ever nearby. When we moved, I really didn’t think I’d find somewhere I enjoyed as much – but I was, of course, mistaken. The Bristolian food scene has a lot to offer where Italian dining is concerned, particularly with the new wave of more contemporary European spots like

Rosemarino in Clifton and the innovative Pasta Loco on Cotham Hill, offering ingenious food with real ‘mamma mia!’ factor. That said though, sometimes a little bit of tradition is what you need – and I’ve found Italian tradition aplenty on Zetland Road in the form of La Campagnuola. It’s been open for 38 years and, after having a recent facelift, this place is doing things as well now as it did back in the ’80s. The restaurant was founded by Sicilian born Filippo Spitali who moved to Bristol as a teenager, bringing with him his family’s cooking. Filippo passed away three years ago, and his children, Vincenzo and Mariangela – who were basically brought up in the restaurant – have been running this Italian jewel for the last

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18 years. It’s Mariangela’s smile that welcomes you when you arrive and Vincenzo’s cooking that makes your mouth water (you have to try the focaccia Siciliana, in particular – homemade sourdough, tomato sauce, garlic, capers, anchovies, chilli and Parmesan). I have long been a fan of seafood pasta dishes in all their guises, but Vincenzo’s crab and ricotta tortellini with shellfish cream sauce really is something else. These perfect little parcels contain a powerful kick that satisfies from the first mouthful, and are complemented by the rich mascarpone and Parmesan that is also enveloped in the delicate homemade pasta. A luxurious savoury cream sauce brings the dish together and lures you into its grasp. Whilst their house wine is a must with the dish if you’re dining in, I’ve got a couple of great options for if you want to recreate this beauty at home... A few minutes’ walk up Gloucester Road from the restaurant is Grape and Grind: a fantastic independent purveyor of wine, beer, cider, spirits and coffee. It’s the wine I’m interested in though, naturally. Italians are known for making great pasta-friendly vino, and the Vesevo Beneventano Falanghina is a great example. Falanghina is one of my all-time favourite Italian grapes, and it’s used in this wine from the Irpinian hills of Campania, where the grapes grow way above the Bay of Naples and benefit from the cool breeze that blows from below. As a result, the wine has a peachy nose, which hints at its flavour and texture. Expect unctuous stone fruit on the palate with a beautiful tang, which goes with the sweet crab and the salty Parmesan. The texture is long-lasting in the mouth and has real staying power, which is great with the texture of the pasta and the cream sauce. The long finish is ideal with the bisque-like flavour of the dish, too. But if you want something a little bit different, why not head to Portugal for a fantastic Vinho Verde made from the Alvarinho grape (the grape also known as Albariño in Spain). Anselmo Mendes Alvarinho Contacto is a stunning example with a bit more weight to it than a lot of the lightweight Vesevo Beneventano versions you find out there. The Falanghina (£12.50) nose is almondy and inviting, and Anselmo Mendes with huge character. It has Alvarinho (£18.50) are refreshing minerality but there both availbale at is a citrusy note here too that Grape and Grind; is great with the crab. With its grapeandgrind.co.uk rounded flavour, it’s a lot more food-friendly than you’d imagine. There’s a slight gooseberry hint as well, which cuts through the cream sauce. Whether you make this dish at home or are lucky enough to find it back on the specials board at the restaurant, you’re going to love its Italian charm.

SHOP TO IT!

Hear Andy recount tales from his food TV career at An Evening with Andy Clarke at Armstrong Hall on 27 April as part of the Thornbury Arts Festival 2018; tickets £8-£10; thornburyartsfestival.com; one4thetable.com

VINCENZO’S CRAB TORTELLINI IN A SHELLFISH AND CREAM SAUCE SERVES 6-8 500g 00 flour 3 lemons, zest only 1 tbsp olive oil 6 eggs 250g mascarpone 100g Parmesan, grated handful basil, finely chopped 4 crab claws dried chilli flakes 1 large carrot 4 celery sticks 3 garlic cloves 1 small onion 4 king prawns ½ tube tomato purée ¾ bottle white wine 200ml double cream small bunch parsley 100g breadcrumbs, toasted 1 First make the dough. Put the flour in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add 2 pinches of salt, ½ the lemon zest, olive oil, 2 whole eggs and 4 yolks. Beat together slowly, incorporating more of the flour as you go, until combined. 2 Remove from the bowl and knead for 20 minutes (the more you knead, the lighter the pasta). Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for a minimum of 20 minutes. 3 For the filling, mix the mascarpone and Parmesan with ⅔ of the finely chopped basil and crab meat from the claws. Season with salt and pepper,

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chilli, and lemon zest to taste. Leave in the fridge to set. 4 Using a pasta machine or rolling pin, roll out the pasta dough into sheets approximately 2 mm thick. Flour well and cut out as many circles as possible with a cutter. In each pasta circle, place a small dollop of the crab mix. Then wet the edges of the pasta circle with water, fold in half over the filling to create a half-moon shape and seal, pushing out any air. To make a tortellini shape, take the half-moon and join the points at each end of the fold together, using a touch of water to seal. Set aside in the fridge. 5 For the sauce, dice the carrots, celery, garlic and onion into 1cm cubes and fry in olive oil over a medium heat. Add the shells of the prawns and the crab claws, along with the tomato purée, and cook for 5-10 minutes. Add the remaining basil, ⅔ of the parsley and the wine, and reduce by half. Add 1 pint of water and cook for 30 minutes over a low heat. Then strain. When ready to serve, add the cream and heat until thickened. 6 Place the tortellini in a pan of boiling water, and cook ’til they float to the top. Add the sauce to another pan with the peeled prawns, and heat until cooked through. Plate the pasta and pour over the sauce. Garnish with the parsley, more lemon zest and the toasted breadcrumbs. lacampagnuola.co.uk


THE

CAKERY

DI D YOU K NOW? We are now offering children’s parties! Cupcake decorating, pizza making and bread making.

ARTISAN COFFEE CUSTOM MADE CAKES FRESH BREAD Gluten free, dairy free and vegan options available 21 Claverton buildings, Bath BA2 4LD tel 07891 211852 email thecakery-@hotmail.com b The Cakery  @TheCakeryBath  thecakerybath www.thecakerybath.co.uk

BOOK YOURS NOW!


Just 20 minutes drive from both Bath & Bristol lies the tiny Hamlet of Stanton Wick, home to The Carpenters Arms. A traditional inn Serving great food in a relaxed environment in the country. Plenty of parking available. Private Room Perfect for relaxed private dining & small conferences. Great packages available.

Stanton Wick, Nr. Pensford North Somerset, BS39 4BX

tHIRTEEN en-suite bedrooms These delightful rooms offer king sized beds, digital flat screen televisions & superfast fibre optic internet, all in a contemporary styled room.

01761 490202 www.the-carpenters-arms.co.uk


That’s a spice mill, isn’t it? I’ve seen one of those before! You have indeed, but nothing quite like this one. The 2-in-1 Spice Mill is made by Microplane, those clever American bods who create graters using photo-etching tech rather than just stamping steel, meaning their stuff has an ultra-sharp cutting edge few can match. This thing, for instance, has razor-sharp stainless steel teeth, capable of effortlessly slicing through the toughest of whole spices without any ripping or tearing. The upshot? Anything you put into it is effortlessly prepped and ready for use. Sounds dangerous! Not really (the blades are buried in the middle, away from fingers). And using it couldn’t be simpler. All you need do is take off the top, insert your hard spice – maybe cinnamon (a bark) or nutmeg (tough seeds) – and replace the top. Now push down and twist. How finely your spice will be grated is down to nothing more than how much pressure you use when twisting. I can buy ground cinnamon or nutmeg anywhere, though. You can, and that stuff is perfectly fine – but we all know it doesn’t taste (or smell!) as nice as the newly ground stuff. Fresh cinnamon is amazing with cooked apples in puds, and with meat in tagines; nutmeg loves a cake, or a classic béchamel sauce. Then there’s cardamom (more seeds) for Nordic baking or Indian curries, and the mustard-like turmeric (a tough rhizome, or subterranean stem). You forgot ginger, garlic, cloves… Them too! But whatever your spice, this thing keeps it sealed – and so in perfect condition – in a small airtight compartment inside the grinder until ready for use. It’s better than using a pestle and mortar, then, or a coffee grinder? A coffee grinder will do some of the same things, granted, but not as well (and please don’t use it to grind your coffee beans afterwards). This thing, however, is fuss free – and handles the real bad boys, like nutmeg, much better. (Nutmeg tends to just bounce around in a coffee grinder like a roulette ball.) For the hands-on cook with a penchant for Asian food or baking, this is pretty much a must-have…

haRd GRINd YES, YOU CAN MASH UP TOUGH SPICES IN OTHER WAYS (AND GOOD LUCK WITH THAT), SAYS MATT BIELBY, BUT FOR THE REAL HARD NUTS YOU WANT TO GO MICROPLANE…

These Microplane spice mills cost £34.95 and come in two colourways – all black, or black and stainless steel; find yours at indie cookshops like Kitchens in Bristol and Bath; steamer.co.uk

THIS MONTH • THINK SPICE • UNDER THE KNIFE • CHOP TO IT

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CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS


In the Studio

bLades Of GLOry WE VISIT THE SAVERNAKE KNIVES STUDIO AND MEET THE MAVERICKS MAKING SOME OF THE MOST UNIQUE KITCHEN TOOLS AROUND... Words by EMMA DANCE Photography by ANDREW CALLAGHAN

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here’s not a lot (if anything) that’s ‘usual’ about Wiltshire-based Savernake Knives. For a start, take the guys behind it – Laurie Timpson and Philip Shaw. You’d be forgiven for thinking that anyone starting a business making bespoke knives for chefs might have some sort of background in cheffing, perhaps, or metalwork or, well, any relevant field. But not so. Laurie was five years in the Scots Guard before spending the next decade or so setting up emergency relief programmes in South Sudan, clearing landmines for the Halo Trust, studying at the University of Cape Town, looking for gold in Liberia, and running a power station in Nairobi. That’s along with a peppering of other exploits over much of sub-Saharan Africa. He now lives ‘off the grid’ in the middle of the Savernake Forest with his wife and baby boy. Y’know, standard. And Phil’s CV is only marginally less eclectic; he started his career managing pubs in London, then upped sticks to Africa where he ran safaris and learned to track animals with the Masai in Kenya, followed by heading up operations for a consultancy firm in South Sudan, then in Pakistan. So why knives, then? It all started, it seems, with Laurie, who had taken up axe-making as a means of relaxation. (I mean, I like to kick back with a bottle of decent vino and a bar of chocolate to unwind, but each to his own.) “I was making axes to just get away from things,” he tells me, as we sit in Savernake HQ, which is an old calving barn on the edge of the Savernake Forest near Marlborough in Wiltshire. “Then I started on knives because they’re a bit easier than axes. And I soon realised that, actually, there was no high-quality, British, bespoke manufacturer who was making knives in the way that I was. So we started going down that rabbit hole, and it all went from there. “I began making knives seriously about two years ago; Philip joined me about six months after that, and we started properly pressing them at the start of last summer.”

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K I T C H E N

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A R M O U R Y


Nestled in 36 acres of beautiful West Country parkland, Ston Easton Park is unique; the hotel is adorned with original antique furniture, sumptuous fabrics and glistening chandeliers, yet the warm welcome and homely atmosphere prevails, creating an idyllic home-away-from-home. One of the most luxurious pet-friendly country house Hotels in Somerset with an award-winning ďŹ ne dining restaurant and kitchen garden. Our Head Chef is passionate about developing menus that use fresh, locally-sourced ingredients; he works closely with local suppliers and the hotel garden team, sourcing almost 60% of the fresh produce used in the menus from the hotel’s Victorian kitchen gardens. As well as offering the perfect destination for a luxury hotel break, the house is open daily to non-residents for morning coffee, lunch and light snacks, traditional afternoon tea and dinner. Located just 12 miles from Bristol and 11.9 miles from Bath.

SPECIAL OFFER

Complimentary glass of Prosecco to all joining us for Afternoon Tea. QUOTE SCMB01 (Offer valid until 31/05/18)

Ston Easton, Nr Bath, Somerset BA3 4DF To book, call 01761 241631 or email reception@stoneaston.co.uk

www.stoneaston.co.uk

We are a funky Japanese Ramen Bar doing handcrafted noodles and broth, using fresh local meats and produce as well as exotic Japanese ingredients. 0117 329 3460 48-52 Baldwin St, Bristol BS1 1QB 25-27 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3PY


K I T C H E N

The duo’s unique approach to knife-making involves a combination of both cutting edge (ahem) technology and artisanal skills. When he started out, Laurie was doing just about everything by hand, but he soon realised that there was going to need to be a degree of automation, for both efficiency and quality. “It’s a balance between getting a machine to do the leg work and hand finishing it after that,” he says. “Think of it like an Aston Martin; the interiors are all hand finished and they’re great, but would you really want an engine made by a man with a hammer?” The whole process (short of actually smelting the steel) takes place on site though, from drawing initial sketches on paper and creating 3D models on the computer, to producing prototypes, cutting and treating the blades and hand finishing the stunning wooden handles. This means that not only can you simply select your knife from their

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existing range, but you can also get customised versions (think your wood of choice for the handle, a different blade finish or a special engraving), or even a fully bespoke number. Yep, if you’ve got the vision (and the dosh!) Laurie and Phil will create a knife especially for you. Controversially – for some knife aficionados, at least – the blades of Savernake knives are made using stainless steel. “Amongst the older generation there’s a perception that stainless steel is no good,” says Laurie. “And cheap stainless steel is awful, but actually we think that good stainless steel is the best metal to use for the knife blades. “Artisanal knife makers using carbon steel say that our knives are soulless and carbon steel is best. But the problem with that is that it tarnishes and corrodes and rusts too easily. There are advantages, but they are much more high maintenance. If you want to sit and cluck over your knives then go for it, but if you actually want to use them…

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“Going back to the Aston Martin analogy again, it’s a car that’s great to take out occasionally on a sunny day, but it’s not exactly practical for the school run or a trip to a supermarket. If you’re going to use it every day, you need something practical.” Philip has some thoughts on this too. “One of the advantages we have,” he says, “is that we came at this with absolutely no baggage and no preconceptions about what we should do or how we should do it. We looked at all the different metals and thought about all the different ingredients that you need for a really good knife. And we spoke to chefs and got lots of feedback, because we knew that what we thought was good and important and relevant wasn’t necessarily what our target audience thought was good and important and relevant. We’re very flexible and we’re able to change things – we’re always refining and tweaking.” Laurie continues, “The problem with most people making knives is that they just do it the way they’ve always done it. They don’t look at whether there’s a new or better way; they just spend their marketing budget on trying to convince people that their way is the best. The fact is, no-one else does quite what we do.” savernakeknives.co.uk

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The Orchard Lounge is a one-of-a-kind cafe bar and grill in the heart of the market town of Trowbridge. We offer a friendly and relaxed atmosphere and an all day cafe style menu that ranges from light snacks and lunch to dinner and cocktails.

INDEPENDENT SPECIALITY COFFEE SHOP AND BAKERY At Mokoko we make all our products from scratch, bringing you honest, great tasting food from frittatas and a whole range of amazing salads through to our hugely popular range of flavour packed cakes and sticky buns.

01225 767511 • info@theorchardlounge.co.uk • 66 Fore St, Trowbridge BA14 8HQ

The Malago

We also source our own range of coffees, each with their own unique characteristics and chosen to celebrate their country of origin, always with the aim to provide you with a coffee suited to your individual preference. The best coffee after all is the coffee you love!

YOU CAN FIND US AT: 6 ABBEY CHURCHYARD, OPPOSITE THE PUMP ROOMS AND 7 DORCHESTER STREET, OPPOSITE THE BUS AND TRAIN STATION. WWW.MOKOKOCOFFEE.COM

MON - SAT: BRUNCH/LUNCH: 9AM - 3PM • DINNER: 5.30PM - 9.30PM SUNDAY: BRUNCH/LUNCH: 9AM - 12PM • ROASTS: 12:30PM - 7PM

www.themalago.club • eatout@themalago.club 220 North Street, Southville, BS3 1JD • 0117 963 9044


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The Want List

BEHIND EVERY GREAT COOK IS A GREAT KITCHEN KNIFE – HERE ARE SOME WE’VE BEEN SWOONING OVER THIS MONTH…

1. Savernake Knives The Classic £280. This is one of the team’s proudest creations; not only does it properly look the part, but it’s a pretty versatile bit of kit. The one shown here has a Burbinga handle, but other options are available. Buy online; savernakeknives.co.uk 2. Robert Welch Signature Vegetable Knife from £26. Coming in two sizes, this carefully designed stainless steel knife is a handy little weapon for slicing, peeling and trimming veg. Find it at Robert Welch in Bath; robertwelch.com 3. Blenheim Forge Nakiri £230. With an extra fine blade, this handsome hand-forged bit of kit is designed for precision chopping; it’ll glide right through vegetables with no elbow grease needed. Buy online from Blenheim Forge; blenheimforge.co.uk 4. Tog T Knives Sujihiki Knife £190. Almost like a mini sword, this beauty’s long, slender blade is designed to slice through meat like it’s butter. From Bristol knife makers, Tog; togknives.com 5. I. O. SHEN HEN Chai Khom Slicer Knife £97.99. This Japanese-style knife – with a precise 15° blade edge – is made using a mix of hard and soft steel, to give it great slicing ability while making sure its not brittle enough to break. From Lakeland in Bath and Bristol; lakeland.co.uk

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Your OHH Pub’s Bespoke Events! Keep an eye out for our Pub’s bespoke events! The last Wednesday of every month will see all OHH Pubs simultaneously host their own Event day or evening. Stay updated on our website and why not choose the monthly event that suits your mood.

OHH Brunch Social Just £17.50 per person for 90 minutes of Bottomless Brunch with unlimited tea or coffee to accompany. Line the stomach with pastries on arrival and choose from an array of Breakfast and Brunch dishes to continue. Reservations only. Why not Fizz up the experience and enjoy 40% off a glass of Mimosa or Prosecco. Visit any OHH Pub on the first Saturday of every month. Reservations from 9.00am to 10.30am.

Coffee & Cake Social Enjoy a mug of tea or freshly ground coffee with a slab of homemade cake for just £3.50. Available at any OHH Pub weekdays until 5pm

Tuesday night is Steak night Enjoy a mouth watering steak and homemade chips for just £10. Wash it all down with a fine bottle of House red wine for just £12. Served every Tuesday at all OHH Pubs 5pm - 9.30pm

Fizz Thursdays Come and relax with a glass or bottle of Prosecco. 40% off Prosecco all day and evening every Thursday. Available at all OHH Pubs every Thursday throughout the day, from lunch to dinner.

Come and visit our pubs or take a look at www.ohhpubs.co.uk


FEEL VITAL & BALANCE HORMONES WITH EMMA’S 30-DAY VITALITY PROGRAMME LAUNCHING IN THE UK MONDAY 14TH MAY

ABOUT THE PROGRAMME

• A 30 day programme which gives you access to menus, recipes, photos and videos. They’re all super easy to use from your member’s only site. • You’ll have support from Emma and fellow members throughout the programme. • One start date, 14th May 2018, everyone is together right from the beginning. • Emma will post a welcome gift to you once you sign up. • Use PayPal for secure and easy payments. • All inclusive price of AU$170 (approx. £97).

Star join t to fee in l Vita g Emm vital by lity a on P beg inn rogra the 14t ing M mme on h Sign May 20 day 18. up v web ia the site !

• No hidden extras or up-selling. x

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M AI N S

TOP CULINARY CAUSES, INSIDER KNOWLEDGE AND FOOD PIONEERS

Bath indie gaff The Scallop Shell has just bagged itself its first AA rosette

H I G H L I G H T S

POST WASTE

How our local food and drink industry is tackling single-use plastic Page 66

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Why Bath’s indie restaurant scene is only getting better... Page 77

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Beeswax wraps are a great alternative to cling film and plastic tubs, and now they’re made here in the West Country

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THE FINAL STRAW Wo r d s by JESSICA CARTER

AS NEW PLANS ARE ANNOUNCED TO COMBAT THE UK’S GROWING MOUNTAINS OF PACKAGING WASTE, WE INVESTIGATE THE ROLE OUR LOCAL FOOD AND DRINK INDUSTRY IS PLAYING IN THE GOOD FIGHT...

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kay, so to say it all started with that lowly plastic bag floating across our TV screens in crystal clear seas on Blue Planet II would be grossly incorrect. But the revolutionary series, which aired late last year, did play a huge part in getting the world’s plastic problem some much deserved airtime. Thus, conversation fired up among businesses, consumers and, crucially, the country’s leaders about what we need to do to remedy the excessive nature of our waste. Recently, the government gave the thumbs up to a new bottle deposit scheme, which would see us all paying a fee for each bottle and can we buy. It’s in a bid to encourage recycling (the charge will be refundable upon the return of said vessel), and is a definite start. Thing is, the recycling process requires energy and, although it’s way preferable to just dumping the litter in a hole in the ground (obvs), if we’re really serious about this whole saving-the-planet thing, we could probably do with looking at all the avoidable waste we’re creating in the first place...

SUCK IT UP

One of the most unnecessary and over-used forms of single-use plastic has to be the drinking straw, right? These have been an early focus for catering companies looking to be a little kinder to Mother Earth. And sure, they only account for a small fraction of the issue, but they’re a pretty good – not to mention easy – place to start.

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“An instant improvement, and one tip we give all our customers in the catering industry, is to remove free counter straws from the customer’s view,” says Sam Walker of the eco food packaging supplier, Biopac. “Simply removing the straws from the public eye and encouraging the customer to ask for them when required can reduce their use by up to 80 percent.” Many restaurants and bars have gone one further than that, though, deciding to put a complete ban on them – like South West pub co, Wickwar Wessex. Its pubs not only discourage customers from using straws, but have now replaced all their plastic versions with alternatives made of vegetable starch, saving “almost half a million plastic straws” each year, they reckon. Restaurant group Spuntino also ditched plastic in January – it now uses PLA straws, made from renewable biodegradable materials. And, as they get through approximately 750 group-wide a day, that’s a pretty positive change. When large businesses like this, which have multiple outlets across the country, make changes to their principles, the effect is instant. So looking at waste management should be a priority, particularly for growing businesses. The Grounded café group is one such biz, opening ever more sites across the South West. Its expansion has made the team more aware of not only their takeaway cup and straw waste, but the attitudes of their customers and staff towards these single-use items, they say. They’ve also now swapped out plastic for assorted more natural and biodegradable materials.

MAIN TAKEAWAY

With the popularity of grab-andgo food ever on the rise, more thought needs to go into the ways they are packaged

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Talking of takeaway cups, this kind of packaging reps a huge amount of our waste. In fact, WWF has just released a new report on the UK’s plastic consumption and waste and (I’ll assume you’ve not read it cover-to-cover, ’cause I realise my nighttime reading is somewhat niche) it says that we chuck out more than 4 billion single-use drinks cups a year, and projects that this will increase by a further third by 2030. Shocking, yes. But also totally believable, especially seeing as we now have “at least four times as many” coffee shops as we did in 2000, according to another report recently citied in government discussions. So, why do they become litter instead of recycling – aren’t they made from card? Well, yes, but card that’s lined with polyethylene, making them unsuitable for most general recycling facilities. Also, ‘contamination’ by food or drink can render any recyclable material, well, not recyclable. For these reasons – and a few more – less than one in 400 disposable coffee cups are currently recycled. Wince. A proposed ‘latte levy’ was recently discussed in Parliament which would have seen a charge added to each takeaway drink served in a plastic cup – much like the plastic bag charge introduced in 2015. We say ‘would have’, as MPs have just chosen to park this idea, instead hoping that businesses take it upon themselves to offer discounts to customers who bring in refillable cups for their hot bevs. (Luckily, our obliging local joints are all over it – see our list at the end.) Hartley and Neston Farm Shops have properly gotten on board. Owner Tom Bowles says, “The vast majority of our plastic packaging has been replaced with compostable versions – this includes all our deli pots and takeaway coffee cups. We now sell our own branded multi-use Keepcups, and you get 30p off your drink every time you use one – or 20p for any other reusable takeaway cup!” (Quick maths time: ranging from £11 to £15, the Keepcups will pay for themselves in well under six months if you get two coffees a week.)

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COM-POSSIBLE

While efforts are being made to improve the recycling service, there is another way to stop single-use cups – and other kinds of takeaway food packaging, for that matter – from becoming litter. “While packaging containing traces of food cannot be recycled (and neither can packaging using mixed materials), compostable packaging and food waste can be processed together,” says Rachael Sawtell, from Bristol-based compostable packaging biz Planglow. “This can produce soil improvers and biomass fuel, which can be used to help grow more crops. “Our products are made from sustainable plant-based materials and have been developed to offer a compostable and environmentally friendly alternative to polystyrene and other oil-based plastic packaging. While predominantly paper-based, our laminates, lids and windows are all made from plant-based materials too; our home-compostable biolaminate (which laminates many of our packs, and forms the windows) is derived from trees.” Full points to anyone who noticed that Rachael specified ‘homecompostable’, there. Y’see, not all compostable packaging can just be chucked on the heap in the garden; a lot of it needs to be processed properly, and given a specific environment in order to compost. Yes, this means that putting compostable and biodegradable stuff in the bin means it probably won’t break down properly. In any case, rubbish that goes to landfill is often so tightly compacted that it has no access to moisture, oxygen, microorganisms or anything else that it needs to kickstart the decomposition process, meaning biodegradation happens at a much slower rate. (I’ve even read about 50-year-old newspapers being found in landfill sites that are still readable.) Effectively, then, it’s a pretty good preservation technique... Ironic, no? While we’re on the subject, it’s worth pointing out that the terms ‘biodegradable’ and ‘compostable’ aren’t interchangeable. Sam from Biopac explains: “A biodegradable product is one that’s broken down by microbial activity (bacteria, moulds and fungi) into CO2, water and biomass. The length of time it takes for biodegradable products to break down can vary quite a lot – so claiming a product is biodegradable does not guarantee how quickly it will be reduced to these three constituents. “A compostable material is a biodegradable one which breaks down under composting conditions within a given time scale. Certified compostable packaging can be fully composted and turned back into soil in less than 12 weeks, via in-vessel composting. They can then be actively employed to help fertilise crops on a small or large scale.”

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Bristol-based Planglow is a sustainability focused packaging biz, trying to help the litter problem one sarnie box at a time

SHOP OF HORRORS

The number of plastic carriers given out by the seven main supermarkets dropped by 83 percent following the introduction of that 5p charge. (Gotta love a tote, hey?) That’s an okay start, for sure. But shops are often responsible for way more single-use plastic than just their carrier bags – think all that plastic-wrapped veg, the trays of meat and fish, the bags of food down the frozen aisles... That’s a hella big pile of plastic heading straight for the wheelie. There are plenty of ways we can be more eco-friendly with our grocery shopping, though. For instance, greengrocers tend to use far less packaging, selling by weight as opposed to in pre-bagged portions – like at Reg the Veg in Clifton. Here, most bags are made of paper – and if you do need a plastic carrier, it’ll at least be one designed to biodegrade properly.

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Clifton’s Independent Greengrocer

We’re proud to offer quality produce that is seasonal and local where possible, with varieties and prices that you often won’t find in the supermarkets. We’re the preferred supplier of many of Bristol’s best restaurants, so you’ll often find Reg the Veg on the menu! Open Monday to Saturday 9-6, Sunday 11-4 6, Boyces Avenue, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4AA | 0117 9706777

Caffè Caruso INDEPENDENT ITALIAN RESTAURANT

At Scoopaway, we specialise in Natural Wholesome Foods and Remedies for the whole family.

Reducing your Plastic?

Lunch 12–2.30pm Dinner from 5pm

We strive to minimise yours and our packaging and food waste by making our best selling lines available loose, enabling the customer to scoop as much or as little as they need.

Pre-theatre Monday – Friday 5–6.45pm 2 Courses £12.95 01225 426735 3 Trim Bridge, Bath BA1 1HD

www.caffecarusobath.co.uk

Opening hours: 9:00am to 5:30pm Monday to Saturday (closed Sunday) Scoopaway Health Foods 113 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8AT

0117 987 2199 www.scoopawayhealthfoods.co.uk f Scoopaway Health Foods


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Also selling by weight is Scoopaway in Bristol; retailers like these make shopping for dry-store goods a totally different experience, and one that is far kinder to the planet than your standard supermarket. “We strive to minimise our packaging and food waste by making our bestselling lines available loose, enabling the customer to scoop as much or as little as they need,” says owner Tim Kilburn. “We encourage customers to bring in their own containers to refill: just weigh, fill and pay. In addition we sell reusable food grade cotton bags and refillable jars for customers to use.” The new Zero Green on North Street has a similar concept. Billed as Bristol’s first zero waste shop, it was opened in March by Stacey Fordham and Lidia Rueda Losada. Inside, you’ll find everything from grains to flour, spices to coffee, all sold by weight, and all delivered from suppliers with the same waste-free ethos. Stacey tells us, “Clifton Coffee have been especially great, as they deliver to us in large resealable buckets that they take back, clean and reuse – so we have no waste at all from those deliveries.” And there are other benefits to shopping this way, besides just getting on the right side of Mother Earth, says Stacey. “Affordability has always been important, as is the whole shopping experience – from the amazing smells to the colours and textures of the food. It’s really about reconnecting with food.” There are other larger, supermarket-style outfits doing their bit too. Farm Drop is an ethical online grocery shop, where you can find everything from meat and fish to fresh veg and dry-store stuff – all supplied by local producers. And it’s pretty precious about its waste. “Our first move was to remove carrier bags and pack all items into crates, which was great at the time compared to other online food retailers – but we’ve recognised that we can go much further,” says Damian Hind. “From April 2018 we are replacing fruit and veg bags with 100-percent recyclable paper bags for items under 500g, and fully compostable bags for heavier ones. We are also replacing the degradable plastic barrier bag, required by food safety standards to avoid cross contamination, with a fully home-compostable bag.” (As those will be accepted by councils as food waste, we’re told, they’re also perfect to reuse as liners for your food caddy. Result.)

DON’T BOTTLE IT

More Wine is a local wine merchant championing bag-inbox wine, which is already superpopular in vino-loving France

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When it comes to drinks packaging, Richard Hamblin, founder of More Wine, has been among the most forward-thinking retailers in Bristol for some time. He founded his wine merchant biz with a focus on the bag-in-box concept. Compared to glass bottles, this kind of packaging is a super efficient way of storing and transporting wine, thanks to it involving less material, being lighter, and lending itself to stacking. “BIB wine also leads to far less volume of waste being produced,” says Richard. “No more recycling day guilt for the consumer, and business buyers benefit from lower recycling costs. “Glass is, indeed, recyclable, but the process is not especially energy efficient. According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme charity, a whopping 1.77 billion (yes, billion) bottles of wine were imported to the UK in 2010. WRAP’s report shows that whilst glass recycling is on the increase, the actual achieved amount recycled was only 59 percent in 2012, and the target for the following five years (i.e. to 2017) was only 70 percent. So, even in a best-case scenario, that is still several million glass bottles hitting landfill per year. It also remains the case that the UK often has a surplus of recycled glass, resulting in some of this being exported.” Of course, the bags in which the wine is packaged do contain plastic. Alternatives are being investigated, but More Wine gives

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customers the option to return these plastic elements for processing and reuse, thanks to their work with Terracycle. Rich tells us that in France a huge 38 percept of wine consumed is poured from boxed bags; in the UK it is a teeny three percent – but it’s definitely a growing market...

HOME TIME

There are some types of single-use plastic waste that we can’t blame food businesses or retailers on, though. Think of all the cling film and freezer bags we all get through, for instance, when sealing up dinner leftovers to stash in the fridge for lunch the next day (okay, or a second dinner in an hour’s time). Mates Carly Catalano and Fran Cusden recognised this as a problem, and set about coming up with an ingenious alterative. “Carly and I have both been slowly trying to reduce our plastic use over the past few years, and cling film was the one item that we really struggled to replace. But we both knew that it was really harmful to the environment, and also leached chemicals into our food,” says Fran. “Carly had seen beeswax wraps when she lived in Australia. So, when we spotted some local beeswax being sold at a farmers’ market, we bought some to give making our own wraps a go. We had lots of requests from friends for them, and Carly then did a market in Bristol and totally sold out – so we knew that there were other people out there looking for a better alternative to cling film.” These ace wraps are reusable for up to a year (you just need to wash with cool water and dishwashing liquid) then, at the end of their life, you can pop ’em in the compost or scrunch into a ball and use as firelighters. They’re ideal for wrapping all kinds of foods in – from bread to cheese – and can even keep it fresher than cling film. You can fold the sheets into boxes and pouches, too. “We did some rough calculations on how much cling film you can save by just using our beeswax wraps to wrap a family of four’s sandwiches for a year – and it was 500 meters!” Fran tells us. Another South West business that offers homes an alternative to plastic food storage is Bristol-born Indian restaurant Thali. If you’re a fan of a takeaway dinner (hey, there’s no judgment here), then you’ll probably have a stash of plastic containers in the cupboards, or find yourself throwing several out each year. So, inspired by the lunchtime scenes in Mumbai, where 200,000 meals are delivered to office workers SAVE ON THAT BREW by bike, Thali founded its by taking your own cup into tiffin scheme to offer an these local planet-loving joints alternative to single-use containers. It works like Better Food (20p off) this: you buy an insulated Boston Tea Party (25p) tiffin tin for £29 from the Bristol Spirit (20p) restaurant, then get great Friska (30p) prices on takeaways to put Hartley Farm Shop (20p-30p) in it. In the mood for some Hart’s Bakery (20p) stats? Out of the 37,000 Italian Food Hall (10%) takeaway and delivery Little Bam (20p) orders the restaurant Mokoko (10%) Neston Farm Shop (20p-30p) group fulfills each year, 35 Spicer and Cole (15p) percent go through the Spike Island Café (20p) tiffin scheme. That reduces Windmill Hill City Farm Café (10%) Thali’s plastic use by half a tonne, annually.

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Thali saves on mountains of plastic takeaway containers, thanks to its tiffin scheme...

RELATIONSHIP GOALS

Eliminating plastic altogether just ain’t realistic. And that’s for loads of reasons – it’s a useful material that has a right time and place. But there’s no escaping the fact that we need to reevaluate our relationship with single-use items. And that goes for them all – not just plastic. The good news is, the food and drink industry seems to be getting stuck into the war on waste. Rachael Sawtell of Planglow says, “Last year, we saw sales of our eco food packaging products increase by a fifth when compared to the previous 12 months, as growing numbers of food providers look to strengthen their brand and highlight their eco stance. “The most significant increase was amongst our hot food packaging products (such as our kraft noodle boxes, clamshell boxes, takeaway trays and chip cones) where sales have grown more than a third.” More can certainly be done, though, and Sam Walker at Biopac calls on higher powers for further commitment. “We strongly believe that the government could be much more instrumental in motivating businesses to become plastic free,” he says. “It will undoubtedly be a long transition. However, the ball is most definitely rolling. It’s absolutely crucial to start altering mindsets towards better tackling this ever-growing problem.”

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Mediterranean Cuisine COMING SOON Tollbridge Road, Batheaston

Wild Strawberry: super smooth gelato (less air and less fat than traditional ice cream) made with fragoline, the delicious wild strawberries grown in the north of Italy especially for gelato, and sweet fresh milk from the Lacock Dairy herd. Available from the specialist wholesaler Lovejoys, Bailbrook House Hotel, Widcombe Deli, Allington Farm Shop, Whitehall Garden Centre, Planks Farm Shop, Walter Rose & Son and other independent outlets.

info@lacockdairy.co.uk | www.lacockdairy.co.uk


Award Winning, Family Run Farm Shop Established for over 30 years Selling Quality Local Produce Open Daily 9am – 6pm (9.30am – 5pm on Sundays)

HOME & LOCALLY REARED FRESH MEAT, POULTRY & GAME HOMEMADE SAUSAGES, BURGERS & FAGGOTS

LOCAL CHEESES & HOME COOKED MEATS LOCALLY GROWN VEGETABLES, FRUIT & SALADS HOMEMADE CAKES & PIES LOCALLY MADE CHOCOLATES & FUDGE FINE WINE, LOCAL ALE & CIDER PRESERVES & CHUTNEYS GIFT HAMPERS

www.allingtonfarmshop.co.uk | 01249 658112 Allington Bar Farm, Chippenham, SN14 6LJ

Situated in the renowned Spike Island, we are the sister café to the much loved Folk House Café and offer a wonderful setting for everyone.

THE DARK HORSE

133 Cumberland Road Bristol BS1 6UX spikeislandcafe.co.uk 0117 954 4030

LOCAL, ORGANIC, SUSTAINABLE, ETHICAL, DELICIOUS. We also cater for evening events, wedding receptions, birthday parties, supper clubs. Call now for more information. 40a Park Street, Bristol, BS1 5JG folkhousecafe.co.uk 0117 908 5035

A COUNTRY PUB IN TOWN

24 varieties of local cider | Craft ales | Real ale on Stillage (gravity led) Organic Sunday lunch £12 | New Saturday brunch menu (11-5pm) Music | Very dog friendly | Log fire

Tel: 0117 955 5725 172-174 Church Rd, Redfield, Bristol BS5 9HX


A REAL MOROCCAN RESTAURANT, BATH

Experience real Moroccan food cooked and served in a distinctive and traditional manner together with genuine warm hospitality in absolutely beautiful Moroccan surroundings.

Beautiful, relaxed riverside dining... Serving lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday, and Sunday lunch Beautiful food  Carefully selected wine list  Boating available Private customer car park  Pretty, covered terrace overlooking the river

ARABIC & FRESH MINT TEA AND BAKLAVA • SHISHA PIPE • BAZAAR SHOP

Please contact Ben & Rosy with any enquiries: tel 01225 428844 email ben@bathwickboatman.com | www.bathwickboatman.com The Bathwick Boatman | Forester Rd | Bath | BA2 6QE only 5 mins stroll from the Holburne Museum

1A North Parade Bath, BA11LF Reservations: 01225 839822 Enquiries: 01225 466437 WWW.TAGINEZHOR.CO.UK


Wine and small plate bar Corkage has been a welcome addition to Bath’s indie scene...

indie ROCK

WE’RE CELEBRATING BATH’S INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT SCENE BY TALKING TO THE OWNERS OF SOME OF OUR FAVOURITE GAFFS. WHAT ARE THEIR SUCCESSES – AND THEIR CHALLENGES? LET’S FIND OUT…

C

hain restaurants have had a lot of negative press recently, what with the dramatic closure of so many branches of well-known brands (think Jamie’s Italian, Byron, Strada and Prezzo). While eyebrows were raised at the closures, they weren’t all raised in surprise... Despite there, of course, being some talented, skilled and enthusiastic staff among the ranks of the restaurants (who – let’s not forget – may well have found themselves without a job all of a

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sudden), the dining experiences at some of those now-closed places weren’t necessarily what they used to be. When you think about it, trying to maintain such large numbers of great-quality, consistent and economical outlets – at a time when competition for custom and staff are huge, and rents are going in the same direction – ain’t going to be a walk in the park. Bath, of course, isn’t short of big brands in its restaurant scene; its huge tourist market and relatively high rents make it a city that lends

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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. PUB • RESTAURANT • FUNCTION ROOM • ACCOMMODATION

Tunley Road, Tunley BA2 0EB • 01761 470408 Email: info@kingwilliaminn.co.uk • f T @kingwilliam84 www.kingwilliaminn.co.uk

Triple Co Roast is an roastery in the heart of

open-access microBristol, England.

Triple Co Roast is an open-access micro-roastery in the heart of Bristol, England.

The mission is triple: 1 To roast high quality coffee beans, small batch. 2 To buy green coffee via direct trade with bean farmers. 3 To focus on having open roaster-to-customer relations.

email: jo@triplecoroast.com www.triplecoroast.com

phone: 07944530027 f a triplecoroast


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itself to this kind of business. But look beyond the very centre and peer down the picturesque side streets, and you’ll find a solid, ambitious and growing indie restaurant community. Here, we’ve caught up with a few of the most notable, and talked to their owners about the current independent landscape, why they love being a part of it, and what makes an owner-run restaurant special... Plant-focused dishes with high-end refinement are what you’ll find being dispatched to tables at Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen. Richard Buckley is the guy behind it, and after five years of trading is still on the same mission, one to “provide plant-based food that is the equal to – or better than – any restaurant in the country, plant-based or not.” This chef finds Bath’s eclectic diners an ideal crowd for the growing indie scene. “The variety of guests make this city great for independents,” he says. “Because of Bath’s tourist industry you have visitors from every background and nationality, so you don’t have to learn to please one group of local guests. Instead, you have to satisfy people from a wonderful array of cultures – it’s thrilling.” And, equally, having the freedom to call the shots means he can keep up with their demands. “You can move a lot faster and focus on quality when you aren’t weighed down by the machinery of a large group,” he says, “and can constantly improve on a daily basis.” acornvegetariankitchen.co.uk A converted boathouse on stilts, The Bathwick Boatman sits right on the banks of the River Avon. Ben and Rosy Hall founded it way back in 2007, with a very specific and fiercely independent concept in mind. “You know when you get lost in rural Italy or France, let’s say, and you come across a restaurant in a unique and beautiful location, run by a family?” asks Rosy. “The food is simple, affordable and the people

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working there care about you feeling at home and enjoying their delicious food. That’s what we try to recreate. We are a happy team of individuals; there’s no uniform or scripted service-chat here. “Bath attracts people from all over the world who are interested in culture, history, beautiful surroundings and West Country produce – and I feel this is reflected in our fabulous independent restaurants.” bathwickboatman.com A relatively recent addition to Widcombe, The Cakery was opened by local baker Ella Cooper. Ella’s key priorities are the café’s environmental impact, and the inclusivity of her menu – meaning she makes speciality and free-from bakes. Keeping to these principles is made especially attainable by the café being owner-run, explains Ella. “We have very strong ethics and can choose our suppliers carefully,” she says, “making sure that, wherever possible, we buy products locally and from businesses with the best principles and welfare standards. “We can also act quickly in response to customer feedback: they wanted us to do vegan and vegetarian breakfasts, and so we introduced them. And they wanted more of our vegan cakes, so we delivered.” thecakerybath.co.uk Chez Dominique – a lovely little French restaurant down on Argyle Street – is a proper family-run outfit, with hands-on locals Sarah Olivier, Chris Tabbitt and Chris’ parents Peter and Margaret at the reins. “We love working in a small team with a real family feel to it,” says Sarah, when discussing the positives of running an indie business. “Decision making and implementing can be done by those who really know what’s working, and what’s not.” It seems guests and other Bath businesses enjoy this style too, and are active in championing the restaurant.

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“Our local regular diners are a huge support; many have been coming since we opened, and lots only dine in independents. Also, the support from other independent shops and business owners has been great, and social media plays a huge part for us all, too.” chezdominique.co.uk

Once it has, though, Carol thinks independents can more easily control their quality of both food and service: “Being independent means that you know exactly where your food is sourced from (as opposed to using pre-prepared sauces that are delivered all over the country), and the rapport is a more personal one with the customer as well.” caffecarusobath.co.uk

Celebrating its 10th birthday in 2018, The Circus takes its name from the famous circle of historic 18th century townhouses that it’s located adjacent to. Founded by a couple of hospitality pros, Geoffrey and Alison Golden, the buzzy restaurant is housed in a handsome Georgian building and serves a menu of modern European fare. “The upside of being an independent is that you have complete control over the most important aspects of a restaurant, such the quality of the ingredients coming in,” says Alison, who is keeping the faith for a bright future for independents in Bath. “I am hopeful that the growing younger population in Bath, who have a can-do attitude, will continue the trend of opening interesting independent places. I do think that people will always seek out the personal touch one gets from owner-operated businesses; Bath is a small city, and people like to be known when they walk through that door.” thecircusrestaurant.co.uk

Beginning life as a pop-up in 2015, wine bar and small plate restaurant Corkage became so popular that owners Richard Knighting and Mary Grant opened a second site last year to try and meet demand. With 40 by-the-glass wines, 130 bottles and no wine list, these guys make it their priority to talk to customers and make each experience unique. “We like to work with each table to pin down what they are looking for by discussing wine with them and describing our food offering personally,” says Richard. And this same personable attitude helps keep this indie business relevant in the local market, Richard thinks. “As an independent, you have the freedom to be more creative and responsive to market conditions. You also know your market better, as you are part of it and live it daily. Bath’s independent restaurants receive great support from the local populous. We need more of us!” corkagebath.com

Carol Massimi opened Caffe Caruso last November, having spent a quarter of a century living in Italy. The idea is to cook up the comforting, homemade dishes that Italians prepare and eat themselves. Being new to the restaurant scene, Carol has noticed the challenges in gaining traction. “A chain restaurant has an instantly recognisable brand, so people know what to expect wherever they are in the country, but an independent needs more time to establish itself with locals.”

Founders of Dough, Massimo Nucaroa and Emiliano Tunno, are celebrating their gaff’s second birthday right about now, having become known for their inventive and inclusive pizza menu. Offering several different bases – from turmeric to hemp, vegan to gluten-free – these guys are doing something pretty unique in the city. It’s being independent that has afforded them the chance to take Dough in this direction, as Massimo tells us: “We have the freedom to make our own decisions and follow our own path. All of the

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JOIN US AT THE BRAND NEW ROLLING MILL BAR & CAFE WITH EXQUISITE VIEWS OF THE WATER WHEEL ON THE AVON RIVER (BATHEASTON).

Now open! Open on the ground floor from 9am everyday until late. Serving sumptuous brunches, fantastic coffee & pub classics with a twist! Live Music & DJ events throughout the week in a unique & funky setting full of character. Great Cocktails, Timeless Music Hits, Friendly & Warm Service.

Next to Batheaston Toll Bridge, Tollbridge Road, Batheaston • www.rollingmill.co.uk • 01225 962230

CAFE KITCHEN Welcome to our special, awardwinning café - a great place to meet friends, hold events and to give back to your community. The cafe provides young people with special needs a unique opportunity to gain work experience and training. Open Monday to Friday 8am–4pm Saturday 8am–12pm Available for private hire: Please call Amelia on 01225 838070 or email amelia.hartley@threeways.co.uk Located @ 180 Frome Road, Odd Down, BA2 5RF

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responsibility lies with us, in terms of products and suppliers.” It’s not just about the quality and character of the food, though, but the service too; looking after their team is super-important, says Massimo, and ultimately means customers get the best service. “Being independent means we can also make sure we have a great environment for staff to work and thrive in, and you don’t find this in big companies so much.” doughpizzarestaurant.co.uk

plenty of quality dishes for the casual menu (think fish pies, burgers, steaks and the like). Andrew sees lots of perks to running a totally independent outfit: “Every day we’re shaping the direction of the business; we’re much more flexible than large chains with everything from events to menus, producers to musicians. And we get to do something that we’re genuinely incredibly proud of.” greenparkbrasserie.com

Firehouse Rotisserie was born way back in 1994, when owner Richard Fenton (who also founded Café Lucca and Hudson Steakhouse) moved back to Bath with his family. He’d been living in Los Angeles, working as a private chef, and wanted to bring a taste of Southern California to the British city, by way of rotisserie chicken, spicy grills, stone baked pizza and the like. “The benefits of being independent are that you can focus on the quality and service,” comments Richard. And building a great team, and maintaining positive relationships with staff as the owner, really feed into that: “I have a team of chefs and managers who have been with me a long time, and that shows in the quality and service.” Bath, in particular, has lots of potential for a thriving indie landscape, reckons one of its most seasoned members. “The independent restaurant scene is vibrant, but there is always room for more. Bath is one of the most popular cities after London for visitors, so there is a great opportunity for the local council to promote the independent food and retail scene.” firehouserotisserie.co.uk

Chef Henry Scott left his position at Allium and got himself a business loan from the bank to open his first solo venture in 2016. His Saville Row bistro Henry’s serves thoughtful, refined food, influenced by countries all over the world. As a chef-owner, Henry can make his own calls here, on everything from what’s served in the dining room to what the dining room should look like – and this makes for a more cohesive dining experience, one that the owners and key decision makers (basically, him) can stay on top of. “The open creative license you have on the menu and space are real benefits. And, being independent, you are closer to the roots of all good restaurants, which is to provide the best food, drink and service possible. “Despite Bath’s romantic reputation for boutique shops and independent restaurants, the reality is that there are actually rather few. Customers and tourists alike tell me they would love to see more, though, and I’m convinced they can thrive here.” henrysrestaurantbath.com

Green Park Brasserie, housed in a historic venue at the old railway station, was opened by Andrew Peters way back in ’92, and he still runs it together with his son, Alex. Some of the chefs’ ingredients are sourced mere metres away at the Bath Farmers’ Market, and are used to create

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Noya’s Kitchen grew from the small beginnings of a monthly supper club hosted by Vietnamese cook Noya Pawlyn at The Bear Pad café. Last year she unveiled her very own premises, and now holds her supper clubs there three times a week, as well as offering a lunch service. This is a unique concept that Noya is always developing.

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“Being independent means we can constantly evolve what we do, creating the kind of food and experiences we love – and our customers love,” Noya says. “We make sure favourite dishes frequently come onto the menu, but changing it up on a weekly basis keeps us fresh and creative. It’s exciting and refreshing for diners to be delighted by a new dish or flavour on every visit.” Running her own indie has changed Noya’s opinions, too. “I’d thought Bath’s food scene to be dominated by restaurant chains, which can afford the high rents and mostly cater to visitors,” she says. “But I now know of several independent places in Bath that I’d love to try – places that are really putting Bath on the map as a foodie destination for locals and visitors alike!” noyaskitchen.co.uk

simplicity, knocking out fantastic fish and chips, as well as some more speciality seafood dishes. Garry has been able to carefully hone the outfit thanks to owning and running it all himself, he tells us. “You’re your own person, you make the decisions and you learn and live by those decisions – good and bad,” he says. “We’re massively involved as owners working in the business day-to-day; we can also put our ideas in place much more simply.” A fan of other local indies, such as Olé and Noya’s Kitchen, Garry is feeling positive about the future of Bath’s indie scene: “Bath’s got better for independents over the last five years, but that wasn’t always the case. It’s great to see more and more specialist businesses opening up now.” thescallopshell.co.uk

About to celebrate its fourth birthday, Olé Tapas is known for its authenticity and quality; some of the recipes used in the kitchen even come straight from the owners’ grandmothers. “That’s a pro of running an independent,” says owner Guillermo Argibay Fernandez. “You are able to cook your own recipes. We tend to miss the food that smells like home. It’s especially great in a city like Bath, where everyone shows appreciation.” The customer base for Olé is, in fact, so strong that the team recently opened another venue, Olé Bar and Restaurant, which, unlike its sibling, serves a la carte meals derived from those same family recipes. Whichever venue you go to, though, you’re sure to get a big Spanish welcome – and even bigger Spanish flavours. oletapas.co.uk

Moroccan restaurant Tagine Zhor was founded in 2000 by Mostafa Benjelloun, and is unlike any other eatery you’ll find in the area. Its USP has been key in helping Tagine Zhor to survive and thrive for almost two decades. “Bath rates and rents are all on the increase,” says Mostafa. “The independents are often priced out in favour of larger corporate companies with deep pockets. It means that any independent needs to have a unique selling point and be constantly challenging itself to deliver a good customer experience.” That said, the very nature of being independent aids the development of both good service and customer relationships. “We’re closer to the customer, so we can build trust,” he says. “Also, I’m in direct line of sight when it comes to any questions or complaints, so the customer is able to become more confident in the brand. Being the owner and operator also brings additional knowledge, culture and experience, which makes everything more authentic and adds to the customer’s visit.” taginezhor.co.uk

The ever-popular Scallop Shell is the creation of Bath chef Garry Rosser, and celebrates high quality, sustainable seafood from UK shores. Known for its ice-filled rolltop bath that heaves with fresh fish and shellfish, this restaurant treats its ingredients with care and

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Indian Dining Arguably the best and most modern Indian restaurants in Bath and Bristol. Refined Indian cooking with fabulous cocktails you won’t want to miss!

Spring A La Carte Menu Launch Friday 4th May – Sunday 6th May 2018 6pm – 9pm Be one of the first to experience our Spring A La Carte Menu by Head Chef, Michael Ball. You will be greeted upon arrival with a complimentary arrival drink of either an elegant Champagne Cocktail or Non-Alcoholic Cocktail in our Taittinger Champagne Bar. Our A La Carte Menu launch will include a 3 course dinner accompanied by a complimentary tasting flight where you can choose from wine, specially created cocktails or non-alcoholic cocktails. £35 per person.

Pre-booking is essential due to limited places. To book please call us on:

01225 723 731 Piper Heidsieck Rooftop Champagne Bar reopening at Bath soon. 12-16 Clifton Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1AF Tel: 01173 291300 Longmead Gospel Hall, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3EB Tel: 01225 446656 Email: info@themintroom.co.uk www.themintroom.co.uk

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Please visit our website for Terms and Conditions.


A company with over 100 years experience in both service and value. Suppliers to: Catering Industry • Schools Nursing Homes • Pubs • Restaurants Hotels • Festivals • And Much More We provide a delivered service operation carrying a vast range of products for our retail, catering and licensed customers. We stock approximately 6,500 catering and retail products, consisting of: Chilled • Frozen • Fresh Meat Grocery • Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Confectionery • Crisps & Snacks Beers, Wines & Spirit • Soft Drinks Non-Foods

For competitive prices and an unbeatable backup service call our Sales Team for a no obligation quotation today. 01761 410595 • salesgroup@lfjones.co.uk

www.lfjones.co.uk b a JonesFS1911 Jones Food Solutions, Midsomer Norton, Radstock, BA3 4SB


A F T E RS NEW RESTAURANTS DEVOURED, NEW CAFÉS FREQUENTED, NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM

H I G H L I G H T S

PUNCHIN’

A humble Old Market pub, Punch Bowl delivers way more than expected Page 92

HEART OF STON Three courses of refined cooking at country manor Ston Easton Park Page 94

WHO’S THE PAN Comforting Southeast Asian food from awardwinning Pan Asia Page 96

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(TOP PUBS)

 

PUNCH BOWL ALEHOUSE AND KITCHEN         JESSICA CARTER IS ALL ABOUT VALUE – AND RECKONS IT’S RATHER GOOD AT THIS CITY CENTRE PUB

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A F T E R S

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lthough this building has been a pub with ‘Punch Bowl’ above its door since 1876, it’s been part of the Old Market furniture for even longer than that. Now Grade II listed, it recently began a new chapter entirely, being acquired by South West brewery Wickwar Wessex last summer. It’s now part of an 18-strong family of individually run pubs and bars, including The Jersey Lily on Whiteladies Road and the historic White Lion in Bristol city centre. Couple Sarah Welsh and Adam Gibson (general manager and head chef respectively) moved here from The Grace on Gloucester Road last May. They reopened the pub in July once the bulk of the refit had been completed, although the work has been on going. Now titled ‘Punch Bowl Ale House and Kitchen’, its new name hints towards an emphasis on food. We sat at a table in the window – which was lined with festoon lights – right at front of the pub, overlooking the street. At the back, meanwhile, is a dedicated dining area, where you can see into the kitchen, and find a door leading to the pretty outdoor terrace. Rustic wooden floors and furniture, low-hanging lights over the bar and a collection of vintage mirrors all help create a cosy little hideout on the often hectic Old Market drag. A TV was quietly showing the football, pleasing sports fans without putting off the rest. In terms of the liquid offering, these guys of course have a couple of Wickwar’s own beers at the pumps (Bob and Try Time, when we visited), amongst others. Good they were, too – and with ales at £2.90 they’re surely some of the best value in the city. Adam’s pub menu was a pleasant surprise; not only for how well it read, but also its size. There were no pages or sub-sections to flick back and forth between while silently wondering what the difference actually is between a ‘main’ and a ‘pub classic’; instead, one piece of A4 paper listed precisely four starters (which can also double up as bar snacks, being things like marinated olives, homemade bread and the like) and six main courses, including one burger and one steak option. Bosh. No messing. The menu also assures you that everything – from the burger buns to the tommy-K – is made in-house by the chefs. So far, so promising. The baked Camembert for two (£13) arrived as a perfectly soft and oozy wheel of warm cheese, with a helping of chutney and plenty of that home-baked bread to scoop it all up with. To be fair, this alone probably could have fed us for the evening, but we naturally pushed on with main courses. Options on the menu change up every few weeks, Sarah tells us, depending on what ingredients are at their best. The newest dish on the list was the harissa whiting; served with bulgur wheat, pine nuts and purple sprouting, it carried the pretty agreeable price tag of £11. In the end, though, we picked out the wild mushroom and tarragon risotto (£10), and mustard and herb pork tenderloin (£12.50). The risotto (which we chose to have with Parmesan, but there is the option to have it with Cheddar instead, for a veggie version) wasn’t your usual version of this vegetarian go-to. Instead of being loose and creamy like you’d expect in a risotto, it was more like a baked rice in style, the plump, well-cooked grains coated only in flavour, for a drier finish. Confidently seasoned, it delivered a fiery smack of black pepper – only thing was, with my tongue tingling from that it didn’t manage to pick up too much of the more delicate wild mushroom flavours. Meanwhile, soft slices of pork showed off their well-timed colouring, the flesh displaying just a whisper of peachy pink, atop a bed of colcannon – fluffy mash hiding chunks of bacon and rich

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green cavolo nero. Finished off with the first of the year’s wild garlic and a drizzle of rich jus, it was a comforting favourite of the night. The list of desserts was happily easy to choose from, too – lemon posset (£4) or nothing – so we were soon happily dunking spoons into a light and silky, citrusy posset, topped with tart berry compote. This friendly, chilled out pub promises great value, well-kept beer and unexpectedly thoughtful cooking – can’t go far wrong with that combination, can you? Punch Bowl Ale House and Kitchen, 23 Old Market, Bristol BS2 0HB; 0117 930 4967; punchbowlbristol.com 

CRUMBSMAG.COM


( FA N CY F E A S T S )

 

SORREL RESTAURANT AT STON EASTON PARK         JESSICA CARTER HEADS OUT TO THE COUNTRY FOR A FANCY MEAL WITH A PARTICULARLY SHOW-STOPPING PUD…

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ton Easton is a historic little village perched on the road from Bath to Wells. You may well have heard of it, thanks to the luxury country manor that it gives its name to: Ston Easton Park. This estate – which includes 36 acres of landscaped gardens – dates back to the Tudor times, although the building as you now see it was built throughout the 18th century. It, of course, began life as the private digs of a well-to-do family, and stayed as such for hundreds of years before being turned into a hotel in the early 1980s. (In the interim, it had fallen into total disrepair and even faced demolition at one point.) Now, though, it’s everything you’d expect from a proper old-school country manor. It’s got the handsome stone façade with classic sash leaded windows, a library which still has the original wooden

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bookcases, grand open fireplaces, and a generous peppering of antique furniture. Once my tardy lunch date had arrived (driving from Bath, he’d only gone and hit Wells before even considering that he might have gone wrong), we were shown to the dining room. There was a feeling of relief when we got to our table; unlike the intimidatingly cavernous spaces that hotels like this sometimes seat their diners in – where any promise of atmosphere promptly evaporates up to the high, corniced ceiling – the restaurant here is set out across smaller adjoining rooms, making for a cosier, more amicable environment. Still, it’s all very much classic fine dining; expect to find big flower arrangements, tables dressed with linen, and crisp cloth napkins. To eat, there’s an all-day menu listing the likes of chicken with fondant potato, fish and chips, and burgers (which you can tuck into in the more chilled out lounge area), and afternoon teas are on the go between 3pm and 5pm. Meanwhile, there’s also a la carte and tasting menus – the latter involving seven courses and coming in at £75 (or £95 with matching wines). If you’re just after a straight-up three-courser, though, you’re looking at £48 – or £38 for two courses. Seafood won out for us to start. There were scallops that had been seared for that golden caramelisation and delicate crust, and came with a sweet-salty blend of honey and soy. Vanilla yoghurt was dotted carefully around the plate, too: an interesting idea but it, hand on heart, didn’t do it for me here. The chicken jus, though, was a great shout for bringing depth and richness to the delicate plate. The sea bream with crab apple jelly, pickled daikon and brown crab mayonnaise came artfully arranged with shards of crisp black fish skin. The out-of-context addition of white chocolate threw us a little, as we’d never had this pairing before. My chum reckons that, although he won’t be reaching for a Milky Bar when he next poaches a fillet, it kind of worked. That said, the fish was fresh and well cooked enough that it didn’t really need extra sweetness. The venison main was centred around two precisely cooked slices of blushing fillet, accompanied by creamy celeriac purée. My favourite element? A disc of soft, flaked confit shoulder topped with smooth, light mash to form a kind of tiny, rich cottage pie. (Sneaking whispers of comfort food into refined dishes is an effort – or, indeed, happy accident – that I always appreciate.) A savoury granola brought both crunch and dense chew: a pleasing contrast and thoughtful flourish. I could see the duck breast swiftly disappearing from the plate opposite. The meat was joined by Lyonnaise potatoes, bulgur wheat, burnt onions, and blackcurrant jus. The generous pink portions of duck worked well with the dark berry flavours, the whole thing giving off a hearty Sunday lunch vibe – albeit rather more refined. The dessert selection was classic French in style – think parfait, mousse and cremé brûlée. The grenadine parfait was a flamboyant, baby-pink sight to behold, and one that made my male mate a little glad we were alone in the dining room. Shortbread and white chocolate was layered up with the rosy parfait, while a scoop of pomegranate sorbet undercut the sweetness – both visually and on the tastebuds – to make it rather enjoyable, he admitted, in his deepest, most butch voice. The cremé brûlée arrived with a delicate torched-sugar crust, and sat alongside chunks of fluffy pistachio sponge and tiny quenelles of the silkiest vanilla ice cream. The team here know what they’re doing when it comes to classic fine dining – so if that’s what you dig, their professional service and precise cookery should tick all your culinary boxes.

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Ston Easton Park, Ston Easton, Bath BA3 4DF; 01761 241631; stoneaston.co.uk

CRUMBSMAG.COM


(ACE ASIANS)

 

PAN ASIA

       

JESSICA CARTER MANAGES TO EAT FROM FOUR DIFFERENT COUNTRIES IN ONE VISIT TO THIS PLACE...

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ou know, I’ve been thinking. I might bang on a bit too much in these review pages about my being so indecisive. But, then again, maybe I don’t. Anyone who has a similarly non-committal nature will understand that it does throw up issues in pretty much all areas of life. (Relax, I’m not going to go into them all right now – let’s keep this light hearted.) The one that comes up the most often though, given my a) job and b) appetite, is deciding what to eat. And have you ever noticed that the more hungry you become, the less able you are to make a decision on what to remedy the situation with? It’s really quite a bind. Places like Pan Asia, then, are both a blessing and a curse to people like me. A blessing because in going there you’re not having to commit to one kind of food – a whole spectrum of East and Southeast Asian grub is on the go here, from Japanese to Malaysian, Korean to Thai. Great news. Thing is, sat there flicking through the menu, you now do have to make a decision, and the pool of choices couldn’t really be any larger. Bugger. (Sure, I’m catastrophising the situation: another of my habits but, again, I’ll spare you the detail.) Pan Asia opened in summer 2016 and, to be straight with you, I didn’t know about it until recently. One of the reasons is probably the location; it’s on the busy double-laned Bond Street in the

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centre, next to the Hilton. Not exactly a hotbed for restaurants, and not somewhere I often pass on foot. It seems, though, that not everyone’s been in the dark this whole time – there were already people in when I arrived for my 6pm (don’t judge) dinner. Immediately greeted, seated and delivered prawn crackers and water, I was pretty chilled from the get-go, thanks to the on-it, friendly staff. There really is a huge variety of dishes on the menu (even the most fiercely decisive might be stopped in their tracks), which is sectioned into to soups, appetisers, mains, vegetarian, curries, noodle dishes and rice dishes. At the back you’ll find sides, set meals, and the lunchtime menu. Ah, and there’s a new Vietnamese menu now too, with steamed rice rolls, pho and the like. Given all that, the chosen tactic was, as is usual, to panic order. And, happily, it turned out rather well. The king prawn tom yum soup (£5.20) was delicately hot and sour, the orange aromatic broth fresh with lime and lemongrass and hiding plenty of veg and fat prawns. A vegetable yuk sung (£5) was particularly keenly portioned; the finely chopped, carefully spiced wok-fried filling coming in a generous mound alongside sizeable, super-crisp iceberg lettuce leaves to wrap it with. Gyoza dumplings (£5.20) had been well-fried to make the dough crisp and give a good bit of crunch, and came with an addictively salty soy dip. We could have left with full bellies at this point – happy that we’d managed to scoff dishes from no fewer than three different countries already – but we obviously did no such thing. I continued the Japanese run by going from gyoza to chicken katsu curry (£11.80), which came with steamed rice. The moist, dense chicken breast had been flattened out, coated with chunky panko breadcrumbs and fried for a really crisp outer that held its own even when smothered with lashings of thick, smooth and mildly spiced katsu sauce. Properly comforting. My mate’s Indonesian king prawn nasi goreng (£10.50) was just as much of a hit, the fried rice nicely warm with chilli and salty with shrimp paste. The onions, veg and curled-up prawns provided lots of contrasting texture in the hearty bowl. I’d have no reservations about going back here, or recommending it to anyone after a decent Asian restaurant in the city. The menu is familiar (and did I mention pretty varied?), and the food tasted fresh, was generously portioned, and properly hit the spot. That’s

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without leaving us with that heaviness you can sometimes get from a Chinese takeaway, though. Turns out, we aren’t the only ones to think it’s pretty decent, either: Pan Asia won Best Restaurant in the South at the 2017 British Chinese Food Awards in December, don’t you know? So, feel free to panic-order away. Pan Asia, York House, Bond Street, Bristol BS1 3LQ; 01179 428 462; panasiabristol.com

CRUMBSMAG.COM


L I T T L E

B L A C K

B O O K

NaThaN Lee

THE CO-FOUNDER OF HYDE AND CO SPILLS THE BEANS ON HIS FAVOURITE LOCAL HOTSPOTS...

BEST WINE MERCHANT? Corks of Cotham is great – owner Dom and I used to work together, way back when he was a chef. FAVOURITE GROCERY SHOP? Shout out to Hugo’s on North Street; all his produce is sourced from within 15 miles of Bristol city centre. FOOD ON THE GO? Hart’s Bakery, for an awesome coffee and fresh pastry. I always leave time to stop in here before catching a train. BEST BREW? An Old City favourite, Small Street Espresso. BREAKFAST?  Our neighbour Ironworks does a really cracking brekkie. QUICK PINT? The Old Fish Market on Baldwin Street – or The Boardroom, which is nearby on St Nicholas Street. POSH NOSH? Casamia really sets the bar for fine dining in Bristol, as far as I’m concerned. HIDDEN GEM? Zed Alley. A great little hidden live music venue in the basement of Bristol County Sports Club. ONE TO WATCH? Pasta Ripiena – I can’t wait for this to open right on our doorstep. BEST VALUE? Tuk Tuk. Great, no-nonsense Asian street food. They very nicely direct a lot of lost people to The Milk Thistle next door, too!

WITH FRIENDS? Lona on Gloucester Road is great for communal dining. The sharing platters of lovely Lebanese grilled meats are awesome. WITH THE FAMILY? My boy Rudie loves pizza, so it has to be Bertha’s at Wapping Wharf. CHILD FRIENDLY? Kate’s Kitchen in the Arnos Vale Cemetery is a great little spot, and they really go the extra mile for kids. BEST CURRY? Spice Up Your Life in St Nicholas Market always sorts me out on a cold day. TOP ATMOSPHERE? Cargo Cantina – it was their Day of the Dead party when I last went, and it was rockin’! GREAT STREET FOOD? Eatchu in St Nicholas Market, for their awesome Japanese gyoza. BELTING BURGER? Have to tip my hat to Burger Theory; they’re fairly new arrivals to the Old City, but it feels like they’ve been around for ages. hydeand.co

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QUICK! Now add this little lot to your contact book... • Corks of Cotham, Bristol BS6 6JX; corksofbristol.com • Hugo’s, Bristol BS3 1ES; hugosgreengrocer.co.uk • Hart’s Bakery, Bristol BS1 6QS; hartsbakery.co.uk • Small Street Espresso, Bristol BS1 1DW; smallstreetespresso.co.uk • Ironworks Supply Co, Bristol BS1 2EP; ironworkssupply.co.uk • The Old Fish Market, Bristol BS1 1QZ; oldfishmarket.co.uk • The Boardroom, Bristol BS1 1UB; theboardroombristol.com • Casamia, Bristol BS1 6FU; casamiarestaurant.co.uk • Zed Alley, Bristol BS1 5BU; facebook.com/zedalleybristol • Pasta Ripiena, Bristol BS1 1JX • Tuk Tuk, Bristol BS1 1EE • Lona, Bristol BS7 8NY; lonagrillhouse.com • Bertha’s Pizza, Bristol BS1 6WW; berthas.co.uk • Kate’s Kitchen at Arnos Vale, Bristol BS4 3EW; kateskitchenbristol.co.uk • Spice Up Your Life, Bristol BS1 1LJ • Cargo Cantina, Bristol BS1 6ZA; cargocantina.co.uk • Eatchu, Bristol BS1 1JQ; eatchu.co.uk • Burger Theory, Bristol BS1 1JX; burgertheory.co.uk


Crumbs Bath & Bristol - Issue 75  
Crumbs Bath & Bristol - Issue 75  
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