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Monday, 18 July 2016

Lunching at Mockingbird Cafe

Mockingbird on Alma Vale road has long been on my to eat list. Luckily two recent Fridays Wriggle gave me the opportunity to sample Mockingbird's sandwiches of the week. One was pulled pork in brioche and the other pulled brisket with cheddar and horseradish mayo, both with homemade coleslaw.  But I am skipping ahead of myself. Mockingbird offers a nice variety of brunch dishes as well as some specials, cakes all with a nod to Southern states in America. All dishes can be washed down with local roasted beans from Extract coffee or tea also Bristol based from Canton Tea Company. All run by a friendly and welcoming team.
Mockingbird Cafe Bristol

Mockingbird Cafe Bristol

My oh my these guys know how to make a kick ass sandwich. The pulled pork was hands down the juiciest and most tender I've ever had and the brioche was pillow soft and complimented the pork without detracting from the star of the show.  Likewise with the brisket, it was wonderfully flavoured and the horseradish mayo was perfectly judged in quantity. I personally could have done with a touch more cheese but the gorgeous Hobbs House sourdough more than compensated for that. The coleslaw was light on mayo and big on flavour, apple works so well in slaw that it was the best tangy accompaniment for such sandwiches.

Mockingbird has captured my heart for a hearty lunch, sandwiches for the soul. I am looking forward to sampling their brunch menu, but for now this is my favourite spot for a tasty sandwich it is a charming cafe with a lot of things to love. I am just sorry it has taken me this long to check it out. To find out more about Mockingbird visit their Twitter or their tumblr

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Tuesday Night Dining at Fishers

Summer in the UK seems to consist of a few fairly hot spells punctuated with multiple days of humidity. It was on one of these humid evenings that I headed over to Clifton Village to meet friend Naomi for dinner. Fishers had invited me to sample their menu and I was delighted to accept. The menu at Fishers has a host of tempting fishy options, a couple of token meat and vegetarian options for those that way inclined.

We were warmly received by the restaurant and eagerly began glancing through the menu. There were many options that caught my eye but what I decided to go for in the end was the calamari with sweet chilli sauce followed by herb crusted cod fillet with spinach and puy lentils. Naomi opted for home cured Scottish smoked salmon with horseradish creme fraiche and a kilo of steamed mussels with white wine, cream and garlic for her main. Most mains come with a choice of new potatoes or chips as a side, unless stated otherwise. Whilst we waited we sipped at our rather enjoyable glasses of Pinot Grigio and nibbled at the freshly made bread.

Fishers Restaurant Bristol


Calamari with sweet chilli

Fishers Restaurant Bristol

The calamari was perfect a good portion with a crispy light coating. I personally thought the sweet chilli dip was a little too sweet for the calamari but it was just a small issue. Naomi's salmon was wonderful the quality of the salmon was excellent and the horseradish creme fraiche gave it an extra lift.
Fishers Restaurant Bristol
moules with cream, garlic and white wine
cod fillet on puy lentils

Fishers Restaurant Bristol

My fish was perfectly cooked with a crispy skin and the herbs and lemon made the whole dish wonderfully fresh. Naomi was delightedly making her way through the kilo of mussels plenty of cream and garlic sauce to mop up with some of the bread. We were both really impressed with the flavours of the mains. The one thing that I was disappointed in was the chips. They were quite dry tasting and floury so I left most of them to concentrate on the citrussy lentils below my cod fillet. We still had room for pudding so I ordered one of my all time favourite desserts, sticky toffee pudding with ice cream and Naomi had a scoop of elderflower sorbet.

Fishers Restaurant Bristol

Oh my word. This was quite simply the best sticky toffee puddings I have had in years. Super soft and sticky with a lovely toffee sauce I would return just for this alone. We left Fishers nicely full having been well fed. Fishers offers some great fish dishes, some classic some a bit different but what you can be assured of is a good meal. The offer a early evening deal 5.30 - 6.30 you can have two courses for £9.50, this is also available at lunch. Although our meal at Fishers was complimentary it did not impact my opinion or the outcome of this review. We were so pleased with the service we left a tip on what the bill would have been. To see what else Fishers have to offer check out their website.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Three Course Dining at The Square

Just before we jetted off to Budapest we were invited to sample the new menu at the Square. I had not been to the Square in some time, probably about 4 years in fact. The Square is a private members club but the restaurant is open to the public, as long as you sign in at the door. They have smartened up the place a bit since I was last here, it is more welcoming and the staff who greeted us were friendly.

The Square Bristol

The dining rooms at the Square are beautiful. Long tables and candelabras dotted around the place make for a relaxed atmosphere. As for the new Spring menu. First impressions were good. The menu is a modern British one with lots of classic combinations. For our starters we decided to opt for the Wiltshire bred pork belly with pressed ham hock and pickled vegetables and the wild mushroom soup with truffle and a poached egg. As for the mains Rich picked the 8oz rib-eye steak with triple cooked chips and myself, the Upper Wraxall lamb, two ways with spinach puree and pommes mousseline plus a port jus. We also picked side orders of asparagus and creamy leeks.

The Square Bristol

The Square Bristol

The Square Bristol

My soup was wonderfully earthy and rich. I was impressed, definitely up there for mushroom dishes I've had before. the egg in the centre just added to the creaminess. The only slight let down was the bread, it was nice enough but nothing over whelming. Rich loved the pork belly it was juicy and the flavours all worked together nicely.
The Square Bristol

The Square Bristol

The Square Bristol

The Square Bristol

My lamb dish was great. The lamb belly fell apart and was well seasoned. The meat was full of flavour and went perfectly with the glass of Malbec I had chosen to go with it. The pommes mousseline was rich and creamy and the vegetables were cooked properly with a slight crunch to them. The only slight problem was the rump was a little too underdone in parts for me, yes I like pink lamb but this was boardering on very rare indeed, so I left a little end bit of that.

The creamy leeks were very tasty and buttery but the dish was so huge we shouldn't have ordered too sides.  Rich enjoyed his steak said it was well cooked and juicy and the asparagus was full of flavour. I tried one of his chips and it was so huge, a breeze block of potato but with a fluffy centre. I could have built a delicious potato brick house to hide from the world in with these chips.

We hardly had room for pudding but I had spotted something on the dessert menu that ticked all my boxes. Creme brulee with rhubarb and ginger and spiced shortbread. Rich decided to test out the selection of cheese.
The Square Bristol

The Square Bristol

Rich enjoyed his selection of cheeses and the crackers were a nice quality. It is hard to get a cheese board wrong to be honest. My creme brulee was tasty but the rhubarb was too sweet it would have been great to have that sharper contrast, The shortbread was nice and gingery in flavour but overall the biscuits were a little dry and floury for my taste.

There were a few tiny little things that weren't 100% but overall we had a great meal at the Square and the staff were wonderful. The food definitely deserves more people visiting the restaurant. When we were there it was quite quiet and the people who were eating seemed to mainly be hotel guests. It is a shame because the food and atmosphere equal a nice evening out, people of Bristol, if you haven't had a chance check out the Spring menu at the Square give it a go. To find out more visit their website.

This meal was complimentary in return for a review, it did not impact my opinion. Rich and I decided to leave a 15% on what our bill would have been to thank the staff for the evening. 

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Testing Out Wriggle at Steak of the Art

Ever since I switched to an iPhone I have been putting the Wriggle app to the test. Wriggle is an app on iOS and Android that brings daily local deals from high quality independent restaurants. It helps restaurants conserve waste in real time by advertising deals that are local to you. You can leave your meal plans in the hands of the Wriggle gods to decide what you are going to eat for lunch or dinner. With new restaurants being signed up all the time the daily list keeps on growing.  I have been enjoying Bagel Boy and Yume for lunch quite a bit as they are closest to my flat and frequently on Wriggle. The guys at Wriggle wanted to give me some credit to test Wriggle on a place I'd not tried before, so I chose Steak of the Art. Two Steak and chips plus a sauce for £18. The app is easy to use you just click what deal you want and the amount and process the payment, and you are given a code to show the staff at your selected restaurant.

Steak of the Art is squirrelled away down on Cannon's Way and reached the restaurant soaking wet after being caught in an aggressive downpour. We arrived and were told there would be an hour wait for a table, which was a bit confusing but we sat down in some comfy arm chairs ready to order a drink whilst we waited. Steak of the Art offer a selection of cocktails as well as the usual beers, wines and some cider.  We were about to order when we were told there was actually a table available so we followed the waitress to the main dining area. Steak of the Art's selling point is their commitment to 'funky' interior and decor, There are paintings and pieces of art available for purchase as well as the pieces in each area being for sale, such as the furnishings. Steak of the Art is a restaurant gallery, which is a little different. The type of art is pretty commercial, lots of eye catching colours and pop culture references so there will be something for most people.

We sat down at a high booth overlooked by a large metal bull head. Rich ordered Bristol Beer factory beer and I went for a glass of Malbec. We also decided to opt for two starter plates so I ordered buffalo chicken wings with blue cheese dip and Rich chose the chorizo and smoked sausage on ciabatta. We also decided to both add a side of rocket and parmesan salad to our steaks for a bit of colour and freshness.

Steak of the Art Bristol

Steak of the Art Bristol

Rich found the meat on the ciabatta to be really flavoursome but the ciabatta had not been toasted and was too soft to hold the sauce and meat without disintegrating. My chicken wings had been quickly fried to give the extra texture, as per buffalo style, but they didn't really taste that chickeny. The dip was really wonderful though a good sharp strong kick of blue cheese much punchier than a lot of blue cheese dips you come across. This should be offered as an option for the steak as well in my opinion. On to the main event.
Steak of the Art Bristol

Steak of the Art Bristol


We did not have to wait too long before our rump steaks rocked up with a healthy portion of thick triple cooked chips, peppercorn sauce and rocket salad. The steak was cooked as we ordered  so my medium rare had a good pink colour running through it and was really juicy. Rump is not my favourite cut of steak but this one had lots of flavour. The star of the show were the chips. Crunchy and fluffy these were seriously moreish. The only let down was the salad, it looked a little sorry for itself and had too much parmesan compared to the amount of leaves.

A tasty experience at Steak of the Art. Was it my favourite steak? No but it was tasty and with Wriggle you can get it at a bargain price. The app offers great value at some fantastic Bristol restaurants but you can also find Wriggle offering deals for many Brighton restaurants as well, so spread the word if you know any friends down there or are visiting the quirky city yourself. To find out more about Steak of the Art check out their website.  Wriggle kindly supplied the credit for two steak deals, any drinks and extras we paid for on top of this, my opinion was not impacted and this blog remains as impartial as ever. Want to try Wriggle for yourself? Download the app and with my code ZKJXKA you can get £3 off your first Wriggle, happy Wrigglin'.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Friday Night Testing Out Yatta

Last Friday evening I was treated to a visit from my best girl Jessie, so we decided to take her out for some food. It was decided we should test out Yatta, the latest incarnation on Nelson Street. Over the years this has been many different Asian restaurants, Shanghai Express, a personal favourite, the Wok Cafe and Buddha Lounge to name but a few. Yatta offers an all you can eat sushi experience for £16.80, per person, but also a half price on all al la carte menu items at lunch time. 

We were given a warm welcome  by the staff and led to a table for four. They provide a tick box menu to order your chosen dishes. One side of the menu consists of sushi and the other hot dishes and sides. You are limited to ordering 6 from each side for each round. There is a pretty large selection, gyoza, wok fried noodles, teriyaki and tempura as well as futomaki, sashimi and nigiri to name but a few. We ordered a selection of dishes from both sides and waited for them to arrive whilst sipping our drinks. The lighting could be a little more subtle in the evening I found it a little too bright for my tastes. 

Yatta Sushi Bristol

Yatta Sushi Bristol

Yatta Sushi Bristol
chicken gyoza
Yatta Sushi Bristol
chicken karaage
Yatta Sushi Bristol

Yatta Sushi Bristol

Yatta Sushi Bristol
prawn tempura
Yatta Sushi Bristol

Yatta Sushi Bristol
spring rolls
The food arrived promptly. The dishes I found to be mixed in quality. Our chicken udon ramen was tasty and well cooked, the sushi was well prepared and pretty delicious. The sashimi in particular was thick and fresh. Some of the other dishes could have done with a few changes to make them a bit better. The tempura prawns for example were a little soggy and needed more frying for colour and crispness. The chicken kara-age were nothing like any I've ever tasted and were not at all crisp. They need to make just a few tweaks to some of their hot dishes to bring them up to the same level.

Having said that for £16.80 for unlimited orders you could quite happily order a lot of sushi, sashimi and noodles. I would return again but it wouldn't be the top of my list. But for groups it is quite a good way of trying out lots of sushi dishes for a decent price. I certainly have my eye on the karaoke place above Yatta. To find out more about Yatta visit their website for more menu details,

Monday, 9 May 2016

Eating Noodles and Sipping Bubble Tea at Cupp

On a recent warm Spring day, Naomi and I decided to meet up for lunch. Browsing local deal app Wriggle I posed to her the options available in the centre and she chose a noodle dish with Cupp, opened on St Stephen's Street just before the new year, which came with a bubble tea of your choosing. The decor is bright, geometric and fun with a few tables for dining in but as the focus is on the bubble tea most customers would probably be taking their tea away.

You can choose from rice noodles in soup, with a supplement of £2 if you want to add beef to the soup, or a vegetable noodle salad. I chose the latter and Naomi went for the former. For the bubble tea I picked my favourite flavour, taro, complete with coconut jelly. There are a few more options at Cupp now since I last visited their other home down in Cabot Circus; grass jelly and basil seeds which can be added to your tea. 

Cupp Bubble Tea

Cupp Bubble Tea Noodles


Lovely fresh and healthy ingredients with a sprinkling of crushed peanuts. The actual flavour was fairly mild but luckily I livened up with a healthy amount of sriracha sauce and a good stir. The bubble tea was as great as usual. Taro is quite sweet but there is something about it that I can't get enough of. For £5 for a bubble tea and some veggie noodles Cupp offer up a bargain that is hard to ignore. For a fresh and quick lunch option in the centre you can't go too wrong here. To find out more about Cupp visit their website or follow them on Twitter.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Lunching Korean Style at Tuk Tuck

In the place of the Fantastic Sandwich Company, on St Stephen's Street, you can now find Asian inspired eating emporium Tuk Tuck. In the offering are bahn mi, bibimbap, sushi, salads and kimchi fries topped with your choice from the offerings. Naomi and I have been eyeing this up for a few days and when we had a spare lunch spot we headed down to see what it was all about.

We received a warm welcome from the staff and eventually I opted for chicken bibimbap with hot sauce to stir into it, but there is a non spicy sauce option too. Naomi went for a chicken salad and we decided to share some chicken topped kimchi fries, I had heard great things and was curious. We sat down with our drinks and waited for our lunch to be brought over.
Tuk Tuck Bristol
Bibimbap

Tuk Tuck Bristol

Tuk Tuck Bristol
kimchi fries
I stirred my bibimbap vigorously after applying the hot sauce, the egg yolk broke and added a nice creaminess to the dish. I personally could have had the sauce hotter, but I know that averagely, people probably wouldn't get on with that if it was made the standard. Luckily there was a bottle of Sriracha on the table for me to top up the levels a little. I found the dish fresh tasting and delicious. A generous portion and filling. The star for me were those kimchi fries, addictive and delicious, a real hit. I really enjoyed my first visit to Tuk Tuck, it certainly won't be my last. It is nice to have somewhere a little different to grab lunch on your break. Find out more about Tuk Tuck on their Facebook page.