The day after Rich's birthday weekend we had off and the weather was unexpectedly glorious so we thought as it was a Monday it would be an optimum time to go back to the aquarium whilst it was still quiet. How wrong we were. After paying our entrance fee we headed in to see the place teeming with a school trip full of children. Wide eyed with horror at our peaceful fish viewing being ruined we backed out and had a look round the gallery for a bit. With skill and finesse we managed to move round the aquarium avoiding the school trip but only by missing out on the bay of rays demo.
After skipping breakfast and it being the hour of lunch we pondered where to go for a munch. After throwing around a few ideas Rich decided as we had not yet sampled the food in the Clifton Wine Bar, and it was just up the road from our flat, so we headed up the hill.
Being it was a Monday the pub was pretty empty so we browsed the menu and waiting for something to jump out at us. It was a warm day so we didn't feel like a huge meal each. Starring at fish for a couple of hours had rather influenced our choices. So we went for one main to share, the breaded whole tail scampi, chunky chips with peas, and some of their tapas snacks. £3.25 each, 3 for £8.95 or 6 for £15.95. We basked in the garden sunshine me with my ice cold Crabbies and Rich with the ever reliable Thatcher's Gold and waited for our food.
|Breaded Scampi Tail and Chunky chips|
|Scampi Up Close and Personal|
I know as a little girl I used to adore Nik Naks scampi and lemon flavour I used to eat them in the playground at break and they were always my favourite, until some other kids pointed out how bad they smelled and I felt like I would be a social pariah if I continued to eat them so I gave them up from that point. I don't even think they make that flavour any more. Either way I cannot remember whether I have ever even tried real scampi before, I must have and yet I have no recollection of it. So when I bit into a piece I couldn't quite believe where it had been all my life since the crisps in the playground.
The fish was meaty and flavoursome and the crumb was super crispy. It was definitely love at first bite I couldn't quite believe how tasty it was. The chips were very delicious too and the peas were super sweet and fresh tasting, my mouth is just watering at the memory. The tapas dishes we chose were, deep fried brie wedges with cranberry dip, battered calamari with tartar sauce and mini roast potatoes with gravy dip, it is funny how looking at fish can make you want to eat fish.
|Trio of nibbles|
|Brie Wedges with Cranberry Dip|
|Battered Calamari Rings with Tartar Sauce|
|Roast Potatoes with Gravy Dip|
First off having roast potatoes with gravy on the menu is a genius idea. Roast potatoes, when done properly, are on par with the meat as my favourite part of a roast. This was amazing the roasties were crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and the gravy was thick and flavoursome. Also perfect when you are nursing a delicate head the morning after. Batter is way too heavy for calamari, tempura being the exception. The flavour of the calamari was completely obscured by the coating which was a shame but we found the totally delicious scampi more than appropriate consolation.
Cooked brie or Camembert is one of my favourite starters, in fact I often bake a Camembert for tapas nights to dip carrots or bread in. We recently had the baked brie at The Bristol Flyer to soak up some wine we'd been having at a friend's birthday drinks, I don't know whether it was the drink talking but it was wonderful. Anyway I digress, the baked brie wedges here were also very nice, cranberry and redcurrant make such a good accompaniments for brie and it's other similar cheese relatives it really cuts through the richness.
All in all I was really surprised by the food at Clifton Wine Bar it was delicious and well cooked, definitely worth a look in, although plan your visit carefully if you aren't a sport fan as they do advertise the sports they show fairly heavily outside. If you are a sport's fan you probably already know and love to hang here. Check out the menu on their website
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