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Tuesday 30 April 2013

A Saturday Evening at Bica

The other weekend on the evening after booking our wedding venue and munching through some of the best chips ever at the Plume of Feathers, Jamie had organised dinner at Bica a bistro on Cheltenham road. Boca specialises in Brazilian-Portuguese cuisine. On a Saturday evening they have live music to play you through you meal, we were treated to some wonderful Bossa Nova, a particular favourite genre of at least three members of our party so they were very happy indeed.
Bica Bristol Cheltenham Road
Freshly squeezed orange juice
Though the weather was rainy, as it had been all day, it felt rather like being on holiday inside with the soft lilting music and the warm atmosphere. The restaurant itself had only one large group of about 12 and our table of 7, this was probably because we were dining a bit later than normal at 8.30. Although the menu does have some Brazilian and Portuguese dishes on it it also has a good selection of tapas and for fans of neither they also have burgers and breakfasts for the morning. Also has a pleasingly large cocktail menu for a restaurant.

Rich decided to choose several dishes of tapas for his dinner whilst I went for feijoada, the Brazilian national dish. Feijoada is essentially as stew made from beef, pork and beans but there are so many recipes and ways of making this dish out there that there is no standard traditional set recipe. I have had it twice now and neither tasted like the other.
Portuguese cuisine Bristol
Bica Bristol Cheltenham Road
Calamari with chipotle mayonnaise
Bica Bristol Cheltenham Road
patatas bravas

Bica Bristol Cheltenham Road
smoked ribs
Food arrived after around 20-25 minutes which was better than I was expecting for a larger party. My feijoada was clean tasting with the beans and veg, the flavour was smoky but subtle. I enjoyed it but I think it could have done with more meat, if you research recipes for this dish they all contain a lot more meat which I think would have thickened the sauce a little more. But most importantly the flavour was very good and pretty filling. The calamari were really tasty, the sauce that was brought to dip them in did not seem to be what was described on the menu. It was very limey possibly with some avocado but it was hard to tell, it was tasty it just didn't taste of chipotle.
Bica Bristol Cheltenham Road
peri peri wings
The best tapas dish was the ribs, the meat fell off the bone and was well flavoured, although the calamari come a close second. The patatas bravas were a tad disappointing, I could have done with a bit more seasoning. On the whole I was impressed by the food at Bica the atmosphere was particularly warm and inviting, it brightened up a dreary evening of more terrible weather, their Portuguese custard tarts help you forgive most things.  To get yourself some artificial sunshine head down to Bica for a Caipirihna and a shot of Joao Gilberto and pretend you are in Rio. Check out the menu and live music dates on their website. Upcoming blogs will be on Nomu on Whiteladies and London restaurants Maroush and Bone Daddies. 

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