Month: February 2011

Tart After Dark

Best known on the Gloucester Road and beyond for its sumptious cakes and delicious tarts, Tart continues its series of monthly supper evenings named ‘Tart After Dark’ with a Northern Italian feast on Thursday 17th March at 7.30pm.

Jennie, Ellen and Andrew invite you to join them for an evening of great food (normally open during the day for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea Tuesday-Sunday).

The four course menu features Northern Italian classics for £30 per person including an arrival drink, great value.


To start:

Gusto Pozi (little tasters), Arrancini (risotto balls), Bruschetta


Agnolotti alla Pietmontese (rich meat-filled ravioli in a beef stock)

OR Agnolotti al burro e salvia (pumpkin filled ravioli with butter and sage) (v)


Brasato al Barolo (beef braised in red wine)

OR Polenta Cunsa baked with Fontina, tomatoes, Parmesan and butter (v)

To finish:

Trio di Deserti

Bustrengo (polenta and apple cake)

Salami al Cioccolato (‘chocolate salami’)

Panna Cotta

To book, please call 0117 9247628 or email


Souk Kitchen

I’d heard a lot of good things about Souk Kitchen since it opened last year and, last night, I finally got around to sampling their exciting Culinary Tour of Iran menu. Souk kitchen is run by Ella and Darren Lovell (formerly of Rucola in Clifton), inspired by their experiences of Middle Eastern market food, their passion and flair really comes through.

Once a month they host special events featuring national dishes from a different country each time. I’d had no experience of Iranian/Persian food so it was good to have a bit of a crash course. I love trying new things so I was up for the challenge and went along with an open mind. The menu, below, was explained to us and we chose to try one of everything.

23rd February 2011 Culinary Tour – Iran

Sabzi Khordan, Paneer, Naan A lovely fresh and vibrant herb salad with feta, gherkins, radishes and naan bread, a traditional Persian dish to precede or accompany the meal.


Joojeh quail, blood orange, fennel and walnuts The quail was marinated, spatchcocked and grilled. I’m not entirely sure what was in the marinade (saffron, yoghurt and lemon among other spices probably) but it was very tasty, and the quail was nice and moist. The accompanying blood orange, fennel and walnut salad was lovely, refreshing, sweet and crunchy.

Kookoo-ye badenjan, chicory + herb salad This was similar to a frittata, but with aubergine, and was also very tasty.


Khoresht-e ghormeh sabzi, saffron chelow rice This was a hearty lamb stew with beans, spinach, fenugreek and lime; delicately spiced. It was gorgeous, real comfort food and perfect for a drizzly Bristol evening. The rice was aromatic and light, topped with a delicious sticky, crunchy bit (from the bottom of the pan, we were told).

Pan-fried sea bream, golden spices, sheveed polow, beetroot boorani The sea bream was beautifully cooked and served with an aromatic rice with dill, and a refreshing beetroot and yoghurt sauce on the side.

Both served with a cucumber, mint and pomegranate salad.


Persian rice pudding Unfortunately, we didn’t have room for this.

Pomegranate jelly, rose cream This was delicious, tart and refreshing. The jelly was topped with a delicately rose-flavoured cream, chopped pistachios, almonds and mint. Lovely.

£24 per person

Next stop on the culinary tour: Turkey 30th March, and then Lebanon on 26th April.

I would definitely recommend the Culinary Tour tasting evenings, I’d certainly be interested in trying another one, and also to go back to try the main menu.

Souk Kitchen, 277 North Street, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 1JP

0117 966 6880



Bordeaux Quay Brasserie

Bordeaux Quay, on Bristol’s harbourside, opened in September 2006 as the first ‘eco-restaurant’ in Bristol and has received several awards since. It was first in the UK to achieve a gold rating under the Soil Association’s sustainable catering scheme. The food is described as classic provincial European, using the best local, seasonal and ethically sourced ingredients, organic where possible. It was one of the first Bristol eateries to take all of these factors seriously. Now, of course, it’s unthinkable not to.

The place had a light and airy feel as I walked in to meet my friend for lunch. The huge, open-plan space comprises of a swanky bar at one end, and a kitchen, bakery and deli at the other. The brasserie, serving informal, café style food, is situated in the centre of the room, with a staircase leading to the more formal restaurant, and cookery school above. The view of the habour is a bonus, especially in Spring and Summer.

As I joined my friend we perused the menu and took in the ambience. The brasserie had a relaxed, casual atmosphere, with a quiet buzz of activity as it started to fill up.

The brasserie menu, which changes daily I believe, contained a modest selection of simple, classic dishes and we spotted a couple of gems on it which we wanted to try. Our intention was just to have main courses but we ended up having three.

First we shared a Radicchio rosso precoce risotto with crescenza from the starter section of the menu for £7.50.

The risotto was absolutely delicious.  The rice was creamy and smooth with just enough of a bite. It was finished with a refreshing gremolata to balance the richness of the oozing cheese. I’d go back just to have this again.

For the main course I chose a whole grilled mackerel with roasted red onion and courgette, raisins, new potatoes and parsley oil for £11.50. I really enjoyed this. The sweetness of the raisins and roasted vegetables married well with the smokey, oily fish. My friend chose a salt marsh lamb burger with salad, chips and aïoli. I had a taste of the lamb and it was full of flavour, as you’d expect of salt marsh lamb. Both were generous portions so we were suitably satisfied.

I had eyed a rhubarb trifle on the menu earlier, which looked very pretty as it came out to other diners. Unfortunately by then I was too full to manage it. My friend opted for an apple and almond tart with vanilla cream for £4.50. We also ordered some Earl Grey tea. I remarked to my friend how surprisingly good the tea was and she told me it was Lahloo. It was really quite remarkable; light, refreshing and aromatic. It finished the meal off beautifully.

So, we had a very enjoyable lunch in pleasant surroundings with polite and professional service. I would certainly recommend Bordeaux Quay Brasserie for tasty, uncomplicated fare, a great option for lunch or early evening. I look forward to visiting the restaurant upstairs to sample what they have to offer.

Bordeaux Quay Brasserie                                                                                                                   V-Shed, Canon’s Road, Bristol, BS1 5UH

Tel. 0117 9065559



Opening times:

Mon-Fri 9am-11.15am breakfast, 12-10.30pm lunch/dinner

Sat 9am-11am breakfast, 12-10.30pm lunch/dinner

Sun 9am-11.15am breakfast, 12-4pm lunch.