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
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.