Moroccan Tastiness

Al Bab Mansour, St Nicholas Market, Bristol, BS1 1JQ


Slow cooked lamb

Had lunch with a friend here recently. We both chose the Moroccan lamb dish which was slow cooked lamb with vegetables served with a choice of rice or couscous which was very tasty. The lamb melted in the mouth and went well with a spicy harissa sauce. Tasty food indeed.

A bit pricey for lunch (£6.50) although I really enjoyed the food here. Would have preferred either more food or a lower price as I think the amount of food wasn’t substantial for the price.  The other main meat/fish dishes they serve are priced between £5.50 – £6.50 and the vegetarian dishes from £2.50 -£4.99



Mayflower Chinese Restaurant

3A – 5 Haymarket Walk The Haymarket, Bristol, BS1 3LN

Deep fried shrimp in chilli salt

Deep fried shrimp in chilli salt

Beef with spring onions and ginger

Beef with spring onions and ginger

Visited this place recently with friends none of whom had ever tried this restaurant before. A really nice, comfortable and friendly place with excellent service. We tried a wide range of dishes and in general agreed that they were very good. Worth a visit! I’ll definitely go back.

KarenRoast Duck Ho Fun
A good portion-sized dish, fresh pak choi, good duck with a nice texture. A nice flavoured dish that’s very filling.

MattStewed Beef Brisket HotPot
A tasty nice dish with big chunks of well cooked meat.

JohnSweet and Sour Chicken
A very good dish that had peppers and onion. Would have preferred more onions and more pineapple.

lovefoodpinnySteamed Salmon Fish Belly with Black Bean Sauce; Stewed Beef Brisket HotPot; Roast Duck Ho Fun; Beef with Spring Onions and Ginger

Tried all four of these dishes and I really liked them all. The salmon dish was tasty, the delicately steamed fish tasted good with such a spicy sauce – not what I would have expected to work.

The beef brisket dish was sublime, so very, very tasty. It melted in the  mouth as it had been cooked well.

The duck Ho Fun dish I loved – the smoky flavour of the noodles, something I would want to recreate if attempting to cook this. Sesame oil must have been used.

The beef with spring onions and ginger was delicious and full of flavour. A must-try.

BotchThree Roasties Platter (Duck, Pork Belly & Honey Roasted Pork)
The portion size is amazing. Crispy skin with a sweet sauce. I was very pleased with this dish.

Adam – Three Roasties Platter (Duck, Pork Belly & Honey Roasted Pork)
This was a really good-tasting dish and it had a really good amount of meat.

Tasty to-fu

Tasty to-fu

JamesDeep Fried Japanese Egg To-fu
A very flavoursome dish – I’m still eating. Was expecting the to-fu to be fried though.

BlenchlyDeep Fried Squid in Chilli Salt
A hit of crispy squid with a good flavour.

TintenfischBeef with Spring Onions and Ginger
It was nice enough.

Friedfully Good

Soup ‘n’ Sandwich, 3 Fairfax Street, Bristol, BS1 3DB

Soup ‘n’ Sandwich

Received an email from friends saying they were going to Soup ‘n’ Sandwich and asking whether I wanted to come along. My head felt sore – it was the morning after the German BeerFest and I had cycled 4.5 miles that morning to reach an appointment. Without  a moment’s hesitation, I was on my way to Soup ‘n’ Sandwich.

After all that cycling (and drinking), I was very happy to have their ‘Special Breakfast’ (sausage, bacon, fried egg, toast, buttered bread, a choice of beans/tomato, and a bowl of chips with a mug of tea for only £3.60). The waitress asked whether I would prefer beans or tomato – I stood for a few seconds staring blankly with my mouth open until she said “I’ll give you a bit of both”. That’s what I like about this place. My friends with their even larger appetites opted for the ‘Hungry Breakfast’ where you have an additional fried egg, sausage and toast all for £4.60.

Soup ‘n’ Sandwich serve hearty food all day at a decent price, especially when you think they’re in the city-centre. They’re a cafe that serve hot drinks, sandwiches and hot food. It’s decent food at a price that’s right.

The ‘Special Breakfast’ (the accompanying bowl of chips, not shown)

The ‘Hungry Breakfast’ (unfortunately the chips are a bit blurred)

Chips, Fidel and Che

Pellegrino’s chip shop, 17 Christmas Steps, Bristol, BS1 5BT

Chips and fried sausage with curry sauce

Fidel and Che accompany your chips (unfortunately the photo’s a bit blurred)

A few days ago, after drinks at the German BeerFest, I found myself sozzled and hungry in the city-centre. It was  too late for a ‘sit-in’ meal so I went along with friends to what I call the Cuban chip shop (photos of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara hang on the wall).  They have the usual choice of food you would expect from a chip shop, including haddock, cod, plaice, mushy peas and faggots (minced meat offal with herbs). We ate chips, fried battered sausages with curry sauce and this went down well. All freshly cooked and tasty.

German BeerFest 2012 Bristol (03/05/12)

Had fun yesterday with friends at the start of this five day annual event that tries to replicate the German Octoberfest in Bristol. The beer was nice – two varieties in litre glasses, the Erdinger wheat beer (a nice, flowery and fruity taste) and a Filscher Pilsner (a strong refreshing taste). Preferred the Erdinger variety. Have a hangover today so I’m keeping this post quite brief. Staff were dressed in German dirndel outfits and there was a band playing loud non-German music – such music didn’t really make sense (my moan of the day).  The organiser went round to tables explaining that they weren’t planning on holding this event this year on the Thursday, so last minute planning in terms of licensing meant that no German sausages were on offer for that day – shame. Instead, they had a crepe stand making sweet/savoury crepes – not quite the same but the beer was nice enough.

The tour follows on to Southampton, Reading and Cardiff. For information follow this link

Shining Brightly

Kohi-Noor, 211 Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2XS

I remember two friends introducing me to the delights of the food served here a few years ago but for some reason – probably living the other side of Bristol – I had not been back since. This is of course a lame excuse so I decided to go back and, a couple of days ago, I came here with friends for a meal. I particularly enjoyed the food and within a few days I was back again. This review shows the verdicts from the two trips.

I thought the service excellent, the staff attentive without being intrusive. The decor is fairly modern and quite tasteful. But of course what really matters is the food.

Goan fish curry

Goan Fish Curry — I chose the Goan fish curry dish as I wanted to try something a bit out of the ordinary and I found it delicious. The oily fish worked perfectly with a citrus sauce that included green chillies, onions and spices, the acidity cutting through the oiliness. Lovely! It was served in a novel fish-shaped ceramic dish.

There’s a great choice of dishes at this restaurant, many of which you won’t find at your average curry house, for example the Kadak Kebab Samarkand, the Gosht Belliram and the Raan-A-Sikandari. I tried the naan bread which are large and the pilau rice, and both were tasty. I also loved the mixed tandoori starter (I can’t resist food cooked tandoori-style) and the Lal Mass – a delicious and very spicy lamb dish decorated with strips of ginger.

On the first trip, a friend had the Raan-A-Sikandari (whole lamb shank marinated in spices) and it looked irresistible. I tried this myself on the second trip and it was sublime – the meat fell away from the bone and had a ‘melt in the mouth’ texture. The spices had an aniseed taste and I wonder if the chef had used star anise or tamarind.  I’m not sure how but I managed to eat a chocolate dessert too. I was expecting from the menu photo for it to be a hot dessert but when it arrived it turned out to be a cold dessert –  very moorish.

Lal Mass – highly tasty

Large and very tasty naan bread

Tandoori starter – a choice of different meats

Raan-A-Sikandari (unfortunately the photo is a bit blurred)

 By lovefoodpinny

Raan-A-Sikandari — “A royal dish of Nizam Hyderabad” formed the description of the lamb shank at the Kohi-Noor, and even though I never met Nizam-ul-Mulk, I can be fairly confident that he would be happy with what is prepared. The shank came to the table, dressed in a tin-foil plume. The sauce was really rich, fresh and spicy without being overpowering. The meat was really very soft and tender and fell off the bone. Even the marrow tasted good. The restaurant itself is pleasant and the service was good. The meal was a bit more expensive than we ordinarily pay but worth it.    By Botch Claypole

Lal Mass — Highly tasty and a very spicy lamb dish, which is what I was looking for.    By Tintenfisch

Chana MasalaNice enough.    By Blenchly

Sag Paneer & Mushroom Pilau riceEnjoyed this.    By James W.

Chocolate dessert


Eat Drink Bristol Fashion (25th April to 7th May) – Interview with Michelin Star Restaurant Chef Josh Eggleton

Lovefoodpinny recently interviewed the Chef Josh Eggleton about this exciting venture.

How did the idea/concept for the twelve days of dining in Bristol originate?  

The inspiration for Eat Drink Bristol Fashion came early last year following the first pop-up restaurant Luke Hasell (co-director of EDBF) put on as a joint venture. Luke has a farm nearby the pub and co-owns Tipi Events, the company that put up these Tipis for a range of events and I knew him as he supplies me with beef from one of his farm’s spin offs – The Story Organic Meat Group.

As Luke had the land and the tipis, we whacked one up overlooking Chew Valley Lake and thought it would be fun to serve my Sunday Lunches in this unique setting. We sold it as a “Secret Sunday Lunch” and gave people a destination to get to in the morning. We picked them up in a tractor and trailer, put a band on and wowed them with the whole concept. We served 400 that day and the whole thing spiralled from there!

The difference about this event is that it is restaurant led. We are aiming to celebrate some of the best independent restaurants and suppliers by bringing them to the centre. The idea of bringing in different restaurants to one place came from our popular “Evening with the Chefs” event that we’ve been running at the Pony for a few years now and sees 3 or 4 places team up to serve one menu. Above all else it’s diverse – you can have anything from a 6 course taster, a Sunday roast, or just a snack in our modern British tapas bar. Failing that, just come down for a cider and enjoy the surroundings!

Are any further events planned?

We always have a range of events and speciality evenings planned at the Pony & Trap while events is TipiEvents’ bread and butter! In terms of joint collaborations, we may look to do something  a bit more permanent in Bristol in the near future but it is early days on that one. We will almost certainly do something in the Chew Valley later in the summer though so watch this space – you can stay up to speed by signing up to the Pony & Trap mailing list at

Josh Eggleton

What do you feel Bristol offers as a ‘food city’?

As a food city it offers so much and that is what this whole event is about! We want to shout about all the good stuff that is going on here and let the national press know that there is life outside London.

Bristol is thriving with so much going on in the form of differing restaurants, festivals, pop-ups, food clubs, online communities and much much more. The rich multicultural fabric of our city is well represented in the food scene and I believe the South West is the best region in the country for produce. A great coastline and a whole host of organic farms makes it a great place to be working right now.

To improve it, I’d like to see more independent restaurants given a chance to shine in the centre of the city. The authorities have done so much good work in making the waterfront and centre a lovely place visually, but scratch beneath the surface and there is a dearth of thriving independents. We could do with giving them a leg up to move in to the city to give Bristolians more option than all you can eats.

Is there a particular meal you can recollect that changed your outlook on food and why? 

There is no one particular meal that changed my outlook – I just love food and love to cook. Some people have other hobbies and while I enjoy a load of different things, even  in my spare time I will go to a new restaurant or be reading a cooking book. Rightly or wrongly, food is not only my work and passion – but it’s there in my downtime too!!

On an evening where you could indulge yourself and cook any food of your choice what would you choose?

I rarely get the opportunity to cook for myself but when I do it’s something very simple. To be honest, when indulging my choice would be a nice big portion of fish and chips from the shop. My favourite meal without doubt. The only food I won’t eat is baked beans!

Lunchtime Bites – Rubicon cafe lounge (cafe and chocolatier)

26 Chandos Road, Redland, Bristol, BS6 6PF

Rubicon cafe lounge

A selection of chocolate treats

Rubicon is a fantastic cafe on Chandos Road in Redland. It’s clean and friendly but two things stand out about it: the food and the owner. The day I was there with my friend Kimi they were selling three kinds of cake by the slice, and yes we tried all three. They were all good but I would especially recommend the fridge cake to anyone who loves chocolate. I also had some chocolate truffles, which were superb, and a very tasty panini which came with the nicest salad I’ve had in ages (partly because I don’t have salad that often… but my point is that it was really good). They also carry James chocolates which I will have to try on my next visit.

The owner is awfully nice and he made us feel really welcome. I think I’d be a regular there if I lived closer.

There’s an excellent curry house next to it so the people of Chandos Road are really spoiled.

By Tim Kovacs

Easter biscuits

Lunchtime Bites – Summerhill Bakery, 97 Summerhill Road, St George, Bristol, BS5 8JT

Easter biscuits

Feta cheese with spinach bake

A few days ago whilst travelling to my vegetable patch, I was feeling slightly peckish (to say the least), I stopped by at this bakery for something to eat. There is a lot of choice and it was not an easy decision but in the end I plumped for the Easter biscuits and a feta with spinach bake. The Easter biscuits had a delicious cinnamon and sweet-spiced flavour so a good buy I thought. I’m not really sure where this tradition began but the ones made at this bakery are really lovely. I also tried the feta with spinach bake and thought that this was really tasty, a lot of filling that also included chunks of potato and pureed spinach.

This bakery is really popular with the locals and although it’s not a ‘trendy’ type of place, the choice of freshly baked food is great and the service is really friendly.

Fish ‘n’ chips

George’s Fish Bar, 183 High Street, Hanham, Bristol, BS15 3RD

Haddock and chips - Yum!

Haddock and chips bought from George’s – I actually think this place cooks the best fish ‘n’ chips in the South West with the exception of somewhere I remember serving fish ‘n’ chips in Cornwall. Took a photo as you can see but I think it doesn’t do the food at George’s justice. The fish batter is so, so tasty, the portions are large, freshly cooked and they take tremendous pride in the food they cook and serve. Each day they show the name of the boat from which the fish was caught. Delicious fish ‘n’ chips!

Lunchtime Bites – piri piri chicken to go

Portuguese Taste, St Nicholas Market, Bristol, BS1 1JQ

Piri piri chicken to go

I’m a newcomer to Portuguese food – I bought lunch from Portuguese Taste a few days ago. It’s been based at St Nicholas Market for several years now but to my shame I had never eaten here before and I was in for a treat as the food here does not disappoint. You’re given large portions that includes plenty of fresh vegetables. I tried the piri piri chicken served with rice which I found to be very tasty indeed – lots of tomato, onions, chicken, carrots, broccoli and peas. The piri piri is the African bird’s eye chili variety that has a kick to it.

The majority of dishes at Portuguese Taste are priced from £4.50 to £5.50 with the exception of soup dishes at £2.00/ £2.20. Other dishes they were serving include cod fillet with tomatoes served with rice and salad, a beef stew served with rice, chips and salad, meatballs served with rice, chips and salad, as well as pork and chickpeas served with rice.

You can eat within the food market or you can eat nearby in one of the City’s parks. I chose to eat with friends in the nearby Castle park.

Portuguese Taste

This place is worth a visit.

Lunchtime Bites – pick a pitta

Pick a Pitta, St Nicholas Market, Bristol, BS1 1JQ

Pick a Pitta

“You’re going to kill Falafel King”, said the bloke three places in front of me in the queue as the chap handed him his falafel. And certainly on a number of points this place has the edge over its regal rival. For many of us city-centre wage slaves, it’s a lot more conveniently located than the van by the harbourside, and  of course way more central than Cotham. It’s also better staffed than the Falafel King van – one person takes your order, another cooks and a third stuffs all the ingredients into a pitta – so you’ll get served a lot quicker than at the van. And if you really fall in love with the place, you can build up loyalty points – buy 10 and the 11th is free.

But kill Falafel King? I have to say I’m not so sure and the reason lies, oddly enough, in the sauce. You can choose any or all of: lemon and olive oil, chilli or tahini. I’ve had all three and, latterly, chilli and tahini only and in every case I found the sauces far too sweet and runny to the point that they dripped all over me. You might just about get away without sauce but I think falafel is the sort of meal that really calls for a bit of chilli and tahini, and if you get it wrong you can ruin the whole dish. At £3.95, Pick a Pitta is also 45p pricier.

The king may rest easy in his bed for a little while yet.

By Tintenfisch

Lunchtime Bites – sabich

Falafel King, Bristol, (Harbourside) BS1

Sabich served in a home-baked pitta – Delicious!

I had a sabich  for lunch yesterday from the food stand Falafel King located by the harbour in the  city-centre. This dish consists of fried aubergine and sliced hard-boiled eggs served with loads of tasty chopped red and white cabbage with a vinegarette and tahini sauce. It was served in a large home-baked pitta (you can choose from white or a wholemeal pitta). You can also add more tahini sauce as well as a sweet mango sauce or a spicy chilli sauce if you prefer. I opted for more tahini sauce and the sweet mango sauce. Cost £3.50 – really good value for money with such large-sized portions. They also do  a £4.50 version of all dishes where you’re given even more food for your bucks – incredible.

Sabich – a quarter eaten. Yum!

The food Falafel King serve is middle-eastern vegetarian and you’re given generous portions, including of course falafels. They also have a restaurant located at 6 Cotham Hill, Cotham Down, Bristol, BS6 6LF.

Worth a visit.

Check out the first review of Falafel King at

Lunchtime Bites – Caribbean wrap

 Caribbean Wrap, St Nicholas Market, Unit 33, Bristol, BS1 1JQ

Goat curry, rice and okra in tomato sauce

It was a nice surprise to find good Caribbean food in the market. The goat was juicy and tender and the sauce was tasty. I’ll be going back. Goes well with grapefruit Ting.

By Botch Claypole

A Review – Raj Mahal City Bristol

69 Clarence Road, Redcliffe, Bristol, BS1 6RP

I had a meal with friends at this restaurant a couple of days ago. The food was delicious and the service was excellent. We ordered poppadoms with a selection of pickles/chutneys as a starter (a lime pickle, a mango chutney, a chopped onion, tomato and coriander dish, and a sweet yogurt-based dish).  This was followed by a variety of main dishes.

Toby – had the chicken tikka jay special with roti. Simply stunning. It was so good I could go home without Kuaki and not feel disappointed (you’ll need to refer to a previous review of this restaurant on this blogsite regarding Kuaki).

Blenchly – had the lamb tikka jay special with roti. Verdict – same as him (Toby). It was good food.

Tintenfisch – had the Raj Mahal special chicken, with a garlic naan and pilau rice. Included a lot of onions. Very nice indeed.

Botch Claypole – had the Bahari lamb with a keema naan and pilau rice. A slap-up big hearty meal.

lovefoodpinny – had the chicken garlic chilli masala which was very spicy, with tomatoes and fresh green chillies with a garlic naan – delicious. In addition, I had two mango lassi drinks which were freshly made and lovely.

Check out the first review of dining out at Raj City Mahal at


Thai is best!

Lunchtime Bites – Fullers, Old Fish Market, 59-63 Baldwin Street, Bristol, BS1 1QZ

Set in what used to be a fish market, this Fullers pub includes a Thai restaurant serving delicious lunches and evening meals. I visited with a group of friends for lunch.

Tim – tried the Thai chicken green curry which was served with delicious basmati rice. All tasted freshly cooked and I was very happy with this meal;

Blenchly – tried the stir fried tofu with vegetables which was good, although wished I had picked something spicier.

Matt – tried the chicken, basil curry which was nice.

Botch Claypole – tried the sweet and sour chicken and was really unhappy with it as the sauce was tasteless, it was basically sugar and I didn’t like the chicken.

lovefoodpinny – tried the beef rendang which I thought was very tasty and spicy indeed. It was served with properly cooked rice and two vegetable spring  rolls with a sweet/sour dipping sauce. It all tasted freshly cooked – yum!;

All lunchtime Thai dishes are £6 which is good value and the Fullers beer including London Pride went down very well.

A Winter warmer

A flat hat Winter warmer - hearty and yum!

Lunchtime Bites – The Kings Head, 60 Victoria Street, Bristol, BS1 6DE
This is my favourite pub in central Bristol. The place is tiny and it’s in a time-warp. The staff are genuinely welcoming and the beer is good. I had a Winter Warmer (£5.45), which is a large Yorkshire pudding filled with beef mince in gravy, with mash topped with cheese. I had it with a pint of Doom Bar (£3.30 ono) and it filled me up. By Botch Claypole

I love this pub. It is a tiny, one-roomed affair, the rear being screened off with wood panels to form a cozy seating area that resembles a railway carriage. The decor throughout is warm and muted and, perhaps most importantly these days, it feels as though it hasn’t been changed in a very long time. Both staff and clientele combine to make the place feel welcoming so that once you’ve sat down you won’t want to get up again in a hurry.

The beer is, well, beer. There are a few Sharp’s ales on and I’ve grown quite partial to Doom Bar. I’m not in a position to say how well it is kept, but I find that a couple of pints will slip down quite easily.

Stilton Pig (sausage, mushroom, bacon and cheese in a baguette) - delicious!

The food is worthy of special mention, however. It is basic, filling, unpretentious and very reasonably-priced. £5 (give or take 50p) will buy you a good-sized roll filled with sausage, bacon and cheese, a choice of burgers, chilli-con-carne or the wonderful “flat hat” – a plate-sized Yorkshire pudding with your choice of filling. In keeping with the decor, this is not modern gastro-pub fare but for those of us looking for a decent pub meal that won’t break the bank, this is hardly a criticism. By Tintenfisch

A Flat hat Winter warmer

In my case I picked the ‘wrong’ dish as I had chill-con-carnie (cost of £5.55) which I was really disappointed with – the sauce tasted as if it was a shop bought bottled sauce, there was hardly any minced beef in this dish and it was served with microwaved rice. In contrast, I tried the flat hat Winter warmer, a large Yorkshire pudding into which there’s beef, gravy, mashed potato, topped with cheese. This was delicious and for which I’m going to make a visit back to this pub next Thursday. I think it’s worth eating this pubs’ own specialities such as the flat hat Winter warmer where you have a delicious, tasty and hearty meal rather than a chilli-con-carni which let’s face it you can buy anywhere. Worth a visit. In fact I’m planning on making a regular weekly Thursday trip to this city-centre pub that has wood panelling and reminds me of a lovely old train carriage. Great, and has a special warm and friendly atmosphere. By lovefoodpinny

Lunchtime Bites – The King William ale house, Bristol, BS1 4EF

A nice pint of beer

I came here for lunch a couple of days ago with friends. We ordered a fish pie, sausages with mashed potatoes, and a plate of chip wedges. With the exception of the chips which was an extra portion, the dishes cost £6.50 which was relatively expensive for the food.

The fish pie tasted nice but had hardly any fish, although on the good side there were lots of prawns and mashed potato. It was served with carrots and peas and it was a shame that these vegetables did not have any butter as they were dry. The sausages were not particularly nice as they tasted cheap and were gristly and were again served with carrots and peas that needed buttering. We were undecided as to whether the mashed potatoes were made from ‘real potatoes’ or from powdered potatoes. The chips were overcooked which was disappointing. The consensus was that this is a place for good beer.

Fish pie (unfortunately blurred photo)

Sausages, mashed potato with vegetables (unfortunately blurred photo)

Lunchtime Bites – Frome valley farm shop & cafe

Poplars Farm, Frampton Cotterell, Bristol, BS36 2AW
This is a gem of a cafe. Next to the farm shop which sells an array of local and organic produce from fresh vegetables and herbs to fresh meats, pies & quiches, bakery items, frozen fruits and organic beers and juices. The cafe serves food made from the same local & organic produce in a traditional country-style setting. In summer the veranda is a relaxing place to chill and get some rays. You can even watch the chickens and feed the pigs.
In less favourable weather, the inside is sweet & cosy. My favourite dish is the scrambled eggs. Always cooked to a slightly runny consistency, served in ample portion on a slice of toast and with a side helping of cooked cherry tomatoes on the vine. Simple but delicious. This time, it being the festive season, I treated myself to a side portion of bacon & a splash of brown sauce…mmmmmm…. They always have a range of home-made cakes and biscuits displayed on the gingham tablecloths to tempt you. We usually have to book as it is a popular venue and can get very busy with a bit of a queue to order but once you’re seated the food is served fresh & promptly always by a friendly face. A good place to escape to the country for an hour (or two) away from the office.
By Karen Cooper

Spicy goodness – Spice of India

Spice Of India, 13 Small Street, Bristol, BS1 1DE

I have been going to this Indian restaurant since I first came to Bristol back in 2000. It’s in the city-centre, tucked away on one of the back streets. Having moved away from Birmingham, the curry capital of the UK, I was very keen to find somewhere in Bristol which served great Indian food. Spice Of India does this and I’m so glad it’s there.

Spice Of India

A few days ago I came here for a meal with a group of friends and we had a variety of dishes. Here are the verdicts.

Samba Chicken — I really enjoyed this dish. I normally pick spicy dishes, yet I decided to opt for something far less spicy but coconut centred. Really tasty, I would have this dish again.   By lovefoodpinny

Chuka Sabji Dall — Culinary equivalent of a hot mud bath, thick and sloppy, pleasantly warming and comforting. It left me feeling satisfied yet a bit mucky.     By Toby

Chuka Sabji Dall — The old favourite.     By Blenchly

Lamb Dansak — Thick lentil sauce with good flavours and succulent chunks of lamb which fell apart. Not as hot as I had expected (it being in the Hot section of the menu) but the level of spice was just right. I find it’s better to be able to enjoy the flavours of a curry instead of numbing your taste buds. A very tasty dish that I would choose again. My only disappointment with this visit to Spice Of India was the service. Normally very friendly, our waiter seemed to be distracted & grumpy and cleared the plates before we’d all finished – something that irritates me!     By Karen

Kufta Bhuna — The best dish I’ve had in Spice of India!     By Matt

Balti Chicken — It was nice and meaty and a bit sweet. The bread was nice and so was the beer.     By Botch Claypole

Bahar Chicken — This was tasty!     By Tintenfisch

Spicy food enjoyed with friends

Lunchtime Bites – A sausage sandwich – The Bristol sausage shop, St Nicholas Market, Bristol, BS1

Lunchtimes can be tough times for lazy misers in Bristol. An overpackaged sandwich from one of the “express” supermarkets will set you back a couple of quid; go looking for a hot meal and you’ll be lucky to see change of a fiver.

There are notable exceptions, of course, and one of them is the Bristol Sausage Shop in St Nicholas Market. The stall’s main stock in trade is a variety of exotic sausages that you take home and cook yourself but at lunchtime the proprietor does a nice side-line in “sausage sandwiches” – two fat bangers in a baguette with onions, relish and mustard, and yours for £3.

The Bristol Sausage Shop

The choice, as you might expect, is not as wide as it is on the cold counter next door. On the two occasions I’ve been, I was offered the choice of lamb or pork-and-something (the “something” varied and, to my shame, I cannot now remember what it was in either case). The sausages are delicious, truly having a flavour of their own, and you’ll need a pretty hefty appetite if you’re still to feel hungry after chomping through that little lot.

A word of warning to those who like to eat on the hoof. I spent a happy fifteen minutes wandering aimlessly about Castle Park and stuffing my face, and it wasn’t until I’d finished that I noticed that the relish had been quietly dripping out of the end of the baguette and down the front of my shirt. If you have the misfortune of working with people who enjoy a laugh at your expense, you may find it better to remain seated while eating.

And the verdict? Well, healthy eating it ain’t and the hardened niggard may baulk at the thought of £3 for lunch but it’s a hot, tasty, filling meal, your pennies stay locally and, particularly in a city like Bristol, you can pay a great deal more for an awful lot less.

The Bristol Sausage Shop

By Tintenfisch

Photos by Botch Claypole

Lunchtime Bites – Falafel King, Bristol, BS1

Bristolians, especially those who frequent the centre, have long known where to get falafel (פלאפל), the middle-Eastern deep-fried chickpea balls. Falafel King is a food stand right by the harbour in the middle of town. The food consists of either falafel balls or boiled egg and aubergine (‘sabich’) and comes in pitta pouches. It tastes fresh and healthy and the portions are acceptable. They are great with special diets – all the food is vegetarian, and they will give information about their ingredients if asked.

Falafel King, Bristol, BS1

We visited early afternoon, sitting for a while by the overcast harbour as Tintenfisch gazed out mumbling “Call me Ishmael”, but they are open all day and until late in the night. The woman at the stall possesses a unique view of the world. Cost: £3.50. Better than Subway.

Verdict: “OK”.

By Botch Claypole

Check out a later review of Falafel King at

Two Day Coffee Roasters, 135 St Michaels Hill, Bristol, BS2 8BS

My friend Blenchly, who used to live in this area of Bristol, introduced me to this place. They sell ethically-traded speciality coffees (as coffee beans or ground coffee to take home, or to drink in the shop) and their name – Two Day Coffee Roasters – points to the fact that none of their coffees are kept for more than two days after roasting. They have a broad and ever-changing range of coffees available, many of which have been awarded ‘the Cup of Excellence’ mark, an award that is said to be the highest accolade that may be given to coffee.  The Cup of Excellence website (2011) states that it “is a strict competition that selects the very best coffee produced in that country for that particular year”.

A selection of coffee beans ready to take home

The owners, Petra and Frank, first came across a ‘coffee roaster’ selling freshly roasted coffee ten years ago in Japan, where they were living at the time. The owner did not speak English and this, as Petra told me, “made communication with him difficult, however they could immediately taste the difference of freshly roasted coffee”.

A chance to smell the coffee grains before hot water was added

As well as coffee, Two Day Coffee Roasters sell equipment and wares for you to enjoy your coffee and they have a mail order delivery service too. They also organise tastings of coffees, and a couple of days ago I visited for a tasting.

Petra and Frank selected six different coffees, giving a range of taste, for me to try. First of all, we went through smelling what Petra called the “fragrance” of each of the freshly-ground coffee beans. She then added hot water, creating a froth and “locking-in an aroma”. Petra showed me the act of breaking the seal with a spoon to release the aroma and how, by breathing in deeply, you can gain an insight into the coffee. We then tasted the coffee by spreading the spoon across the coffee, slurping from it immediately to make sure the coffee spread quickly around the mouth. As the coffee grains remain in the cup, the coffee is constantly ‘extracting’ so that if you leave it for more than three or four minutes it can become ‘over-extracted’ and bitter. There is, in fact, a “golden period” during which the flavour will be at its best, although this depends on the amount of coffee and water used. I had never tasted coffee in this way before and it gave me a whole new outlook.

Petra smelling and tasting the coffees

The coffees I sampled were (with tasting notes):

Musasa (from Rwanda) — raisin, sundried tomatoes and chocolate.

Abakundakawa Rusashi (from Rwanda; this coffee has a ‘cup of Excellence mark’) — a well-rounded, jasmine tasting, medium-dark roasted coffee.

Gethumbwini Peaberry (from Kenya) — a fruity, vibrant, sharp yet smooth coffee, with a slight blackcurrant tang.

El Borbollon (from El Salvador) — my favourite in this tasting! A mellow, smooth, dark-roasted coffee.

Finca San Francisco Tecuamburro (from Guatemala) — a fruity, easy-drinking, medium-roasted, microlot coffee. Microlot means that it is growing in a particular part of the plantation and it is therefore processed differently. In the case of this specific coffee it is growing at the highest point of the plantation.

Fazenda Rodomunho (from Brazil) — a nutty, biscuity, well-rounded flavour. A medium-dark roasted coffee.

The coffee roaster

Petra advised me that coffee loses a lot of its flavour after seven days, so it is worth buying in small amounts, and for a fresh taste it is worth grinding the coffee beans just before you want to drink the coffee.

Unroasted coffee beans

Unroasted coffee beans

From the tasting, I found that I prefer darker roasted coffees, although one can of course develop a wider taste by regularly sampling other varieties.

Interestingly, Petra pointed out that the darker the roast, the less complex the taste of the coffee, is likely to be. They can even create a blend of coffee specifically for your own taste.

Two Day Coffee Roasters is well-worth a visit. It will change your perspective on drinking coffee for the better!

Reference: The Cup Of Excellence website (2011) [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 14th September 2011].

“Yummy yum yum” – the Barley Mow Bristol

39 Barton Road, The Dings, Bristol, BS2 0LF

Last Friday I met with a group of friends at this pub that has the tagline, “real beer, real pub”. The Barley Mow Bristol has over recent years had a resurgence as it is located in an area of re-development and new housing from what was mainly an area of  non-residential, work buildings. It is owned by the Bristol Beer Factory, an independent brewery that use locally grown malt and hops to produce their beer.

The pub menu board caught my eye with the title “yummy yum yum” for the ‘special baguette’ of the day, containing “top rump steak” and garlic mushrooms served with horseradish sauce, salad with a cream vinaigrette and chips. Our group ordered this and the Minty, Heidi and Moo Pieminster pies. We agreed the service was great and that the food was “yummy yum yum”. The Minty pie has lamb, carrot, swede, rose wine and mint; the Heidi pie has goat’s cheese, butternut squash, spinach and red onion; the Moo pie has steak, ale and vegetables. The pies are made by the Bristol-based company Pieminster and were cooked and presented well at the Barley Mow on a base of delicious creamy mashed potato with peas and a tasty mouth-watering, dark and rich onion and meat gravy.

I tried the No 7. traditional bitter which has a tasty rich toffee taste and the Ashton Press cider, a golden coloured medium-dry cider that was delicious and is made locally from the Long Ashton Cider Company.

The Barley Mow website states that, “it is a real community pub, offering great locally brewed ales, home-cooked pub food, a courtyard garden and a real fire” and I agree.

A real treat – the Barley Mow Bristol is well worth a visit.

A Minty Pieminster pie served on creamy mashed potato, peas and a rich onion and meat gravy

A baguette of "top rump steak" and garlic mushrooms served with horseradish sauce, salad with a cream vinaigrette and chunky chips

Wanted to show the tasty chips (unfortunately, the photo's a bit blurred)

Well worth a visit

A Review – Raj Mahal City, 69 Clarence Road, Redcliffe, Bristol, BS1 6RP

Two nights ago I came here for a meal with a group of friends. We all agreed that the indian food here is delicious! I had a Bahari lamb from the ‘chef’s specialities’ which had a melt in the mouth texture that suggested slow-cooking. No one in our group of ten was disappointed and the service was excellent. Several of us ordered dessert. One item in particular caught the eye  —  Kuaky, a cute plastic duck containing chocolate ice-cream. The waiter told us that their other branch on Frome Valley Road, Bristol, BS16 has another dessert, Punky penguin, much to the delight of two penguin fanatics in our group.

This place is well worth a visit.

(Please note, a more recent review of this restaurant can be found on this blogsite posted on the 21st February 2012 – it is also viewable from the following link)