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.

http://www.kohinoorofbristol.co.uk/

Chocolate dessert

Finito


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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!

www.eatdrinkbristolfashion.co.uk

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 www.theponyandtrap.co.uk

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!

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.

http://rajmahalbristol.co.uk

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

https://lovefoodpinny.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/a-review-raj-mahal-city-clarence-road-redcliffe-bristol-bs1/

 

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

A Review – Brauhaus Lemke, Luisenplatz 1, Charlottenburg, 10585 Berlin

  • 13th and 14th August 2011 (part 11 (final part) of the Berlin Posts)

This is a microbrewery in Berlin that has been running since 1999. It has two branches, this one in Charlottenburg and the other at Hackescher Markt.

At my first visit I tried the Lemke Original beer which is a dark beer that has a malty aroma and a delicious chocolatey end taste. I thought it was lighter than most dark beers. I also tried their Hefeweizen beer, orange in colour and which they promote as being fruity and tangy. I agree it is and it is tasty. With this beer I ate brezel, a delicious freshly baked knot-shaped bread.

From the menu, I tried the zwei Berliner Bouletten fennel, dazu Bauernbrot und Landbutter which is a Berlin speciality of meatballs served with bread and butter. This was so tasty, the meatballs needing no accompanying mustard. There was a bit of paprika in the meatballs, and fennel giving a fresh and aniseed taste and making them aromatic. They also had onion adding moistness. These were very tasty indeed. They were served with a good salad of red, green and yellow peppers, tomato, sweetcorn, frisee lettuce, cucumber, finely chopped red cabbage with a lovely vinaigrette. With this I tried the Lemke Saisonbier which was cloudy, orange, hoppy and fruity. I was given a small dish of barley as a bar snack which I had never tried before to go with the Saisonbier. Interestingly, the barley at first, tasted chalky but then seemed to highlight the taste of the Saisonbier – very nice. Another of their beers is the Lemke Pilsner goldbland which I also tried. It’s a cloudy pilsner full on flavour. The Brauhaus Lemke tagline is, “Eine Frage der Aehre” written on their menu with an illustration of barley. It translates as “a question of ears”, referring to the ears of barley.

At my follow-up visit, I tried the Brauhaus Grillhaxe mit Bratkartoffel, sauerkraut which was a pork knuckle (cooked on-the-bone) served with fried potatoes and sauerkraut. The pork was very tender, very tasty. I also tried the steak mit gorgonzolasoße auf Blattspinat, dazu kroketten und salat which was pork steak with gorgonzola sauce, served with spinach, potato croquettes und salad. This was my favourite meal on the entire trip to Berlin. It was simply bliss. The pork steak was tender and full of flavour, the gorgonzola sauce was delicious, the spinach was not overcooked and was full of flavour and the potato croquettes had a lovely earthy taste.

I have just looked at the Christmas menu on the Brauhaus Lemke website – oh, how I wish I lived in Berlin.

www.brauhaus-lemke.com

Brezel, a freshly baked knot shaped bread

Lemke Saisonbier and a dish of barley

Brauhaus Grillhaxe mit Bratkartoffel und sauerkraut

Steak mit gorgonzolasoße auf Blattspinat, dazu kroketten und salat

A Review – Berlins Klassisches, MeinekestraBe 25 (off Kurfurstendamm), 10719 Berlin

  • 12th August 2011 (part 10 – Berlin Posts)

This is a welcoming restaurant/bar where the service was excellent. Here I tried the Weizenbier kristall, a light coloured well-rounded wheat beer and Paulaner Hefe Weissbier, a refreshing cloudy wheatbeer from Bavaria. Both great tasting drinks.

Unfortunately, no website could be found for this place.

A Review – Vietnam Restaurant, Georgen Straße 25 (across the road from the Friedrichstraße U-bahn station), 10117 Berlin

  • 12th August 2011 (part 9 of the Berlin Posts)

Vietnamese  food is my personal favourite. I came here around three years ago and was really pleased with the food, and so I felt it would be worth making a visit. I tried two dishes and found unfortunately that both were consistently bad. I was really unhappy with the food. It was my birthday and I was looking forward to a nice meal – I was very disappointed. From the photos below, the two dishes do not look in anyway particularly bad. However, I tried the fried red perch fillet with mixed vegetables with a tamarind sauce that was listed on the menu as being spicy and found that the coating to the fried red perch fillet was so brittle that I had to stab at it with my knife in a very gruesome way, the tamarind sauce was bland and the vegetables were tasteless and possibly old. The other dish I tried was the grilled chicken with lemongrass and chilli delivered at the table attractively sizzling away on a hot pan. This dish which was also listed on the menu as being spicy, I found it to be tasteless and bland. The consistency of the sauce was as though lots of monosodium glutamate had been added and reminded me of those awful bottled sauces found in supermarkets that contain no fresh ingredients. Similarly, the vegetables were tasteless. Overall, both dishes lacked flavour and freshness.

A consistently bad and disappointing meal. No website could be found for this restaurant.

Consistently bad - fried red perch fillet with mixed vegetables with a tamarind sauce

Consistently bad - grilled chicken with lemongrass and chilli

A Review – KaDeWe Berlin, Kaufhaus des Westens, Tauentzienstraße 21-24, D-10789 Berlin

  • 12th August 2011 (part 8 of the Berlin Posts)

According to their website (2011) this store was opened in March 1907. On my visit, I found it has a nice selection of chocolate, a gourmet floor on the sixth floor currently with an international delicatessen, four champagne bars as well as several gourmet bars such as the chocolate bar, Le Buffet and the Leysieffer Café.

This is really worth visiting.

www.kadewe.de

The KaDeWe store

 

Fruits at the KaDeWe

 

Selection of eggs at the KaDeWe

Reference: KaDeWe Berlin website (2011) [Online]. Available from: http://www.kadewe.de/de/das_kadewe/unser_haus_historie/[Accessed 23rd August 2011].

A Review – Dicke Wirtin (fat landlady), Carmerstraße 9, Savigny-Platz, 10623 Berlin

  • 10th August 2011 (part 7 of the Berlin Posts)

This bar is nearby one of the universities in the city and is reputed to have been a regular meeting place during the late 1960s student riots in Berlin. There are several rooms and it is a popular place with both locals and students. At the rear of the bar, a mannequin stands wearing a police/military uniform.

They do snack-type meals here. I tried the Berliner Kindl Pilsner beer which I found to be a well-rounded and a slightly tart brew – very nice indeed.

This interesting and friendly place is worth visiting.

www.dicke-wirtin.de

The Fat Landlady

 

Berliner Kindl beer

A Review – Akropolis, Wielandstraeß 38, Charlottenburg, 10629 Berlin

  • 9th August 2011 (part 6 of the Berlin Posts)

This Greek restaurant has been here for over eight years. I try and make a visit every time I come to Berlin as the food is extremely tasty, the place appears frequented by a lot of people who live locally and as the owner has a habit of giving free ouzo at the end of meals. I tried the Gyros skerdatos with garlic which was delicious – a selection of meat cooked over a grill giving it a lovely smokey taste. Also, I tried the moussaka with a garnish of feta cheese. This moussaka is outstanding – it has an airy mousse-like layer of egg/cheese to it that I have never been able to recreate. Found the beer Haake Beck Pilsner from Bremen, Germany which I had never tried before has a refreshing taste with a nice pungent aroma.

Unfortunately, no website could be found for this restaurant.

Moussaka

A Review – Brauhaus Spandau, Neuendorfer Straße 1, Spandau, 13585 Berlin

  • 10th and 13th August 2011 (part 5 of the Berlin Posts)

This is a microbrewery and a hotel that I found makes both delicious food and beer. It has two indoor levels with adjacent rooms where you can eat as well as a large beer garden. Whereas breweries tend to do seasonal beers, here they produce some additional varieties of beer for specific months. On my first visit, I tried their Havelbrau, an unfiltered and cloudy, fruity, golden beer that lacks the sharpness of a pilsner and which I found to be very smooth. I could drink a lot of this. Foodwise,I tried a Brezel which is a freshly baked knot shaped bread as a snack that has some salt to the coating. It was delicious.

At the follow-up visit I tried one of the ‘chef’s choice’ the Schweineruckensteak vom Grill mit portion Pfifferlinge und bratkottofeln which is grilled pork steak served with fried potatoes as well as chanterelle mushrooms which are in their growing season right now. This dish was delicious, although the chanterelles topped with parsley were cooked with finely chopped pork, whereas I would have preferred and cooked them without the pork to be able to enjoy their own flavour. Saying that though the stocky texture of chanterelle mushrooms make them great to serve alongside meat.

Also, I tried the Knusprige schweinshaxe mit sauerkraut und hausbrot which is a crispy knuckle of pork on-the-bone roasted served with sauerkraut and home-made bread. This was very tasty, the pork skin being so crispy and yet the inner meat was so tender and the dark bread was very malty. The sauerkraut had fennel which gave a fresh aromatic aniseed taste. Also, I tried the Weizenbier (hefetrub vom fass) a golden cloudy wheatbeer tasting yeasty with vanilla and banana notes which I liked a lot. I managed to also eat a chocolate, mango ice cream dessert made by FloridaEis.de which I was really impressed with. It tasted moorish and very gelatinous in texture which is lovely so a big thumbs up for this ice cream.

You will miss out, by not eating and drinking here.

www.brauhaus-spandau.de

Schweineruckensteak vom Grill mit portion Pfifferlinge und bratkottofeln

Knusprige schweinshaxe mit sauerkraut und hausbrot

A Review – Brauhaus Mitte, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 13, 10178 Berlin

  • 9th and 11th August 2011 (part 4 of the Berlin Posts)

This is one of Berlin’s microbreweries and is located in what was the East before the removal of the Berlin wall. The building looks like a fast-food burger joint – it was built in the concrete period of the 1960s/70s, and although there is an outside area to sit at the front of the building, the inside of this brewery hall that has several adjoining rooms is inside a shopping centre. Do not let this appearance prevent you from visiting as you will miss a place that makes excellent food and beer. The staff here, take pride in the food and beer they produce. At my first visit, I tried the Brauhaus Saisonbier which is the beer of the season. This was a nice smooth fruity beer. Also, I tried the Brauhaus Pilsner that has a golden colour and is very hoppy to taste. With these I ate Brezel a freshly baked knot shaped snack which was still warm from the oven and very tasty.

At the follow-up visit, I tried the Bavarian speciality Brauhaus Schweinhaxe mit Stampfkertoffeln und sauerkraut which is a roasted pork joint served with mashed potato and sauerkraut (finely shredded pickled cabbage). This Schweinhaxe was the tastiest tried on this trip with such an amazing crackling to it. The sauerkraut had crushed juniper berries which added a whole new dimension, a fragrance and taste all of it’s own – a good tip, adding crushed juniper berries to cabbage. I have done this with red cabbage, shredding the cabbage, pickling it overnight with the crushed juniper berries, red wine, brown sugar, cinnamon and red wine vinegar before cooking it.

Also, I tried the Bierkutschersteak schweinenackensteak mit schinken, tomaten und mit kase uberbacken, dazu bractokartoffeln und salat which is a pork steak cooked in beer topped with melted cheese, a layer of ham and sliced tomatoes, served with fried potatoes and salad. This was very tasty, the beer adding a delicious flavour and I noted the salad was also good – it had so much to it, not just the usual salad items you would expect in Britain but also chopped green and yellow peppers with a tangy tasty dressing.

I also enjoyed the Brauhaus Hefeweizen Hell beer. ‘Hell’ meaning unfiltered, the orangish beer was cloudy and had a delicious flowery, fruity yet tangy taste.

Definitely, worth a visit.

www.brauhaus-mitte.de

A Review – Sophie’n eck, Große Hamburger Straße 37, 10115 Berlin

  • 8th August 2011 (part 3 of the Berlin Posts)

This lovely restaurant/bar is located on a quiet corner street and has an impressive outside facade and vintage-style wall hangings to the inside. It is in what was the Jewish quarter. This is a bohemian, trendy area with lots of individual one-off shops. Although it has no beer garden, it does have an outside area along the front of the building to the footpath where you can drink and watch the world go by. Had refreshing Berliner Pilsner and Berliner Weiss beer.

www.sophieneck-berlin.de

Berliner Pilsner

A Review – Introduction – a snapshot of eating and drinking in Berlin

Just over a week ago, I visited Berlin. I really love this city, I think it is probably my favourite. This visit was my eighth visit, the first being back in 2002. Without meaning to sound cliched, Berlin has a buzz all of its own that I have never encountered in any other place. I remember a student friend, who had spent several months working there, looking straight at me quite seriously and saying she thought I would love berlin. At the time, I never really understood why she thought this. Now I understand.

I would have loved to have written a post every day or two during this visit but this never happened. For one thing, I was having too much fun but on a more practical note, it seems that places where you can use the internet are getting very difficult to find. By the time I did find somewhere, it was half-way through the week  – how times have changed since the last time I visited this city three years ago. Of course, writing  a blog from a mobile phone is entirely impractical.

You can only visit a few places in a week so the ‘Berlin posts’ are really a snapshot of eating and drinking in Berlin. For a sense of completeness, as well as being totally greedy, I tried to make two visits to each venue – one to try drinks and one to try drinks and  meals. I took photos of all the food dishes but unfortunately, only a few of them are worth including.

The Oberbaumbruecke across the river Spree

The Fernsehturm built in the 1960s

Change to Potsdamer Platz since the removal of the Berlin wall

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.

http://rajmahalbristol.co.uk

(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)

https://lovefoodpinny.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/raj-mahal-city-bristol/