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Restaurant review: The Cauldron

Saturday 7 May 2016

The Cauldron Restaurant, on Mina Road in the heart of St Werburghs, opened to the public tonight as part of the Bristol Food Connections Festival. Their ethos is to buy locally when possible and cater for vegans, vegetarians, meat eaters and lovers of fish.

Henry Eldon and Lauren Nash acquired a 10-year lease for the property and have been working for months on revamping it into the stylish space it now is. A bucolic scene by local Slovakian street artist, Zase, covers one wall. The dining is partly communal at large tables decorated by night-lights and little pots of cacti. The music was sort of soulful ambient. At the far end of the room cooking is done by charcoal burning in an open pit and Victorian cast iron stove, along with a genuine wood fired oven and the central 60ltr Cauldron. There is space for 40 covers, with an additional 10 outside (perfect on a warm night like tonight, except for the proximity of bins from nearby shops.) There is still time to join the crowd funding set up for the project on: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-cauldron-restaurant

They provided a 3-course Connections menu, designed by Head Chef Henry. Fresh water was provided, a complimentary glass of Prosecco for the special event and some spicy poppadoms. We each had a glass of the very smooth Carignan Le Rouleur red wine and welcomed an Amuse-bouche of dressed Hereford asparagus with local Purple Patch sorrel.

The next course, of Hake with Chana Masala, homemade yoghurt and Sorrel was really tasty, as was the main, consisting of a rich belly pork dish braised in Wiper & True Pink Peppercorn with nicely textured Nomad Rice & greens.

Dessert came in the form of an unusual, but enjoyable, deep-fried custard with a rather minimal amount of spiced Rhubarb. The Americano coffees (in no handle pottery mugs) rounded off the meal.

Service was friendly and timely, if a little nervous at the start. The restaurant opens for real on Tuesday 10th May and service will be split into a modern brunch 8am-4pm and a la carte evening from 5pm-10pm. Judging by the interest that it seemed to be generating amongst passers-by, it looks like being a popular addition to St Werburghs’ attractions.

 

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