Mowgli in Bristol

I headed out for a walk at lunchtime and went to see the new Mowgli restaurant on Corn Street.

I had first noticed the Mowgli chain when I was looking around the refurbished  Birmingham New Street railway station. What intrigued me, more than the menu, was the swing seats they had.

Mowgli sells Indian street food, and has a nice sounding menu. It looked interesting inside. One day I might give it a visit.

Duck Takoyaki in my Bento Box

If you are a regular visitor to the blog then you will know I am a fan of the bento box from She Sells Sushi, one of the regular stalls at Finzel Reach (and Temple Quay) street food markets.

On a recent visit to Finzel Reach, it was raining, so the queues were shorter, so I didn’t have to wait too long for a bento box for my lunch. This time in my bento box I went with the beef donburi and some duck Takoyaki.

The beef donburi was slow cooked teriyaki beef rib on a bed of rice, topped with crispy onions and pickles.

I have had this dish many times, and it was delicious. The beef is cooked until it is tender. It is served on a bed of rice, and the pickles and crispy onions enhance the dish.

Usually in my bento box, I have the hirata bao bun. Having had that last time, this time I decided I would go for the Takoyaki dumplings. She Sells Sushi offer a choice between octopus and duck, I went with duck. It had been a while since I last had them in my bento box. I had enjoyed them then, so was looking forward to having them again. I was tempted by the XL Bento Box, in which you can add a third dish. I did think about getting a hirata bun alongside the beef and the Takoyaki. However I wasn’t overtly hungry, so I went with the standard bento box.

The Takoyaki were very nice. Nicely presented with sauces drizzled over them and garnished with seaweed and bento flakes.

I really enjoyed my bento box, and it was nice to have a change from my usual bento box.

She Sells Sushi, and a really nice bento box

demolished hotel

Bristol had a great street food scene. There are markets every day of the week, most days there are at least two. Across in Whapping Wharf there are cargo containers with some great food places.

I was working in Bristol one Friday and at lunchtime I went out for a walk.  I went to the Finzel Reach street food market, saw what was there, and then walked up to the St Nicholas market. I walked back to the Finzel Reach street food market and bought a bento box from She Sells Sushi. I had my usual beef donburi and the crispy chicken hirata bun. I had to wait a while, as there was a bit of queue, which isn’t too surprising, as the food is excellent from She Sells Sushi.

I sometimes think I should have something different. I have had the crispy tofu katsu curry before, which is tasty, but I prefer the beef donburi. 

The beef was tender and had an intense flavour. I liked the pickle and the crispy fried onions. The rice was sticky and worked well with the beef.

I did think about having the Takoyaki , but in the end I defaulted to the excellent crispy chicken hirata bun.

I had two strips of crispy, well more crunchy, chicken. These were in a charcoal hirata bao bun with some mixed leaves. 

This was a delicious bento box. They also do an XL version of the box in which you can have three choices. I did have this once, I had the beef donburi, the katsu tofu puffs, and a chicken hirata Bun. It was rather filling, I decided that I probably wouldn’t have the XL size again. Well I might, but I don’t think I would have the donburi and the katsu with something else. I would probably have the donburi with a hirata bun and the Takoyaki. Lots of variety, but not so filling as having two rice heavy dishes.

Half and Half

One memory I have of my time at the University of York in the 1980s was going out to eat at Pizza Hut one time and sharing a pizza with a friend and having a half and half. One half had one topping, the other half had a different topping. This was something I had never done before. I am not saying I’ve done it much since then either. Why the memory, well I recently had a half and half pizza at Zizzi in Bristol. This one though I ate all to myself.

I don’t generally go out for lunch in Bristol when I am working there. Usually I will take a packed lunch, sometimes I have a substantial lunch, as I know I am in busy in the evening and will only be getting a sandwich or a snack.

Went to Zizzi for lunch as I had a gift voucher to use. I did fancy a pizza so I went with the half and half. I chose the Rustica Half & Half Sticky Pig.

This was a slow-cooked pulled pork and mozzarella pizza with Roquito hot honey. One half, a rich red base topped with spicy ‘nduja, finished with crispy prosciutto and riserva cheese. The other, a white base, with smoky scamorza cheese, crumbled meatballs, crackling & Roquito pearls.

The halves weren’t exactly equal, so I am glad I wasn’t sharing. The rich red base was bigger than the white base. I would have preferred to have it the other way around, or at least equal halves.

The red side was very tasty, quite spicy with the ‘nduja. I keep meaning to buy some ‘nduja and cook with it. Not sure what I would cook with it, but when I have it in food I have out, I quite like it.

The white side was equally tasty. I enjoyed the smoky scamorza cheese and crumbled meatballs. I did wonder if the crackling would be too hard, but it wasn’t, it was nice and crispy rather than crunchy. I am not a great fan of the Roquito pearls, but they added colour and some spice to the pizza.

I enjoyed my pizza. It was a nice place to have lunch, not too busy, but not so empty as to be desolate. Service was friendly and efficient.

£1 Flat White

As my phone contract is with Three, they have an app, Three+, that provides rewards and money off. One of their weekly offers is get a drink from Caffè Nero for £1.

I try and use it most weeks, but sometimes either I am not in the mood for a coffee, sometimes I am nowhere near a Caffè Nero (like when I am at the motorway services) or as happened recently at Paddington, there was a really long queue and I don’t want to miss my train.

I have visited the Caffè Nero on Corn Street in Bristol a fair few times and have had some great coffee.

This was the flat white I got on my most recent visit there.

This wasn’t the best looking flat white I’ve had from Caffè Nero. However it was a really nice coffee.

I generally don’t do sandwiches…

I may have mentioned before that I generally don’t do sandwiches. 

I was working in Bristol in early January, and thinking about lunch. I had the intention of visiting Finzel Reach street food market. However, as I walked the long way there I saw that the queue for Sandwich Sandwich was almost non-existent.

I was tempted, though first I checked out St Nicks and Finzel Reach first. I then returned to Sandwich Sandwich and looked over the menu.

I decided I would have the rare roast beef sandwich, along with a scotch egg.

I was asked what I wanted and ordered my food. They have a range of sandwiches and I went with the beef sandwich. On granary bread I had  overnight roasted sirloin of beef, red onion, tomato, and horseradish mayo. I believe you can add extra fillings (or take some away).

I have read many reviews of the sandwiches from Sandwich Sandwich and one thing that many have said is the size of the fillings. Even so I was still surprised by how much filling I had in my sandwich.

I’ll be honest I had to eat it with a knife and fork. There was so much beef that it did in many ways overpower the rest of the sandwich. I felt the bread just disappeared into the beef. The beef was tasty, and I enjoyed the salad and mayo.

Alongside I went with one of their scotch eggs. It looked great, had a runny yolk, but I wasn’t totally enamoured with the surrounding pork sausagemeat. I did have quite high expectations about the scotch egg, so it was probably very nice, I was just expecting something outstanding.

Overall it was an interesting sandwich experience. I can understand the popularity of the place, and I might go again, but only if there was a short queue.

Calamari and Fries

I was in Bristol and on my lunchtime walk I headed off to the Finzel Reach street food market. There were lots of stalls to choose from, I got a portion of calamari from King Fin along with some rosemary fries. The calamari (as usual) was cooked fresh to order.

calamari

This was a lovely generous portion of calamari. The batter was nice and crispy, but not too thick to overpower the squid. It was cooked just right, as well as light batter, the squid was nice and tender. The fries were tasty as well.

Last time I said “Must remember next time to ask for less salt though.”  This time I did remember to ask for less salt, they did say that the batter for the calamari has salt in, but it was only the extra salt I wanted to avoid. I was pleased I did, as the calamari was well seasoned and didn’t really need extra salt.

I enjoyed my food and would certainly get it again in the future.

Open Turkey Sandwich

Portwall Tavern

A few weeks ago I had a delicious open sandwich from the Portwall Tavern.

This was a substantial open sandwich. There was a slice of ciabatta with salad and a good sized portion of the slow cooked (pulled) lamb. The lamb was garnished with some mint yoghurt.

When it comes to lunch, I generally don’t do sandwiches. I understand why people like eating sandwiches. I actually do like eating sandwiches, when I say I don’t do sandwiches, what I really mean is that I am not a fan of retail sandwich packs. 

The sandwich I had at Portwall Tavern was so much more than a sandwich. So it wasn’t much surprise when deciding what to have for lunch, I headed back to Portwall Tavern.

Having had the lamb, I chose to have the second sandwich on the menu, which was described as slow cooked turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets, roasted potatoes, cranberry sauce and a jug of gravy.

I didn’t get the roasted potatoes or the jug of gravy. I did though get potato wedges and the whole dish was covered in gravy.

This was a nice piece of turkey and I liked the pigs in blankets. The gravy obviously made the bread soggy. I think it needed some greenery, some sprouts perhaps, or some coleslaw. Despite that I enjoyed the sandwich and generally I don’t do sandwiches.

Time for a rustica pizza

I was out in Bristol thinking about something for lunch. I had a voucher for free main course at Zizzi, so I headed over to their branch in Cabot Circus to get something for lunch. I  haven’t been to Zizzi for a while, so it was nice to look over the menu. There were some nice choices, but in the end I went with the  Rustica Pizza with Black Truffle Salami & Mushroom.

This was a white base with truffle salami, mushrooms, crispy prosciutto, Bufala mozzarella, riserva cheese, truffle-infused oil and crispy sage.

I do like a white base pizza, and this was a nice pizza, with generous toppings, but not over the top toppings. The fresh mozzarella was a nice touch. I liked the rustica base which was crisp. This was a nice pizza and I am glad I chose it from the menu.

Alongside I had the Courgetti Fritti which were crispy courgette chips.

These were interesting and I enjoyed them.

Came to pay the bill and there was an issue with the staff saying I could only have used the offer with the purchase of two main courses, it didn’t say that in the T&Cs, so in the end they did accept the voucher. 

Apart from the voucher issue, the service was excellent.

Calamari

I fancied a snack and the Temple Quay market was running in Bristol, so headed down to see what was on offer.

I got a portion of calamari from King Fin. They (as usual) were cooked fresh to order.

This was a lovely generous portion of calamari. The batter was nice and crispy, but not too thick to overpower the squid. It was cooked just right, as well as light batter, the squid was nice and tender. Sometimes when I have squid it can be overcooked, so the batter is more crunchy than crispy, and the squid can be somewhat chewy. This squid though was cooked really nicely. Must remember next time to ask for less salt though.