My time at the Ginger Pig Kitchen

I was once asked where I go to eat out in Weston-super-Mare and I recognised that most times I go out to eat are in other places. When eating locally, as a family, we usually end up in Bristol, as part of doing something else. It doesn’t help that quite a few places that we use to frequent have closed down.

So it was a nice to go out to eat at a local bistro in Weston-super-Mare. I and others visited the Ginger Pig Kitchen recently (as in January) for a “Christmas” dinner.

“At the Ginger Pig Kitchen we’re proud to be serving Modern British bistro food, made from fresh, with passion, using local suppliers and produce. We trust that with every visit you make you will get great service in a great environment.”

The environment is certainly interesting with pipework and wooden tables and what felt liked random chairs.

The menu looked inspiring and interesting, and it was quite difficult to make a choice, but as this was a booked meal I had to make my choice the week before! I also prefer not to do this, as what I felt like eating last week, may not be what I feel like eating now. However I did think I made the right choices.

For my starter I had the Cauliflower Bhaji, which was served with mango yoghurt chilli jam and crispy onion.

I got two bhaji, made from onion and cauliflower. They were crunchy and crisp outside and soft inside. I couldn’t really taste the cauliflower, but they were nice and spicy. I liked the crispy onion, but I do feel that it needed more yoghurt. Overall I did enjoy the bhaji and they were really tasty.

We then had a watermelon gazpacho in a spoon, which was quite nice and zingy. 

Forgot to take photograph of the spoon before drinking the soup.

My main course was I think the house speciality, which was Woodbarn Farm pork belly. It was served with a GPK black pudding bon bon, mashed potato and a braised carrot. On the plate was also a scattering of green leaves, crispy onions and something else.

It was quite a small piece of pork belly, but was well cooked. The cracking was crisp and crunchy, but wasn’t going to be teeth breaking. The pork was tender and tasty.

The GPK bon bon was nice and meaty, I think it could have had a deeper flavour. I did like the use of crackling as the bon bon stick. The mashed potato was nice and creamy, but I would liked to have had a gravy with a deeper flavour, the same could be said for the braised carrot. 

On the plate was also a scattering of green leaves, crispy onions and something else. I am not sure what this was and what it added to the dish. It did add texture, but I was a little underwhelmed by this addition to the dish. Overall I did enjoy this plate of food and it was delicious.

I had a choice of desserts, in the end I went with the cheese and biscuits. I had three pieces of cheese, crackers, chutney, fruit, and celery.

I did not eat the celery. Overall it was okay, nice cheese and nice accompaniments.

It certainly was a popular establishment and was full all evening. Took a photo of the restaurant (at the top of this post) as we were leaving and was now nearly empty, but that’s because it was late. The service was excellent, warm and friendly. I really enjoyed the food, it was delicious and it is certainly a place I would visit again.

Cheese Games

Met up with some friends at The Stable Game Room for a coffee and a bite to eat (oh and to play a game).

The Stable Game Room has many board games you can play, as well as serving food, alcoholic drinks and coffee.

I had an espresso, which was a little harsh to be honest, so much so I had to add sugar and I generally never do that to coffee. However when I was in Italy in the 1990s I would see quite a few Italians do that, so still felt I was being honest with myself.

I wasn’t that hungry, so I had the Cheese Deli Board, expecting to share it with the table.

The board was quite plentiful with cheddar, red Leicester, stilton and brie. Alongside was apples, grapes, pickle, pickled onions and cornichons. With this came bread and crackers. 

I had to ask for butter though. It was a big board and there was lots of cheese. I have to say though, the cheese was nothing to write home about, the sort of cheese you could find in any supermarket. The cheddar was quite bland in comparison to the mature cheddar I usually have. Nice to have some stilton with the dish.

For a little more money you can have a cheese and ham board. Not sure if this means the same amount of cheese and then ham, or less cheese and some ham!

Our table also had a couple of pizzas. They have a pizza oven and used fresh dough, so the pizza looked excellent and according to those that ate them, they were delicious.

Certainly would do a return visit.

German Doner Kebab not yet open in Weston-super-Mare

I reported back in January that the chain German Doner Kebab is opening a new branch on the high street in Weston-super-Mare in February.

Well on a recent trip to the High Street I saw that they had their unit, but it was yet to open.

Their food is described on their website.

Our kebabs are made from quality ingredients that are exclusive to Doner Kebab Restaurants. The great taste comes from the secret sauces that set our products apart, from our competitors. We use lean succulent beef and our meats are imported directly from Germany to maintain quality and consistency. We only use fresh, locally produced vegetables that are delivered and prepared daily along with our special “Doner Kebab” bread. These make the “Doner Kebab” a truly unique taste experience of our customers.

Reviewing the menu, you might have guessed they sell kebabs.

Tapas at the Brunello Lounge

My first visit to a “Lounge” was back in 2013 when I went to the Portvio Lounge in Gloucester. I didn’t know at the time that it was part of a chain, but since then I have visited a few others.

The Brunello Lounge in Weston-super-Mare opened in 2017 and I have visited it quite often, usually for breakfast or for coffee.

Recently we decided to pop in for a drink and a lunchtime snack. It was rather busy, but we decided to queue. They had some tables free but we were warned that there was a thirty minute wait for food, which we accepted.

We placed our order at the bar and waited. We did think it might be a “wagamama” thirty minutes, in other words it would be closer to fifteen minutes. However in the end it took fifty minutes for our food to arrive, by which time we had drunk our drinks, which had infant arrived quite promptly.

We had ordered some fries and a selection of tapas. We got three dishes, patatas bravas, crispy squid and buttermilk fried chicken.

The best of the three dishes was the patatas bravas. This was cubes of deep fried potato served with a spicy tomato sauce. The potatoes were nice and crispy, well cooked and I enjoyed the tomato sauce. In my opinion the crispy squid was overcooked, it was certainly crispy, but it was very very crispy and dark as well. The buttermilk chicken was nuggets of crispy chicken served with a chipotle mayonnaise. The mayonnaise was nice, the chicken was a little dry.

Overall I think these could have been three great dishes, but the final result was not as good as they should have been. One was really good, the others needed a little more refinement. I did wonder if the volume of orders was causing problems in the kitchen. In the past the food we’ve had at the Brunello Lounge has been excellent.

Having said all that I might go again and try the tapas again.

Coffee and Croissant

We were out in Weston town and we went for a walk along the seafront before heading into Revo for coffee and tea. We has considered going to Coffee #1 or somewhere else in town, but in the end decided that we would head to Revo.

There was a bit of a queue, I did think initially we should go elsewhere, but I was convinced to stay in the queue. In the end it moved quite quickly.

We were warmly welcomed, asked if we were in for a meal or just for coffee. We were shown to our seats, well chairs and a sofa. The place was quite crowded and full of people ordering meals. I have to say I was a little surprised by how busy it was. 

We placed our order. I had a flat white and a plain croissant. It arrived very quickly. Originally I was going to have a cake (well it late morning), but in the end wanting something not sweet, I went with the croissant.

I enjoyed the coffee and the croissant was nice and fresh.

It was nice to have table service for coffee, rather than queuing and waiting which we would have had to do at Costa or Coffee #1. Nice views of the sea as well.

Tim Hortons now open

An artist's impression of the drive-thru. - Credit: Tim Hortons
An artist’s impression of the drive-thru – Credit: Tim Hortons

The new Tim Hortons has opened in Weston-super-Mare. The Canadian chain which took over the old Pizza Hut restaurant and added a drive through.

When I discovered that there was to be a Tim Hortons, howeverI had no idea what a Tim Hortons was.  I was quite intrigued. Was this going to be a sophisticated coffee place? They have a number of outlets already in the UK, so I checked out the website. Yes they sell coffee, yes they sell doughnuts, but it looks much more like a burger chain than a coffee chain.

As I said before I probably won’t be visiting.

German Doner Kebab is opening in Weston-super-Mare

Well, just what we need in Weston, another fast food joint. Casual eating in Weston has got a little more casual.

The chain German Doner Kebab is opening a new branch on the high street in Weston-super-Mare in February.

Their food is described on their website.

Our kebabs are made from quality ingredients that are exclusive to Doner Kebab Restaurants. The great taste comes from the secret sauces that set our products apart, from our competitors. We use lean succulent beef and our meats are imported directly from Germany to maintain quality and consistency. We only use fresh, locally produced vegetables that are delivered and prepared daily along with our special “Doner Kebab” bread. These make the “Doner Kebab” a truly unique taste experience of our customers.

Reviewing the menu, you might have guessed they sell kebabs.

I have seen branches before in other places, but have not had the opportunity to try the food out. Will I try it out? Maybe, well probably not.

They’ve started construction work

Now that the Frankie and Benny’s restaurant has closed on Flowerdown Retail Park. The site will become a  Burger King with a drive-thru.

Image: Threadneedle UK

Planning applications posted to the council showed how the site will be converted into a drive-thru and local businesses were consulted on the change.

The restaurant was closed due to the pandemic restrictions put in place in March 2020, and by August with other restaurants now allowed to open, Frankie and Benny’s remain closed.

It never reopened.

I posted last August (2021) that the site was going to become a Burger King.

Now nearly six months later construction work has started on the site with the conversion of the restaurant into a drive thru and burger joint.

I ‘ve never being a great fan of fast food burger joints, so I think the chances of ever eating out there is very slim. If I am going out to eat I like the whole dining experience, queuing for a brown paper bag full of fast food, is not really my thing.

Combine this news with the new Tim Hortons drive thru opening up at the old Pizza Hut, the closure of Prezzo and Pizza Express, the eating out scene in Weston is slowly turning into one of fast food and drive-thru eating.

With all the exciting stuff that happens in Bristol on the food scene, it’s a pity that Weston is going down this fast food road.