There’s nothing better than an unassuming little place turning out to be the most impressive hidden gem. Birch in Bristol is just that. Although, judging by the fact that it’s packed every day of the week, it’s definitely not Bedminster’s little secret anymore.
We headed there for dinner one evening a couple of weeks ago with our lovely cousin Matt, who has been desperate to take us to Birch since he moved to Bristol.
Subtly tucked on the edge of a residential street, in place of an old corner shop, Birch would be easy to pass by. A simple sign above the door tells you that you’re in the right place. The simplicity continues inside the small restaurant with plain white tables and Pinterest worthy decor. Everything about the place is beautifully understated.
We tucked ourselves into a cosy corner table, ordered a carafe of the house wine and a couple of local craft beers, before deciding to order almost one of everything on the menu.
Our lovely host arrived at our table with thick cuts of homemade sourdough, a sign of good things to come!
We started with oysters with pickled gooseberry,
Devilled pig skin with smoked cods’ roe – amazing flavours and totally moreish.
A refreshing and beautifully presented Pea, Mint and Pennard Vale salad,
Swiftly followed by Mussels, Kohlrabi, Laver Bread and Dill – a delicate dish, but packed full of flavour.
Every dish was so well thought through and perfectly executed. It was clear the menu had been designed by real food lovers, which, as I’m sure you know by now, are our kind of people!
We ordered both of the big plates (obviously!) – Middlewhite Belly, Carrots, Courgette and Gooseberry, and the Ewe’s Curd, Courgette and Garlic Tart. The pork was perfect – incredibly flavoursome and a firm favourite with the boys, but the tart was the real winner. Who knew something so simple could be so delicious. Warm, rich and creamy; we all could have eaten it all over again.
Comfortably full but (always) with room for something sweet, we opted for 3 of the tempting puddings:
Both the Rhubarb Ripple Ice Cream and Strawberry and Hazelnut Mess were good. Really good.
But the Gooseberries, Whey Caramel, Toasted Oats and Yoghurt Ice Cream was sublime.
It might look like a healthy breakfast bowl, but the whey caramel provided the perfect amount of sweetness.
If you’re ever in Bristol, make sure you swing by Birch. The menu changes daily, so book a table in advance, and order as many dishes as you can. We’re already so excited to go back!
Birch, Raleigh Road, Bristol, BS3 1QS