Steam bottomless brunch

Steam took over Roo Bar a good year or so ago and has turned it from a dingy student hangout with a heavy love of sports to…well honestly I don’t really understand the decor at all, it’s steam punk meets haunted mansion with some damn fine decking out the front.

Aesthetics aside they have been teaming up with Beats and provide a unique space in Clifton where there is plenty of outdoor seating and room to move around and great public transport links. So far so good.

20170716_204658

Admittedly I am one of those people with a “crap sense of humour” who don’t find their Mother in Law burger amusing and it has put me off going there. Luckily i’m also someone who enjoys getting a bit pissed in the afternoon and has tried most of the other bottomless prosecco brunches in Bristol I swallowed my pride and told some friends to book and come get merry with me.

We nabbed one of their outside benches under a lovely new awning and was presented with a bottle of prosecco, a cool bucket and a really lovely waitress (please give this woman a raise, she’s amazing). The menu choices were good, lots of variants on stuff on bread or stuff on pancakes, good filling stuff. Most of the table went for the “Big Sur”, a take on the Full English, one for fried chicken on pancakes and one for courgette bread with egg and avocado.

 

 

20170716_203913
Courgette toast

 

We had warm pastries served first, blackberry, pecan and custard danishes that had been warmed. Not homemade as far as I could tell but I really wasn’t expecting them to be. They were devoured quickly by the group and all agreed it was a nice start, with leftovers kept for breakfast pudding.

The Big Sur was indeed big, a thick slice of toast with a bubble and squeak patty, sausage patty, bacon, poached eggs, fried potatoes and sides of salsa verde and refried beans. The good – the sausage patty was full of flavour, the toast was buttered generously, bacon crispy and salsa verde/refried beans were a welcome change to the usual beans on a fry up.

The niggles were the poached eggs, which were a touch on the underdone side, but most of the time I will eat the yolk and leave the whites anyway. The bubble and squeak wasn’t fried at all and under seasoned. It would have been great to have h a that fried, thick, brown crust I associate with Sunday evening leftover suppers.

20170716_204042

The prosecco kept coming and that was a major plus as well as the service being fantastic and the brunch being very enjoyable I will go back again. ÂŁ26.50 was very reasonable for the amount we drank and the quality of the food offered. The place was criminally quiet for a somewhere offering a pleasant outdoor boozy breakfast to be enjoyed with friends and we were encouraged to have another bottle 10mins before our service ended to “enjoy for as long as you like”. I think I rolled in about 3pm…

Get your tickets from Steam via Wriggle for Saturday and Sundays, 11am – 1pm sitting or 1:30pm to 3:30pm sitting.

 

Chicken Kiev Burgers – it’s happening!!

UPDATE – 18/07/2017

Apparently, I have a knack for whining long and hard enough for people to eventually give in (see pizza dips) so here is my plea to the burger barons of Bristol to give me and Bristol what we want.

We have seen the rare meat options in burger restaurants grow,  you can get anything from crocodile to zebra if you want it. You can get beef and chicken too if you prefer. The toppings on offer in some places are things you’d never think of but taste great, green sauce, beef marrow mayo, all the cheeses. These are all great, all modern, all very tasty.

However.

We are are a city ignoring two major things, the stuffed patty and the power of NOSTALGIA. Why we don’t have more things stuffed in burgers is beyond me, for sure pile my burger higher than the Sunday Roast presentation at The Bank Tavern but shove some gooey cheese my burger patty and I’m happy. The benchmark of stuff in things though is the humble and much-maligned chicken Kiev.

chicken-kiev.jpg

Crunchy breadcrumbs, moist and juicy chicken breast, a hot pocket for molten butter, garlic and herbs used to be a staple tea time treat when I was a kid. We’ve all dabbled with a chicken cordon bleu but it’s never as good as a kiev that’s burst and fried the oven chips in fragrant garlic butter.

So why on earth is no one serving a chicken kiev burger (or chicken kiev, RIP Europa*) is beyond me. I have asked and asked. Others have asked and asked. I have tagged, created debate, posted on both mine and the work account (sometimes having all the passwords means you can do nefarious things) and even MADE MY OWN and still nothing. No one has even replied to tell me to stop bothering them.

IMAG3004_1
Every bite tasted like angels singing

So Bristol Burger Mafia. As I have been so good all year, please please please can you do a chicken kiev burger? I promise I can bring a lot of people that will at least try it once.

*Lest we forget #ToastGate

Where do the rest of us like to eat? 

Bristol Food Twitter has been a mire of snide dick waving of late. To counteract the rain of scornballs I asked my Twitter followers where they love to eat and got a great response. If you want to know where people without an agenda dine out, this is the post for you.

 

 

 

Hubbox is open! 

After much excitement from my Cornish colleague, Hubbox have finally flung open the doors to their newest restaurant after a successful expansion through the South West. Hubbox has taken over the Las Iguanas site on Whiteladies Road and it’s unrecognisable, gone are the bright latin themes and have been replaced with a familiar vibe. Dark, neon, tin signs on the wall, booths and a back bar heavy on the bourbon with modern tunes pumping loudly from the PA, it definitely feels like a cool place to be.

hubbox1

They’ve kept the opening front windows which were a popular feature with the previous restaurant and is a tempting place to sit and drink the Hubbox version of a snakebite, a far classier affair than the one I remember from 12years ago. Otherwise, a good selection of craft beer is available from Harbour, Tiny Rebel and Siren etc, decent wines and of course Aperol Spritz in generous glasses.

hubbox 2

I only tried a few nibbles and so can’t comment on too much but we all agreed the beef patties were full of juicy flavour, the blue cheese and mushroom topped one being a favourite. There were also nachos, fried courgette chips, fried chicken, hotdogs and chicken nuggets. We also tried the Crack Pie which I’ve not had in ages and it was very sweet and very good. Topped with, of course, clotted cream, what a treat. Definitely will be back to try a proper meal and see if the Cornish can do burgers as well as they do pasties.

Where – 113 Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2PB

Website 

Twitter

Facebook

Naasto Baasto Popup Kitchen

This is Indian food that I would guess most of you haven’t tried before!

Monica Patel is hosting an afternoon of traditional Gujarati home cooking at Bristol Spirit in Redfield. Monica and her mother will be preparing a feast of food using recipes handed down to her by generations of her family.

Monica says that; “Naasto Baasto is a tribute to my ba (grandmother) – who was a wonderful strong woman, and the most caring wife, mum and grandmother. As a homage to the hostess with the mostest, mum and I will be cooking some of our favourite Gujarati dishes, and we’ll be turning Bristol Spirit into my grandparent’s home for the afternoon. Our guests will experience proper Gujju hospitality – recipes which have been passed down for generations, cooked with love and passion. Humble, authentic and largely vegetarian.”

Naasto Baasto 2

There will be a set menu costing ÂŁ25.00 per head. Guests can buy either a meat or veggie ticket option. The puris, chapatis, and kachori all contain gluten. You can let us know if you’d like a dairy free option after purchasing tickets. Tickets can be purchased through the Bristol Spirit Website here

All dishes will have suggested pairings of Espensen Spirit cocktails, local beers, wines or mocktails – these are not included in the ticket price.

The menu can be found via the link and I can assure you that I am positively counting down the days to get my hand on some traditional thali!

Find Naasto Baasto on Twitter and Facebook!

Pink burgers –

I got a lot of pushback from my opinions on pink burgers very briefly outlined in my Asado review  and even an anonymous commenter who seemed to think I was giving Bristol burger restaurants a kick in the head for having a preference.

Honestly, I had no idea people were so passionate about the pinkness of their burgers and, at least as far as I’m aware, the pink burger trend has only been around for a few years so assumed people didn’t have that much of an opinion but, as it’s the internet, I should have known better.

I feel this is a good place to outline my issue with the pink burger thing. I am not a health or food professional but luckily a friend of mine was and she is someone who is also wary of burgers cooked pink, regardless of where it is. If someone’s job used to be understanding the health implications of eating undercooked meat, I am going to listen.

 

 

It isn’t the quality of meat that is the issue as a lot of people assume, it’s the processing of the carcass. There will be harmful bacteria on the surface of the steak or mince when it leaves the processing plant. This bacteria will multiply until it hits the restaurant. If the restaurant minces its own steaks the bacteria on the surface of that steak will be transferred throughout the mince. Whilst there are strict guidelines from field to fork to ensure the risk is as low as possible the thorough heating of the meat is the only way of killing off the bacteria.  If it isn’t cooked properly you’ve created a bit of a gastroenteritis time bomb.

This is explained far better here if my wittering on doesn’t make much sense

puking

“But I eat burgers rare/pink all the time and I’m fine!” well yes, if you are an otherwise healthy person chances are you will be, but if you are young, elderly, pregnant or immunosuppressed the risk of eating that mince is is a high one and could kill you. There are around 500,000 reported cases of food poisoning a year. I have IBS, no one knows what causes it but I can tell you when I get an attack its agony, if I can avoid food poisoning which is a 72 hour IBS attack with vomiting thrown in, I will thanks.

HOWEVER you can safely eat a pink burger if it holds a temperature of 75c for 30 seconds whilst cooking. I trust some kitchens to adhere to this (Asado say they do and I trust they do) and I don’t trust others. Maybe that is me being harsh but if I enjoy the burger cooked through, who cares? And no, I will not list where I do and not trust.

Lastly, I want to add that I don’t even like the taste or texture of pink burgers and it is perfectly achievable to sear a burger and leave it juicy and delicious if you give a crap about the beef and technique, no squishing the patty or packing it with crappy binding ingredients.

Like anything, eating pink is a risk, as is eating raw oysters (I don’t), eating dodgy chicken or not washing salads before eating. I have decided that I don’t like pink burgers enough to warrant the risk, I know a lot of you do and that’s cool.

Scientific research above

To the “anonymous” commenter  – buddy, implying you know me and will “see me soon” is creepy AF and you need a word with yourself.

ew no

 

Back to lighthearted food reviews and pithy observations on pizza dips tomorrow

 

Lost and Grounded ‘The Summer Brewhouse Sessions’

Lost and Grounded haven’t been in the city long but my goodness they have got us sitting up and taking notice. With a huge site in Brislington filled with some of the most beautiful, German engineered equipment and kicking out fresh, light, flavourful beers that scream “we love what we do” they are a firm favourite with the beer crowd.

This summer they are running their ‘The Summer Brewhouse Sessions’ when the brewery flings open its doors and let the nosey public in to see what they do. With a street food stall each month, a collaborative brew from some special guests and, the beer taps flowing with both the in-house ambrosia and the finest offerings from the aforementioned guests, you are sure to find something you like.

IMAG2724_1

I booked myself onto one of the first tours of the year, had a big breakfast and headed over on a very windy Saturday. When you walk into the brewery you are blown away with just how big everything is! The ceilings are high, the tanks are massive and I am pleased I paid attention to the note telling me to wear sensible shoes.

Lost and grounded summer sess

We were given the tour by Brewer Matt and had the entire brewing process explained whilst clutching our beers from the bar. We were taken up to see the beautiful tanks and got a great view of the party below. We were allowed to try beers at various stages of the brew and had hops, malts and cask ageing explained in detail. Matt was really good at explaining the processes in a way those of us that don’t know much about brewing could understand and I thoroughly enjoyed learning something.

IMAG2721

You can get tickets for the tour here and it also means you get three 1/2 pints to enjoy on top! The next summer session is in July with special guests Verdant Brew and if you can’t make that, their events are listed here