Eat Here: Adelina Yard, BristolBy Angelica Malin
Adelina Yard is everything you’ve been looking for in a restaurant and more. Tucked away in an unassuming street on the waterside in Bristol, it’s a restaurant that exudes charm, personality and, most importantly, home to *the* most stunning British food. A tasting menu here is something you simply have to try – an explosion of flavours, colours, textures and surprise, the food will simply wow you. If you’re looking for a foodie adventure in Bristol, here’s what you need to know about Adelina Yard:
Adelina Yard is a relaxed home of fine dining – the kind of place you can enjoy an incredible tasting menu, wearing jeans and Nikes, with no questions asked. It’s my kind of restaurant. Opening its doors in late 2015, the restaurant has a cool, easy feel, with beautiful decor and tables outside for dining al fresco in the warmer summer months. The food here is all about produce and provenance; they try to make as much as possible themselves, including the delicious home-baked bread, freshly churned butter and house-cured meats. Seriously, the food has to be tasted to be believed.
Behind the restaurant are chefs Jamie Randall and Olivia Barry, who cook up a storm using their experience from some of London’s best fine-dining establishments. Jamie has graced the kitchens of many haute cuisine establishments, including Galvin La Chappelle and Odettes in Primrose Hill. Olivia is a born and bred Bristol girl, and has cooked in names such as The Wolseley, Wright Brothers and for the Galvin Brothers. Before returning to Bristol, Olivia worked under Angela Hartnett at her Michelin-starred Murano in Mayfair. Together, they work on food that excites and challenges you, with a real focus on carefully-sourced local ingredients.
No messing around, if you come here, you need to try the tasting menu. It highlights all the finest parts of the menu, and the tasting menu will take you on a real journey of flavour and creativity. The classic tasting menu costs £42 (which I think is a bargain, frankly) and features six courses of pure heaven, plus snacks and petit fours. For an additional £38, you can enjoy a wine pairing with each course, with includes whites from Provence and sparkling sake from Japan.
To start with, the wild sea trout with raw peas, cornish news and herb dressing is light and delicious, with a real summery feel. Next up, the heritage tomatoes with goat curd, basil and quinoa is like nothing you’ve ever tasted before – the tomatoes are so fresh and sweet, with a delightfully tang from the goat’s curd and a crunch of quinoa on top. This is the kind of dish you’ll want to eat, all summer long.
The parmesan tortellini with pickled onions, hazelnut granola and smoked onion broth is probably one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. I’ll search out pasta whenever it’s on a menu and this doesn’t disappoint – the combination of smoked onion, slightly sweet granola and the rich, deep parmesan cheese is simply heavenly. I want it all over again. Moving onto something more substantial, the South coast turbot with new season garlic, girolles and leek is utter perfection on a plate.
The fish is expertly cooked, with the most delicious full-bodied mushrooms to accompany them, really bringing a depth to the dish (at this point, my mother is basically falling off her chair in foodie heaven and exclaims “how could they get a mushroom to taste THIS mushroom-y”, which is a fair point). The fish dish is a real winner, and you won’t be disappointed. There’s also wild seabass with razor clams, heritage carrots, ginger and seaweed, if you’re looking for something with more of an Oriental-inspired feel.
Sometimes with tasting menus, they tend to peter out towards the end, and dessert isn’t really a highlight, but not at Adelina Yard. No, at this restaurant, dessert is probably one of their strongest courses. Because it’s a Friday, we treat ourselves to three (yes three) dessert (please note: the tasting menu features one, but we’re just greedy). The fresh peaches with almonds and meadow sweet ice cream is the most delicious summer dessert – it’s light, fruity and perfectly balanced, and is exactly the kind of thing you want to enjoy with a glass of bubbly in the sunshine. The banana bread (above) is a more unusual dessert – with peanut butter ice cream and dark chocolate, it’s more rich and decadent, but no less delightful.
And, finally, the crowning glory of the entire meal: the strawberry dessert. Cheddar Valley strawberries with caramelized white chocolate and mint sounds simple, but it’s oh-so good. The strawberries are served with the most intense, delicious strawberry sorbet I have ever tried, and it’s filled my dreams ever since. If you do one thing this year, visit Adelina Yard for a scoop of their homemade strawberry sorbet, you’ll literally go to dessert heaven.
The food here is really the focus, but there’s a really good selection of wines on offer at the restaurant, and some house-made cocktails. We opted for raspberry bellinis all night long, with homemade raspberry coulis because Fridays. They’ve got wines from all around the world, including Bordeaux, Provence, Canada, Piedmont and Japan, so you won’t go thirsty.
If you haven’t noticed already, I totally fell in love with Adelina Yard. It’s a hidden gem of a restaurant, serving up truly some of the most exquisite British food I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. The service is slick and seamless, the plates are beautifully presented and a delight to eat, and the setting by the waterside is just perfect. Whatever magic is happening in the kitchen here, I predict big things for the dynamic duo behind Adelina Yard, and this is one restaurant you simply need to visit this summer. Take my word for it: just go.
Adelina Yard is at Queen Quay, Welsh Back, Bristol BS1 4SL