Welsh Back, Bristol BS1 4SB
t: 0117 9277050
After Gemma’s ‘meh’ review of the Welsh Back’s Spyglass restaurant last year we were thrilled to hear that after a full refurbishment, this summer would see The Lido’s Freddy Bird overseeing the menu.
Those of you that haven’t visited The Lido must, he is a culinary genius, his ice cream is the stuff of dreams, and the good news is you can taste it at Spyglass now too.
The new menu at Spyglass is getting back to basics and I love it. Nothing fancy, just good quality produce (free range chicken, 28 day matured beef and locally caught fish), cooked well, at a reasonable price. I had been waiting for a sunny day to write this review, but since there has not been much sun, a rainy day will have to do! It is surprisingly cosy on this boat/restaurant – the smoking open grill and fireplace help with this!
We went at lunch time, and service was just about quick enough not to be clock watching the whole time (it could have been a bit quicker mind). I went for the whole mackerel stuffed with bay and lemon, while others plumped for the Spyglass burger, steak and the chicken, mint and walnut salad.
I think I won in terms of satisfaction with my choice – crispy skin and succulent flesh made sure of that. The steak was given high praise too, having the all important chargrilled markings of a well cooked steak, but the salad, while good, did not quite deliver – there were a few key ingredients missing – namely walnuts.
Nevertheless we all enjoyed the food, and it was surprisingly busy for a lunch time, giving the boat a buzzing atmosphere. We ran out of time for pudding, but after I had bigged up Freddy’s ice cream so much, the others were convinced to try some and we ordered some cones to take back with us. Morello cherry is my favourite – just the right balance of sweet and sour – delicious! I do want to return to try the Harvey’s Bristol ‘ICE’ cream though.
Verdict? For me, the Spyglass has redeemed itself, it’s just a shame about the weather! Don’t let that put you off though, although I am waiting for the sun to come back before I head back to try their whole crab – I wonder if they will let me pick my own from the tank!