An admission: before I was invited to try the food at City of Bristol College’s restaurant, I didn’t know there was one. I knew that the catering courses had produced whizzes such as Josh Eggleton of The Pony & Trap and Pete Sanchez-Iglesias Iglesias of Casamia, but I wasn’t aware that there was a place for trainees to flex their cooking muscles for the general public.
The restaurant is located on St George’s Road, just across the road from @Bristol and behind Bristol Cathedral, and is open Monday-Friday for coffee and lunch service, although they do special dining events throughout the year too – which is what I was there to try out.
First up – dinner is priced at £17.95 for 3 courses and drinks aren’t expensive either, so this is a good bet if you’re looking for a cheaper dining option in the city centre.
It was a Greek theme on the evening we went along, and so the first course was of course mezze – one of my favourites!
As you can see it wasn’t a huge portion seeing as it was to share between two, but then it was a starter so…maybe I’m just being greedy. The feta and spinach parcels were surprisingly light, a good mix of a crispy exterior and soft, slightly tangy filling. Grilled halloumi is always going to be a winner, and the olives were clearly out of a jar, so were fairly inoffensive. The pitta should have been toasted really – as it was it was quite dry. A mixed mezze indeed.
For our mains, I opted for the stuffed tomato with salad, and my companion had the falafel burger with polenta chips. The burger came out as a sizeable portion, and everything on the plate was well cooked, looked appetising and tasted good.
By comparison my stuffed tomato was a bit scrappier, but the lightly spiced mince filling was lovely, and I also really liked the Greek salad on the side – I’ve never had a Greek salad with shredded cabbage in it before but it was a nice added bit of texture, I could have just done with a bit more of it.
On to dessert – my companion was full from his hefty burger and chips, so I happily chowed my way through the honey ice cream (lush) and hacked my way into the baklava – the top was quite solid from the syrup, but the filling underneath was well balanced and enjoyable.
Throughout our meal the service was top notch – the serving staff were polite, helpful and attentive without being too much – all the more impressive when you remember that they’re all students and how nerve-wracking it must be on a busy evening like the one we attended.
Keep an eye to the website for future dining events, or if you’re in the neighbourhood pop in for a spot of lunch – you might have your munch prepared by a future Michelin-starred chef…
City of Bristol College: College Green Restaurant
College Green Centre
St George’s Road
Bristol, BS1 5UA