Review: No.1 Harbourside, Bristol

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No.1 Harbourside has always been in my top city centre recommendations since it opened in 2010 – it’s a refreshingly relaxed bar-restaurant in a section of the harbour which is otherwise mostly populated with large chain bars, and as appealing as those wine deals can be, sometimes I just want to sit in a quiet corner and have a chinwag with my friend over some nice munch.

Seasonal and responsibly-sourced food is the name of the game here, and the team go a long way to get their food from local suppliers and also promote the ‘meat is a treat’ mantra, so the menu is often largely vegetarian with a few fish dishes, although you’ll always find one or two meaty dishes to keep everyone happy.

I popped in the other day after being told about the launch of their new summer menu – once I’d heard mention of Cornish hake with gnocchi you could see the cloud of dust left in my wake as I pounded the pavement over to the harbourside.

The menu here is always nice and concise – a decent choice of options, but not so many that you get overwhelmed.

Getting our priorities straight – my dining companion and I ordered some bread and humous (hummus? houmous? when will we ever get the answer we deserve?) and a bottle of the house white while we pondered our choices for mains.

The homus/humuz/hommos in question was blended with beetroot and sprinkled with dukkah (a blend of Middle Eastern spices – not too overpowering but added a really nice burst of flavour and texture, especially balancing out the sweetness of the beetroot), and some seriously tasty toasted sourdough bread, made by the Assembly Bakery at No.1 Harbourside’s sister venue The Old Market Assembly.

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Sadly the hake had sold out by the time I arrived, so I went for the smoked mackerel salad with Jersey Royal potatoes and beetroot (£9). It arrived looking vibrant and smelling wonderful – the salad was lightly drizzled with a citrus dressing which immediately made my mouth water.

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The salad itself was nicely balanced between the salty & smoky mackerel, the creamy potatoes and sweet beetroot, with the tangy orange dressing bringing it all together and cutting through some of the stronger flavours with a nice acidity. It was a perfect summer dish and something I’ll probably try to recreate at home soon.

My companion went for the vongole (£13) – squid ink tagliatelle tossed with some shellfish, garlic, chilli, lemon and parsley – this was also surprisingly light and fresh despite being a fairly sizeable bowl of pasta.

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We stayed at the restaurant for a good couple of hours chatting, enjoying the rest of our bottle of wine and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere.

The food here is reliably good and well-priced, so I’d recommend having a peek at their latest menu to see what’s on offer (they also do a separate kids menu which includes macaroni cheese or fish & chips), and sticking around for the live music they have on most evenings of the week.

No.1 Harbourside
1 Canon’s Road, BS1

www.no1harbourside.co.uk

Disclaimer doodle: Our mains were free of charge but this did not affect our opinion of the meal and we were not asked to send any copy in advance. ITHANKYOU.

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