Graze, Queen Square: May 2016 Review

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Photography by Frances Taylor Photography

Photography by Frances Taylor Photography


This piece comes from Sarah Harding, who blogs over at Bedsit Bonne Vivante. You can see Sarah’s reviews for Bristol Bites here


Stepping into Graze from the torrential rain and soupy air that plagued everyone in Bristol on Tuesday we were confronted by cameras filming a group to the left of the door. Sadly, the crew was there to film a recruitment video and not for me, a girl can dream, though…

We were, however, greeted by the enthusiastic Ryan who let us sit wherever we liked, sorted us out with some much needed chilled water and left us to look at the menu. This was my first time in the Bristol Graze and first impressions were good. A nice, open dining area that was subtly split between bar and drinks on the left and eating on the right. An open kitchen, something I personally love, a well-stocked bar and the customary white head of a cow adorning the wall. A great music selection played in the background and a nice mix of diners and drinks slowly filled the restaurant throughout the evening.

I had studied the menu at home and had already formed a game plan with my partner about what we would order. This, however, was all thrown out of the window when Ryan slipped us the specials menu. I am a woman that can’t resist a duck dish and there it was in its all its glory. I am the sort of person who calls a restaurant beforehand to see if they will put duck on the menu for my birthday, I like it that much.

For our starters, we ordered a plate of calamari with burnt lemon and aioli (£7.50) and a dish of chicken livers on toast (£7.95) from the specials menu. The livers were wonderfully soft and sat on a ring of apple on toast and were decorated with silverskin onions and crispy bacon bits. A substantial portion too, and we both agreed the sweetness of the apple and the sharp tang of the onions worked well. The calamari, again, was a great portion and the squid was tender and crispy. The burnt lemon was a nice touch but sadly the dish was very salty and the aioli lacked any garlic kick.


Graze Bath Ales - Chicken Livers

Graze Bath Ales - Squid


For mains, I picked the duck from the specials menu (£15.95), which came with onions, carrot, carrot purée and sauteed potatoes. The duck was absolutely beautiful, served pink with lovely crisp skin, the carrot purée was earthy and sweet as were the onions.


Graze Bath Ales - Duck


My partner ordered the Smokehouse burger (£14): a monster of a burger that packed a lot of flavour. He ordered it with chips which, again, were overseasoned, but the overall quality of the patty, cheese and apple ketchup the burger came with made up for it.


Graze Bath Ales - Smokehouse Burger


We also ordered some sides, mac and cheese (£4) and slow roasted tomatoes (£3.50), which were both exactly what you’d want from the dishes. Thick, creamy cheese sauce in the former and a big enough portion for two to share, and four halves of big, English tomatoes bursting with flavour in the latter.


Graze Bath Ales - Sides


To finish, my partner opted for a scoop of blackberry sorbet and two scoops of mango (£5.50). This was served with a proper ginger snap. The sorbets were both bursting with flavour, refreshing in the unrelenting humidity of outside. I actually changed my mind about sorbet, they tasted so good!


Graze Bath Ales - Sorbet


I ordered the peach, honey and thyme cake (£6.50), which came with a side of yoghurt. The sponge was served warm, was light and delicate and soaked in a wonderful lavender, honey and thyme syrup. Two rings of sticky roast peaches were served underneath a dollop of yoghurt which balanced the dish well. I don’t enjoy sickly sweet desserts and this was a wonderful light finish to an excellent meal. My only complaint would be that the yoghurt ended up warm, perhaps frozen yogurt would work better?

Graze Bath Ales - Peach and Honey Cake

All in all the meal was very good, the staff attentive and the atmosphere very pleasant. Next time I might slap the salt shaker out of chef’s hand, though!


Please note: our meal was received free of charge, but this in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the venue did not see this review before it was put up on the site.


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