Put Some Fuego in Your Belly
I have a penchant for spicy food, and had a particular soft spot for My Burrito from the moment it opened in the centre a few years ago. I liked their variety of wraps (spinach tortillas, how grand!), the choice of filling options (the chicken and chorizo one was rock solid tastiness), the beer selection and that they did churros with chocolate, I frickin’ love churros.
So it was with sadness I received news that My Burrito would be closing, especially when I heard it was to be replaced with a ‘latin-caribbean cantina’ - the existing latin inspired restaurants in Bristol seem to me, to be more focused on cocktail deals and dubiously related Spotify playlists rather than promoting the wealth of flavours and ingredients in their respective cuisines.
This is why Fuego had me at Hola! - they’ve got a spice rack and they’re not afraid to use it. They also had lovely ladies in funky headdresses and a fire eater in situ at their launch night - all of which helped to soften the blow that the churros would not be returning (what did they do with the machine? Do YOU have it? I will find you).
I went along to Fuegos pop-up at 40 Alfred Place back in January and sampled their ‘Carnival Fuego’ menu (which much of continues here in their permanent home), which included treats such as mini soft shell tacos (don’t you dare bring me a crispy taco) filled with slow cooked beef & guacamole, sweet potato & black beans and 24 hour smoked chicken with ‘slaw - all 3 were packed full of freshness and flavour, and also had combinations that I hadn’t tried before either. The ‘Pork 2 ways’ (heheh) was also gorgeous, the crispy pork belly had a lush texture and balance of heat, as did the carnitas, although I did think that it would have all worked better with rice than fries, but that's just personal preference.
The launch evening saw the reappearance of carnitas and slow cooked beef, as well as some very tasty sweet potato quesadillas. I was hoping to try some of the much feted ‘mofongo’, as this is the first place for it to be sold in Bristol - it’s basically a bowl made out of mashed plantain and crackling, filled with spicy chicken & chorizo, which sounds amazing to me, and I’ll definitely be heading back to try it soon.
As well as the menu being a good mix of familiar favourites (the burritos and tacos are back, hurrah!) and intriguing new additions, Fuego also sell a fine line of sauces, and surely you all know by this point how much value I place on a well-made condiment. Kudos to the sauce chef who came up with the recipe for their chipotle sauce, and their ‘greengo’ sauce, they’re both lip-smackingly lovely - I’ll be procuring some bottles as soon as feasibly possible, let me tell you.
In addition to the food, there’s a decent selection of South American beers, spirits and cocktails. The decor is colourful and fun, with painted pallets and collages of latin-inspired images adorning the walls, I’d challenge you to be in a bad mood in a place this chirpy.
It’s clear that the intention is to roll Fuego out across the land, giving people from Southampton to Scunthorpe and beyond the taste of the Caribbean, and as long as they can keep up the standard they’ve reached at Broad Quay, I think the rest of the UK has a good latin party to look forward to.