City of Bristol College: Autumn Gourmet Dining
When I was offered a seat at the Autumn Gourmet Evening held at the City of Bristol College I nearly snapped my friends hand off. A secret five course menu prepared by talented Bristol teens, cooked under the watchful eye of Richard Grinyer-Power. An offer I could not refuse. On entering the restaurant with Emily of the Bristol Bites website, we were greeted by nervous but polite young things. Instantly my eyes lit up as I cast them over the menu and in particular the words "salmon", "monkfish", "grouse" and "venison". My insatiable hunger was also ignited when I spied the chocolate and peanut mousse cake for dessert!
We had a surprise amuse bouche of mushroom soup (which i had mistaken for shots being ordered by the table next to us, sorry lads) which was earthy and creamy with a drizzle of truffle oil for extra decadence. The glasses were scraped clean with the gorgeous fresh bread that was served with salted butter (parmesan and thyme, and walnut and raisin).
The first course was delicate salmon and beetroot dish with wasabi. We had rather expected a warm dish and more of a kick in the wasabi but i adored the way the beetroot was presented three ways, as a puree, pickled and simply as is. The salmon tasted fresh and the plates were polished clean.
The next course was something i was very much looking forward to, curried monkfish with burnt coconut and coriander dhal. I have never tried monkfish and will definitely try it again based on these standards! The curry sauce was light and creamy with a little sweetness and the burnt coconut added another texture dimension that I really enjoyed.
The third course was roast grouse with blackberries (one of which I successfully launched across the table, for which I blame the fantastically boozy Moscow Mule cocktail on offer!). The grouse was served as breast and, what i would assume, a fried ball of breadcrumbed leg meat. Again the textures and flavours worked well and it was lovely to have meat and fresh fruit together in a dish.
Fourth came the Venison, figs, hazelnuts and braised endive. I had never heard of an endive so this was a jump into the unknown (pun intended) but i shouldn't have worried. Its slightly bitter flavour complimented the sweet venison (cooked nice and pink). The crushed hazelnuts and figs finishing off the presentation perfectly.
The final course, the pudding, was very rich, very sweet and full of peanut butter goodness. The mousse cake was light and the crunch of the gingerbread was a lovely contrast to the velvety ice-cream accompaniment. A suitably indulgent finish to an incredibly indulgent evening. We left full and inspired by the talent and dedication of the servers and the chefs that came together to cook for some very well known names in food and drink in Bristol.
The city of Bristol college are holding more nights themed around particular countries (next Thursday is Portugal, the entire menu devised by an endlessly enthusiastic 17 year old girl!) and for less than £22 you would be mad to miss out. You can book for their future meals here.
Please note: this meal was received free of charge, but 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.