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Restaurant Gallimaufry


DERI ROBINS visits the newest culinary kid on the Gloucester Road block


G


allimaufry: it sounds like a faraway universe, light- years beyond our galaxy, with galactic co-ordinates so large that our minds can’t comprehend them.


In fact, it’s on The Promenade, on the lower


part of the Gloucester Road. According to its owners, the word


‘gallimaufry’ means ‘making the best out of what’s available to you’. This is a philosophy they’ve applied in both a culinary sense – they use seasonal produce from the cream of local suppliers, with a blackboard listing their ‘friends’ – The Fish Shop, Gardener’s Patch, and Ruby & White, etc – and also a creative one. A lot of upcycling is evident; much of the furniture, for example, comes from local emporium The Reclaimers. My dictionary, however, also defines the


word as a ‘hodgepodge’, and certainly The Galli, as it’s known (presumably because it rolls off the tongue better than ‘The Maufry’) is a mixture of café, bar, restaurant and music space. It’s a mélange that works well, as its recent ‘best newcomer’ win in the Bristol Good Food Awards goes to show. The décor is as imaginative as the concept.


Walls are part-papered with comics, chairs are mismatched, the lighting eclectic, and there are strange doll things on the bar shelves. The ground floor has a bar-and-music-club vibe, there’s a loungier mezzanine area, and a dining room upstairs with a gallery so you can look down on the lower floors and decide whether


“Gallimaufry means ‘making the best of what’s available’”


or not you made the right seating choice. We ordered chicken wings, rare roast beef,


roast beetroot and goat’s curd – and that was just for starters. Yes, we were all born brave, trusting and greedy, and most of us remain greedy, as the old saying goes, but to be fair, there were three of us. The well-priced menu had prompted me to invite the resident


58 Clifton Life www.mediaclash.co.uk


sticky, and the Galli’s scored on both counts. Daughter opted for herb gnocchi, from


what I suspected to be deeply evil motives. Earlier on, her brother had enquired whether the clement weather meant we would be ‘dining al dente,’ and she wanted an excuse to reintroduce the phrase into the conversation. The morsel I managed to spear from her plate was just as it should be – not too floury, with a bit of a bite – yes Tom, al dente – and set off with lemon slices and (we think) a nasturtium leaf – anyway, it was a most imaginative dish. Rising magnificently above our taunts, Son


teenager and her undergraduate brother – an untypically maternal gesture on my part. Usually, as they’ll explain to anyone who will listen, they’re stuck at home with a pot of gruel while I am out dining high on the hog. Although we were in an adventurous


mood, this did not extend to nose-to-tail, and nobody opted for the pressed pig’s head served with pickled shallot. Instead, Daughter kicked off with the chicken wings, probably because the last time we treated the poor little scrap to a meal out was a visit to a KFC back in the late 1990s and it’s all she knows. The wings were piping hot and beautifully seasoned, and came, unusually, with a dipping pool of corn purée – a bit of a cultural shock to one more accustomed to ketchup. Son’s rare beef was as tender as


the night, packed with flavour and beautifully set off by a trio of blue cheese croquettes and pear. Bearing in mind the calorific, life-


shortening main course ahead of me, I’d gone for a blameless beetroot salad; the root tasted fresh and sweet, and found its perfect partner in a fluffy, creamy cloud of curd cheese. The main dish in question was a slow-


cooked pork belly with broad beans and black pudding. At its best, the meat in this dish should be meltingly tender, the fat sweet and


chose an impeccable pan-seared brill with ‘London particular’ hash. London particular, we learned, was the name given to the impenetrable London fogs once prevalent in that city. It then became used for thick pea and ham soups, and thence completed its etymological journey on Bristol’s Gloucester Road as a description for this delicious dish. Naturally, as far as the kids were concerned,


the savouries were a mere preamble before they could get stuck into the puds, and a pair of chocolate fondants with Guinness ice cream were hoovered up in seconds, while I demonstrated my sophistication with an excellent board of local cheeses set off by a smooth Merlot. We can see why it won its award, but I’m


still not entirely sure what ‘gallimaufry’ means. Maybe it just means different things to different people – which seems appropriate for such a versatile establishment. CL


Visiting details


We visited Tuesday evening Opening hours 10am-1am Prices: starters £3.50-£5; mains £9-£11; desserts £5 Child friendly? Yes, we’d say it was everyone-friendly Vegetarian choice At least one choice per course Service/atmosphere Service: friendly and welcoming Gallimaufry 26-28 The Promenade, Gloucester Road 0117 942 7319; thegallimaufry.co.uk


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