Little plates packing big flavours

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Spoke and Stringer offer high quality-food in an enviable location, writes Sammy Milton

On a warm summer's eve, there’s no better place to be in Bristol than by the water. We’re spoilt for choice here, with an abundance of cafes, bars and restaurants all lining the jettys and pavements of the harbourside.

There’s nothing quite like sitting outside, overlooking the boats lazily making their way through the water, watching people having sunny evening drinks and enjoying some good food, al fresco style. 

Another thing that is perfect in this glorious weather is tapas. Undoubtedly the summer cuisine, it’s perfect for those who just want a little of everything to try, or to go in on all your favourites. Luckily for us, we were invited to try Spoke and Stringer’s evening menu, so we headed down for an evening of sun, food and drinks. 

Located down on Gasworks Lane, the restaurant looks out towards the ss Great Britain and the glorious skyline that is Bristol’s Floating Harbour. We were seated outside and whilst we took in the sights, we perused the menu. Spoke and Stringer offer a varied selection, and are known for their breakfasts, scooping the ‘Best Breakfast’ title at the Bristol Good Food Awards. Knowing this, we were excited to try their evening menu, which includes pintxos, tapas and main courses. 

The concept behind their pintxos was quickly explained to us; you grab a plate, head inside and choose whatever you fancy from a section at the front of the restaurant. The small, delicious morsels of food are offered on bread with coloured cocktail sticks in them, as an indicator of price, so you can have as many as you like and they simply add it up at the end.

We went with Moroccan lamb; slow cooked in spices and served with harissa, a roasted vegetable frittata and prosciutto ham with a Padron pepper and aioli. All absolutely delicious, nothing exceeds £2.50. Perfect for a light snack. 

In keeping with the theme, we opted for tapas for our mains. We ordered a selection; patatas bravas with tomato sauce and aioli (£4.50), grilled prawns (£7.50), charred octopus with caramelised red onion (£9.00), and goat's cheese, spinach and walnut croquetas (£4.95). 

Everything arrived hot and presented beautifully, and we quickly dived in. The patatas bravas were perfectly cooked and went splendidly with their accompanying sauces – their aioli really is something. The prawns were tender and expertly butterflied, allowing the garlic sauce to soak in and left us licking our fingers. The octopus was simply fantastic, extremely well cooked and a generous portion of sweet, charred meat that went beautifully with the onions. The real star of the show, however, was the corquetas. I’m not usually a fan of goat's cheese, but I could have happily eaten an entire plate of these alone. 

Spoke and Stringer is a rare Bristol gem. Definitely a place to bring guests to show off our city, it provides delicious, seasonal food that leaves you satisfied and hankering for more the minute you leave. 

Spoke and Stringer

The Boat House, Unit 1, 

Gasworks Lane, Bristol BS1 5AD

0117 925 9371

www.spokeandstringer.com

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