Me, tucking in

Dinner at the Runcible Spoon

NEW! Once you’ve read this, check out my most recent review posted in June 2013.

Miam Miam Miam! After an afternoon of hot ‘n’ hard graft at the allotment yesterday, Rich and I treated ourselves by going to The Runcible Spoon for a slap up supper courtesy of a good friend. And what a great mate to have bought us a meal at this particular restaurant!

The Runcible Spoon Restaurant
The Runcible Spoon Restaurant on Nine Tree Hill

Perched on the slopes of Nine Tree Hill, in Stokes Croft, Bristol is the Runcible Spoon, a co-operative running on as much locally sourced produce as possible, generating as little landfill as possible and most importantly to me, making delicious, indulgent, interesting 5 Star food at affordable prices. 3 courses for £20! Come on! You have to get there now! Their sunday roasts are to die for our friend tells us. We shall be sampling them as soon as the temperature drops a little as I’m a weakling in hot weather.

Don't worry! It's just a borscht in a teacup!
Don’t worry! It’s just a borscht in a teacup. Photo credit goes to Rich

As the restaurant was already nearly full when we arrived, freshly showered and cleansed of mud and bramble wounds, we chose to sit at the counter at the window. The light was pink and the view was good. Settled with a G & T refreshingly enhanced with elderflower cordial we promptly chose from the menu what we wanted. We would happily have eaten all that was offered, so tempting it was but we indulged our taste buds with, for Rich: Juniper cured mackerel with jersey royal spuds and pickled radish, slow roast pork belly with rhubarb, dauphinoise poatoes, spring greens and the best crackling ever and for dessert, baked vanilla cheesecake with strawberries. And I had heirloom tomato salad with homemade, rough pesto and goats cheese mousse followed by the pork belly and to finish, honey and almond tart.

Juniper cured mackerel for starters
Juniper cured mackerel for starters. This photo by Rich

At the very beginning we were treated to a complimentary borscht in a teacup with (i think) sourdough bread on the side to really get our appetites going. Heavenly, light and packed full of tasty goodness, I love beetroot and I love a meal to start with soup. A classy, friendly touch which I think this restaurant does very very well. It’s all in the details isn’t it and The Runcible Spooners have evidently thought about what makes a superior dining experience and have included many such details as this. It’s all done seemingly effortlessly and with great goodwill. Elizabeth Shaw won’t be making any money of this establishment as they make their own after dinner choccies too! Truffles with raisins soaked in Laphroaig 🙂

To finish up I shall simply say, go there (book in advance), enjoy! Check out their own website for more details on the localness of their food, the menus and how to get there. It’s a gem of a restaurant and I hope it continues to thrive and grow. I read somewhere, in a response to a review on the Bristol Post’s review or maybe it was even (even) The Guardian’s review, that the concept of this place being affordable was laughable. I thought of it while I ate and enjoyed my food and marvelled at how such amazingly, fresh, high quality fayre could be served at such affordable prices. I wonder at the person who scoffed at the inclusion of Runcible Spoon in a list of affordable restaurants and am at a loss to imagine where one would get better value for money.

It was indeed in response to the review the Guardian had written. I’ve just re-read the article and the respondee has a problem with the word ‘budget’. 3 courses that left Rich and I gloriously stuffed for £20 including all the little treats, surprises and excellently attentive but inconspicuous service along the way… I say ‘yeah!’ for that kind of quality it is budget!

Here are some pictures of the food:

Heirloom tomato salad
Heirloom tomato salad
Close up of tomato salad
Close up of the tomato salad because it was so tasty! And an important detail…it was the perfect temperature. Room temperature to taste all those delicious fresh flavours.
Slow roasted pork belly with rhubarb and dauphoise.
Slow roasted pork belly with rhubarb and dauphoise.
Honey and Almond Tart
Honey and Almond Tart (with the lightest of whipped cream)
Baked Vanilla Cheesecake
Baked Vanilla Cheesecake

I’d happily go on about last nights fabulous dining experience but it might start to sound sycophantic and that I’m currying for free meals. I’m not…I’m simply hugely enthused about the Runcible Spoon. I eat out pretty frequently and am not usually moved to write about my experiences. I forgot to say and I do think it’s important to say… they do all their own pickling (and much more beyond). Pickles are delicious and the Runcible Spoon have pickled a wide and interesting array of picklable ingredients….now it’s up to you to discover what they are. They also had spuds from Crediton, my hometown 🙂 Woop Woop! Big it up for the Kirton massive!

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9 thoughts on “Dinner at the Runcible Spoon

  1. Haha! No way! I lack the part of the brain that holds adjectives, similies and metaphors. I think it’s a great achievement that I have been able to exclude the word ‘lovely’ out of this peice. I overuse it criminally….along with exclamation marks!

  2. You had me at ‘pork belly’…I must go!

    The person who doesn’t think it’s good value fo money is probably some Bristol hippie who is accustomed to foraging in skips for their dinner.

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