By Saiba Haque- Food Editor, Maya Glantz- Food Deputy Editor and Emma Witham-Food Digital Editor.
The past year has been absolutely amazing not only for the food scene in Bristol, but also for the Croft Food team. From a plethora of new restaurants being opened and reviewed, to all the special articles, collaboration and photoshoots conducted by our ever-so talented food team and food writers. For our editorial team in particular, our time has come to an end. Nevertheless, we are immensely excited for the next team to take over and for our OG and newbie writers to create amazing articles and content for Food.
Our ever-so talented writers have been absolutely amazing with their brilliant contributions to this section. The monthly editorial magazine layups have been an inspiring creative process with the Croft Food team. We have had so many amazing articles written for the Croft Food section and I feel immensely grateful for these amazing contributions filled with passion and love for all things food and drinks. From seasonal recipe-based articles , to articles reviewing new restaurants and cafes to cookbook reviews , to investigating nostalgia-food in the era of recession along with investigating variations in cultural cuisines, to the many contributions of retrospective and introspective essay style articles from our amazing writers. We indeed have had quite an epic year here at The Croft Food section.
There were also many projects that we delved into for our year of work. We started our regular monthly collaboration series with the Epigram Music section called Plate X Playlist working with Music Editor Oscar Ross and the music team where their team would curate a playlist and our team would develop a recipe fitting with a monthly theme. We have also collaborated yet again with the music section to shed a light into Bristol's very own Buskers Banquet; where we review an evening filled with amazing live performances and delectable local food.
With the recent rise on concerns over the workplace toxicity within the food and hospitality scene, we also had the opportunity to delve into some investigative journalism based content to investigate whether The Wave (Bristol) implements a positive work environment in their kitchen as they claim. Spoiler!!: They most certainly do! And it's very refreshing to see how they implement measures to make the kitchen space a positive workforce. (Fun fact: I'm currently working here as a Commis Chef for the summer!)
Another promising collaboration from our team was the History of Food collaboration with The Bristorian Magazine (University of Bristol's Humanities Magazine). Where we curated historical and modern day recipes of Britain's two most popular dishes (The Yorkshire Pudding and Chicken Tikka Masala) and the Bristorian team provided a historical background on said dishes.
It has truly been an amazing opportunity with getting to implement recipe articles in our section with seasonal produce and sustainability in mind. Near early spring we also had a Foraging Guide for Bristol article to reap the best of what the season had to offer (Wild Garlic anyone?). Importantly so, it has also been amazing to have the opportunity to commission special article titles for our print section. One of the most creative being the Dining with Dali article.
Bristol has so much to offer in terms of its produce and food-based events. From amazing local restaurants to a plethora of seasonal ingredients being utilised in local and commercial kitchens with a variety of dietary needs-based options. When it comes down to good and honest food, Bristol has got you covered! We feel ever-so fortunate to be able to highlight all these amazing parts about this city.
Before we leave, we wanted to provide our writers and readers with one last article specifically from us where we highlight some of our favourite food spots that Bristol has to offer. Even though our journey is ending in the Croft Food, the Bristol Food Scene thrives and lives on. Without further ado, here are some of our favourite eateries in Bristol for you all to try out:
Pizza Bianchi could very easily get away with serving sub-par food, and still leave their customers feeling satisfied by the 60s-style diner setting, great music, and generally enjoyable vibes. They could, however, they do not. Pizza Bianchi also happens to serve some of the best pizza I think I’ve ever eaten. Maybe my opinion is slightly swayed by their Aperol slushies (!!!) and sage-green booths (I love a booth), or maybe their Tartufo pizza was just slice after slice of perfection. Be kind to yourself, go get a pizza.
Hillgrove porter stores is very possibly one of my favourite pubs in Bristol. While their decently-priced their drinks, spacious beer garden and lovely location certainly help to add to their appeal, none of these reasonings are why this pub earns the position as my personal favourite. That is entirely down to the incredible Japanese food being served up by Kansai Kitchen, the izakaya-style pop-up operating out of the pub’s kitchen. After months of lusting after the menu, I finally sat down for a meal, and it did not disappoint. We were lucky enough to find ourselves next to the chef while ordering at the bar, who talked us through his time in Japan, and how his experiences whilst residing there shaped his menu. The dishes are carefully thought through and their authenticity is clear, with dishes I’ve not seen offered anywhere else - such as their tuna and black pepper rice bowl, and the veggie okonomiyaki, a stand out of an outstanding meal.
My favourite place to visit this year absolutely has to be Ruby Hue Chocolate. They advertise themselves as bean-to-bar, as they source the beans carefully, making them into bars of chocolate on-site. The best part for me has to be the hot chocolate though, and I will truly go to the mat and say you haven’t lived until you’ve tried their hot chocolate with chilli. It can be personalised to your individual taste, as you’re able to choose your cocoa percentage and any flavours you might like. They’re constantly working and developing new products, recently adding in iced tea on tap, which I’m desperate to try. As an independent business, you get to know the owners themselves first-hand. Co-owner Tom is one of the loveliest people you’ll ever meet, someone who exudes pride in his business, while equally being incredibly humble about what they’ve achieved. If there’s one place to visit in Bristol over your University experience, it’s Ruby Hue.
This cozy cafe has been my absolute go-to destination since my First Year of University. Hence, it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to one of my favourite cafes ever. Two Ways implies the two different cuisines that work in harmony to create this wonderful fusion of Turkish and Italian food. Owners Walter and Seda are always here and working immensely hard to make sure that these amazing flavours resonate consistently well on their everyday cafe offerings. All the cakes and, pastries, Soups, breads and pizzas (for pizza Friday) are made in-house. they also offer Turkish breakfasts every Saturday and host Aperitivo nights during the summer months. This place also has the THICKEST Italian Hot Chocolate you can have and is very indulgent. The location is also very close to campus (opposite Beacon House study Centre, Queens Rd). Although I will no longer reside in Bristol anymore, on the times I do end up visiting Bristol I will most definitely stop by and enjoy a good cup of coffee, perhaps one of Walter's homemade cakes or even Seda's immensely delicious savoury bites of Börek.
Since we have already had a review of this place I shall keep it short. The Bagels here are truly amazing! But the Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies certainly stole the show for me. The bagels are perfectly chewy and the cookies are very much reminiscent of New York's very own Levain Bakery. So if you want a taste of the NYC bagel and cookies, do go here!
And with that, as we pass on our editorial hats to the next amazing food team, we wish you readers a farewell. Nevertheless we continue to encourage exploring the Bristol Food scene and plenty of Feasting and Cooking with Friends and Families. Bon Appetit!
Featured Image Collated by Saiba Haque
What's your favourite thing about Food in Bristol?