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221-223 Cheltenham Road,

(0117) 907 7932 

The ViewBristol Review

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Review byZoe Hardie15/06/2009
Exotic food and a chilled vibe, mixed with Caribbean art and music, make this the best restaurant of its kind in Bristol.

The Venue
From outside, Plantation’s white facade looks unremarkable on a road where so many restaurants clamber for attention. Head in and you find a large, delicately lit white space which contrasts with the life and colour of the Caribbean artwork which fills the walls.

The People
Groups and couples in their thirties are the most common clientele in Plantation and most of the time it's fairly quiet. However, when live music is on the place can pack out but the mellow, friendly mood sticks around and there's a fabulous atmosphere.

This is somewhere to not only enjoy food, but also music and the experience in general. Expect chilled out reggae from time-to-time and there's live performances on the second, third or fourth Friday or Saturday of the month including samba, reggae and DJs.

The Food
Plantation makes no secret of the fact that Caribbean cuisine fuses tastes from across the world and the menu reflects this, with jerk seasoning, curries and stir fries all featuring. For starters there's pumpkin fritters which team crispiness with a nutty creamy taste and go well with the tang of chilli sauce (£4.35).

Well-loved mains include the jerk chicken or pork which are seasoned deliciously, and come with the traditional side of rice and peas (£11.95). Unusually, the vegetarian alternative here is a more expensive jerk tofu (£12.95) but you get addition of crispy stir-fried vegetables.

If you’re happy to up the cost, the king prawn curry is sensational, and comes in a mild but sophisticatedly spiced sauce.Other than that, there's some fabulously traditional side dishes, which included yams, green bananas, plantain, sweet potato and dumplings, all for around £2.60 to £3 each.

The Drink
The beer list isn’t bad for a restaurant, with Red Stripe at £2.80, although they're looking to get Legend. Stella Artois is £2.80, and there's a few others to choose from. Wine is mostly sourced from South America and Spain, the house red is the Merlot El Otro at £12.95 while the house white is El Otro Chardonnay at £12.95. There is also rose and sparkling available.

Spirits are a big feature here and they serve 35ml measures. Rum is predictably the forte with Mount Gay Barabados Rum (£3.10) as well as the Wray and Nephew Over Proof which is £3.30 at a fairly intimidating 63 per cent proof. A wide selection of soft and hot drinks is also on offer.

The Last Word
Everything about this place is chilled, happy and oh-so Caribbean. The food is tasty and different, the ambience is wonderful – as restaurants go, it’s one of a kind.
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