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St Nicholas Market,
1-3 Exchange Avenue,
St Nicholas Market,

(0117) 927 29985

The ViewBristol Review

Review byJerry Short21/11/2008
Taste is the newest arrival on Bristol's gastronomic block. Not only can you buy salt-marsh lamb, fresh oysters and homemade chocolates from the deli but you also savour these delicious ingredients in their light and airy restaurant.

The Venue
Set in a Grade II listed Bath-stone building on the edge of St Nicholas Market in the heart of Bristol, Taste is a relatively new arrival and is a deli, a butcher, a fishmonger, cafe and restaurant, all rolled into one.

Natural light floods through the high arched windows into the interior which has a fresh meat and fish area on one side and a seated dining and raised bar on the other. This gives the restaurant and deli a light and airy feel.

The People
Considering the standard of the food and the exotic ingredient list, you may be forgiven for assuming Taste to be the haunt of gastro-bores, but the clientele are reassuringly normal; couples, business men, groups of friends and inquisitive shoppers migrate to Taste from the market across the walkway.

The menu is written in chalk on a blackboard and changes daily, depending on what is in season. The overriding impression is relaxed and busy. The staff are both well informed and helpful.

The Food
Taste supplies fresh seafood, meat, and game to some of country's top restaurants, including Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck, The Ivy in London, as well as Fortnum and Mason and Harvey Nichols. So it should come as no surprise that the food is exceptionally good. Happily you don’t have to be a sheik to settle the bill.

They do a substantial full English breakfast for £6.50, or kippers on toast for £5.60. Mackeral on toast costs £5 as does smoked haddock and egg. They even do boiled egg and soldiers, which costs £3, as well as porridge for £4, or for £4.50 you can have it with Drambuie.

Their daily menu includes a velvety smooth spider-crab soup with deep piscian tones at £6.50 with saffron aioli, parmesan and fresh bread which would soothe the most demanding of palates. And there's a rich cassoulet of pork, resplendent with carrots, celery and beans and spicy chorizo sausage with tender sliced pork. This banishes any hunger pangs well into the small hours and the portions are decent.

Specials change daily and range in price from £4.50 to £8.50. In the past they have included cod and chips for £7.50, seared tune with wakami seaweed and Asian dressing, also for £7.50, and desserts such as raspbery trifle with syllabub and apple and blackberry crumble with clotted cream, both for £4.75.

There are also local and imported cheeses. But if the cocoa bean is your Achilles heel then the dark, rich chocolate profiteroles could suffice, or why not push the boat out and go for the range of gourmet chocolates with an organic espresso chaser.

The Drink
House wines are a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a ripe ruby-red Primitivo De Salento, both at £15.95 a bottle or £3.75 for a decent-sized glass. There's also a range of non alcoholic drinks, including homemade lemonade for £1 a glass.

The Last Word
Taste are a local company which has brought fresh food back to St Nicholas Market for the first time in years and the restaurant clearly delivers what the name suggests. The current licence means closing at 7pm but this is apparently under discussion and the problem is hoped to be resolved soon.

Taste has been reviewed by 1 users

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Content updated: 13/10/2012 01:07

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