It was the first time I’d been to a tasting menu and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Brad has been to quite a few tasting menus before (what with him being a London hipster), but I was definitely a tasty virgin when I walked in. Tasting virgin. Tasting menu virgin. One of those.
Adelina Yard is situated on the Welsh Back; we went for an evening meal so we unfortunately couldn’t see the water, but the walk down was beautiful.
After almost getting run over by 2 hordes of drunk people wobbling down the street on their way into town (sad for the girls struggling to walk on the cobblestones in 6 inch heels), we eventually crossed over towards the warm glow of Adelina Yard – it was much smaller than I expected and I was surprised to see it was fairly quiet, considering it was fully booked.
We were warmly greeted and seated near the back. It was nice to see that fine dining had moved beyond being suited and booted; most people were smart casual, much to our relief. Again, it was surprisingly quiet – I very much enjoyed this though, as I could actually hear Brad (after a previous less than pleasant experience at Bar Buvette, the calm atmosphere was a joy to behold).
Armed with my lactase pills (and making the poor front of house lady nervous as I was sitting down to a menu of butter and cream with my lactose intolerance) we embarked on a journey THROUGH TIME AND SPACE (it did legit take about 3 hours, to be fair) and beautifully crafted dishes of excellence.
There are a million ‘foodie’ and proper journalistic reviews of Adelina Yard, so I’ll sum up my experiences of each course in 3 points.
- Crabby and fluffy, like a seafood cloud (top)
- Cheesy scone goodness, like an amped up version of the first thing I learnt to make in Year 9 Food Tech (bottom left)
- Interesting pâté flavour explosion (bottom right)
Cured Sea Bream, Grapes, Celeriac, Prosciutto Toscana, Marigold
- Soft, delicate flavours
- Needed a bit of acidity, maybe lemon, to heighten the flavours a little more
- Smooth and soft – a great starting dish
Dartmoor Venison Tartar, Pickled Girolles, Italian Truffle, Sprout Leaf
- Rich and creamy sauce covering the venison was a little sweet
- Loved the bitterness of the leaf
- The addition of the truffle to the venison tasted like I was biting a chunk out of a medieval forest
Fermented Kale, Gnocchi, Goats Cheese, Slow Cooked Egg
- Wow. So rich. Much creamy. Many kale.
- Happy happy hens, super bright yolk
- I could have eaten a whole bowl of the deep fried kale topping the whole dish
Line Caught Wild Seabass, Smoked Herring Roe and Sea Lettuce Butter Sauce
- GET. IN. MY. BELLY.
- Hoovered this up in about 2 seconds
- 10/10 would eat again, every day, every week, every year
Rubbia Gallega Beef and Onion
- First unsure of the things topping the onion, looked suspect, realised it’s puffed rice
- A celebration of the beef, but a slice of potato wouldn’t have gone amiss
- Interesting umami flavours in the puree, almost Bovril-esque, but more fancy
Non-Dairy option – Chestnut cake and Blackberry sorbet
- So happy they made the effort to give me a break from all the dairy I had just consumed
- Soft and nutty cake, could have eaten the whole cake Bruce Bogtrotter style
- Lovely and sweet sorbet, could have done with being a bit sharper to counter the sweet cake
Artisan Cheeses (on the normal menu, Brad’s insights)
- The pear chutney tasted like Christmas mincemeat
- Good choice of cheeses, not too bad, had more exciting choices from the Bristol Cheese monger
- An ‘OK’ addition to the menu, not mind-blowing
Shiso Ice Cream, Buttermilk, Currents, Lemon
- WHAT IS THIS TASTE
- CAN’T COPE SO CONFUSED
- SO MANY FLAVOURS IN MY MOUTH
Chocolate, Milk and Stout (entry for the Great British Menu 2018)
- Newborn baby jazz hands?
- Bitter, creamy, chocolatey – what more could you want (insert heart emoji)
- Freeze dried milk tastes like my Thai childhood eating milk candies
Petit Fours (from left to right)
- Jelly square tasted like a super intense fruit pastille – SO sweet that it could have been half the size
- A macaroon is a macaroon is a macaroon, but chewy and tasty all the same
- Chocolate Peanut Butter mouth orgasm; a one night stand that I would become obsessive over and Facebook stalk every day and all their exes’ Instagrams and find out where they work and casually walk in like Oh I Didn’t Know You Worked Here So Funny Haha except it isn’t funny because I looked them up on Company House and I think there might be something wrong with me
In short, I had a bloody wonderful experience. For the price of £57 for the tasting menu (the accompanying wine flight would see an additional £55) it was absolutely worth every penny. The quality of the food, the time that the chefs took to come out and explain every dish, the fact that the restaurant wasn’t rammed elbow to elbow – I would definitely come here again. And again. And again.
Although it isn’t the type of place to come with a large group of friends, if you’re looking for a quiet place to come with a loved one, with family members or to wow and wine and dine a client, I couldn’t recommend Adelina Yard more.