I’m a big fan of Brace & Brown’s on Whiteladies Road. I tend to go there for after work drinks or weekday lunches as it is a stone’s throw from my office. I love their English take on tapas with dishes ranging from mini casseroles heaving with honey roasted root veg to burger buns loaded with pulled pork and caramelised onion chutney but it’s quite rare that I go there for a Sunday lunch. I’ve always enjoyed it on the occasions I’ve been but as they have just recently won Best Sunday Lunch at the Bristol Good Food Awards I thought I’d better give it another try to see if they had changed anything. I went with my husband and our friend from the Big Smoke and we were mightily impressed.
We were asked to choose from a selection that included roasted Sirloin, leg of lamb and pork belly (nut roast for the vegetarians) and were astounded by what came out of the kitchen.
They say a picture paints a thousand words so feast your eyes on this little beauty and let it all sink in….
We were presented with the most fabulously rare roast beef and the most tender, melt in the mouth belly of pork. Under this cacophony of meat sat crisp (yes, people – crisp!) roast potatoes, parsnips and hunks of sticky, caramelised sweet potato. We had ramekins of mange tout; baby corn; French beans; cabbage and garlic; broccoli with smoked cheese and a gigantic Yorkshire pudding each. There was a bag filled with home-made parsnip crisps which were so delicate and moreish. We also had enough gravy to flood a small village but most importantly, it was served in its own enamel jug. I dislike restaurants who swamp their dishes in gravy – it makes me think that they’ve either got something to hide by way of quality or taste of the meat or they use it to keep their food warm. But honestly, who likes a roast potato that’s completely soggy from having sat in a puddle of gravy? And, let’s face it, some people just don’t like gravy (I don’t know who these people are but I’m assured they exist).
We couldn’t finish our meal, even though it was crazily delicious but there’s a reason they won Best Sunday Lunch and as far as I’m concerned it was more than justified. We’re returning in a couple of weekends time (with the knowledge to starve ourselves beforehand!) and I’m looking forward to it already…