The Cherry Duck Bistro

The Cherry Duck Bistro in the Welsh Back area of Bristol has been open for around 18 months now. It’s one of those places that’s been on our “to do” list for a while and last week we finally made it through the doors.

It was an early evening, spur of the moment decision, so early in fact that the place wasn’t really open when we tentatively pushed the door open. The welcome though was warm and we were invited to take a seat and have a drink.

If interesting spirits are something that takes your fancy then you will certainly enjoy the selection on offer here. It took a lot of will power to move our gaze on from the bottle of Diplomatico rum that I spied but we managed to do so and ended up with a nice 10 yr old whisky and potent white rum (the name of which escapes me). Once again the service was delightful as the lady who obviously had other things to do, slowly and kindly talked us through some of the options.

The restaurant is long and narrow, drawing your eye towards the rear of the room and the ever-changing waterfront. To get to our seat we walked past the kitchen, which is located in the middle of the room, so those of you who are keen to see what is going on are able to do so. If you still need things to look at, there were some excellent photos of Bristol adorning the walls.

To be honest neither of us was terrifically hungry, so whilst enjoying some fantastic bread and olives we had the age-old debate about which two courses to go for. On this occasion, starter and main won out.

We both selected the breast of Wood Pigeon for the starter. This was nice but the star of the dish, in fact, of the whole meal, was the crispy pancetta that came with it. Paper-thin, it could easily have been overlooked on the plate, yet when placed in the mouth a torrent of flavour was released. It put me in mind of the “space food” that I used to read about as a child. You know the sort of thing, a small grey pill or hard-pressed circle of a substance which all the natural appeal of a communion wafer, is alleged to represent a full Sunday roast with all the trimmings! Well somehow that’s the trick the amazing chiefs at Cherry Duck have pulled off. That’s not to say that the pancetta looks unappealing, far from it. It’s just that a glance at the item on the plate could never prepare your tongue for the gargantuan flavour hit that it’s about to experience.

Following that sensory delight we enjoyed a wonderfully cooked and very tasty Lemon Sole & Langoustine dish, with the other one of us plumping for an interesting trio of Rabbit dishes. We left and walked through the beautiful Georgian splendour of Queen Square towards the bus stop, having enjoyed a lovely meal, with our taste bud muscles having been fully extended by this excellent establishment.