Girl in Bristol reviews Bravas on the 20th April 2014, a tapas bar with a huge reputation in Bristol which serves wonderful Spanish food.
Given its glowing reputation amongst the foodies of Bristol, it is clear Bravas is a huge favourite. Some bloggers, claiming it to be the greatest of the many tapas bars in Bristol. So on a sunny day in April, a friend and I sauntered over to Cotham Hill to check it out. It was just as well we booked before, the place was packed by the time we arrived at 7pm.
Situated just off Whiteladies Road, Bravas prides itself on being an intimate eatery where punters can become part of the food-making process. The open-plan kitchen with bar seating stretched out along it, allowing everyone who ventures in to see each dish being carefully prepared. The seating is also laid out so that all customers are sat in relatively close proximity to each other, creating a greater sense of community as all share in Bravas’ delicious food.
The interior is pleasing to the eye. The well-stocked bookshelf lining the left wall near the tables, boasting a wide range of recipe books on Tapas and other Spanish cuisine. The wall opposite, lined with shelves of beers, cider and of course, beverages originating from Spain itself for customers to choose from. Although it acts a rather appealing visual feature too. To keep with the informal lounge-like theme, the lighting is kept dim and the décor rustic as the staff expertly weave between the tables throughout the night. The one-sided menu that they serve, adapted on a (I presume from the dated menu we received) daily basis to suit the local produce of that season, split into nibbles, fish, meat, veggie and desert options.
With my eating companion being a vegetarian, we selected our savoury dishes from the ‘Verduras’ (vegetables/ greenery) part of the menu, settling on the Tortilla and alioli (£3.20), Creamed spinach (£2.50), New potato with asparagus and quails eggs (£3.50) and Purple sprouting with chorizo migas (£3.00) options for our main. Of the selection, I personally enjoyed the first two options the most. The tortilla, likened to a sort of potato omelette which was complimented well by the slight tang of the garlic sauce it came with. My friend preferred it without, although I personally lathered the tortilla with it. The creamed spinach was also lovely, the sauce light yet flavoursome leaving us both wanting for more – and I’m not usually fond of the stuff!
Following our mains we toyed with the idea of sampling a sweet option and settled on the tantalising salted chocolate truffles from the ‘Postres’ menu being huge chocolate fiends ourselves. Two pieces of homemade chocolate arrived on a wooden board costing £2.50. The bitter and rich flavour of the chocolate left a delightfully pleasant taste in our mouths, rounding off the meal nicely.
In all, our meal at Bravas was a success. The meal itself costing us only a tenner each for the six dishes that we had beside the complimentary bread that was given to us between courses. We even went back for a second round of the Tortilla because it was so delicious. However in comparison to previous Tapas bars I’ve been to, Bravas’ portions are admittedly the smallest. Nonetheless, the food was of the highest quality and the venue was pleasantly unique.
7 Cotham Hill, Bristol, City of Bristol BS6 6LD