Girl in Bristol visits Matinas in St. Nicholas Market …
Okay, I’m going to start with a confession. Before last Tuesday, I had never been to or eaten at St Nicholas Market. I know, I know, I am a terrible excuse for a food blogger and Bristolian in general. But due to my working in Bedminster and living in Redland, I like to think I have some justification behind why it has taken me so long to make it to St. Nicks for lunch!
Nonetheless on one of my days off this week, I finally made it to St Nicholas Market with a friend and under the recommendation of many bloggers, we went straight to Matinas.
Based in a glass hatch on the edge of St. Nicks, Matinas serve middle-eastern style lunches which include chargrilled chicken, lamb kofta or both alongside an additional halloumi and vegetable option. You can have your meat (or vegetables) of choice served in a salad box with coriander couscous and homemade accompaniments or wrapped in a freshly made Kurdish flatbread which rolls out to be the length of your forearm. I do not exaggerate this.
The process was a quick one once I got the front of the queue, which thankfully wasn’t long when we got there at midday. One of the chefs was stood at the back rolling up the Kurdish flatbread dough, the dough was then taken by another chef to a tandoori-style oven where it was stretched and cooked and everyone in the queue was asked what meat they wanted after which the third chef would place the chosen fillings on skewers which sizzled on the grill ready to be placed in flatbreads or salad boxes. It was an efficient system and more importantly, everything was super fresh, unlike your bog-standard supermarket sarnie which isn’t much cheaper.
I chose the chargrilled chicken wrap (£4.50) with all of the accompaniments on offer which included a picked ‘slaw, tzatziki, hummus, yellow chili and some other sauces which were taken from several ceramic dishes that had been placed at the front of the hatch to tempt in passers by with their bright colours and fragrant aroma. Everything was spooned into the center of the flatbread before it was expertly wrapped up to ensure nothing fell out. Admittedly some of the juices did still leak to the bottom but they were tasty juices, so I didn’t care.
We took our lunch treats over to Castle Park where we bathed in the sun, proudly grasping our hefty wraps which were admired by many on the way. The flatbread was hot with a perfect fluffy texture and the ingredients within bursted with flavour which was only heightened further by the slight heat of the yellow chilli.
Whilst we were completely full by the end, though not quite enough to pass on an ice cream by the harbour afterwards (there’s always room for ice cream), we were both a little forlorn when we got to the end of our wraps. Every mouthful was a delight and the price was a downright bargain given the quality of the ingredients used. I highly recommend Matinas for a lunch stop. You won’t regret it!