Now, I’m no stranger when it comes to St Werburgs in Bristol. Within a short stones throw away from my house, this quaint and quirky little corner of Bristol really looks out and supports one another other. But when it comes to eating here, that’s where I’m a stranger.
I had heard nothing but great things about this husband a wife run little restaurant through the food scene and knew I had to come to Mina Road to see for myself just what the fuss was about.
Arriving on a wet Sunday lunchtime, I was ready to relax, get cosy and eat a cracking roast dinner. With summer we’ll and truly out the window, it was time to start getting my winter body ready (Let’s face it, this body is a 365 kinda thing but we’ll humour it!).
Entering this little eatery, it was clear I had missed the memo and everyone and his neighbour was visiting. Having booked our table, we were one of the fortunate ones to get seated. With so many covers, people were being turned away. We sat at a little table for two but with big, homely style dining tables, you could have the option of dining communally which is always nice. I could chat to anyone about food all day long, given half the chance!
The Cauldron prides itself on using no gas, just big open fires, using their cauldrons. No surprise there given the name. But what is surprising is just how well the food is cooked in this way.
We quickly poured over the simple roast menu, ordering a Wiper and True beer- neighbours of course- and debated over sides. We opted for a slice of each meat, so we could sample each on offer and I’m glad I did.
Firstly, I could smell this cooking before I got to eat it. The large open kitchen meant that you constantly had this waft of deliciousness gracing your nostrils, and with every passing of a server, you secretly hoped the plates they were holding were yours.
The pink meat was soft and juicy with the sweet smokiness creeping through. The first meat, garlic and rosemary marinated lamb with stuffing, the second was crackling griskin pork which cut like butter but sadly no cracking to be seen on my particular plate and the last, the apple wood smoke roasted sirloin of Angus beef. With beef dripping roast potatoes, cumin roast carrots, roasted beetroot, onion and tomato, smoked butter peas and beans and of course a whopper of a Yorkshire Pudding that sat like crown atop a pile of smokey riches. We had to go for a bowl of cauliflower cheese to share because every roast needs it’s creamy sidekick!
The gravy was in a world of its own. Taking a whopping 4 days to make, its flavour derived from beef, lamb and chicken bones and some trotters which adds its glossy shine, cooked in Bertha, a 60l cauldron.
Wanting to sample just about everything that was on the menu we went for desserts. We wasn’t wrong!
Wood fired peaches with spiced creme fraiche and a salted caramel sauce and crumble. The scorched skins had caramelised and added a smokey depth to the sweet, juicy peach flesh. The salt in the caramel sauce was a stunning savoury element which cut through the sweetness and lifted the dish. My absolute favourite kind of pudding.
Trio of truffles. Fruit and nut, smoked sea salt and milk chocolate. These were incredibly moorish and my poor husband had to shield his share away from this greedy woman.
I’m very keen to return to The Cauldron to try their main menu. Not solely for the purpose of the food but for their ethos. Supporting local businesses is something that The Cauldron strive upon and is also something very close to my own values. Not only keeping their fuel sources as natural and bare as possible, it goes the same for their produce. With ingredients sourced extremely closely, they also ensure they stock local drinks too. You couldn’t get more supportive and eco friendly than that.