Saturday, 21 September 2013

Soukitchen - A Favourite Place to Eat in South Bristol

As a home-working freelancer I don't get out much during the working week, aside from ferrying the kids to school and to their various extra-curricular activities. So Fridays - when I work from my husband's office in Southville - provide a much-needed change of scenery and rare opportunity to eat lunch somewhere other than at home, huddled over the laptop. Having sampled most of the cafes and restaurants on Southville's bustling North Street, there's one place we return to again and again - Soukitchen. 

This bijou restaurant directly opposite The Tobacco Factory serves some of the best quality food I've eaten in Bristol, with a menu that straddles North Africa and the Middle East, taking in traditional standards such as falafel and kofta and less widely known dishes using locally sourced ingredients and piquant delicacies discovered and brought back from the owners' frequent trips abroad. 

My particular favourites from the lunchtime menu are the lunch mezze plate and lunch skewers. At £7.50 and £6.95 respectively, these filling dishes offer fantastic value for this quality of cooking. The food is beautiful and interesting to look at, too, with plates studded with saffron-hued rice, glossy olives and harissa, the deep red paste so resonant of the souk. Flavours are expertly balanced and ingredients cooked to perfection.

I've yet to sample the evening menu but the daily dishes chalked up on the back wall always sound mouthwatering, from slow-braised ox cheeks to Tangier-style sardines. With mains hovering around the £12 mark Soukitchen is offering stand-out, inspiring dining at considerably less than you might pay at other restaurants around the city.

If, like me, you have a sweet tooth you have to put dietary concerns aside and try Soukitchen's outstanding Baklava, a deliciously nutty and gooey confection, served with saffron ice-cream and orange blossom syrup. A dessert that can be a bit sickly when handled clumsily, Souk's take on this Middle Eastern delicacy has just the right amount of stickiness and sweetness. 

Soukitchen also provides a lunch-time take-out service and it runs regular events throughout the year where you can sample 5-course tasting menus inspired by vibrant cities such as Istanbul.

This is a great value place offering inventive cooking drawn from the less widely explored corners of the culinary map. Give it a go - you won't be disappointed.

For more information on SouKitchen visit the website here.
Soukitchen: 277 North Street, Bedminster, BS3 1JP, tel. 0117 966 6880


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