Harden's survey result
“By far the best that Bristol has to offer” and still one of the country’s most sought-after dining destinations; the Sanchez-Iglesias family’s “beacon of creative cuisine” nowadays occupies the ground floor of the city-centre’s redeveloped old General Hospital (below 200 luxury flats). The tasting menu shows “an attention to detail you don’t see in other fine dining restaurants” and “watching the teamwork in the open kitchen is amazing”. The cooking is intricate, with “lots of flavours on the plate”. But, perhaps “it’s the theatre and introduction by the chefs that really rounds off the experience”. Even the establishment’s most ardent fans, though, can “object to FULL payment at the time of booking”. To reserve you buy a ticket: tickets are released four months in advance [!], on the first Tuesday of each month at ‘noon UK time’. Drinks and other extras are then paid-for after the meal.
“Having moved to a new location and despite the loss of one of the Sanchez brothers, this fine dining eatery is still in the top tier” – the Sanchez-Iglesias family’s “relaxed and stylish” dining room beneath central Bristol’s old General Hospital wins formidable all-round support as a “magical experience” with “clever cuisine”, “intriguing wine”, “impeccable service” and yet “somehow still with a cosy and friendly feel about it”. There is the odd caveat about prices that are becoming “extremely steep for Bristol” however, and even those who say it’s “undeniably excellent” can find it becoming “absurdly expensive”.
“Casamia has moved with aplomb to a dramatic and beautifully designed dining room beneath the old General Hospital building in the heart of Bristol”, and the new location clearly confirms it as the city’s top culinary destination. Its cuisine (featuring multi-course tasting menus) “is every bit as epic as it was in its former premises” – “a carefully constructed, gorgeously presented, technically skilful and, above all, thoroughly flavoursome journey through a series of seasonal ingredients”. “It couldn’t have been any better, especially more so considering the challenges they have gone through in the last year” (namely the loss of co-proprietor Jonray Sanchez-Iglesias, brother of chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias).
“If you like clever, technical, pretty cuisine”, the Sanchez-Iglesias brothers’s “thoughtful and exciting gastronomical experience” – “an event rather than a mere meal” – is based on “a procession of fabulous tasting plates”. Closed in summer 2015, it will re-open in January 2016 on this new site (about five miles from its Westbury-on-Trym origins) on the ground floor of the former Bristol General Hospital, overlooking the harbourside. For the time being, we’ve left it un-rated. Stop Press – in November 2015 Jonray Sánchez-Iglesias lost his fight with skin cancer aged 32 and passed away. Where this leaves plans for the re-launch is unknown.
Casamia Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Dining at Casamia provokes a new wave of enthusiasm every time we visit. What is so impressive about Casamia is not just the combinations of ingredients producing visually attractive and novel taste experiences, but also the way dishes that have had similar predecessors are brought up to new, even more striking gustatory levels by the clever intensification of various elements. There is an excellent wine list and a well-chosen selection of wines by the glass on which you get expert advice from the sommelier. The menu is brevity itself, giving no clue as to the clever interaction of the main, listed, ingredient and its supporting cast, which contrasts with the sometimes over-populated descriptions found elsewhere, and is more than compensated for by the detailed, helpful, explanations from the chefs who serve their own work or the equally qualified front of house staff. A clever snack of 36-month old Parmegiano led into a delightful seaweed meringue with sweet Cornish prawns and then Yorkshire pudding à la Casamia with steak tartare and mustard and nasturtium leaves and a slight kick from a touch of tabasco. A trout skin wafer came with trout mousse, all lightness yet standing strong, and then a second trout dish - a fish canvas with firm but yielding roe and a marvellous dashi jelly bringing it all together. Even more trout was then matched in formidable fashion with subtle Exmoor caviar and an intense langoustine bisque before we moved to superb Cornish cod on a buttery champagne sauce providing a devastatingly good nose to match the well-dosed lemon oil on the fish. Lamb with its stock, capsicum and Japanese yuzu gave us a good approach to brilliant lamb with its fat and deep juice accompanied with Hungarian truffle, mild cucumber and welcome bread to soak up the juices. A suitable palate cleanser in the form of lemon custard and sorbet with a lemon crisp was followed by the restaurant’s take on millefeuille which just dissolved on the tongue to give a lovely vanilla match for the strawberry reduction. The delicious meal was rounded off with superlight madeleines in bowls made of sugar. Wonderful stuff!"
"My 2nd visit. The food was beautifully cooked and personally presented by the chefs. One disappointment though. My previous visit was 4 months previously and there were very few changes to the menu. Though there were a few changes to the 14 dish menu, some dishes were identical, others slight modifications. Even for food of the first order, I don't want to keep eating the same thing. For that reason, not a place I would quicky return to."
"A long-overdue review on this channel. I have dined twice at Casamia, once at the old location and more recently to celebrate over lunch my father's 80th birthday. The meal, service and ambience made a perfect occasion. What else could one write to describe a 100% wonderful experience."
"fabulous food, excellent service. Full menu with a perfectly matched wine flight. Attentive service. not o ure about the non-refundable payment up front, but with food like that, it is worth it."
"Peter Sanchez constantly surprises with his creative combinations of familiar and sometimes unfamiliar ingredients without ever descending to the depths of the kitsch theatricality found at some places. First of all the menu is, to say the least, understated, with a single single word per course. This is fleshed out when one of the chefs brings the dish to the table and the diner can revel in the sheer attractiveness of the food, which in itself is simply a prelude to the taste treats on the palate. From the cream of parmesan with really light pastry, through the crayfish Italian meringue and seaweed element, the Galician beef with rendered fat and truffle spray, the very delicate beetroot with Japanese pepper and ewe’s curd, the marvellous texture of the rainbow trout with its langoustine sauce and trout mousse under some roe and trout skin wafer and lime zest, the perfect weight of the Perigord truffle with the almost translucent cured and steamed hake backed up with champagne cream, the quail’s egg with intense reduced duck broth, the tender duck with its crispy skin and salsify accompanied by proper greens in the form of collard and some red sorrel, then passion fruit granita with passion fruit cream, fine mille-feuille with a taste of custard and a perfectly balanced tarragon cream and a contrasting rhubarb cream, to the soft madeleines for dipping in sugar, every single element of every single dish served to make the whole meal a perfect combination of outstanding cuisine. With the friendly expertise of the service and the excellent choice of wines, this is without question one of the absolute toppers in Britain’s fine dining world."
"Great venue for celebrations. We dislike being required to pay on booking - even for the wine flights. Really enjoyed it an will be back once we have saved up enough cash. Taling the lead from our wine expert daughter we did feel their flight this time had less of a wooh factor."
|Wine per bottle||£23.50|
The General, Lower Guinea St, Bristol, BS1 6FU
|Wednesday||6:45 pm-8:15 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm-1:30 pm, 6:45 pm-8:15 pm|
|Friday||12 pm-1:30 pm, 6:45 pm-8:15 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm-1:30 pm, 6:15 pm-9:30 pm|
|Sunday||12 pm-1:30 pm|