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
"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."
"In its own way the cuisine at Casamia is just as scientific as that at The Fat Duck. The important difference is that the emphasis here is experimenting with combinations and concentrations of ingredients to arrive at the most striking balance on the palate and never losing sight of the fact that most diners actually prefer real food. Peter Sanchez and his team hit the bullseye in this worthy aim. Add to this the welcoming dining space with its properly open kitchen, the chefs presenting the dishes at table, the friendly, knowledgeable front of house staff who are willing and empowered to act in accommodating the desires and preferences of the diners, including wine choices from the excellent cellar, and you have a fine dining experience which in any other country would be rated by the tyre maker cum booking agency as highly as does the Good Food Guide. Impressive is the least you can say about the perfectly pitched sequence of dishes and it is very difficult to spotlight our favourites from the plethora of riches put before us, but for us the standouts have to be the Canary Island carabineros (crayfish) with its shell reduction and dulse meringue, the salad dish with its myriad of different elements and textures and flavours, the carnaroli rice, kept in oak for 12 months, with beetroot sauce, its richness countered by soured cream, the baby monkfish layered with a truly memorable truffle sabayon, the duck with pak choi sharp against the meat with its honey-flavoured topping and a supreme duck sauce, and the strawberry delight enhanced by Kampot pepper. Another amazing evening!"
"by far the best that Bristol has to offer. a real treat to visit very inventive cooking"
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|