The rising chill of autumn had descended, and I was a Bristol girl in need of a stiff drink to warm my gills. Red coat on, black heels donned and a long overdue catch up with an old friend in the diary, we headed on over to the newly opened Rosa on Whiteladies Road for a night of tapas and prosecco.
Rosa has some big shoes to fill. Bristolians will remember the good old days of Rocinantes and Quartier Vert and more recently the Townhouse at this treasured venue.
Spread over two floors, with candles, old typewriters and flowers galore, this new bar-come-eatery, which promises “world inspired food to share” is romantic, cosy and stylish.
If you can’t quite justify spending money on a round-the-world plane fare, a trip to Rosa will go some way to taking you on a global foodie adventure.
Chef Tim Denny – formerly of Totterdown’s Historical Dining Rooms – is at the kitchen helm and he’s created a menu that simultaneously tantalises, impresses and surprises.
Sharing dishes include mixed bread with salt and paprika butter (£4), spiced flatbread with curried chickpeas, yoghurt and fresh lime (£5.50), steamed bao with pulled oxtail, miso mayonnaise and crispy shallots (£6 and my personal favourite), as well as burrata mozzarella with picked mooli, radish and mint salad (£6.50).
For meat lovers, there’s a sliced shoulder of Iberico pork option (£7) and a mouth-watering whole Galican beef rib (£25) cooked over hot coals and served on the bone with baby gem salad. Seafood fans can opt for hot seared salmon sashimi with sesame and soy (£7.50) or flame grilled octopus with crisp noodles and spring onions (£6.50). There’s also the classic Spanish tapas dish of patatas bravas (£5.50) up for the tasting, and its rich, spicy tomato sauce, doesn’t disappointed.
For dessert, there’s churros with olive oil Nutella (£5.50) and BBQ salted milk ice cream with caramel coconut sponge (£6.50), among other options. What’s more there’s always a cheese of the month. Now we’re talking…
Alongside the main tapas menu, there is a fantastic value set lunch menu at £11.95 for two courses and £13.50 for three courses.
Fancy a tipple? There’s a large selection of wine available by the glass or carafe starting at £4.50 and going up to the most expensive £48 Bordeaux from Chateau Paveil de Luze. A generous cocktail selection is available, in addition to a plethora of local gins (Psychopomp), Spanish sherries, sparkling Japanese sake and beer from a range of local breweries including Wiper and True and Arbor Ales.
It’s unlikely you’ll get through the entire menu on your first visit. But don’t they say it’s always best to leave wanting more?
Rosa, 85 Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2DT. Tel: 0117 973 9302.