Silence of the Lamb

A while back I did a blog about St Nicholas’ Market in Bristol. Well, that time I was just passing though. This time round I have actually been there, sat down and tasted some of the food on offer. Tough life this.

What I really loved about the foodie Glass Arcade part of the market is the cosmopolitan food on offer. There is Pieminister Pies, a place offering goat curry and jerk chicken and also Al Bab Mansour. This was where my girlfriend and I decided to partake of a spot of light lunch before nipping to the Watershed for the Banksy film. Yes, we are pretentious.

I did go to the Glass Arcade with my eyes set on some Jamaican goat curry, but after doing my trademark walk by of all food offerings (shopping with me takes hours), my girlfriend and I set our sites on Al Bab’s. Partly because the food looked good and partly because the little place was rammed, a good sign.

bab's place

For those who haven’t been there, the Glass Arcade is a long covered walkway separating two parts of the market. God forbid me for saying it but there is an air of Brick Lane about it because the food businesses are set up in little semi open street-side…shacks, for want of a better word. Little real authentic street food, but with customers called Gerald and Michael.

And the food was good. For £6.50 we got some very tender lamb on the bone, gently spiced, with vegetables and cous cous. Other options included chicken, falafel and other Arabic-influenced dishes. All of which looked very good.

What really added to the already good food was the hustle and bustle going on around us – the staff moving between the tightly packed low tables, handing out food, taking money, clearing tables. It gave the place a sense of ambience that is key for good places to eat. The telling fact was that neither Jane or I talked much during our meal, a sign we had far more important things to do. We didn’t have it, but Moroccan tea and coffee were both evidentially popular as well.

Of course, I have to raise a point. I have no idea whether the food we were eating was locally sourced. My guess would be not. So the local aspect of this is that this is a little eaterie on a side street in Bristol, not that they were selling the best from the region. So if you feel I am a sell out, I apologise. For a place in St Nicks selling great local food, you’ll have to wait for the next blogpost.

To be continued…

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