I used to be a big fan of Che’s on the Welsh Back; they kept the office in much needed bacon sandwiches and served an excellent soya cappuccino. It was therefore a sad day when we found out that Che’s was to be no more :(. There is no need to worry anymore though – as Cherry Duck Bistro has arrived in its place and it is delicious!
There are small elements remaining in terms of layout to the previous cafe, but that is where the similarity ends. The bar area has been turned into a cocktail bar (well for the evening anyway), the kitchen is now open so you can see the talented chefs at work and the whole place has been generally spruced up with fairylights and dark furniture. While sipping on an Aperol Spritz (I’ve become pretty obsessed with this drink recently) we perused the menu. We were also given some tasty warm bread, sourced from local bakers, with organic olive oil. Taken from the first press of the olives (our waitress was very informative about the food, which was great!) the olive oil is flavoursome enough to not need the usual addition of balsamic vinegar.
The menu is fairly simple with four choices for each course, which made the choosing a little simpler as everything sounded wonderful. We were using a voucher, however the menu is generally good value at £19.95 for two courses or £24.50 for three – very reasonably priced for the beautiful plates of food you receive.
For my starter, as a goats cheese addict, I went for the Beetroot Capaccio, Creamed Goats Cheese and Smoked Pine Nuts. Adorable little towers adourned my plate; so pretty I almost didn’t want to chop into them. The goats cheese was so light and perfectly matched with the beetroot and pine nuts. I will stealing this concoction for my next salad. The sauce was perfect and I scraped my plate clean. For our second starter (OK technically it was the dinner date’s starter but I like to share and try all meals 😉 ) we went for the Duck Liver and Port Brulee, Warm Brioche and Sour Cherry Puree. The cherry-duck combo is not one I have come across before, but it was lovely; the sharpness of the cherry really working with the stronger flavour of the duck. I loved the crunchy brulee topping, which added a new dimension to the standard pate starter. The brioche was also incredibly light – one of the best I have ever tried.
Mains were a trickier choice, and I was very close to trying the Crab and Pastis Linguine before I settled on the rabbit. Served as both a ballotine wrapped in prosciutto (which was my favourite part of the dish) and sous vide loin of rabbit, the meat was deliciously tender. The potato and leek cake, asparagus, celeriac puree and raisin jus were perfect accompinaments. I was a still a little jealous of my dinner date’s plate of Free Range Devonshire Duckling with Beetroot and Parsley Puree. I could have easily eaten up the beetroot puree with a spoon.
It’s when we got to desserts that I was seriously impressed. I’m actually salivating a little right now as I think about my choice of Chocolate Fondant and Stout Ice Cream, Sesame Brittle and Salted Caramel. ***DROOOL*** The fondant oozed out delicious warm gooey chocolate as you cut in it. Personally I think there is very little that can beat chocolate and salted caramel – decadence at its best.
Our second dessert was a bit different and the perfect choice for my dinner date who has less of a sweet tooth. Lemon Panna Cotta, Poppy Seed Shortbread and Goats Cheese Sorbet. Yep – you read that right, goats cheese in a dessert. The flavours were balanced perfectly so no aspect overpowered the rest. I snuck quite a few mouthfuls of this… 😉
As a consequence of this evening I had to be physically pushed up the hill to my flat and collapsed on the living room floor, I was so full. Turns out my body can’t really cope with three courses (plus additional sneaky bites of my dinner date’s meal) and bread and cocktails. Did not regret a single bite of any of the dishes though – they were all so tasty!
The services was also lovely throughout. Informative about the food and super friendly. The Cherry Duck Bistro sum it up themselves really well:
“Great food, ethically sourced…a warm and welcoming atmosphere”
Seeing that is less than 3 minutes walk from my work, I will definitely be back soon! I need to try the pancakes for breakfast!!