Tapas and small dishes are taking over in a big way at the moment. No longer shall we be satisfied with just one choice of meal. No no. We would like our choices to be small, varied and plentiful pretty please with sugar on top. For an indecisive Pisces like me (for anyone about to rant about the fact that astrology is silly, I generally just use my star sign as a scapegoat for any of my personality flaws), this type of meal is perfect. So… when I heard about Harveys Cellars, cheekily hiding behind the Hippodrome, that was all about Creole cuisine inspired tapas AND sherry AND cocktails how could I resist?
Harveys Cellars is not somewhere you would just happen upon, unless you regularly take a stroll down random dark looking streets. Seek it out though and you will find quite the intriguing location. The former home and birthplace of the famous Harveys Bristol Cream, it is worth taking a little nosey to the back of bar to witness the mini museum of original sherry artefacts. Consequently, it was only proper that our meal began with an aperitif of a glass of the famous sherry. Being somewhat accustomed to a glass of sherry on its own in a small glass, I was pleasantly surprised to be served the sherry over ice with a twist of orange – Delicious!!! I recommend.
They also have an extensive cocktail menu, which tempted us both with a Spanish Lemonade – fino and sloe liqueur shaken with fresh lemon, sugar and topped with soda. Ooooooooooooooooohhhh yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaah.
As to the food, we chose to share six main dishes between the two of us. With such interesting choices on the menu, whittling it down was tricky. However, our choices were as follows:
Slow roasted pork pit ribs with Caribbean seasoning. Tender, fall-of-the-bone, sauce-dripping-down-your-chin, delicious ribs. Mmmmmm…
Jerk spiced chicken. My go-to choice for Jamaican food. The chicken was moist (horrible word I know but tricky to work out a different word to describe it).
Slow cooked Jamaican style pot beef stew. Hearty! The meat fell apart as you touched it with a fork.
Creole spiced prawns. Flavoured perfectly so as to have heat but not make my face water (spice tends to irritatingly make my nose and eyes stream). Up there in the top choices…
Carnival dumplings. Like a savoury doughnut, they were perfect for mopping up the remaining juices of the stew.
Rice and peas to soak up all our meat-based choices! Flavoursome rice (not just a vessel) that I believe is an essential side for this menu.
And finally, to satisfy the sweet stomach…
A delicious Jamaican ginger cake, with bits of stem ginger throughout giving it an intense flavour that only needs a scoop of vanilla to complete.
Having chosen to sit in the back music bar, our meal was finished off wonderfully sharing a carafe of wine, listening to the sounds of jazz being played live by beautiful people with beautiful voices. Perfection.