A little less than a year after opening, Wapping Wharf residents Chicken Shed have rebranded and reopened as Root, with the emphasis firmly on the veg, rather than the meat.
Run by the team at Eat Drink Bristol Fashion, and with co-founder and Michelin-starred chef Josh Eggleton at its helm, the choice to move to a more vegetable-based menu with meaty side-dishes has been driven by both economics and ethics.
Small vegetarian plates, including the house Scotch Egg, made with mushrooms and lentils (£4), cider rarebit (£6) and cauliflower steak (£6) will be the restaurant’s main draw, although carnivores are still catered for, with four dishes including chargrilled pork neck (£8) and barbecued ox heart (£6) on the menu.
The Sustainable Restaurant Association are backing the venue, and helping the team at Root to ensure their produce gets the star billing it deserves.
“We opened Chicken Shed last September with a goal to become the first chicken shop in the country to serve high quality organic chicken across the whole menu,” says Eggleton.
“As organic chickens live longer, the pieces are larger with thicker skin, which, ironically, does not make for the best fried chicken.
“In latter weeks we experimented by serving organic crowns and free-range pieces which improved our product in taste but countered the initial concept of an organic, guilt free chicken shop.
“We went back to the drawing board and came up with Root, which better aligns with our sustainable aims and company values.”
Cooking up a storm at Root will be Rob Howell, formerly of The Pony & Trap in Chew Magna and Ondine in Edinburgh.
“It’s no secret that the West country is an unrivalled area for top class produce and I believe that it’s a chef’s responsibility to work sustainably and make that most of that,” Howell says.
“Veg small plates will be at the heart of Root’s menu but we’ll still be using amazing fish and meat from the region to create interesting side dishes. In addition, there’ll be an extensive wine list incorporating natural and biodynamic wines that will bring out the best in the food.
“All in all, we’re confident that it’s going to be a fun place to visit that will add to Bristol’s vibrant food scene, which is now getting international recognition.”
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