With all the current furore about residents’ parking zones in Clifton Village and the fear that local businesses will be forced out of Bristol’s most genteel environs, it might not have been the best time for the New Moon to move lock, stock and barrel from the Gloucester Road to The Mall.
But move they have, and they have stuck to the same formula that won them many fans over in BS7. This involves completely changing the menu every three weeks to a different world cuisine.
Israel will feature first in their new Clifton home from April 1, followed by Germany, Mexico, Hungary, Greece and Argentina.
Come August and it’s even the turn of Canada meaning probably the first regular appearance on a Bristol menu for that country’s national dish poutine: French fries, cheese curd and gravy.
New Moon chef-proprietor Takvor Terlemezyan is from Bulgaria, which doesn’t yet feature in the running order – although there are several Bulgarian wines and a Bulgarian “mish mash” currently on the breakfast and brunch menu, featuring scrambled eggs, tomatoes, peppers, onions, feta cheese and parsley.
On a quiet Tuesday lunchtime, we had to wait more than 40 minutes for our lunches to arrive. My Cumberland sausages (£6.50) had been liberally slathered in Greek-style baked butter beans, with the addition of grated cheese and smoky pancetta (both £1.50 extra).
Over the other side of the table, a chickpeas, fava beans and coriander burger topped with roasted aubergines and served with triple-cooked chips and salad was rather ambitiously priced at £8.90, and was rated perfectly reasonable but mostly resembling a falafel.
The dinner menu is currently a selection of tapas, from hummus (£3.20) to snails (£6.90) and baked quail (£7.50).
Almost opposite New Moon is St Vincent’s, a restaurant which concentrates on doing just two things, lobster and steak, very well.
The polar opposite of that, New Moon are very brave not just to move to Clifton in the midst of the RPZ roll-out, but also to change their food so drastically so often. It will be interesting to see how they fare in their new home of BS8.
New Moon, 9 The Mall, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4DP