Anyone who picks up their children from school knows how hungry they always are at the end of the day. My daughters might have had two bowls of cereal for breakfast and a roast lunch, but they always need more to eat and I have been known to turn up with a selection of three different foods at 3.30pm to prevent a full-blown riot.
Our walk home takes us along the docks towards the Harbourside, where for a Friday evening treat after school last week I decided to counter their hunger (after a trio of snacks of course) at a newly opened restaurant.
“Will there be burgers, daddy?” my eight-year-old daughter Mersina asked me. But at this stage that was unknown as the intriguing USP at New Moon on the Quay is that its menu regularly changes to reflect the cuisine of a different country.
Come here from the end of November to experience the tastes of the Philippines, with the likes of Bahrain, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Uzbekistan and Belize all to look forward to in 2020.
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The opening menu, which is being served until November 26, is Bulgaria – the homeland of New Moon owner Takvor Terlemezyan so a safe start for the second New Moon after its original site on The Mall in Clifton Village.
There was no burger then for Mersina and instead a menu of Bulgarian dishes that included Shopsky tomato salad (£6.80), grilled chipolata (£6.60) and kavarma (£8.90), a slowly braised pork, chicken and beef casserole cooked in an earthenware bowl.
For those not keen on the global Russian roulette, New Moon on the Quay has a permanent tapas menu with dishes from £3.20 to £8.90 arranged into ‘veg & cheese’, ‘from the seas’ and ‘meat & game’.
If you’re feeling brave, you can let the chefs surprise you with a choice of either five or six options.
We played safe with some smoky chorizo (£6.40) from the tapas selection, cooked in red wine and served with sauteed potatoes, charred onions and olives.
Mersina and her four-year-old sister Lois were enveloped by the sofa they were sitting on, placed in the centre of a dining room whose design inspiration seems to have mixed Arabian Nights with the current trend for all things green.
Dozens of plants cascade down the walls and ceilings in one corner of this building that had a huge selection of toys when it was Caffe Gusto in a previous incarnation, with a colourful mural of roses by Bristol graffiti artist Jody to add to the theme.
From the Bulgarian choices on the menu, a mezze (£8.90) proved a hit with my hungry daughters who used the pitta bread to mop up the roasted aubergine dip, the ljutenitca (a slow-cooked spicy vegetable relish) and the snezhanka (also known as Snow White salad, and made from set yoghurt, cucumber and dill).
There were also slices of cured salami, feta cheese and vine leaves stuffed with rice, which we shared onto each others’ plates with a modicum of decorum as we all tried to get as much of our own favourites as possible.
Our other main course was the chicken spindle (£8.60), stuffed chicken breast – the meat a little on the dry side – with smoked cheese, ham and gherkins, and a delicious wild mushroom and red wine sauce.
Once again it was demolished by my daughters who ate it as if they hadn’t been fed for weeks, kindly saving me a few bites.
Go to New Moon on the Quay without knowing what you will be eating; other than that you will be eating food you have probably never experienced before and that you will be impressed.
Having originally opened on Gloucester Road before relocating to Clifton Village, the city’s second New Moon is an eclectic as the first. With many Bristol restaurants content on providing good but unimaginative fare, its bold experimentation is a welcome new choice for hungry diners.
New Moon on the Quay, Hannover Quay, Bristol, BS1 5JE
0117 927 9689