Restaurants: Pinkmans – review

Martin Booth, December 9, 2015

Bristol has already been called Bread City, and in the last fortnight our options have just got even better.

Pinkmans arrives on Park Street hot on the heels of the bakery at the Old Market Assembly. It has been opened by Steven Whibley and Troels Bendix who between them have worked in the likes of Le Pain Quotidien, Gail’s Bakery and Breads Etcetera.

More than a baker’s dozen of staff scurry around on the first Saturday morning of opening in white aprons with red ties. Not a crumb can hit the floor without it being cleaned up.

This operation in the short-lived Flavour Sensation is split into three. On the ground floor level is the long glass counter often with samples of freshly baked bread to try, more on display on the shelves behind. Try the Bristol Brown (£3), a delicious sourdough loaf.

Up a few stairs is the seating area with sturdy wooden bench seating and metal bar stools overlooked by fillament bulbs hanging from copper piping – a very similar look to Anna Cake Couture in nearby Clifton Village, even down to the ferns in pots on the walls.

The final third at the back of the room is the bakery itself; always a hive of activity. Sit down in the middle third and before too long you will see trays of croissants, focaccia, sausage rolls, muffins and more make their way to the counter. 

But it’s certainly not just a bakery here, with an ambitious aim to do just about everything, from your morning coffee to your evening cocktail, hot croissants to hot soup – soundtracked by a well-chosen playlist flitting from Kate Bush to Manu Chao.

Twelve pizza options are also on the menu from £6 for a margherita to £8 for meatballs. The place was much quieter on a recent Monday evening, with pizzas swiftly ready for take away in only a few minutes.

The pizzas are made in a wood-fired oven at the back of the bakery and have a chewy sourdough base like at Flour & Ash and Bertha’s.

A puttanesca (white anchovies, olives, capers, slow roast tomato, oregano, tomato sauce and mozzarella) could have done with a touch more seasoning, but the chicken (chicken, chorizo, slow roast tomato, tomato sauce and mozzarella) hit the spot with succulent chunks of chicken although more diced chorizo would be nice.  

Bottles of beer and cider vie for space on the board behind the bar with a cocktail list all costing £6 and including classics such as an espresso martini, White Russian and negroni. There are also wines available chosen by Gloucester Road’s Grape & Grind.

Pinkmans already feels like it’s going places and don’t be surprised if other cities get their own versions soon. We should be grateful that here in Bristol we got them first.

Pinkmans, 85 Park Street, Bristol, BS1 5PJ
0117 403 2040


Photos by Giulia Stella

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