The invitation read – ‘Please come and celebrate Joe’s birthday , Friday 30th Jan at 7.30 at St Wee burgs pop-up restaurant. £25 for 3 courses. Cash only. B.Y.O. – more details to follow.’
I started my internet search. I expected to find some front room temporarily crammed full of dining tables for the evening, enterprising young chefs toiling away for my delectation in a tiny kitchen. Wasn’t convinced by the name but thought it might allude to the annoying trend for ‘small plates’ currently sweeping Bristol restaurants at the moment with an additional, innovative take on burgers.
I typed in ‘Wee burgs’. Nothing. Tried ‘St Wee burgs’. Still nothing. Many permutations later, and cursing predictive text, I found it. Cafe Mulino’s facebook page. Just as Sophie sent ‘more details’…
It was all there – venue, location, menu, food, story. Cafe Mulino looked a far more welcoming prospect than my imagined St Wee burgs. Worth wearing a frock this Friday!
Housed in the attractively named Wildgoose Space, a large red building amidst some yellow, some wooden but all interestingly shaped houses , Mulino Cafe was ideally located. To walk through the allotments, as we were lucky enough to be able to do ( we live in St Andrews – located just on the other side) and arrive at the alternative oasis that is Ashley Vale, St Werburghs, somehow seemed right.
And the experience only got better. The hosts were warm, professional and engaging in only the way those who have a passion for what they’re delivering can do. Each person seemed integral to the experience, committed to the venture and I felt privileged to be part of it.
The fixed menu, ideally suited for a pop-up, looked interesting.
And when the food turned up, enthusiastically brought by the team , it was exquisite to look at. As for the taste, each dish had a depth of flavour suggestive of the quality of its ingredients.
As for the clementine chocolate cake with cointreau mascarpone, this rendered me silent apart from appreciative purrs, which would have put off those within earshot if they too hadn’t all been purring along with me..
And lest we forget, there were the little, not-mentioned, extras which added a thoughtful polish to the meal : the beautiful olives and salami when we arrived, and the palate-cleansing taste hit of a fruit and alcohol -drenched granita.
That we were there to celebrate Joe’s birthday and that Cafe Mulino is a B.Y.O. ensured that we too had a role to play in the experience. Kir royale, sauvignon blanc, dessert wine …. The wine flowed.
It’s hard to pick out the best part as the whole experience – food, service, atmosphere et al – was one big highlight.
We finished off the meal with coffee before paying up (cash only). Then left saying goodbye to a beaming, happy Cafe Mulino team.
Cafe Mulino are looking for a permanent venue and are determined to wait until they find the right place. But I hope they don’t go too far away. As I swayed back up through the allotments I felt lucky to have found them.
I wish them every success – they deserve to do well.
Need to know
Fixed 3 course menu – £25 ( cash only) B.Y.O. at Wildgoose Space, Mina Road, St Werburghs, Bristol, BS2 9YP open Friday and Saturday (check facebook page for more details)
contact number – 0117 944 6047