It’s the simplest things that are often the hardest to do – and this Bedminster restaurant does simplicity with aplomb
The ever-changing, stripped-down menu, whitewashed walls and minimalist decor at Birch are all very St John – and that’s no coincidence; chef-owner Sam Leach previously worked in the renowned London restaurant.
Closer to home, Sam also spent some time as a baker in Mark’s Bread and, before that, hosted supper clubs with his partner (and Birch front-of-house) Beccy Massey in their various flats across Bristol.
In many ways, walking into Birch feels like being welcomed into Beccy and Sam’s home, with many of the vegetables coming from their own smallholding in Whitchurch, in the southern fringes of the city. The one-page menu always has just six options: snacks, starters, mains, ices, pudding and cheese.
Among the snacks, the anchovy biscuits (£2) and the quince and almond mess (£5.50) should not be missed. For the mains, it’s always fun checking @BirchBristol on Twitter to see what’s on the menu for a particular day – expect photos of squid, sea bass, woodcock and grouse, often in their pre-cooked state.
There’s local and there’s hyper-local, and there are always beers at Bitch from Bristol Beer Factory, just a few hundred metres away. Sam’s experience as a baker, means his bread, made with his own oatmeal starter, is a must-try.
Only open in the evening from Wednesday until Saturday, and with just 24 covers, booking is most definitely advised.
47 Raleigh Road
|Opening hours:||Wed-Sat 6-10pm|