Sitting neatly in between Cotham and Redland, two of Bristol's smartest, leafiest neighbourhoods, Bulrush is exactly the sort of restaurant we think of when we think of Bristol - intelligent, interesting food, with an emphasis on proper cooking and great produce over unnecessary frills.
The restaurant itself subscribes to the same notion, with smart wooden tables and whitewashed walls leading the eye towards an open kitchen at the back. Save for the blackboard on one wall and a few pops of colour from flowers on the tables, the interior is clean and minimal. The emphasis, clearly, is on the food.
Chef George Livesey has a significant CV behind him; the influence of St John is palpable in the whitewash and wood of Bulrush's decor, but he's also worked in several Roux kitchens, as well as with Pascal Aussignac at Club Gascon, and at the White Rabbit in Dalston. His partner Katherine handles wine duties in the restaurant and between them they clearly make quite the team, picking up a Michelin star in 2018 and cementing their place as one of Bristol's top restaurants.
The eight-course, £70 tasting menu doesn't pull any punches and certainly isn't afraid of trying new things. The first trio of snacks - a swede chawanmushi, crab and elderflower tart, and duck liver macaron - sets the scene for things to come. There's heritage beetroot with whey sorbet and rosehip, scallops with kohlrabi, smoked pike roe, seaweed and verjus, then a slab of monkfish, barbecued on a Japanese konro grill, and served with smoked mussels, yuzu and salsify. Diners can add an optional cheese course, featuring Tunworth, honey, Wiltshire truffle and homemade crackers.
Desserts go even further into unusual flavours, with buckwheat honey and salsify brulee, and a cep ice cream that comes with cajeta (a thick, sweet goat's milk caramel) and chocolate.