The Jetty Harbour Hotel, Corn Street, Review

Going to The Jetty Restaurant is always a treat and no more so than on a beautiful sunny evening when Bristol’s most glamorous and glitzy are out on the town to show off their fine feathers and take advantage of some of the best night haunts of the city. Getting into this spirit ourselves, me with tottering heels, him with jazzy new shirt, we took a seat at the Jetty’s faux garden complete with seats and umbrellas set up just outside the building opposite the Corn Exchange. Entertained by a very professional girl busker, a glass of an ice-cold glass of Prosecco in hand, we agreed that this was indeed the life.

The Jetty has retained its reputation as a class fish restaurant right from its opening and we were looking forward to revisiting some old favourites on the menu. My initial disappointment that the risotto starter has disappeared (put this back chefs it was too good to dispense with!) was quelled by finding their marvellous twice-baked soufflé with aged cheddar and glazed cheese crust at the top of the menu. Giant tempura prawns with samphire, chilli and lemon were my husband’s choice, and I knew he would order the bouillabaisse, fish and shellfish rich bisque with saffron and fennel to follow. Our knowledgeable and friendly waiter, Victor, gave two excellent recommendations, the fish of the day which was large plaice with broccoli stems for me, and to accompany our meal, a bottle of Fernão Pires a spicy and dry Portuguese white wine which we very much enjoyed.

Lounging in the comfortable blue velvet couches that make up with window booths, we nibbled on some bread with oil and balsamic vinegar before our starters arrived which came with a flourish, luckily before we’d had time to eat too much bread. I loved my cheese soufflé, if you don’t believe cheese makes a great starter, try it, and the tempura prawns were a delicate delight in their gauzy batter.

After a decent interval our main courses arrived, the bouillabaisse, a rich and hearty fish soup, topped with many mussels was flavoursome and as good as ever, with my plaice cooked to perfection and bringing the taste of the sea to the table. We brought our knives and forks together with a sigh of satisfaction which didn’t preclude the ordering of dessert.

To end our meal we ordered cherry, kirsch, orange and almond tart for my husband and an amazing confection for me, a white chocolate ‘apple’ shell filled with vanilla mousse and ginger compote with vanilla ice-cream, together with a glass of Seigneurs Monbazilliac dessert wine. It was a fine end to the evening with faultless service and great food throughout.

Jacquie Vowles