Before the hotel was but a twinkle in the eye of a 1970’s developer, the brick coned kilns synonymous with the manufacture of Bristol’s famous blue glass stood on the site. Unusually for the time, a decision was made to incorporate one into the hotel building and create within it a unique restaurant which some fifty years later remains looking just as splendid and remarkable as it ever did. Inside the dome it’s spacious and two-tiered with large arched windows, and an atmosphere of quiet calm where you can relax and enjoy a very pleasant supper.
The menu has a broad range of choice and from the ‘starters and grazers’ after a brief flirtation with salt and pepper calamari, we chose popcorn shrimps, tempura bite-sized shrimps served with sriracha dip (a medium-hot chilli pepper sauce) and pollo asado, three grilled chicken skewers coated in fine breadcrumbs served with lemon aioli. For our main courses, advised by our friendly and knowledgeable waiter we ordered pan-fried sea bass served on a bed of savoy cabbage, broccoli, and chilli caper butter with a side of rosemary fries, and an aromatic vegetable Thai green curry with wild rice and naan bread.
We loved our starters which were artistically presented and great to taste – the shrimps were fat and juicy – and word has it that the sriracha dip could blow your head off! I really enjoyed the chicken skewers and would certainly recommend them. After a busy day and no lunch, we were in the mood for a long and leisurely supper, and it was so nice to be waited on with such courtesy; we were asked if we’d like a break between courses which we took and enjoyed a chat and wound down from the stress of the day.
Our main courses were great; the sea bass was cooked to perfection and there were two quite large fillets which made a hungry man happy. I really enjoyed my Thai curry which was bursting with fresh vegetables and very spicy; I’d achieved quite a glow as I got to the bottom of the bowl.
We decided to peruse the dessert menu as I’d heard a fellow diner ordering the Bramley apple pie (lashings of cream drifted before me) which sounded like a good bet, but in the end, we had cherry Bakewell cheesecake and the passion fruit Greek yoghurt and mango sorbet. The sorbet was delightful, a refreshingly cool and light way to finish your meal, and the cheesecake with its rich concoction of cherries the sweet treat of the day.
It was great to see The Kiln Restaurant has lost none of its charm after all these years and continues to be a beacon of fine dining for Bristol.
The Kiln Restaurant at DoubleTree by Hilton Bristol City Centre, Redcliffe Way, Redcliffe, Bristol, BS1 6NJ