Attempting to find somewhere vaguely close to home that we haven’t spent much time in is always a struggle. Walking past the Colston Hall earlier in the week, however, it dawned on me that the building’s H Bar is pretty much uncharted territory.
A friend and I decided to pop in for midweek tapas at the downstairs cafe-bar. There’s also a fully-fledged, more formal restaurant upstairs which we are yet to try, but on this particular occasion we fancied something light.
As we arrived fairly early in the evening, the place was quite quiet. In the hour or two leading up to a performance, however, you’ll find that you’ll struggle to get a table. It’s certainly a relaxed setting, with a mixture of more formal tables and comfortable, low slung chairs, and there’s even an outdoor seating area for those wanting al fresco drinks.
The menu is fairly simple in the cafe area, consisting mainly of breakfast options, sandwiches, salads, tapas and a few hot specials. Chef owner Humberto Benevenuto, the man behind Bocabar and Bocanova, among others, updates the menus regularly, and his spring menu can be seen on the H Bar website.
Only wanting a light meal, we decided to go for four tapas dishes to share. Disappointingly, the Portuguese cod cakes with aioli (£4.95) that I had been eyeing up from the menu weren’t available, so I had to make a last minute substitution and went for the tortilla do patatas (£4.50). Served in small cubes, the tortilla was cooked well and beautifully seasoned with herbs on the top, but the omelette and potatoes themselves were a little bland and could have done with more salt.
The feta-stuffed chilli peppers (£3.95) that Laura had chosen went down well: the peppers themselves sweet and some hotter than others, the feta soft and tangy.
We also ordered the stuffed vine leaves (£3.95), which we couldn’t fault, and the char grilled Spanish chorizo (£4.95): huge slices of perfectly charred sausage, accompanied by a fresh and light salsa of finely chopped tomato, red onion and fresh coriander.
Overall, we were pretty happy. The dishes were well-priced (especially given the size), and the laid back atmosphere of the H Bar was the perfect setting for a relaxed midweek meal with friends. We’ll be back – and to try the restaurant too…
Find The H Bar on the Bristol Bites Directory…