The Dining Rooms

26 01 2013

A Transylvanian restaurant in a quiet street off Whiteladies Road was, unfortunately, doomed to fail. The most bizarre opening in Bristol in recent years barely lasted a few months. In its place on St Paul’s Road in Clifton comes The Dining Rooms.

The Dining Rooms dining room

“Who is the mystery chef?” asks the restaurant’s promotional literature that was thrust into my hand as I left. It’s certainly an unusual tactic for food to be cooked anonymously. Most chefs are not shrinking violets. Some chefs have their name over the door.

If it’s a marketing ploy, then it hasn’t succeeded as my daughter and I were the only diners yesterday lunchtime.

When I arrived and asked if lunch was being served, the man on the desk looked shocked to be confronted with such an unusual enquiry.

When I asked him what the risotto of the day was, he didn’t know. I forgot to ask who the chef was. In all honesty, I didn’t care.

What would have made this meal more memorable would have been if my daughter had caused damage to a £1,100 statue on loan from the View gallery in Hotwells that she managed to crawl underneath when my back was turned.

Like the artwork, the food is ambitiously priced. My risotto, which turned out to be beetroot and rocket, was perfectly adequate, served in a vibrant shade of red and accompanied by grilled focaccia. But it is not a dish worth £10.

Perhaps if you’re dining on expenses, you will pay £18 for a sirloin steak, as this is now the Regency Hotel restaurant masquerading as a stand-alone establishment. Unfortunately, the signs to the rooms upstairs give the game away.

The views are of the side of St Paul’s Church and a collection of recycling bins out of one window, and Dristi’s beer garden out of the other.

The Dining Rooms is offering 25 per cent off lunch until the end of February if you quote ‘curly fork’. The question is how long this restaurant will be here before it goes the way of its Transylvanian cousin.

The Dining Rooms

The Dining Rooms, Regency Hotel, 40-44 St Paul’s Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1LR



One response

27 01 2013
Charlotte Taylor-Ashfield

I’ve been wondering what this was for a while, I kept seeing it out the window of Caffe Clifton!

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