The Gallimaufry is a Bristol institution, known for its superb food, unbeatable atmosphere and live music. Walking up Gloucester Road you can’t help but notice The Galli, with its inviting exterior and outside seating area, which is always bustling with cheery revellers. Upon entering, you’re met with a stylish yet cosy bar area with a welcoming atmosphere. The striking stained glass window overhead affords plenty of light, while the seating area features thousands of colourful ornaments strung from the ceiling.
We took a seat on the mezzanine overlooking the hubbub of the bar. Our knowledgeable waitress talked us through the menu, and when my partner couldn’t choose from the extensive selection of local ales on offer, she helpfully brought over a hand-picked selection of tipples to try; it’s this kind of service that sets The Galli apart from its competitors.
The food menu is concise and well crafted, with a range of meat, fish, vegetarian and vegan options catering to all tastes and making it a great choice for groups. There’s a clear Mediterranean influence, with a selection of small plates that can be shared tapas style or sampled as starters. We devoured saltfish fritters, Padrón peppers, and a delicious Mexican-style salad of tomatoes, sweetcorn and black beans to start – each dish impressed with its impressive balance of flavours. I followed with creamy mushroom Stroganoff with nutty red rice and crispy kale, a sumptuous dish that just so happened to be vegan. My partner was equally enthralled with his delicate hake fillet served atop a rich broth with butterbeans, rainbow chard, red pepper and courgette. Knowing how delicious the starters and mains were, we couldn’t resist dessert, and shared a blueberry and almond tart with flapjack ice cream, and a scoop of strawberry and basil sorbet. Everything is homemade – the mouth-watering strawberry and basil sorbet was inspired by a flavour combination the chef discovered while working in Italy, while the innovative flapjack ice cream was initially created by accident, and has since become a firm favourite with diners.
Next time you’re looking for a place to eat, take a trip to The Gallimaufry. This exceptional establishment has achieved a level of food, service and atmosphere that all good restaurants should aspire to.