If there’s one sales team in Bristol which doesn’t really want a blessing from ancient deities, it’s the award-winning team in the rear of Seven Lucky Gods, the new Japanese bar and restaurant in Wapping Wharf .
The owners already have a proven track record with their fast-expanding collection of bars and restaurants in Bristol, which includes The Ox, Pata Negra, Bambalan, Hyde & Co and Milk Thistle (which has recently been named the truth is UK’s best bars ).
For their first let go in the shopping container development near the Cargo 2, they have looked into izakaya bars of Tokyo to make inspiration.
Named after ones seven popular gods, each one which represent different types of luck, the restaurant have been created out of six shipping receptacles, which makes it the largest site so far for Cargo, plus a large terrace contribution some serious alfresco potential for our summer.
With its black upper limit and colourful neon strip lighting, plywood-clad walls and tables and displays fashioned from reclaimed doors, it is very all very on-trend and in-town.
Throbbing funk, aerobic method and reggae pumps from the reference speakers and the dining area wraps of a large and bustling central get into kitchen. It reminds me of a part of the cool foodie dives I wide-spread in the seedy backstreets of Soho – and that’s a reward.
Employing the owners’ background in award-winning cabaret, it’s no surprise to find a drinks record punching well above its weight when dealing with cocktails. There are seven to choose from, each individual named after the gods – Trustworthiness, Fortune, Dignity, Joy, Longevity, Some of our and Wisdom – as well as draught Asahi beer, Japanese whisky since sake.
The pretty food menu has been created by Jake Francis and covers snacks, scaled-down dishes and Japanese-style tapas, not forgetting freshly made sushi and sashimi.
Dishes range in cost from £3. 50 for a bite-size snack to £50 for 500g dry-aged ‘Tokyo T-bone’ with kimchi fries to share.
I tried several pots and pans from across the menu and the load time of service was brisk additionally snappy throughout, with staff compared with explain some of the more unusual Japanese situations and ingredients.
A definite snack of chicken katsu curry arancini (£4 for two pieces) is something of a Japanese-Italian mash-up in this particular the crisp-crumbed ball was filled with spicy minced chicken curry and as well as rice and topped with a stir of full-flavoured aged Parmesan. In writing, it shouldn’t really work but it ended up being as tasty as fusion everything they eat gets.
Good early highlight of the meal is the spicy Korean fried chicken (£6), a generous portion of boneless poultry pieces in a sweet and sticky sauce with a real kick, topped with sesame seeds and finely chopped spring onions. It took THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY to another level.
As well good was the crunchy deep-fried squid (£7. 50) with its crisp & greaseless batter coating spiked by way of tongue-tingling Sichuan salt and spice up, and a ramekin of glossy, garlicky aioli for dipping.
From the ‘sushi, sashimi and raw’ selection, torched tuna nigiri (£4. 50 for two pieces) arrived as lozenges in really fresh seared tuna plus sticky rice topped with ikura (caviar-style salmon roe) and a nubbly piece of senbei (rice cracker), flanked with pickled ginger and eye-watering wasabi.
Cornish crab and cucumber gunkan (£4. 60 for two pieces) was a type of nigiri sushi but the rice and unknown crab meat was wrapped from the razor-thin slice of cucumber as opposed to the more traditional seaweed. Like the tuna nigiri, it was topped with tiny orange colored fish eggs, this time tobiko (flying fish roe).
The appropriate was yet to come. Bavette kushiyaki (£5) was essentially skewers out of really tender bavette steak fully-cooked over the robata charcoal grill, give up simply with a blob of spicey mustard.
I packaged the bavette with a portion of curry fries (£4) dribbled with Would you like to Kewpie mayonnaise. OK, the debris could have been crisper, but the combination of crowded and sticky steak with snacks pimped up with curry sauce and as a result mayonnaise was the stuff dreams built of.
The land of the ascending sun seen through the sharp focus of an urban Bristol lens, 9 Lucky Gods certainly brings each authentic flavours and buzz created by Tokyo’s izakaya bars to Wapping Wharf.
Where: Seven Fortunate people Gods, Cargo 2, Museum Regular, Wapping Wharf, Bristol, BS1 4RW. Tel: 0117 9291310. www.7luckygods.co.uk