A fun and friendly new opening with an unusual menu on Bristol’s Christmas Steps
There is something happening on The Christmas Steps. Apart from being Bristol’s most romantic (and seasonally) named street, the charmingly wonky Christmas Steps has been undergoing a transformation of slow but steady proportions over the last few months.
First arrived Beatroot cafe and the scarily hip – and sometimes scarily scary – Dig Haushizzle antiques shop at the top. Then The Christmas Steps pub, a product of the CRACK magazine team, took up residence in what was The Three Sugar Loaves at the bottom. Then, three weeks ago, came Dubthai.
Half-expecting a bizarre genre of Far Eastern dubstep to be its USP, RP and I in fact discovered an inviting, homespun restaurant and art space behind a sweetshop green facade. Though it looks more tea room than trendy from the outside, within was an interesting collection of montage work and photography on the walls (exhibitions are set to change next month though Ann Pethers’ photography – based on Bristol graffiti has been popular so may stay), some unusual candlesticks made from industrial spare parts and an atmosphere not dissimilar to dining in your cool friend’s front room.
Upstairs is a spacious gallery area mostly dominated by a workbench belonging to Lawrence (one of half of the couple who own Dubthai. He makes the candlesticks) while downstairs is the cafe.
Tracy (the other half), who was just opening when we arrived at about quarter to six, describes herself as a ‘jack of many trades’ who spent 20 years cooking in Thailand. It is she who runs the food side of the joint and produces five pound dishes on a menu that is half Thai, half Caribbean. ‘I know Thai food well and Caribbean food just goes down well,’ she says.
And boy did we have some good goat curry. A warming amount of spice balanced by slippery rice and peas. There could have been a bit of a higher ratio of curry to rice but for a fiver, who’s to complain? Plus, the whole thing arrived within five minutes of ordering and if we’d fancied it Tracy was also offering chocolate pudding with custard and cream. Custard AND cream. It’s just that sort of place. What more could you want to break up the trudge up The Christmas Steps on a chilly autumn evening?
Watch this space for news of jam evenings on the piano with possible flute accompaniment (both Tracy and Lawrence play) and if you’re in need of Christmas present ideas there’s always those candlesticks…
Dubthai, 14 Christmas Steps, Bristol.