News: Valentines Day!

We are now taking reservations for Valentines Day! The time of year has come once again where The Spiny Lobster will host a romantic evening will a delicious seafood feast! 

Please call the restaurant on 0117 9737384 for more information or to make a reservation.

Tue 17th Oct 2017 at 13:29

An Evening with "Mitch Tonks":

An evening with Mitch Tonks

Tuesday 17th october

We are super excited that food writer, restauranteur Mitch Tonks will be jumping back into what was one of the first kitchens he ever worked in! The spiny team are happy to annouce that for one night only mitch will be teaming up with our chefs for what will be a fantastic night of delicious food! 

Call the restaurant now to book a table as this is a night not to be missed!

01179 737384

Thu 28th Sep 2017 at 12:11

Jazz & Shellfish Night - September 28th:

Jazz & Shellfish evening

On Thursday September 28th we will have jazz duo Molly & the Kings accompanying our Shellfish menu.

We will have our Fruit de Mer platter on offer, an oyster selection to die for plus a delcious selection of hot & cold shellfish - and of course a wine list to complement!

Contact the restaurant on 0117 9737384 or enquiries@thespinylobster.co.uk for more info or to book your table

Thu 27th Apr 2017 at 12:14

JAZZ & SHELLFISH NIGHTS ARE BACK!:

More dates announced for our popular jazz and shellfish nights!  

Thursday 25th May

Thursday 29th June

Thursday 27th July 

Thursday 31st August 

Thursday 28th September 

Thursday 26th October 

Shellfish only menu with jazz playing throughout the evening.

Bookings from 7pm and jazz will be on until about 9:30/10ish

Tue 19th May 2015 at 16:29

Crumbs Magazine Restaurant review: The Spiny Lobster:

Crumbs Magazine - May 2015 Restaurant review: The Spiny Lobster

MARK TAYLOR visits the ever-evolving Whiteladies Road fish restaurant

 

After A few days in Cornwall, I still hadn’t had my fill of fish. So it seemed only right that I still had sand in my shoes when I arrived at The Spiny Lobster the minute I landed back in Bristol.

 

Until recently, this corner site at the top end of Whiteladies Road was Rockfish and, before that, FishWorks. For those locals with elephantine memories, it was even a fishmongers called Lloyds back in the 1970s, and it was a wet fish shop prior to that. That means fish has been sold here for at least 40 years, maybe longer, and it is Weston-super-Mare born restaurateur and chef Mitch Tonks who is continuing this tradition.

 

The recent change of name, and gentle refurbishment, is to do with separating this Bristol business from Tonks’s group of Rockfish restaurants, which are slowly spreading their tentacles along the Devon coast. More family-oriented seafood restaurants, Rockfish is all about eating high quality fish and chips and knickerbocker glories within sight of the sea. The latest flagship Rockfish, which opened in Brixham last month, overlooks the harbour and you can virtually touch the boats that caught the fish you are eating – what better way to encapsulate Tonks’s mantra of ‘tomorrow’s fish are still in the sea’? As well as Rockfish, Tonks also owns the highly acclaimed Seahorse restaurant in Dartmouth, a more fine dining seafood experience and a place that is a regular fixture on lists of the UK’s best eateries.

 

In many ways, The Spiny Lobster is a sibling to The Seahorse in that it’s a more grown-up, special occasion restaurant with linen tablecloths, Art Deco table lamps and sea-green leather banquettes. Walls are plastered with seafood identification posters and photos of Tonks’s family and friends, as well as the weather-beaten Brixham fishermen who risk their lives every day to ensure we can eat some of the best fish you’ll find anywhere in the world.

 

Although he occasionally hosts special events here, Tonks doesn’t cook in Bristol, but head chef James Davidson has worked for him for years and sings from the same hymn sheet when it comes to produce-driven seasonal menus and respecting the raw materials by doing as little to them as possible. Many of the dishes are cooked over charcoal in the searing heat of the Josper oven, including the non-fish options – on this visit, these included bavette with rosemary and red wine sauce; and spring chicken roasted over the fire with sage.

 

Tonks has forged close links with his fish suppliers in Devon, and 95% of the menu is written around the catch of the day. A starter of cured salmon with fennel and blood orange (£6.90) was as pretty as it was delicious – the firm, sweet fish perfectly complemented by the slices of crunchy raw fennel, and the oily richness countered by the citrus burst of the vivid red blood orange segments.

 

A Spanish-inspired main course of hake with sherry and capers (£18) was a fine example of intelligent fish cookery. The snow-white flakes of hake were precisely timed and remarkably fresh, the creamy, slightly sweet sherry sauce studded with piquant capers. Other choices being enjoyed around me included pickled red mullet with chilli and orange; Royale bream with caponata; Dover sole with lime and sage; and monkfish cooked ‘in the style of Romagna’.

 

From a list of seasonal springtime desserts that included panna cotta with Yorkshire rhubarb, Gariguette strawberries with crème fraîché (£6) was delicate, refreshing and a sure-fire sign that summer is just around the corner.

 

It may have a new name and identity, but The Spiny Lobster continues where Rockfish left off by serving the freshest fish and seafood in an elegant but relaxed dining room. It might be a long way from the sea proper, but this is one restaurant that continues to make a big splash on the local food scene.