Review: No.4 Clifton Village

After enjoying a pretty amazing meal at The Square Kitchen back in May, I paid its sister restaurant No.4 Clifton Village a visit last week*. I’d heard of the restaurant before, mainly in relation to private events, and I was eagerly anticipating another delicious dining experience.

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Situated within The Rodney Hotel in the heart of Clifton Village, this AA Rosette restaurant is part of Quarter’s range of establishments within Bristol, which as well as the aforementioned Square Kitchen, also includes Racks Bar & Kitchen on St Pauls Road.

No.4 prides itself of the seasonality of its offering, with the all of the produce they serve sourced from in and around the Bristol area, and I was excited to experience their menu for myself – read on to see what I thought.

Arrival

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On first glance, you’d be forgiven for not realising that The Rodney Hotel isn’t just that. Despite No.4 having a signpost that peers out through the trees onto the main road, the overall signage feels quite understated to me, adding to the exclusive preconception that I already had of this restaurant.  Before visiting, I mistakenly thought that No.4 only catered for weddings and events, rather than being a restaurant that’s open to the general public – how wrong I was.

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As we approached the entrance (which is set back from the main road), we peered through to a small lobby area, where the reception for The Rodney Hotel is located. We were greeted by a friendly female server, who showed us through to a small room at the back of the hotel, where the bar and our table were located.

As we entered, I was immediately struck by the cosy, intimate feel of the restaurant – it felt like we had just stepped into a friend’s dining room, rather than a professional eatery, and I was looking forward to experiencing a meal in an environment that would be different from the usual buzzing settings that I’m used to. We were seated at a table for two by the window, which had a lovely view of the garden outside. Once our server had taken our drinks order (two glasses of prosecco – any excuse to enjoy some fizz), we were then left to consider the menu.

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Main

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After perusing the restaurant’s A La Carte menu, presented on a clipboard and offering several delicious sounding dishes, I decided to stick to something of a classic for my main – pan fried chicken supreme with fondant potato, asparagus and wild mushroom jus (£14), while my guest chose the 8oz rib-eye steak (£18.50).

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When our mains were brought out, I thought the presentation was great. With my choice, I thought the chicken was moist and that the jus gave the dish a great flavour. The fondant potato was also cooked well, but I felt the asparagus was slightly over done and not al denté as expected – however, I really enjoyed the course overall and thought that the quality of the ingredients and portion size offered good value for money too.

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My guest, while commenting that his steak was well cooked, found that it was slightly over salted for his palate – perhaps a bit too much seasoning had been used on this occasion. That said, I saw lots of appreciative nods as he made his way through the dish, and he commented that the hand cut chips were cooked perfectly – so all in all, one and a half thumbs up (rather than the obligatory two!) for the mains.

Dessert

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I was definitely in the mood for something sweet after my main course, and after enjoying the dessert that I had eaten at the Square Kitchen, I was excited to see what delights would be on offer here. After the server cleared our plates and brought us dessert menus, one dish in particular jumped out at me – the Eton tidy, a twist on the classic Eton mess (£5). My guest opted for the wicked sounding dark chocolate delice (£6.50) – I couldn’t wait to sneak a bite!

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After a short wait, again I was really impressed with the presentation when our desserts were brought out. My Eton tidy was really impressive – the strawberries were perfectly sweet, and I found the jelly element of the dish really interesting.

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My guest was also thoroughly impressed with his pudding – I mean just look at it! All the different elements (rich dark chocolate delice, creamy panna cotta and crunchy honeycomb) worked really well together to create a pretty amazing dessert – needless to say that both slates were left clean!

Overall we really enjoyed our meal at No.4 Clifton Village. Whilst the menu is not as extensive as the offering at The Square Kitchen, the restaurant clearly has decided to focus on quality rather than quantity, which is a good strategy in my opinion. Only two other tables were occupied during our visit, which added to the subdued nature of the dining experience – it was nice to not feel rushed by our server and to feel like we had time to sit back and enjoy the food at our own pace. Whilst I hadn’t realised that members of the public are able to dine at the restaurant before my visit, I can safely say that based on this experience I’ll be back – well done No.4!

Have you been to No.4 Clifton Village before? I’d love to know what you thought! Let me know by commenting below.

*Although I was invited to visit No.4 Clifton Village for the purpose of a review, the words, thoughts and opinions stated here are all my own.

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