We’d been eagerly awaiting our visit to Disco Bistro for quite a while, having read so many good things about the food. Despite the hype, I’m delighted to say we were not disappointed in the slightest!
Our booking was for 7:30 but we arrived a little early and decided to grab a quick drink in the pub downstairs. On their website, it’s called a “trashy bar,” and this was certainly the case. Aside from the door leading up to Disco Bistro, the Rising Sun is basically just another city watering hole. It wasn’t particularly busy either, but then again, it was early on a Tuesday evening.
Upstairs there is a small and intimate dining room – no disco balls in sight. However, it’s got a very eclectic feel and some unusual ornaments; like an antique gramophone chandelier, lamps adorned with stuffed squirrels and some interesting chalkboard artwork. The furniture is also fun. There are even some old bus seats (on sale for around £200), as well as other vintage chairs.
There were already three or four tables occupied by this time, and it wasn’t long before the dining room was completely full. Despite this, the waitress looking after us was very friendly and welcoming. As soon as we were given menus, we began the difficult task of deciding what to order!
Starters were an especially hard choice, as they all sounded tempting! In the end, we went for scallops, black pudding and apple, and the newly launched “quack fiend.” For the main course, we had our hearts set on the 35 day aged Dexter ribeye that we’d seen on the website, but unfortunately the menu had changed. So we settled on the disco burger and the onglet steak with bone marrow.
We were very happy with our starters. The scallops were perfectly cooked, the black pudding added a lovely richness and the apple sauce was tangy and acidic to add some balance. If the scallops were good, the quack fiend was sensational. Duck dripping toast with foie gras, BBQ duck, scratchings & pickles. How good does that sound? I found it perfectly balanced in terms of flavour and texture. The duck scratchings in particular were great and there was just the right amount of fois gras so it wasn’t overpowering. Delicious!
The steak arrived on the rare side of medium rare and was full of flavour. The Hog has never had onglet before and was very pleased with the cut. He’s also not a fan of bone marrow but this was a different kettle of fish altogether. The marrow had been transformed by adding breadcrumbs and herbs, then crisped up, before being put back into the bone. I think the Hog may have been converted.
The beef dripping chips were great, if a little heart attack inducing, but we won’t dwell on that. Anyway, they were worth it! My disco burger was meaty, messy and fantastic. I was excited by the prospect of BBQ short rib in the burger and wasn’t disappointed. It was smokey and cheesy and everything you’d expect from a good burger (trust me, I’ve eaten a few in my time, oink).
We could’ve stopped there to be honest, as we were both quite full. The Hog was certainly keen to call it a day, but I protested. I always justify it by saying it wouldn’t be a full review if we didn’t try something from each catorgory ;-). So we ordered a portion of the gingerbread doughnuts. These came out hot and sugar coated, served with a creamy lemon curd on the side. Doughnuts seem to be having a bit of a resurgence at the moment and it’s not hard to see why! Even the Hog couldn’t resist these, despite being full! It was the perfect way to round off the meal. I’d really like to know the recipe!
The food and service here was truly exceptionally and I can’t wait to go back. I’m looking forward to trying the wings and pigeon fritters. The pork main course and buttermilk fried chicken roll sound pretty damn tasty too.
Disco Bistro is a real find. It may be in a bit of a wasteland when it comes to good restaurants, but don’t be deterred as you walk past the generic chain restaurants on your way. This part of the city is crying out for good places to eat and Disco Bistro is certainly a welcome addition. Shame it’s only a pop-up!
3 course meal for 2 including a few glasses of wine & service – £86. I repeat, booking is essential!