Meet ‘Izzy & Irie Cosy Dinners’, a new pop-up kitchen at the Old Bookshop specialising in Caribbean tapas with Creole influences. For the next few weeks, you’ll find them at the ‘The Old Bookshop’ till 2nd September 2016. Run by three guys, they’ve got an admirable brother-like relationship with each other! Izzy, Irie and Andy, are all keen to spread their passion for food to the people of Bristol.
Izzy and Irie, the masterminds behind the menu. Starting out as a supper club, they’d often (and accidentally) cater for friends the morning after a house party. After a string of successful events and positive feedback from others, it led them to the idea of a pop-up kitchen.
On the night of their grand opening, The Old Bookshop was packed with a sea of people. Couples and large groups filled every corner of the room (including a party of 20 people)! I saw dishes crossing paths, travelling from side to side, leaving tempting trails of exotic smells. All in all, an accurate reflection of the name.
The delicious smells and the lively atmosphere made me a little impatient to try the food myself. I was quick to familiarise myself with the menu. Andy came to introduce himself and kindly talked us through the menu. Sensing our indecision on the tapas menu (never an easy job), he gave us a few recommendations making sure we were as comfortable as we would be at our mother’s house!
The menu was split into four: meat, veggie, fish and sides. With so much to choose from, we had to get some help from team! Apparently, an order of 6 dishes should do. However, the team was very generous and threw in a couple more dishes.
Starting off with the fish tapas, the little Salt Fish Fritters were satisfying and exactly how you’d expect it to be – salty and moreish. The grilled Fish A’la Creole, recommended by Andy, was an absolute delight. The salsa… absolutely refreshing! The pickled vegetables sat below? A fantastic and great addition that really set the fish off with its sourness. Next up was the Curry Pot! Served with corn and a creole veggie pastie, I couldn’t fault this dish. It was delicious and filled with warming spices. My only criticism would be that the pastie could’ve had a touch more filling.
Now onto the meat tapas! The BBQ Smokey Ribs arrived with a lovely shine to their surface and the meat itself was tender and sweet. Andy mentioned they were quite popular on the night and I wasn’t surprised. However, the main event has got to be the Creole Style Jerk Chicken. The chef’s special! The chicken was covered in a generous portion of rich and sticky sauce. The meat was beautifully smokey and fell off the bone effortlessly. The flavour…well, it was a plate full of sunshine.
Overall, my experience at ‘Izzy & Irie Cosy Dinners’ has been exceptional. It’s a casual dining experience packed with character and warmth. Having spoken to all of the team behind the food, I know that they all have big culinary ambitions. I do hope they stick around in Bristol so that I can enjoy their food and good company.