Delifonseca Dockside creates a whole new restaurant at Brunswick Dock

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The Food Hall, an award winning delicatessen, and award winning Edge & Son butchers remain in situ. When I lived in Toronto, I loved it that there was a German delicatessen within skipping distance of my apartment. I always thought of it as an Aladdin’s cave of goodies. The Food Hall is exactly that. And their hampers are to die for.

WORDS: Jean Hill

The restaurant, still connected, has grown into a new space, with a view out to the Dock, and, the evening we were there, that vista provided a spectacular sunset. Candice Fonseca oversaw the interior design and it is inspired. The bar boasts an exquisite, carved wooden ‘dresser’ in pride of place, and is fronted with tasteful glitzy tiles. Subdued green velvet booth seating combines with shades of mauve, and marble table tops, and beyond open table seating. Plants drift below sky lights: it is a beautifully restrained up-market vibe and relaxing. Groups of people, some families, some friends, some business people, all looked to be enjoying themselves.   

The black-boards occupy a whole wall of space. The menu tends to be seasonal, and changes on a daily basis. The Restaurant Manager, Tom Ford, welcomed us and chatted about food and drink, and there appeared, as if by magic, a Negroni, with serious intent. The component parts are: vermouth, cognac, gin with rhubarb infusion, elderflower and raspberry gin. Heady, divine stuff. Meanwhile I was sipping an Argentinian Malbec, sublimely smooth and rich.

We started with the Great British Platter. It is epic. The Welsh slivers of black beef had meltingly great flavour. The home-cooked ham, was a ‘meaty’ not really salty delight. The raised crust pie, was a work of art. The Lancashire cheese had a sharp satisfying taste. I loved the potato and chive salad: the potato retained its distinctive flavour and was simply enhanced with subtle additions. All this and a yummy apricot chutney. I opted for Persian (Iranian) lamb stew for my main. It was described as a dry stew, with dry limes, herbs and spices. The lamb had almost a crust, was impressively succulent and had soaked up, not at all dry, spicy notes. The slow cooked belly pork came with a Spanish stew, lentils, and chorizo. Again it was beautifully tender meat.

We could not have expected more. Then I spotted passion fruit crème Brulée on the dessert menu. There is a keep it classic argument: this pudding demolished it, as I demolished this divine dessert. The passion fruit adds a semi-sweet whipped lightness. This is a place to celebrate food and drink. Delifonseca keeps winning awards, and it is easy to see why.

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