Neo Bistro was just opened in June by Alex Harper from the Harwood Arms and Mark Jarvis from Anglo. They took their technique and skills to a more informal setting here at Neo Bistro. The atmosphere was relaxed and minimalistic, not overly fussy or stuffy.
We sat down and ordered a few cocktails to start off our journey into this new movement.
The Mezcal Margherita (£9) was a beautiful sight to behold and a wonderfully strong drink. The rim was garnished with dried hisbiscus and salt, which contrasted well with the refreshing and strong margherita (how prettily fuchsia it is didn't hurt either hehe).
The Thyme Sour (£8) was also pleasing - minimal but different. An herb sprig gently laid across a peachy pink drink also made for a lovely picture.
I was showed their in-house charcuterie area downstairs and decided to start off with their Venison and Pork Chorizo. I am not generally a huge fan of chorizo, but I thought it was quite good.
Their Cured Tamworth Pork Neck (£7) was alright but was not great, in my opinion. It was, however, interestingly garnished with pickled green almonds, which made for something different and interesting.
Their Freshly Whipped Butter paired with Kumut Sourdough bread (£3.50) was SO good. It was unlike ANY butter I have ever had before - light but so rich and creamy? Neo makes their butter themselves and it took at least a full minute to explain the complicated lengths they go to to make this once in a lifetime butter. 10/10 would come here just to have the butter again. The bread is also freshly baked every single morning. So much for trying to cut out that wheat and dairy.....
For appetisers, I tried their Sea Trout (£10) with herb mousse and elderflowers. I really enjoyed this dish. The trout was tender and paired well with crunchy snow peas, soft herb mousse and had a slightly vinegary base to the sauce over the dish. Very delicious! The trout, we later found out, was cured in orange juice and the yellow mousse is orange creme. Hence the slightly citrusy flavour. B-E-A-utiful.
The Fresh Cheese with Smoked Potatoes and Walnut (£8) was a blend of very interesting flavours. The cheese base was handmade by chef Alex and surrounded with walnut and dill pesto, topped with grilled leek and garnished with shaved truffle. An absolutely delightful combination!
The Fillet of Beef (£19) was a special that day and boy, am I glad I ordered it. The beef was just bursting with flavour! It was ever so slightly and perfectly charred (but not burntly so) around the edges whilst being tenderly pink evenly through out the meat and not just in the middle. I had to include a closer look for you below :
The slightly round blob on the right of the picture below is actually BONE MARROW. Beef and bone marrow is always the perfect combination, in my opinion and when I bit into this, I was proved right. The tropea onion was charred nicely, giving it its sweetness.
The Isle of Wight Tomatoes with Dashi and Shiso (£4.50) was a perfect side to complement the mains - refreshing and light, while cutting through the taste of meat nicely. I liked how the dashi and shiso came in a gel sheet form - what a mouth feel ;)
The Herdwick Lamb with Smoked Eel and Turnip (£18) was another stunner (though nothing can steal the limelight of the filet de boeuf). It was a tender lamb belly roll with fermented turnip, runner beans and smoked eel (the long strip in the middle).
I would 10/10 come back just to have their Chocolate & Malt (£8) dessert. A rich chocolate tart with crunch in it was paired interestingly with malt ice cream. That crunch....that crunch....
A little glimpse of the interior on the main floor!
Here's the adorable Charcuterie & Pickled Treats area above it. I can't emphasise how much I love that Neo Bistro focuses so much on making most of their food themselves. They had all sorts of pickled goodies! They were also curing their meats in that humidity and temperature adjusted enclosed area.
I also just had to include a picture of this vintage meat slicer, their garnishings (below), and cute bar top.