Sundays for us are all about a morning stroll, followed by a late afternoon roast, plenty of red wine and a reasonably early night. This is true for 6 months of the year anyway. During the spring and summer months my family open up their private gardens to visitors, and so the Sunday roasts become no more. With only 2 more weekends until the start of the season, Mr R and I were excited to have been invited along by Bolero Bar & Kitchen to try out their Sunday menu, and to enjoy one of our last Sundays together for a while. If Bolero’s Insta-worthy traditional Sunday lunches weren’t tempting enough, the promise of free flowing prosecco or bellini’s at just £15pp (valid for 2 hours from reservation time) is an absolute no brainer!
Although it had been snowing outside and the short walk from the car to Bolero was absolutely freezing, for once we actually didn’t fancy a warming Sunday roast after all. With 2 courses at £19.95 and 3 courses for £24.95pp, the Sunday menu sounded like super value and definitely something I’d love to go back and try. Even though we decided to choose from the brunch menu, we asked our server if we could mix and match by picking something as a starter from the main menu and this was no trouble at all. Whilst waiting for our first course I thought I’d check out one of the brunch cocktails (£6.95 each), acknowledging that the bottomless fizz possibly wasn’t the best idea for me since it was only midday. I went with the coconut and raspberry bellini – a mix of Malibu, raspberry liqueur, fresh raspberries and prosecco.
As usual Mr R and I were eyeing up the same starter, but wanted to try as much of the menu as we could. My choice of citrus cured gravalax (£5) looked fantastic and was served with pickled cucumber, radish, Arenkha caviar (a substitute to caviar made from herring roe) and a handful of salad to garnish. Raw salmon is traditionally cured with dill, salt and sugar to make gravalax, but it didn’t matter at all that Bolero’s version had been done their own way. The thinly sliced salmon, or smoked salmon had been pickled with a citrus, wholegrain mustard and fresh parsley marinade. Bellini’s and salmon – the perfect way to start a late Sunday brunch wouldn’t you agree?
I’d rarely order or think about cooking lamb as I find it too fatty and I don’t always enjoy the taste, but for some reason the chargrilled lamb skewers (£5) had stood out to me on the menu as they also had for Mr R. It’s a simple dish that many restaurants and pubs seldom seem to get right. The chefs in the Bolero kitchen however got it spot on. The meat was lean, moist and had a deep spicy flavouring from the marinade, and by adding a touch of the accompanying chilli jam, it was brought even further to life. I know this because my kind and generous fiancé allowed me to try several bites of lamb which he’d put together for me on the pitta bread and cooling mint and garlic yoghurt. The texture of the yoghurt had a clever consistency resembling hummus and when combined with the tastes of the chargrill from both the meat and pitta, the whole thing was super tasty.
There are sandwiches and there are sandwiches. I’d opted for the Bolero open club (£8.90) and did not regret it. An enormous doorstop slice of tiger bread was at the foundation of this epic sandwich. The construction began with a lemon mayonnaise to cement the groundings, before the first storey of crisp baby gem had been laid, followed by a second floor sliced cucumber. Deliciously chargrilled Cajun chicken and smoked streaky bacon made up the protein tower, and finally was crowned with a poached egg to finish the job. The club had to be tackled with a knife and fork in order to eat it in the most appropriate manner, however it was made a little tricky by the wooden board it had been served on which kept moving around the table. This was one of those times where the practicality of plate would have been welcomed. Unsurprisingly I carried on regardless whilst at the same time making a complete mess of the table (sorry about that). I almost forgot to mention the chorizo jam on the side which complimented the sandwich wonderfully. With a sandwich of that size, the skin on fries were probably not needed, but there were no complaints from me – I loved it.
The rump steak sandwich chosen by Mr R was also served on tiger bread, but this time on a plate. I’d have switched it with him if there was the chance that he might prefer the look of my club. I needn’t have felt concerned though, because the steak sandwich was every bit as good as mine, albeit with far less height. Sweet caramelised onion covered the bread this time, topped with rare slices of steak as had been requested when ordering. Rump steak is always a great choice for flavour, and although more simple than my club, it was equally as epic. We loved the deep pink colour of the meat, which had clearly been rested as there was no uncomfortable bleeding on the plate. Again a portion of skin on fries were on the side and got a compliment from Mr R as they were his favourite cut. With our brunch I sipped on my second cocktail from the drinks menu – the ‘French 75’ made up with Bombay Sapphire gin, lemon juice, sugar and Champagne (£8). A sweet and sharp refreshing drink, and my favourite of the 2 I’d tried.
I asked Mr R if he fancied a pud and I ignored his decision to decline. No one needs that kind of negativity in their life. Thankfully it was fairly easy to persuade him that we could squeeze in a chocolate brownie between the 2 of us. I usually expect a brownie to be room temperature or hot and squidgy, but this one was cold. It had been made with dark chocolate and was rich like a torte, and still had the texture of the brownie. It would have been far too intense for me to tackle on my own, but perfect between the 2 of us and utterly delicious and we both agreed the chilled version worked really well. Vanilla bean ice cream mixed with the crumbs of caramel shard was also a real treat. The strawberries and strawberry gel were deep in flavour. The strong undeniable taste of British strawberries that we look forward to picking and eating in the summer season – not too long to wait now!
Before Sunday I’d mainly thought of Bolero as a really great cocktail bar, but since Sunday I now see it as my favourite place in Worcester city centre to have brunch. We couldn’t fault a thing about the food and the staff were really keen to impress. There’s plenty of reasons for us to go back as well as to sample the roasts, they have lunch, dinner and afternoon tea menus which are all begging to be tried. Oh yeah, and a whole bunch of cocktails to work my way through.
Cost: £34.90 (food only)
2 starters, 2 mains from brunch menu, 1 dessert
Worcester, Worcestershire, United Kingdom – last visited in March 2018
Food hygiene rating – 4/5 good– date of last inspection 8th January 2017.
*Although we received a 50% discount on our total food and drinks bill on this particular visit, as ever my words and photos are my own. Thank you again to Jenny for inviting us and to all of the front of house, bar and kitchen team at Bolero Bar & Kitchen for hosting us and making us feel very welcome.