Lockdown has seen the music turned up and the lights turned down at Peter Sanchez-Iglesias’ flagship
A lot of top restaurants changed things up during the pandemic, but few to the extent of Bristol stalwart Casamia. The launch of a London outpost – Decimo – lockdown and staff changes triggered a major rethink for the restaurant’s Bristol-born chef-patron Peter Sanchez-Iglesias. The number of covers has been reduced to allow for longer menus of even more refined and focused modern cooking, but the biggest change is the restaurant’s overall attitude.
Though far from stuffy previously, Casamia was run along relatively traditional lines but has now joined the likes of Ynyshir and Carter’s of Moseley to offer something fun, irreverent and far more expressive of its young team’s personality (and of how they themselves like to eat). Cue the music being turned up and the lights dimmed.
Former Ynyshir chef Zak Hitchman heads the kitchen and describes the experience as ‘less of a restaurant, more of a weird gig with food’, offering a blind, 20-odd course tasting menu for a not-inconsiderable £180. Though there is more of an emphasis on live fire cooking, it’s not a rip off of his former employer with the menu focused on the same high quality local produce that Casamia has been using for years, while also reimagining some of the Harbourside restaurant’s existing ideas and flavour combinations.
The restaurant reopened in its current location in 2016. Five years later, it is unquestionable one of the South West most distinctive and progressive establishments.