Another month, another new food business on Cotham Hill. The latest to open on what is fast becoming a Bristol food mecca is Japanese restaurant Yume (pronounced “you may”). Located in what for many years was the Friary cafe, Yume will soon be opening at 9am for breakfasts, but until then they are offering a lunch and dinner menu to both eat in and take away.
What may prove popular are their bento boxes, where rather like the tiffins one can take to the Thali Cafes across Bristol, you can buy a box for £25 to keep and then fill it up with your choice of food.
Yume’s two bento options are miso salmon (£9) and meatball (£8), the first two items on a refreshingly simple menu that encompasses teishyoku (trays with miso soup and rice), teriyaki (beef, chicken and salmon grilled in sweet soy sauce), noodles and sushi.
My own choice was the pork ramen (£6) from the noodle option. Currently all the rage in that there London where restaurants are named after the dish, ramen is Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat- or fish-based broth.
Half an egg was floating in my broth, with several sliced chunks of pork. I don’t know Japanese dining etiquette, but I switched between the ramen, some sushi and edamame beans from the sides choice with reckless abandon.
As yet there is no alcohol license, but tea fans are well served by Japanese options from Bristol’s own Lahloo, including matcha latte which is currently on special offer at £2.
Upstairs here has the feeling of a canteen to it, with a humming fridge, stools in the window and a banquette along one wall. Head downstairs and it becomes more like a restaurant, with a painted paper screen the likes of which Bruce Lee used to jump through when dealing with dozens of Samurai sword-wielding baddies.
Staff are dressed in traditional Japanese red and black dress and can helpfully decipher the menu and even more usefully, explain just what are the strange sweets and other assorted treats at the counter.
Yume, 9 Cotham Hill, Bristol, BS6 6LD. 0117 2002 888.