May 8 2017

Summer menu at Graze Bath

There’s a kind of hush all over the world, tonight – well, if not the world, then most definitely in and around Bath Spa railway station on the evening we sallied forth to Graze Bath, which was when the station’s platform makeover project was in full swing… which is why there were no trains hurtling past mere metres away from our table for two on the night we went a-grazin’. But hey-ho, normal service has been resumed at the station now – not that it ever paused for a moment at Graze, not even when Bath Ales’ contempo-glam flagship merrymaking venture was acquired by the St Austell Brewery last summer. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Unlike the railway station platforms, this spacious, super-modern bar, restaurant and micro-brewery – featuring alfresco terraces adjacent to the choo choo action on one side and views over the SouthGate rooftops on t’other – most certainly doesn’t need any kind of tampering with. It’s always refreshing, however, when menus are given a mini-makeover for a brand new season, especially when locally sourced produce is pushed to the fore.

While Graze has (rightfully) earned itself a glowing reputation for carni-centric blowouts and specialises in upper-crust cuts of beef, lamb and pork cooked to your liking in the Josper charcoal oven at the epicentre of a buzzing open kitchen, there are plenty of seasonal treats for those of a less meaty persuasion to enjoy too, as our starters of baked artichoke served in a creamy, indulgent sauce of goats’ cheese and courgettes, delightfully muddled-up with a soft-baked egg plus a second dish of tantalisingly crisp salt’n’pepper squid proved. Veggie and fish-based options are writ large throughout the rest of the menu as well (and we have it on good authority that the classic fish and chips are excellent), and super-sized salads a bit of a speciality. We, however, did indeed go with the farm-to-plate flow for our mains: a salaciously moist lamb burger served with red onion, garlic and mint mayonnaise and moreish triple-cooked chips, and a gert big juicy ribeye steak which we chose to slather with the stilton sauce (from a selection that also includes the lesser-spotted red wine and bone marrow option) and team with a totally treatsome, super-indulgent bowl of brie and fried onion potatoes, which I’d be happy to live on until I could no longer find a waistband that could accommodate the ensuing girth should I actually live up to that vow. On a similar theme… we had a side of macaroni cheese, too. Yes we did. And so should you. But hey, at least we didn’t (couldn’t!) plunder the puddings list after such an overblown blowout; having said that, next time I visit, I’m cutting out the main course entirely and heading straight for the lemon posset and the apricot and almond tart – fruit: it’s good for you, don’cha know?

And overall, Graze is good for Bath, representing a modern take on the Great British menu served up in thoroughly modern surroundings by staff who genuinely get the meaning of service with a smile. Even when there’s a kind of hush on Bath Spa station, Graze is worth shouting about.

The small print: sharing platters from £12-16. Starters circa £6-7.50. Mains from £9/10 up to £55 for chateaubriand to share. Puds £5.50-8. Wine list: extensive, well-considered, from around £18/bottle. Excellent range of craft beers, ales and ciders (obv!).

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