13 Small St, Bristol BS1 1DE

Vegan friendly Friends has been open in the current location in Bristol for a couple of years, just down from Bristol Crown Court, quite easy to miss, and very near Nelson Street where the See No Evil graffiti can be found. Friends Chinese restaurant is run by very nice people, who seem to get the vegan thing, as there is about a dozen vegan options to choose from as standard on the menu, and about thirty on the menu for a Bristol Vegans meet up recently.

Apparently this Chinese is uniquely authentic in Bristol, as they serve dishes with black fungi, a nutritious food that is rarely found in the UK. Though the deep fried tofu in black bean sauce is also recommended too. A recent menu included the items below.

Vegetables with cashew nuts in spicy sauce
Straw mushrooms in vegetarian oyster sauce
Bean curd stewed in black bean sauce
Stir fried mixed mushroom
Stewed aubergine with mixed vegetable hot pot
Enoki mushrooms on chinese greens
Bamboo fungus on chinese greens
Stewed bean curd and chinese mushrooms
Spicy salt & pepper bean curd

Central Bristol location, vegan choices on the menu, nice staff, recommended.

2 thoughts on “Friends

  1. My husband and I tried Friends the other week. We rang ahead to book & they were really helpful on the phone. It was hilarious when we got there though as we were quite early and they asked ‘were we in the right place?!’ not sure what that says about us! But I think it was more to do with the fact that they are surrounded by road works atm and this can’t be helping their business – which is a real shame.
    The restaurant itself is massive really and not with an atmosphere condusive to a romantic meal if that’s what you’re after… however it makes up for this in other ways.
    The experience, was, lets say, a little different! as once we’d all established that we were ‘the vegans who had booked’ we were pretty much told what we could have (no menus offered) – well I say told – they were recommendations I guess.
    But in actual fact when a place is new to you I think I prefer this approach – as it meant I didn’t have to try and decipher a huge menu and ask loads of questions.
    She reigned us in at 2 dishes with a noodles and a rice too and we hoped it would be enough.
    It was more than enough! and the food was absolutely delicious! My husband even said he thinks its the best Chinese meal he’s had in ages. I can’t exactly say what dishes we had – the noodles were tasty and packed with veg, then there was a monks clay pot dish with mushrooms, aubergine and broccoli and also some kind of tofu/mushroom dumplings in a vegan oyster sauce, I think. Plus a home made dipping sauce on the side. It was all incredibly tasty.
    There was so much that we had a doggy bag to take home too and had it for supper the next day.

    I gather this restaurant is popular with Chinese people during the week, which speaks volumes of how good it is – it’s a shame it was so quite on a weekend evening.
    We would definitely return and we’d definitely recommend it. It’s quirky, but you’ll love the food.
    Chantal x


  2. Amazing. Very vegan friendly place (if the other options on the menu don’t put you off). I had some kind of tofu orbs that were recommended by the waitress, they were awesome.


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