Posted on | August 21, 2013 | 2 Comments
‘Has it been almost 18 months since you told us where you like to eat in Cardiff?’, I hear you ask. And yes, it has been that long and I feel it is my duty to update you to my current and new favourites. So below is that list.
(I have not included places that I put on the last list but that’s not to say I’m not still considered part of the furniture at many of them. So please, read this blog in conjuncture with the last – otherwise Madame Fromage and The Potted Pig will stop treating me like the true gentleman I am [not].)
I would add that I love these places, know the owners personally and wish them all the best therefore think of these as positive recommendations not critical reviews. Perhaps you could nit-pick one or two minute imperfections in them if you were being a complete phallus but I love these places and below is why.
Oz Urfa (City Road, Roath)
This is a new place I that I just can’t get enough of. Being a Mediterranean place specialising in kebabs on City Road one cannot say it is alone and to stand out it would need to be something truly special, but luckily it is! The quality and the freshness of food makes mockery of all the other Turkish joints on City Road (yes, even Troy!), the stuff are lovely and the food is incredibly cheap. They actually make their own baklava which, to my knowledge, no other restaurant on City Road does. I’m even so fond of it I bigged it up on Tripadvisor so read that if you want to know more.
KL Canolog (Wellfield Road, Roath)
I used to think Wellfield Road couldn’t get better for eating places but it has recently proved me wrong, especially with the arrival of this wonderful Malaysian café/deli. Run by a loving Malaysian couple this beauty would stand just as strongly in a street in Malaysia, and it is no wonder demand now led them to open in the evenings. Plus it’s one of those few places where you can feel comfortable popping in at any hour for a coffee and cake or a three-course main meal and not feel remotely out of place – or be subjected to frozen meals.
Mirchi’s (City Road, Roath)
It’s hard to know where to go for your standard Anglo-Indian affair I’ve been in and out of favour with a few establishments and it’s fair to say the variation is minimal. However if you fancy something a bit different (and spicy!) you can’t go far wrong with Mirchi’s. Mirchi’s is a family run Pakistani establishment (the liberal in me feels slightly uncomfortable describing something as ‘Pakistani’ but he shouldn’t worry as this place is) specialising in some of the most vibrant, flavoursome and meaty curries you’ll ever taste. They do the freshest naan I’ve tasted and you can tell it’s fresh because it’s made right in front of you.
Although I said I’m not going to be critical I think it’s fair to note that the service is a bit shambolic at times, at busy periods you can wait a lot then to find your main coming as you’re barely half-way through your starter. And try to pick a big table as they’re never in a hurry to take your finished plates away. However you quickly get used to it and the food is definitely worth it!
(There’s no nice way to say this but as the food is so hard-hitting and spicy I don’t recommend going if you have a long car journey the next morning. Know wha’ I’m sayin’?)
.cn (City Road, Roath)
Chinese takeaways are a craze that has largely passed me by, not that I don’t enjoy proper Chinese cuisine but the stuff most people get when they ‘have a Chinese’ is often a very poor and bland representation. Luckily .cn is far from your average ‘chinky’ and is quite a special establishment itself. If you come here looking for your usual takeaway order you’d likely be disappointed – no crispy duck (although it’s probably not duck) pancakes, no sweet and sour chicken with its unmistakeable MSG getting you in the back of your throat and no frozen spring-rolls. Instead .cn offer all the types of meat you can think of –and many that you can’t- in wonderfully fresh flavoursome sauces that penetrate all corners of your mouth – bar the back one reserved for MSG.
Pigs’ intestines, duck tounge, chicken gizzard you name it it’s on the menu; I even once made a [not set-worthy] joke about me making a ‘pigs’ ear’ of a dish only to be told I should order some – yes they’re on the menu too; they’re quite rubbery but not bad. Luckily they have more ordinary sounding meat dishes too. Plus all dishes are between £6-10 which is incredibly reasonable given their ample size.
Café Citta (Church Street, town centre)
As this is Cardiff’s no. 1 ranked restaurant on Tripadvisor I don’t need to say much about it but if you’re after a pizza in town there is no better place. Everything is fresh and well-prepared to the max – if you don’t believe me you can see for yourself as everything is made right in front of you. It’s run by a family who are so friendly and warm, clearly into their food and always have time to talk to their customers. (Although do note, they don’t share the same taste in music so if you want to compliment them on playing some Little Feat make sure you get the Americana-loving husband!) What I would say though is being so small and so popular it fills up quicker than a fast-food eater’s arteries so either book early or take advantage of its all-day opening hours by going mid/late afternoon.
So those are my current favourites, no doubt some will get better, get worse or eventually disappear, but in the meantime visit them!