I'm Tommowinnie from Cardiff. I've been Qyping since 23-05-2008
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13 Quay Street, Cardiff, Wales CF10 1EA
Agree completely with WRU; Casanova is a true hidden gem that delights. Me and two friends went on a whim one night around nine o clock and had a blast. The food was incredible. I had Tuna Carpaccio to start (delicious) followed by the steak dish (medium rare steak & celeriac on one side of the plate with a little tower of melt-in-the-mouth braised beef stacked on sweet red cabbage on the other side of the plate - really, reeeeeeeally good). My friends opted for some of the vegetarian dishes and said that they were delicious (especially the mushroom risotto with truffle oil).
Usually, after two courses, dessert would be out of the question, but the food was too good to resist, so we shared profiteroles, chocolate fondant and tiramisu with even sampled the dessert wines. All were superb.
The bottle of red that we chose (after some very helpful advice from our waiter; a wonderfully funny guy who spoke seven languages!) was fantastic. Smooth and mellow; exactly what we were after. And then, towards the end of the night, our charming waiter brought round the other bottle of wine we were fancying and gave everyone upstairs a free glass to try! What a lovely touch.
The food was fantastic, the staff were friendly and professional and very helpful, the wine was great and the bill didn't break the bank. All three of us had a starter, main and dessert and shared a bottle of wine and it cost us £35 each. I'd gladly pay that again (and will, for I intend to visit Casanova again and again and again until i've exhausted the menu!).
Unit 16 & U7b, Mermaid Quay, Cardiff, Wales CF10 5BZ
It’s big, it’s packed, it’s fast and furious; it’s Cosmo.
Popped in one Friday night with a group of friends and was lucky enough to get a table straight away (and one tucked in a side room by a window looking out over The Packet). The place was heaving, so we were surprised to be seated so quickly. But then the whole experience was quick! You sit down, you order a beer, it arrives in minutes, you go to the buffet and help yourself (as many times as you want), the minute your knife and fork rest on your empty plate it’s whisked away and your bill follows in the blink of an eye. I think we were in, fed and watered, billed and back out on the street in around 40 minutes!
The food was delicious, but there’s sooooo much choice that it can take a while to figure out what you want. I think that repeat visits are required to work out your favourites. The other thing to note is that it’s great value of you go up two or three times, but not so great value if you can only manage the one plate (£13.50). So go when you’re starving and make the most of it!
Also, if you like your dining experiences quiet and intimate, don’t go here. It’s more cattle market than candlelight dinner!
Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, Wales CF10 5BZ
Having been told over and over how fab the food is at Mimosa, I paid a visit and was blown away. The dishes on the main menu and specials menu all sounded delicious and making a choice was hard. In the end, I went for the lamb cutlets with mint oil and roast carrots and parsnip (there is a list of lovely sounding extra dishes if you want more). The waitress asked me how I wanted my lamb cooked. I asked for medium rare with the emphasis on pink in the middle and that’s exactly what I got. The mint oil was stunning, as was the quality of the meat and the sweetness of the roast veg. It really was wonderful and I’ve resolved to go back and try many more menu favourites (like the Gnocci, the pork loin medallions, the Cawl, and the mussels).
The food’s not cheap (though they offer many dishes as starters or mains, which I love to see a restaurant do. Just because I don’t want a huge plateful, doesn’t mean that I don’t want quality or flavour!) but the owners of this independent eatery source as much of their produce locally and the quality shows. My lamb cutlets were around the £15 mark, but I didn’t begrudge them a penny (have been dreaming about them ever since!).
The wine list is good, the décor is modern, the staff are knowledgeable and genuinely friendly. If you want to impress someone (first date maybe!) or simply want to treat yourself, head to Mimosa. It’s reeeeeeeeeeeally good.
2 Guildford Crescent, Cardiff, Wales CF10 2HJ
I was disappointed with the food and really pleased with the drinks! Having heard such great things about Madeira, was expecting something really special, food-wise, but i'm afraid that it was nothing more than OK.
Had the mussels to start and one or two tasted bitter and smelled a bit off. Followed with monkfish for mains and it was under seasoned and chewy. The accompaniments (peas, little chunky roast potatoes and deep fried cauliflower) were all very good though.
My partner had Veal and asked for rice instead of veg, which they were happy to do (so nice when you can have what you want without a fuss!). The veal was a touch overdone and could have been more tender, but on the whole the dish was good.
Lost of people in the restaurant opted for the kebabs, which they hang from hooks above the tables. This is their speciality and, in retrospect, I wished i'd gone for a lamb kebab instead of the fish. Hey-de-ho.
The red wine, on the other hand, was fantastic. Can't for the life of me remember the name, but it cost £17 and was around fourth or fifth on the menu. It was spicy and soft and delicious. The espresso is also fantastic.
The staff were brilliant - friendly, efficient and fun - and the restaurant itself is lovely. Exposed stone walls, wood beams overhead, soft lighting, good layout. You can easily forget you're in Cardiff. I bet it's lovely in the winter.
We had a £20 off voucher from MyCity, so the whole thing came to £33, which i was more than happy to pay considering the atmosphere, service, wine and coffee. I don't think i'd have been so happy having to pay the full £53 though.
2-4 Elm Road, Cardiff, Wales CF24 1LE
10-07-2008 (updated on 19-09-2010)
Thai Thai is wonderful but, worryingly, it doesn't seem to get a lot of trade and is almost always empty when you walk or drive past and this is a real worry as to lose it would be a crying shame.
The food here is fabulous. Authentic, fragrant, flavoursome, delicious, beautifully presented...the list could go on and on. I would particularly recommend the Pad Thai, which is served with crushed peanuts, chilli flakes and sugar on the side, the Golden Bags to start and the duck curry with mango. Mmmmm.
If it's your birthday, the lovely girls at Thai Thai spoil you and bring you a dessert with sparkly things!
It's fab. Honest.
Sep 2010 Update - unfortunately, Thai Thai is closed and the business is up for sale. Darn it.
33 Splott Rd, Cardiff, Wales CF24 2BU
The Imperial is Cafe-tastic. Cooked breakfast and a mug of tea for £3.20. Amazing.
I popped in at ten o clock and the place was rammed. I was lucky to snag a table and ended up sharing it (but that just added to the hustle-bustle friendly atmosphere). The food was yummy, the tea was great.
This family-run cafe has loads of loyal customers (and I think that most of them were there yesterday morning!) and it's easy to see why. There's lots on the menu, from breakfasts to steak pie and chips to a simple sandwich and everything is fresh and good quality.
Yesterday, half way through my breakfast, all the staff came to the front of the cafe with birthday cake for one of the regulars and everyone sang happy birthday. How cool is that?
If you're a fan of the greasy spoon (and who wouldn't be?) I heartily recommend the Imperial Cafe.
92 Cornwall Street, Cardiff, Wales CF11 6SR
The Cornwall seems like a friendly pub. When you walk in, you know instantly that it's a local's pub, but that the locals don't mind visitors from time to time!
There's plenty of room inside, with a dining area at the back and the bar down the front. Posters advertise quizzes and karaoke and there's a big TV permanently tuned to sport. Outside, there's a little smoking area protected behind perspex. It faces West, so turns into a warm snug on a summer's eve.
Beer is decent and the prices are 'outside of Cardiff' prices, which is a good thing!
If you're in Grangetown and fancy a pint, you could do a lot worse than The Cornwall.
109 Penarth Road, Cardiff, Wales CF11 6JT
I liked it, i just didn't love it. Visited on a Friday night, after hearing lots and lots of good things, and was left thinking that I'd not experienced the Veg Food Studio at its best.
There were just a couple of niggly things...our table wasn't ready and we had to wait a couple of minutes, which was fine, but we brought our own wine and asked for a corkscrew and that didn't turn up, so we had to ask again. We were sat at the table for a looooooong time before anyone came to ask us for our order and we were left feeling a little bit forgotten about. Oh, and the bill at the end wasn't itemised, so we couldn't check to see if it was right.
The restaurant itself wasn't full, but the take away business was bumping. People were coming in left right and centre for takeout and the kitchen seemed to be flat out busy dealing with these orders. The staff were all friendly and polite but seemed a little stressed trying to balance their sit-down customers with their take outers.
But what of the food? It's certainly fresh and tasty (some of it is very spicy, so it's best to ask if you don't like it hot) and the mushroom balls were stunning and chilli chips were fun to share (portions of chips are big). The Thali is great value at £5.99 and is just the ticket if you're brain shortwires at the masses of choice on the menu. I think the key thing about the Veg Food Studio is to avoid weekend nights and get to know the menu so that you can order to your taste.
I'll definitely go back to give it a go.
125 Albany Road, Roath, Cardiff, Wales CF24 3NS
Had been out all night with friends to places on/around Albany Rd and we decided, rather drunkenly, to pop in the Globe to catch the end of the Bob Marley night. Really glad we did (even though it was £10 each to get in). The venue is brilliant (converted cinema) and you can get really close to the bands. There's a decent size bar with lots of staff at hand to serve you. Music wasn't so loud that it pops your ears (bonus) and the guy on the door was brilliant (he let 6 of us in for £40 because it was quite late!). Really glad that the soundproofing of this venue went to plan and they got their licence back. Had a fab time and will defo go again (but will get there earlier next time!).
1 Hemingway Road, Cardiff, Wales CF10 4JY
Not keen on chain restaurants and certainly not keen on this particular branch. Me and my friends ate here a while back and three of us had, erm how to say it...tummy troubles after. From memory, the cocktails aren't that good either.
Having said all that, used to go quite regularly to the Old Orleans in the city centre, back in the Uni days, specifically for the deals on cocktails!
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