This month’s eating out round up comes from Ruth, who blogs at Let Her Eat Clean and lives in the Welsh capital of Cardiff.
As a nutritional therapist in training it’s safe to say when eating out I look for both the chance to treat myself but I’m also a stickler for wholesome grub, cooked from scratch with decent ingredients. When we left London in Spring 2013 I must admit I was a bit nervous about what Cardiff may have to offer but it’s safe to say our capital is a culinary champ. Here are my top must visits.
BEST FOR CARNIVORES
As the name implies this isn’t a restaurant for vegans and pig is served any which way. The Potted Pig features as the much celebrated signature starter but also there’s no room for H-amateur appetites when it comes to the main course Hock sharer that comes mustard glazed and served with coleslaw, cauliflower & new potatoes; all for £18! It serves two and a doggy bag. Wash it all down with one of the extensive selections of gins, the ‘Brecon’ coming highly recommended.
BEST FOR EAST MEETS WEST
The dishes at Mint and Mustard were once beautifully described by Tatler as “knock-your-block-off brilliant”. It was the perfect place for my sister and I to treat my Dad for Father’s day and I found many of the dishes surprisingly Paleo compliant. I still remember the gorgeous scallops in coconut milk and sweet potato cake so fondly. Definitely one on my ‘must return in 2015’ hit list.
BEST FOR WELSH RAREBIT
I couldn’t possibly let you visit Wales without eating Welsh Rarebit – or without eating it at Snails Deli for that matter. Snails is in the beautiful Cardiff suburb of Rhiwbina. The shop is a grocer, deli and café serving food from breakfast until late afternoon. Shelves are stacked with vintage crockery and clip lock jars filled with all sorts from star anise to homemade granola. It’s the type of place you’ll never want to leave. You’ll be treated like one of the many locals in no time and no doubt harangued by the characterful proprietor, Rupert, for your life story.
BEST FOR SOMETHING A BIT FANCY
One of Cardiff’s nicest hotels offers a brilliant excuse to get dressed up and head out for a glass of fizz on a Saturday night. Whilst a favourite haunt of our national rugby and football sides there’s no pretense, a warm welcome for everyone and a lovely restaurant should all that champagne start to go to your head. Great for birthdays, posh dates and celebrations. A place to start, end or spend the entire evening.
BEST FOR SUPER SALADS
So the guys at Wyndham do tea rather brilliantly but they do salads that bit better. Wyndham is the latest in the Waterloo Tea family to have come onto the Cardiff food & drink scene and it boasts a fab city centre location – right beside the train station and, perhaps more importantly, John Lewis. For what’s ultimately a tea shop the menu is bold, adventurous and very accommodating for every dietary requirement you could ever think of – not to mention affordable! Similarly the coffee here is the closest I’ve got to London grinds since moving home.
BEST FOR LAZY SUNDAYS
On our most recent visit there was no room for the incredible sticky toffee pudding, which tells you all you need to know about the plentiful portions at Sunday lunch. Crispy roasties and cauliflower cheese served beside seasonal greens and a usual choice of beef, pork, lamb or chicken it’s a hearty feed – especially straight after Sunday league footy. Dishes are fairly priced with the only thing to push our bill up somewhat being the incredibly drinkable (and Sunday snooze inducing) ‘Hot To Trot 14 Hands’ Californian red.
BEST FOR PIZZA
Amongst Cardiffians I guarantee there will be some heated debate when it comes to where you’ll eat the best pizza. But for me, it’s easily Anatoni’s in Roath. I’m sure the pizza ovens in Sicily aren’t even as big as this one! It’s everything you’d expect from a family run Italian – obligatory red and white checkered PVC tablecloths, friendly smiles, hand written bills and a licence to “bring your own” with no corkage. I promise it wasn’t just all the Prosecco that confirmed the Quattro Stagioni the best I’ve eaten since a trip to Tuscany in ’95!
BEST FOR A LITTLE BIT OF LONDON
I’m a big fan of an independent, especially when it comes to a coffee shop but my goodness was the arrival of Wahaca, swiftly followed by Burger & Lobster at the end of last year celebrated across the rolling valleys of South Wales. We’re proud to have been chosen as the first UK site outside of London for both these groups and I would quite frankly smother Wahaca’s gorgeous guacamole all over my face whilst bathing in the finest Japanese mayo from Burger & Lobster given half the chance. Always the lobster roll at the latter and the Sanora chicken salad at the former. I’d be hard pushed to pick my favourite cocktail at each and thus can simply suggest you work your way through the entire list!
Ruth is 32 and lives with her long-suffering husband in a North Cardiff suburb. In year two of her nutritional therapy studies and a mindfulness novice, Ruth describes herself as a thoughtful foodie with a real lust for life. Often found Tweeting unfortunate mishaps sandwiched between positive affirmations on Twitter, everything Ruth eats for lunch features on Instagram.