Saturday, 22 September 2018

Dusty Knuckle, Cardiff pizzeria review

Phill Lewis, the owner of Dusty Knuckle, is at the vanguard of Cardiff’s food scene.

As well as being one of the first street food vendors to make the transition to bricks and mortar in 2016, he organised this year’s brilliant Bite festival at Insole Court and is half of the cheekily named Ogmore Beach pop-up Two Anchors.

Despite having eaten Dusty Knuckle’s Neapolitan style pizza on a number of occasions from their street food stall, I’ve never got around to a sit down meal at their restaurant.

Located in a covered semi-outdoor area in Canton’s The Print Haus, it’s a beaut of a space - mishmashed furniture, a woodfired pizza oven and graffitied walls all give off good vibes.

The menu sees creative seasonal starters and pizza specials combine with classic pizzas and comfort food puds. On our visit their signature Blas y Mor pizza was out of stock but it’s a cracker of a combo of cockles, bacon, samphire and laverbread.

The booze selection is well-considered too. Draught beers are provided by nearby Pipes and there’s an interesting list of natural wines.

Mrs G had a half of Pipes California Pale Ale (£2.25) whilst the designated driver made do with a can of Soda Folk root beer (£1.80). She then moved onto a very neckable glass of Bergerie de la Bastide white wine (£4).

A super pretty heritage tomato salad (£6) combined sweet and juicy toms with creamy shreds of mozzarella, a drizzle of glossy olive oil, leaves of basil and the vinegary hit of caper.

The second starter was immense; in fact, I’m going to “attempt” it at home. Crusty toasted sourdough (£5.50) was dolloped with creamy mascarpone and served with a mound of salty, oily and savoury anchovies which hummed with garlic and parsley. The combination was killer.

Onto our pizzas, and they were both very tasty but let down slightly by fairly dense and doughy crusts. I’ve had better from Dusty Knuckle on previous occasions.

The thin base and flavour-packed tomato sauce on both pizzas were on the mark.

So too, was the gooey fior di latte cheese and leaves of basil on my Margherita (£8).

The beautifully creamy ball of burrata and dots of fiery spreadable sausage on Mrs G’s 'Nduja (£11) were lush too.

Dessert knocked it out of the park. A gloriously creamy, wobbly and vanilla-flecked panna cotta (£5) was topped with fragrant diced peaches and chopped pistachios.

We had a really tasty meal at Dusty Knuckle. It’s a stalwart of Cardiff’s independent restaurant scene for good reason.

The Details:

Address - Dusty Knuckle, 70 Llandaff Rd, Cardiff CF11 9NL
Web -
Telephone - 07955 212075

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Bara Menyn, Cardiff Bay cafe review

Apologies if you have a sense of déjà vu as I’ve already reviewed Bara Menyn and ordered exactly the same things before.

Having finished their residency at Ffandango’s on Llandaff High Street, Bara Menyn now have their own permanent gaff at the Gloworks in Cardiff Bay’s Porth Teigr area.

It’s a slightly peculiar location - during the week I imagine they’re kept busy with workers from the office upstairs and staff from the BBC. But, on a Sunday morning the area is deserted except for a few security guards from the Beeb patrolling their territory. And there’s only one other table occupied during our meal.

Bara Menyn’s menu reads well with a Welsh slant to many of the dishes on offer including Buck rarebit with poached egg and chipotle marmalade (£6) as well as homemade Glamorgan sausage sandwiches (£4.20). 

Coffee is supplied by Carmarthenshire based roasters Coaltown. Our flat whites are both lovely and they’re deducted from the bill as we have over a 30 minute wait for our breakfasts. 

Both our dishes are big beasts. But this isn’t at the expense of quality; you can tell there’s a focus on top-drawer producers here. Take for example their house tomato and brown sauces which come from Merthyr Tydfil’s Chilli of the Valley. 

My full Welsh breakfast (£9) comprised of a pair of well-seasoned and meat-packed pork and leek sausages, thick cut bacon, a big wodge of black pudding, a meaty portobello mushroom, a nicely browned grilled tomato, a runny fried egg and home baked beans made with an intense tomato sauce with a good thrum of chilli. 

A couple of ingredient substitutions meant that sourdough toast was replaced by wholemeal with a good slather of butter. Meanwhile their signature cockle, oat and laverbread bomb was swapped for thick cut sautée potatoes sprinkled with crisp seaweed. Whilst both swaps were delicious, I’m sure the billed items would have elevated the breakfast even further. 

Mrs G’s vegetarian breakfast (£9) switched the meaty items on my breakfast for golden sticks of fried halloumi and a top drawer Glamorgan sausage which was crisp of crumb and packed with uber-cheesy and leek-flecked mashed potato. 

We had a delicious brunch at Bara Menyn - it’s one of so few quality independents amongst Cardiff Bay’s sea of chains. Even if you’re not based down the Bay, it’s worth heading down for a restorative fry-up.

The Details:

Address -
Bara Menyn, Porth Teigr Way, Cardiff CF10 4GA
Telephone - 07814 033760