Saturday, 14 January 2017

The Pot, Cardiff French restaurant review

I’ve been umming and ahhing about whether I should re-review The Pot or not. 

You see, the main thing that's changed since my last visit is that they've relocated from Crwys Road to Whitchurch Road.

The menu is still packed with crowd-pleasing French comfort food. And the new restaurant space is still enjoyably quaint with a warm and friendly feel.

A bowl of mixed olives (devoured as we browsed the menu) hit the mark. But, the beer selection on offer was slightly underwhelming – I’m not sure Kronenburg 1664 or San Miguel have ever set anyone's pulse racing.

We ordered a few starters to share.

A baked camembert (£9) was a wintery delight. The gooey, slightly funky cheese was seasoned with a good drizzle of sweet honey and a sprig of fragrant thyme. Golden homemade breadsticks were perfect for dipping.

A lovely charcuterie selection comprised of smoked duck breast pieces, a chunky ham and bacon terrine, garlic spiked cream cheese, good salami and air-dried ham and disappointingly dry croutons. My only question mark was the price point – for £13.95 I’d have expected a more generous portion. 

The same couldn’t be said for the mains, which were bounteous in size.

A crisp and tender confit duck leg (£16.95) was served on top of a mountain of mixed bean cassoulet; the soft beans were flecked with smoked bacon pieces and coated in a rich tomato sauce with a little spike of chilli. 

Beef bourguignon (£14.95) was another lovely cold weather warmer – a big bowlful of yielding slow cooked beef pieces, mushrooms and onions were bathed in a comfortingly rich and meaty red wine sauce. It was served with a pot of smooth mashed potato. 

I’d argue that my main was the pick of the bunch. Perfectly pink lamb rump and cutlets (£19.95) were served with a slab of cheesy, crispy, soft tartiflette (the layers of potato still defined instead of turning into stodge). A glossy sauce, smooth carrot puree, cubes of black pudding and sautéed leeks completed the excellent plate of rustic food. 

A slab of bread and butter pudding (£5.75) looked heavy but was deceptively light. The soft, raisin-flecked pud was infused with a delicate hit of Cointreau and served with smooth custard. 

A crème brûlée (£5.25) was described by my friend across the table as the lightest he had ever encountered. 

We had a delicious dinner at The Pot and the serving team were super-friendly and efficient.

If you’re looking for lovely comfort food in a relaxed atmosphere then it’s still a safe bet.

The Details:

Address - The Pot, 55A Whitchurch Rd, Cardiff CF14 5NL
Web -
Telephone - 029 2061 1204

Friday, 6 January 2017

Burger Theory, Kongs, Cardiff City Centre review

Using a pop-up as a stepping stone to opening a permanent restaurant is a tried and tested formula.

Hang Fire did it. So did Got Beef. And Dusty Knuckle too.

But each of these pop-ups were never longer than a couple of days a week over the space of a few months.

So, the more long-term relationship between Burger Theory and Kongs bar is a unique one. The Bristol-based burger makers already have a residency at Kongs in Bristol seven days a week and now they’re doing the same at the recently opened Cardiff Kongs.

Kongs is a nice place – it has a post-apocalyptic vibe with its subterranean setting, exposed concrete ceiling and reclaimed wood furniture.

The main selling points are a host of retro arcade games at a pricey £1 a play and a pair of table tennis tables that are free to use (except on Fridays and Saturdays when they’ll be charging £5 per half hour). 

The beer selection is decent too. I had a citrusy pale ale from Wiper & True whilst Mrs G drank a Beavertown Gamma Ray.

Ultimately though, we were interested in the food.

Burger Theory’s menu is packed with interesting burgers from the Korean fried chicken burger to a Southern fried portabello mushroom with halloumi. There’s also funky sounding sides such as pulled ham dirty fries and a pork and venison scotch egg.

I ordered the Cheese theory (£8.75) – topped with a good ooze of cheddar, thin and crisp streaky bacon, shredded lettuce, sweet gherkins, red onion, mayo and homemade tangy ketchup.

Mrs G ordered the Sheriff (£9.25) – again topped with cheddar, bacon and lettuce as well as smoky barbecue sauce, tomato and golden onion rings. 

Both were served in an excellent brioche bun with a golden glaze and a soft, sweet crumb that held together well.

The 5oz coarse Welsh beef patties were served a super juicy medium pink. 

Both were first rate burgers. In fact, both were frigging awesome burgers.

The skin on fries were on the nail too (£2.95) – well-seasoned, fluffy and copious in quantity.

I like Burger Theory a lot and I can't wait to give the rest of their burgers a run for their money.

Disclosure - I was invited to Burger Theory, all food was complimentary.

The Details:

Address - Kongs Cardiff, Hodge House, 114-116 St Mary St, Cardiff CF10 1DY