Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Real Italian Pizza Company, Cardiff city centre Italian restaurant review

The Real Italian Pizza Company has quietly built up a good reputation over the last couple years.

Located on Trinity Street in Cardiff city centre, this family-run restaurant is the younger sibling of an original Bath outpost.

Wood-fired pizzas are the focus with an impressive oven dominating the ground floor dining room and a menu featuring over 35 different options. A handful of salads and pasta dishes appease the pizza dodgers.

Both pizzas we ordered were excellent. A nicely mottled rim, thin base with good sag and chew, and light tomato sauce were all bang on.

My quattro formaggi (£10.95) was generously topped with tangy goat’s cheese, salty and savoury gorgonzola, creamy mozzarella and buttery fontina cheese. 

La Bella Vita (£11.95) was a meatfest topped with spicy pepperoni, salami, shredded chicken, crisp bacon and mozzarella. 

Desserts hit the mark too.

Homemade lemon sorbet (£3.95) was smooth and slightly creamy with a good zip and zing. 

A pretty tiramisu (£4.95) with light and sweet mascarpone cream and coffee and booze soaked sponge was as comforting as you could hope for.

I really like the Real Italian Pizza Company. If you’re looking for a good independent pizza place in Cardiff city centre then it’s definitely worth checking out.

The Details:

Address - The Real Italian Pizza Company, 22-23 Trinity Street, Cardiff CF10 1BH
Telephone - 02920 235 963

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Wylam Brewery at the Palace of Arts, Newcastle Sunday roast review

Wylam Brewery at the Palace of Arts in Newcastle is the most beautiful pub I’ve ever been to.

It would be worth a visit even if they only served warm pints of Stella and microwave pizzas.

Fortunately, Wylam is one of Britain’s best brewers. They knock out a cracking range of beers from the super hoppy Jakehead IPA to the lemony Hickey the Rake pale ale.

And, their hearty Sunday roasts have gained a bit of a reputation too. On the sunny Sunday we visited it was a full house. Reservations are essential. 

Wylam Brewery is located in the middle of Newcastle’s Exhibition Park in the Palace of Arts. It’s the only building that remains from the North East Exhibition of 1929, a world fair that was held to encourage local industry.

When I was growing up the building used to be a fusty tank museum. Wylam have done a beautiful job at refurbishing the place - the exposed brickwork, large windows and wood-panelling are all uber-sophisticated. And, the central function room with its domed ceiling is an absolute stunner. Mrs G and I are thinking of renewing our vows just so we can have a big shindig there. 

Drinks orders were taken at the table with a big selection of Wylam brews on tap. Mrs G kicked off with Swipe Right, an easy drinking session pale, whilst I had a Le Saissoner, a saison fragranced with a huge hit of lemon balm and rosemary.

Before the main event of the roast dinner, there are a small selection of starters on offer including cured meats and smoked salmon with chopped egg. However, as Mrs G and I had eaten a fifteen course meal the night before we thought it would be sensible to go straight onto mains.

My pork belly (£12) was a beaut. Tender of flesh, with well-rendered fat and the crispest of crackling, it was accompanied by a behemothic Yorkshire pudding, buttered cabbage and sweet carrot and turnip puree. Roast potatoes and parsnip were soft but could have been a touch crisper. 

Mrs G’s leg of lamb (£12) was also lovely. Tender and well-flavoured the only drawback was Mrs G wanted three slices instead of two.

It’s also worth mentioning the extra jug of seriously meaty, glossy gravy that was brought to the table without prompting. By the end of the meal Mrs G and I were spooning it into our mouths.

Desserts were also lovely. We paired them with a couple of sweet, fruity and hoppy imperial IPAs and double IPAs. For Mrs G a Blow Out IIPA and for me a Sticky Bud DIPA. 

A classic apple crumble (£5) with custard was inhaled by my father. Gluttony definitely runs in the family.

Mrs G and I shared a sticky toffee pudding sundae (£5). The soft, sweet sponge, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, custard and toffee sauce were all lovely. 

My brother and his wife shared the cheeseboard (£6). A quartet of lovely British cheeses were joined by pink pickles, chutney and a decent selection of crackers. 

Go to Wylam Brewery. Drink beer. Eat a roast dinner. You won’t be disappointed.

The Details:

Address - Wylam Brewery, Palace of Arts, Exhibition Park, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4PZ
Telephone - 0191 650 0651