Thursday, 21 June 2018

Anatoni's, Roath, Cardiff pizzeria review

It’s always a pleasure speaking to people who are deeply passionate about making food.

Tony from Anatoni’s loves pizza.

From name checking the Neapolitan and London restaurants he admires to waxing lyrical about the produce he uses, you get the impression that he wants to make the best pizza he can. And then get even better at it.

I’ve loved Tony’s pizza ever since he opened Anatoni’s in Cyncoed.

He then went into business with someone else and rebranded to da Mara. And then moved to new premises in Penylan.

Now, Tony has parted company with his former business partner (who is still running da Mara) and reopened Anatoni’s on Wellfield Road on the former site of Chai.

His focus is still very much on pizza. It’s fairly obvious from the handsome Steffano Ferrara pizza oven which sits proudly in the window for passers by to gawp at.

But, if you’re not in the mood for pizza there are a few other mains available on the menu including parmigiana, pollo milanese and lasagne.

A bottle of Sardinia’s Ichnusa (£3.90) was exactly the kind of refreshing lager I needed after a day’s work. 

Whilst we waited for the main event, Mrs G and I shared a crisp and flavoursome yet slightly dense ragu filled arancino (£3.95).

Both our pizzas were brilliant. Crunchy, airy and chewy of crust with a thin and saggy base, they were topped with first rate ingredients. 

My classic margherita (£8.50) combined super fresh and lightly acidic San Marzano tomato sauce, uber creamy and gooey melted Fior Di Latte and iron rich basil. 

A Santa Anna (£12.50) was topped with all the above as well as fiery and unctuous 'Nduja sausage, mousse-like creamy ricotta, and plump red piennolo tomatoes. 

That’s all there really is to say. If you love pizza then you need Anatoni’s in your life.

The Details:

Address -
Anatoni's, Unit 6, The Globe Centre, Wellfield Rd, Cardiff CF24 3PE
Telephone - 02920 495975

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Herbivore at The Embassy Cafe, Cardiff vegan and vegetarian brunch review

Herbivore is the creation of Simon Matthew.

A chef and vegetarian, his globally influenced cooking makes use of seasonal Welsh produce.

As well as hosting monthly supper clubs at venues such as Kemi’s in Pontcanna and The Fig Tree in Penarth, Herbivore also has a permanent residency at The Embassy Cafe at Cathays Community Centre on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am - 5pm.

The short but well formed menu is predominantly vegan with a couple of veggie options. It’s the kind of food which ticks my boxes - there are no faux meat substitutes, just herb and seasoning-laden dishes that make sense with no meat or dairy. 

A big flavoured, coconut-twanged Caribbean-inspired curry (£7) of tender blackeye beans was served with fluffy cardamom-fragranced rice, sweet charred plantain and roast sweet potatoes (of which a couple of bits were still a touch firm). Freshness was brought to the plate by a cleansing and chilli-laced watermelon salsa. 

Super crisp yet moist fritters of shredded beetroot (£6.50) and dill were flecked with earthy cumin seeds. They were accompanied by a thick chickpea and chive puree, pieces of tender charred aubergine topped with creamy and nutty tahini, couscous-like grated cauliflower punctuated by pearls of pomegranate, and charred flatbread. 

A green shakshuka (£6.50) was a big comforting plate of eggs baked together with soft aubergines, sweet peppers and paprika-spiked potatoes. The dish was lifted by a handful of fragrant coriander and a dollop of nigella seed dotted yoghurt. On the side was an elastic and puffy flatbread. This dish would have been improved even further by the ooze of runny egg yolks and a touch of chilli heat. 

Having shared three generous dishes between the two of us, we valiantly ploughed onto dessert. Just as much thought has gone into Herbivore’s sweets as their savouries.

A piece of orange, almond and strawberry cake (£2.50) was packed with citrus and sweet berries and moist with a polenta cake style texture. 

A big, crisp and chewy cookie (£1.50) was infused with peanut butter throughout and dotted with crunchy peanuts and nuggets of dark chocolate. 

Alongside our food I enjoyed a floral, citrusy and not too sweet homemade elderflower fizz (£1.80) whilst Mrs G had a good mug of filter coffee (£1.80).

Brunch at Herbivore was delicious. It’s great value and is definitely bringing something different to Cardiff’s brunch and cafe scene. I'd recommend a visit.

The Details:

Address - Herbivore at The Embassy Cafe, Cathays Community Centre, 36 Cathays Terrace, Cardiff CF24 4HX
Web -