As soon as 1st December arrives, as far as I’m concerned, the month long festivities of Fatmas officially begin. The ritual consumption of mince pies, trimmings, chocolate, gravy, cake and meat lasts for 31 days and 31 nights.
In order to kick off the festive season in style, Mrs G and I visited the Kings Arms, Pentyrch to sample their Christmas menu.
I can’t think of a better exemplar of a country pub than the Kings Arms. Rather awesome Otley Ales are on tap, service is warm and friendly, the pub is divided into intimate rooms where you can cosy up by the fireside, and traffic permitting it’s only a fifteen minute drive from our house in Cardiff.
I began the meal by maintaining my 100% cracker win record for the last 5 years (if you want the secret drop me an email).
I then moved onto some gargantuan arancini. A crisp exterior gave way to a cheesy, herby but slightly dense risotto. A fiery red chilli crème fraiche and watercress salad provided an excellent counterpoint.
Mrs G opted for a very well balanced sweet potato, squash and coconut soup. It was earthy, creamy, peppery and sweet in equal measure.
For the main Fatmas event, Mrs G and I both opted for a roast dinner with all the trimmings. Mrs G ordered Welsh turkey breast whilst I had silverside of Breconshire beef. Both the aesthetically pleasing, epic-sized dishes were good but not without fault.
Whilst both meats were very were well flavoured, my beef was served well done and was consequently a touch on the dry side. Meaty sage and onion stuffing, crisp Yorkshire pudding, sweet red cabbage, new potatoes and buttered romanesco cauliflower were all major plusses. However, the shortcomings were slightly bland yet enjoyably thick gravy, un-crisp roast potatoes and overdone carrots.
Mrs G finished the meal with an excellent lemon and lime tartlet. Superb crisp pastry contained a runny, fragrant citrus curd. Whilst the clotted cream was a welcome addition, a chocolate coulis threatened to unbalance the dish.
For dessert I ordered a chestnut and whisky cheesecake, subtly flavoured with just the right amount of booze and nuts. Accompanying crystallised ginger added some Winter warmth. The very good pudding was let down by an all too familiar soggy biscuit bottom.
As far as Christmas menus go, the Kings Arms’ offering of £22.50 for 3 courses is rather good value. Furthermore, whilst the mandatory turkey with trimmings and Christmas pudding are all present and correct, there are a few less obvious dishes available which steer the menu away from clichéd chicken liver chocolate parfait bombe territory.
Address - Kings Arms, Church Road, Pentyrch, Cardiff, CF15 9QF
Telephone - 02920 890202
Web - http://www.kingsarmspentyrch.co.uk