Saturday, 17 January 2015

Zio Pin, Roath, Cardiff Italian restaurant review


There’s an old school Italian restaurant like Zio Pin’s on nearly every high street in the UK.

You know the score – they’re places of familiarity when you’re craving a large plate of comfort food and an even bigger glass of booze.

Zio Pin’s does some things very well – the serving team were hugely welcoming and the bar area has had a bright modern makeover since my last visit a few years ago. However, some of the dishes we ate were a bit average…


Excellent, warm crusty homemade bread slathered with soft butter and a large glass of seriously quaffable house red (£4.25) kicked off the meal on a very positive note. 


A starter of arancini (£5.45) was a well-flavoured piece of homely cooking – the risotto balls, flecked with bolognese and ham, were topped with a fresh tasting tomato sauce and melted cheese. However, the soggy crumb coating and overcooked rice were a big letdown. 


Whilst Mrs G’s starter wasn’t easy on the eye, it tasted much better. A generous portion of prawns and baby mushrooms (£5.75) were coated in a flavour-packed sauce of garlic and white wine.


Mains were the strongest suit.

A brick of lasagne (£8.95) was everything it should be – tender pasta, creamy béchamel, meaty bolognese and oozy cheese. 


Mrs G’s main, Penne Zio Pin (£9.45), saw al dente pasta and a deliciously light sauce of chicken, pancetta and tomato. 


Unfortunately, things came tumbling down with what should have been a very interesting pair of desserts.

Chocolate Nemesis (£4.50), as made famous by the legendary River Café, was a fridge cold lump of overly-rich solid chocolate cake.


Limoncello tart (£4.50) was even worse – an average lemon tart was spoiled by a shot of limoncello which had been poured over the top. Soggy pastry and the harsh taste of alcohol were the notable features. 


There’s a lot I like about Zio Pin – I’ll most certainly go back for a plate of lasagne and a pint or two in their bar. However, I’ll definitely be giving their dessert board a miss.

The Details:

Address - Zio Pin, 74 Albany Road, Cardiff CF24 3RS
Telephone - 02920 485673
Zio Pin on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for writing this blog, I was interesting in reading it as I am planning a trip to Cardiff and wanted to find out where the best places to eat are. I love pizza and will definitely be giving this restaurant a try. The food looks really good in the photos.

    Faith Thomas @ The Berry Farm

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