Saturday, 7 March 2015

Thé Pot, Cardiff French restaurant and cafe review


My enjoyment of a restaurant can normally be determined by the likelihood of me ordering exactly the same thing when I go back.

It seems illogical but if you’ve hit 21 why would you twist?

At Hang Fire, I always order the ribs.

At Mowlana, I always order the joojeh.

At Hogwurst, I always order Ze German.

At Caffe Citta, I always order the bruschetta.

When I go back to Thé Pot I will undoubtedly order the same…


Thé Pot was taken over by new owners in May last year and has been building a reputation for the French bistro food they now serve alongside the breakfasts and brunches they’ve always been known for.

French food is a good fit - firstly because of their quasi-French name (everyone I know calls it The Pot despite the accent) and secondly because the dining space (with its exposed brickwork, open kitchen and eclectic furniture) feels like a little Paris bistro.

Whilst Mrs G and I chose from the good value midweek dinner menu, which offers 2 courses and a glass of wine for £18.50, we kicked off with a pair of absurdly well-priced kir royales (£3.50).

A complimentary shot of wild mushroom and truffle soup was fragrant, creamy and intensely shroomy; a killer start to the meal. 


Baguette with whipped butter, again on the house, was good but could have been a touch crisper.


Starters were both marvellous.

A cauldron of French onion soup had stacks of flavour; it was seriously savoury with just the right amount of sweetness. A crisp crouton topped with melted gruyère completed the dish.


Across the table, Mrs G’s quail cassoulet comprised of half a crisp and succulent confit quail, mixed beans flecked with chorizo in tomato sauce, toasted breadcrumbs, melted cheese and a perfectly runny poached quails egg. Everything balanced exceptionally well.


Mains took things up another notch.

A pair of crisp, juicy sea bass fillets, plump mussels and clams, and a whopper of a langoustine were bathed in a bouillabaisse with a powerful taste of the sea. A golden brick of potato fondant completed the hearty fish dish.


If Mrs G’s main was heavyweight in the flavour stakes then my beef bourguignon was gargantuan. Unfeasibly tender pieces of beef, mushrooms and lardons in a meaty, wine-smacked sauce were joined by chantenay carrots, sweet baby leeks and buttered tenderstem broccoli. 


A bowl of garlic roast potatoes were essential for mopping up all that velvety sauce. 


I’m embarrassed to say that by this point I was stuffed. As a result I eschewed the option of a chocolate fondant or crème brûlée and instead plumped for a “lighter” option - a coupe blanche with hot chocolate sauce (£4.25). 

Two scoops of soft vanilla ice cream (a slightly bigger portion wouldn’t have gone amiss even though I was full…) were accompanied by a dinky pan of chocolate sauce with just the right levels of richness and sweetness. 


Mrs G’s cheese selection (£5) was highly enjoyed too. Mild blue, tangy goats’, garlic-twanged soft and cheddar were accompanied by toasted baguette and excellent onion chutney. 


We had a superb meal at Thé Pot – the friendly service, the cosy dining space and the excellent, well priced food all make it another Crwys Road cracker.

Update 2016 - Thé Pot has relocated to Whitchurch Road

The Details:

Address - Thé Pot, 55 Whitchurch Road, Cardiff CF14 3JP
Web - http://www.thepotcafe.co.uk/
Telephone - 02920 611204

5 comments:

  1. I know exactly what you mean about ordering the same thing. Some things are just so good you can't bare to order anything else!

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    Replies
    1. @Helen - Good to hear it's not just me!

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  2. We had a lovely meal there last night. Sadly the Kir Royales are now £5.50!

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  3. The Pot looks like a lovely French style cafe and I absolutely love the style of their tables and chairs.

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