Caban has been on my doorstep for over two years and before that existed as Canteen on Clifton Street since 2007. Yet, Mrs G and I visited for the first time just last week.
This Adamsdown vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurant serves globally inspired food without the baggage of being labelled as a non-meat eatery. Whilst the compact menu of three starters, mains and desserts is almost exclusively veggie or vegan, there’s always a meat option (a beef thali on our visit) to keep carnivores happy.
Caban is only open on Friday and Saturday evenings and with a bring your own wine policy (£2.50 corkage) and three courses of lovely food costing just £19, it’s not surprising they were packed to the rafters. The dining room might not be the most Instagram-friendly but the warm atmosphere more than makes up for it.
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To start I had the Mexican chilaquiles. Crisp tortillas were coated in a velvety and spicy black bean sauce and accompanied by zesty pico de gallo salsa and light guacamole.
Mrs G’s pasta dish was a corker. A pair of giant al dente ravioli were filled with a smooth, sweet and delicately nutty butternut squash and amaretti puree. A rich and fragrant lemon butter and sage sauce completed the dish.
For main I had the modest sounding Indonesian stir fry with “chicken” skewers. The dish far surpassed its billing. Slippery udon noodles and crisp vegetables were coated in a flavour-packed spicy cashew nut sauce. A pair of slightly chewy soy protein skewers were the only “meh” note of the meal.
A lovely vegetable thali comprised of a gorgeously smoky aubergine chutney, ginger-spiked lentil dhal, new potato, cauliflower and lentil curry, crisp poppadom shards, tomato salad and fluffy nigella seed fragranced rice.
Desserts maintained the high standards of the first two courses.
A raspberry frangipane tart was as good an example as I’ve ever eaten. Warm, thin and crisp pastry contained a light berry-studded almond sponge with a golden crust. It was accompanied by a smooth raspberry sorbet.
Soft and rich sticky toffee pudding was accompanied by vanilla-fragranced vegan ice cream that was a commendable dairy substitute.
We had an excellent meal at Caban and our bill came to just £41.50. I highly recommend a visit to try their great value global cooking.
*Update - 16/06/2018 - Caban is now closed*
Address - Caban, 40 Clifton Street, Cardiff CF24 1LR
Web - http://cabancardiff.com/
Telephone - 029 20454999