Saturday, 16 February 2019

Milkwood, Pontcanna, Cardiff set lunch review


A meal out for one is a always rare treat.

You see, I love food so much that every now and then it’s rather nice to have some alone time with a plate of protein.

Last week, I found myself with a day to spare having tactically booked annual leave after an epic beer tasting at The Bottle Shop in Roath.


It meant I could finally to take advantage of Milkwood’s ridiculously good value set lunch menu. This Pontcanna restaurant serves some of the best modern seasonal cooking in Cardiff and on Wednesday to Saturday lunch they offer three courses and a glass of wine for a bargainous £21.

On the day I visited, the regularly changing set lunch menu comprised of two starters, three mains and one dessert.


A pre-lunch snack of dark rye and seed bread was pleasingly warm, crusty and soft crumbed with a good anise twang from caraway seeds. A cube of creamy salted butter was disappointingly fridge cold (the only mediocre element of the entire meal).


The glass of white included in the lunch deal was a light, fruity and very neckable Richebaron Blanc made with a blend of sauvignon blanc and chardonnay.


Onto starter, and thick cut meaty, smoky and oily slices of trout were balanced by the delicate thump of a horseradish dressing. Lightly dressed mixed leaves (grown and bicycled over from Bute Park) and crisp and tangy sourdough toast completed the delicious plate.


A refined take on a gallic comfort food classic was my main course. Perfectly crisp-skinned confit duck was tender of flesh with the fat rendered away nicely. The cracking piece of meat was perched in a vegetable based stew loaded with soft beans, kale and diced potato and joined by al dente tender stem broccoli and a vibrant herb pistou which gave lift to the whole dish.


The only dessert available did not disappoint. Thick, creamy vanilla-fragranced rice pudding (the grains retaining the merest amount of bite) was paired with a light, fragrant and tart rhubarb compote. Homemade biscuits were like a luxury Lotus Biscoff, a very good thing indeed. With their familiar caramel and cinnamon twang, they brought welcome texture contrast to the dish.


Milkwood’s lunch deal is an absolute steal and there’s no skimping on portion size either. If you ever find yourself with a spare lunchtime then I seriously recommend checking it out.

The Details:

Address - Milkwood, 83 Pontcanna Street, Pontcanna Cardiff CF11 9HS
Web - www.milkwoodcardiff.com

Telephone - 02920 232226

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Cocorico Patisserie, Whitchurch Road, Cardiff brunch review


I’m a big fan of Whitchurch Road’s Cocorico Patisserie.

Their refined take on afternoon tea is the best I’ve had in Cardiff.

Their macarons are my go to gift for Mrs G on any occasion.

And their swanky sandwiches, which include katsu chicken buns and reubens, are a cut above the usual egg mayo sarnie.


But, surprisingly, I’ve never visited Cocorico for brunch despite hearing great things time and time again.

So, when the mother-in-law suggested a visit for her birthday treat, I did a mini fist pump.

Alongside fresh pastries including pain au chocolat, croissants, jam stuffed doughnuts and bostocks (brioche with almonds), there’s an extensive brunch menu which includes sweetcorn and ricotta fritters, halloumi hash and smoked haddock bubble and squeak.   


An Americano was full of fragrance whilst freshly squeezed orange juice was the real deal. 


A hearty bowl of baked eggs (£7) was a big winter warmer of a dish. A comforting melange of tender sweet potato, lightly charred peppers, wilted spinach and soft onions were coated in tomato sauce and topped with a pair of fluffy broken eggs. 

 
Tender beans (£6.50) and soft sweet onions coated in a light and smokey tomato sauce were piled onto crusty toasted sourdough alongside a perfectly runny poached egg. An extra side of textbook smashed avocado (£1.50) added another layer of luxury to the plate. 


My Cocorico breakfast (£8) was a belter - everything on the plate was absolutely top quality. Crisp American-style streaky bacon and a warming spiced meaty merguez sausage were joined by smoky beans, a pair of poached eggs, lightly charred grilled tomato, portobello mushroom and toasted sourdough. The kicker was a sweet potato rosti made with perfectly crisped fronds of the root vegetable. 


With cakes and tarts of Cocorico’s calibre, their brunch dessert was not going to disappoint.

A mille-feuille was ridiculously good. Brilliantly crisp and flaky puff pastry was loaded with a supremely wobbly and egg rich custard topped with a layer of icing. If you like custard slices then you need this in your life. 


Brunch at Cocorico was absolutely delicious, good value and there’s an added bonus that they take table reservations too. If you looking for a tip-top brunch in Cardiff then I highly recommend it.

The Details:

Address - Cocorico Patisserie, 35 Whitchurch Road, Cardiff CF14 3JP
Web - http://www.cocoricopatisserie.co.uk/
Telephone - 02921 328 177