Carluccio’s wouldn’t be the first place I’d think of when heading out for a spot of brunch in Cardiff city centre. Saying that, there aren’t too many other places which spring to mind except for Barker’s, The Plan, umpteen hotel restaurants and the sordid lure of the McMuffin.
Last Saturday, we were nudged into visiting Carluccio’s by the availability of a voucher on O2 Priority Moments giving us our cheapest brunch free.
As we entered the restaurant, I resisted the temptation to pilfer one of the tasty looking baked goods.
Carluccio’s menu consists of the obvious brunch classics (croissants, muesli, fruit salad) with the odd token nod towards Italian ingredients.
Mrs G’s cappuccino (£2.25) was good and very strong.
I went a little off-piste and ordered a bicerin (£2.80). Essentially a DIY mocha; 3 jugs of strong espresso, single cream and thick drinking chocolate were brought for me to mix at the table. It was a bit of a novelty, but it tasted good and experimenting with different ratios of each component gave us some light entertainment whilst waiting for our cooked breakfasts.
Mrs G’s eggs Benedict (£7.65) were rather excellent. A couple of runny poached eggs, light zesty Hollandaise and a generous amount of roast ham were piled on top of toast.
My fry-up aka the colazione (£7.75) was good but less successful than the eggs Benedict. I chose poached eggs over fried or scrambled. Like the eggs, accompanying toast, fried mushrooms and grilled tomato were all bang-on. However, the meat component let the plate down. A little pile of grilled pancetta tasted like crispy smoked salt and lacked the pork hit of a few rashers of bacon. Equally, a sausage wouldn’t have gone amiss to balance out the dangerously high proportion of vegetarian items on the plate.
I’d definitely go back for brunch at Carluccio’s. Next time I’ll just have to purchase a few extra slices of ham from the deli counter on my way in.
Address - Carluccio’s, The Library, 16 Mill Lane, Cardiff, CF10 1FL
Telephone - 02920 232 630