Sunday, 30 September 2012

Sicilian Orange, Cardiff Italian restaurant review

*Update* - Sicilian Orange has now closed down

A few months ago, the owner of La Vita pizzeria relocated his business from the city centre to Whitchurch Road. Reasons for the move included St David’s shopping centre sucking the life out of parts of the city centre, expensive parking and raucous nightlife.

As far as locations go, I’m not sure the Gabalfa roundabout end of Whitchurch Road is much better - parking is a bit of a nightmare and there doesn’t seem to be much passing trade in the evening.

On the Friday evening we visited, Sicilian Orange's small dining space was full. The simple decor, open plan kitchen and muted TV showing Cupcake Wars gave the restaurant an informal atmosphere.

Like La Vita, Sicilian Orange serves Italian food. However, instead of pizza the menu focuses on pasta and other Italian classics.

My very good starter of Arancini piccoli (£6) could have been more accurately described as Arancini gigante (well that's according to google translate). 3 huge balls of bacon flecked, cheesy risotto were coated in crisp breadcrumbs. A simple tomato sauce cut through the richness of the risotto balls nicely.

Mrs G enjoyed her Caprino fritto (£5). Breaded creamy goats cheese was served with red onion chutney and a pesto dressed salad. Unfortunately, one of the pieces of deep fried goat’s cheese had leaked into the fryer and as a result had transformed into deep fried rind. .

Mains were tasty yet a little average. I ordered the Gamberoni siciliana (£11). Whilst the tomato, garlic, chilli and white wine sauce was well balanced and there was a generous number of prawns, the pasta was overcooked, even clumping together in places.

It was the other way around for Mrs G’s main of spaghetti with pesto (£8). The pasta was perfectly al dente but the fresh tasting pesto was on the oily side, leaving a large slick at the bottom of the bowl.

To finish Mrs G ordered an excellent affogato (£4.50). Good quality coffee and smooth vanilla ice cream were both present and correct whilst a scattering of amaretti crumbs added crunch.

My rum and chocolate mousse cake (£4.50) was good but a little stodgy.

In spite of the flaws in the food, the excellent service contributed to a decent evening at Sicilian Orange. The one waitress running front of house deftly kept service running smoothly throughout the meal. 

The Details:
Address - Sicilian Orange, 83 Whitchurch Road, Cardiff, CF14 3JP

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