Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Lilo Express, City Road, Cardiff - The Cardiff Kebab Quest

Judging by the fact Lilo’s on City Road has expanded next door to form Lilo Grill House and Lilo Express, they don’t just have a cult following at the secondary school in Penarth where I used to teach. Furthermore, Lilo Express’s canopied ceiling and the hubbub of large groups tucking into huge plates of meat makes for one heck of an atmosphere.

Whilst my first escapade on the kebab quest was enjoyable, everything at Lilo’s is just a bit better. The meat is plumper and juicier, the bread softer and more elastic and the sauces less ambient…

We started with a plate of creamy and smoky baba ghanouj (£3.25) served with warm flatbread. It was good but could have done with a bigger hit of aubergine.

A decent banana and strawberry milkshake (£2.85) was of the milk rather than ice-cream based ilk.

Onto the kebabs -

The kebabs – Mixed Shawarma (£7.95) and Chicken shish (£7.95)

Meat – The excellent mixed shawarma comprised of oodles of shredded, aromatic, fatty and tender lamb and chicken. The equally generous portion of plump chicken shish was moist, charred and citrusy.

Bread – Superb warm, soft, bubbly and elastic bread.

Salad – A fresh yet run of the mill combination of lettuce, red onion, tomato and cucumber

Sauce – A soothing yoghurty mild garlic sauce and a potent chilli sauce

Other – Buttery rice with a scattering of lentils added some welcome padding. I was just a bit jealous of the neighbouring table who had ordered half and half.

The verdict – An excellent kebab. Some slightly more exciting salad would make it stellar.

The details - 
Address - 72-74 City Road  Cardiff, South Glamorgan CF24 3DD
Telephone - 029 2045 0089


  1. Yes to all the above!
    I love Lilo's.

    Bloody love it.

  2. Lilo's Bar and Grill scored 0 in its hygiene inspection in October 2012. 0 means urgent improvement necessary. I went in and spoke to the manager about it and he told me some of the things they were marked down on, although I have not asked for the full report from Cardiff Council:

    The atmosphere always looks quite lively in there and everyone I speak to seems to love it: It's actually winning as favourite takeaway/restaurant on City Road in my poll:

    Personally I have been put off by its hygiene rating.

    If you review any more restaurants on City Road please tweet me at @cardiffcityroad Love anything and everything City Road!

    1. @cardiffcityroad

      Must admit I'm not really put off by a low rating. Unless a place has been closed down by food safety officers then I'm happy to assume it'll probably be fine. Perhaps that's a little naive of me?

      Furthermore, I'd rather eat tasty food from a low scoring place e.g. Lilo / Casa Bianca than rubbish from a 5 out of 5 place e.g. Bella Italia chain. Of course, in an ideal world both the score and the food would be excellent!

      Happy to let you know of my next City Road visit. Good luck with the blog.

  3. Just been going through your list here looking for a place to eat and while this BlogSpot review is informative and quite cool I am rather bemused as to the answer re; "health rating." Are you implying that as long as the food tastes good, who cares HOW it is cooked and what (you didn't get to see) went into it to make it TASTE that way? WOW!

  4. I know the reasons, it's only because when the council came to check the restaurant the didn't have the book of hygiene handy! so they couldn't rate them and scored 0. That's why its important to keep the book available all the time.

  5. Went to lilos express m'y Partner and myself both had steak a fillet and si loin asked for the to Be cooked medium the sirloin came bk well done i mean burnt also missing the mushroom sauce and the other sauces missing as This was a take away we dis not want to travel bk There after eating the Food an hour later myself and Partner were ill by being sick and pains in our stomachs i Hope we havent got Food poisoning thanks to lilos we Will Be going to doctors if continues last time we eat There