Sunday, 3 February 2013

The Lansdowne, Canton, Cardiff Pub Review

There’s no doubt the team behind the Lansdowne has done a quality job at transforming what was once an uninviting locals’ pub into a quality boozer. 

They’ve successfully combined sparse, almost Scandi-minimalist wooden décor with an excellent range of Wye Valley, Celt and Tiny Rebel ales on tap. However, unlike most recent trendy pub openings, The Lansdowne serves food which is closer to pub than gastro pub. Printed menus are ditched in favour of a wall-mounted board, there are no starters, orders are placed at the bar, mains include pie & mash and chicken curry, and there are only 2 desserts.

After a ravenous 45 minute wait for our food (I even came close to ordering a pickled egg), I was ready to inhale my burger with bacon and cheese.

1. How was the patty? Well done and as a result lacking a little moisture. Its flavour was fairly good.  

 2. How was the bun? A decent floured white bap.

3. How was the other stuff in the bun?  Excellent crispy thick cut bacon, guilty-pleasure melted processed cheese, acidic and crunchy cornichons, iceberg lettuce and thinly sliced tomatoes - pretty much the perfect combination as far as I’m concerned.

4. How were the chips?  Limp and probably out of a bag. They were reminiscent of those I was served at Gateshead Leisure Centre café in 1989.

5. What was the price? £7

6. What’s the verdict? With a few tweaks, this decent burger could be very good. Essentially, the patty needs a little less cooking and the chips replacing.   

Mrs G ordered the homemade bean burger (£7) in a fleeting moment of January healthiness. It had a good chilli kick and was packed with beans…after one mouthful of my burger, however, she begrudgingly realised the error of her ways.  

A friend’s ham, egg and chips (£7) was good apart from the chips and wobbly fat.

A sturdy pie served with mash, peas and gravy was described as enjoyable (£7). So too was a plate of ribs, chips and salad (£7).

Unlike the mains, desserts were superb.

Sticky toffee pudding (£3.50) was soft, moist and rich with dark sugar. It was served with smooth custard.

Vanilla cheesecake was wonderfully smooth and creamy, had an excellent crisp base and was accompanied by a sharp berry coulis.

Whilst the food at The Lansdowne is a well-priced accompaniment to a few pints, I wouldn't make a special trip for a meal. However, if the food matched the standards of the beer and venue, they’d be onto a winner. 

Correction - An earlier version of this article stated that The Lansdowne is owned by Chameleon Group. The Lansdowne is in fact owned by Spooncardiff Ltd who are also part owners of the Potted Pig.

The details:

Address - The Lansdowne, Lansdowne Road, Canton, Cardiff, CF5 1PU
Telephone - 02920 221312

The Lansdowne on Urbanspoon


  1. i have just had a sunday beef dinner here. i could not fault the quality of the meal but from being told there was a 20 minute plus waiting time it finally arrived just under an hour later!.. plenty of excuses but i doubt if i could recommend.

  2. Not for Locals! I live just over the road and was not allowed in on rugby night! Appreciate that it was busy but feel unappreciated - this pub has been repeated through a number of owners and repeatedly failed and at a time when it could do with local support it decides to turn them away. I am no alcoholic or trouble-causer, I just wanted to rely on my local for a pint and the game. It reminds me of a Wetherspoons except without the cheap food!!!

  3. The Lansdowne was a lot more inviting when it was a proper local's pub. I have lived across the road from the place for over 20 years and on every occasion I've gone there since it has reopened I have felt most unwelcome and certainly uncomfortable. Food is pretty terrible and overpriced too.