Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Zaitoon - Rawang Burger Bakar, Roath, Cardiff - Searching for Cardiff's best burger

Zaitoon on Albany Road has been mentioned a number of times in my search for Cardiff’s best burger.

Their burgers are branded as Rawang Burger Bakar (RBB), seemingly the only branch of a 50-strong Malaysian burger chain to be located outside of its home territory.

What else did a browse of Zaitoon’s menu tell me?

Well, RBB burgers are cooked over charcoal, are typically served with a dollop of sweet chilli sauce and include curious options like the Bombastic, a beef burger served in black pepper sauce, and the Isabella, a homemade chicken and prawn burger.

The Burger – The RBB Special

1. How was the patty? A pair of homemade beef patties with a good lick of char from the flame grill. One was served medium and the other well done; consequently one was nicely juicy and the other a bit dry. The patties were also packed with herbs, meaning the flavour of the meat was a little recessive.

2. How was the bun A soft, toasted white bun hit the right ratio of patty to bread.

3. How was the other stuff in the bun? Pretty much on the nail – shredded iceberg, richness penetrating gherkins, finely sliced red onion and tomatoes, and oozy American-style cheese. The only anomaly, a dollop of sweet chilli sauce which actually sort of worked.

4. How were the fries? Crisp, out of the bag, kebab shop style chips – they did the job.

5. What was the price? £6.50 including the fries

6. How was the service? Order at the counter, and wait for your order to be cooked. It’s not waiter service.

7. How was the other stuff? The burgers were accompanied by a good selection of sauces – mayo, ketchup, bbq sauce and a potent chilli sauce.

8. So what's the verdict? Zaitoon's burgers definitely hit the spot; to be exact, a Burger King / Maccy D-type junk food spot. Next time, I'm in the mood for a Whopper or a Big Mac, I'll be giving Zaitoon another go. 

The Details:

*Update - 16/06/2018 - this restaurant is now closed*

Address - Zaitoon, 123 Albany Road, Roath, Cardiff, CF24 3NS
Telephone - 02920 196063

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Deli Rouge tapas night, Roath restaurant review

It’s a belated post from me this week as the abnormally warm weather and 24/7 football on the TV have done terrible things to my blogging mojo.

I’ve previously written about Deli Rouge in my quest for Cardiff’s best breakfast.

However, this time a group of four of us visited this friendly Roath deli for evening tapas.

Deli Rouge open two nights a week on Thursdays and Fridays ‘til 9pm when they make the most of their produce packed fridges by serving up a menu of tapas.

Ok, so I acknowledge the dishes are more straightforward than at my favourite South Wales tapas joint, Bar 44.

But, Deli Rouge are serving up some quality produce in a really friendly, chilled out environment.

Furthermore, it’s good value to boot – 3 tapas will set you back just over a tenner and a bottle of highly chugable tempranillo comes in at £9.90.

Big winners included a creamy mozzarella ball with a fresh as heck pesto; enjoyably squeaky halloumi with fried peppers & onions; a slice of rich baked goat’s cheese with sweet caramelised onions; pan-fried artichokes with feta stuffed peppers; and a generous plateful of prosciutto drizzled with oil and balsamic. 

Less stellar but still enjoyable options included hummus with punchy harissa; fresh bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar; well-spiced chorizo with fried mushrooms and tomatoes; a good selection of mixed pitted olives; balsamic onions with blue cheese (a bit more cheese wouldn’t have gone amiss); run of the mill dolmades; and a pedestrian selection of salami. 

The only real duds were a bowl of nachos topped with a meagre amount of cheese and fried mushrooms cooked in a throat-stripping quantity of chilli. 

We finished off the meal with a trawl of the fridges and shelves for dessert.

A slice of warm plum tart with vanilla ice cream (£3.90) was packed with sweet fruit with just the right hint of tartness, but it was let down by the pastry which had softened during reheating. 

All in all, we had a lovely night at Deli Rouge. It's certainly a lovely place to chill out for a few hours with a bottle of wine and a few plates of meat and cheese.

The details:

Address - 73 Pen-y-wain Road, Roath, Cardiff, CF24 4GG
Telephone - 02920 483871
Web -

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Bangkok Cafe, Canton - Cardiff Thai restaurant review

Frankly, it’s a little embarrassing that it’s taken me so long to get around to visiting Bangkok Café.

This Canton-based Thai restaurant is a bit of a Cardiff institution, and I’ve only heard good things about it during the years I’ve been writing the blog.

Unsurprisingly, there's substance behind the recommendations.

Major positives include a relaxed and modern dining space; friendly and efficient service; a menu chock-full of interesting dishes; liberal portions; and most importantly, excellent Thai food.

A brace of Singhas provided chilli relief during the meal.

To start I ordered Yam Ner (£5.50), spicy beef salad – a mountain of tender seared beef, spring onions, tomatoes and cucumber were bathed in a fragrant dressing of chilli, lime, coriander and fish sauce. So moreish was the dressing that I poured the leftovers straight down my hatch.

Mrs G ordered Bor Bia Sot (£4.50), rice noodle rolls filled with beansprouts, tofu and Thai basil and topped with a sticky, sweet and sour tamarind sauce. This very good dish, however, was let down slightly as the rice noodle rolls were disappointingly hard in places.

Other starters were met with praise – generous and juicy chicken satay (£4.50) and immensely sticky and tender ribs (£4.50).

Mains were winners across the board.

Pad Thai (£8.50), probably the most popular of all Thai dishes, successfully combined rice noodles, beansprouts, egg, prawns, tamarind, lime juice and ground peanuts.

My Massaman curry (£11.50) was Thai comfort food at it’s finest. A meaty, creamy coconut gravy was packed with tender lamb, potatoes and peanuts. Accompanying rice was pleasingly sticky but a portion of green vegetables in an underwhelming coconut dressing seemed like an odd addition to the plate.

Lastly, a trough of Kwideow Dom Ka Gai (£8.25) – a creamy coconut soup fragranced with lemongrass and overflowing with chicken, spring onion, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and rice noodles – would have provided a challenge for even my seemingly endless appetite.

Our meal at Bangkok Café was corking and there are so many of their dishes I still want to try.

It won’t be so long until my second visit.

The details:

Address - Bangkok Cafe, 207 Cowbridge Road East, Canton, Cardiff, CF11 9AJ
Telephone - 029 2034 0455