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


  1. Love Bangkok cafe. I was devastated when the Swansea Restaurant closed but it's well worth the trip up the M4. The Penang Ner is quite simply the best dish I've eaten, anywhere.

    1. @Leigh - High praise indeed if it's worth the trip up the M4. Cheers for the menu time!

  2. Glad you made it there finally, definitely one of my fave Cardiff places. Get some Som Dam down you next time.

    1. @Nicki - Can't believe it's taken me so long to finally visit *hangs head in shame*. The Som Dam sounds lush!

    2. It is one of my fave things to eat. If only I could figure out where to get green papaya in the Diff I'd probably eat it every day

    3. @Nicki - Hmmm tricky... have you tried Masala Bazaar and the miscellany of City Rd grocery shops? Also looks like Waitrose might stock 'em if you're ever in that neck of the woods.

    4. Unripe green papaya can be found at the Eastern Chinese Supermarket on Tudor Street and Baan Thai at 77 Whitchurch Rd (fresh fruit and veg delivered from Thailand mid-week)

  3. Looks a lovely meal - I love a good Massaman Curry!