Sunday, 27 December 2015

My ten favourite dishes in Wales of 2015

2015 has been great year for eating in Wales.

There’s been bobbydazzling burgers, stonking street food, top drawer tapas and perfect pastries.

In fact, the food scene in South Wales continues to go from strength to strength.

So here it is, in no particular order, ten of the best things I’ve eaten in Wales during the last year.

1. Partridge sandwich, Restaurant James Sommerin, Penarth: A sandwich cooked by one of Wales’ best chefs, you know it’s going to be amazing. Butter fried brioche is topped with tender confit partridge leg, salsify puree and crispy onion rings. 

2. Pata Chaat, Mint & Mustard Penarth: One of the signature dishes at this sophisticated South Indian restaurant. Crisp, battered baby spinach leaves are draped with creamy yoghurt, tangy tamarind chutney and cleansing jewels of pomegranate. 

3.Tagliatelle Salsiccia e Broccoli, Il Pastificio, Cardiff:  Freshly made tagliatelle, a potently savoury dolcelatte sauce, chunks of anise twanged homemade sausage and pieces of braised broccoli. Can I eat this now please?

4.Paris Brest, Cocorico Patisserie, Cardiff: Cocorico serve the best Paris-Brest. Golden choux pastry is filled with crunchy praline and sweet caramelised hazelnut cream. 

5.John Dory, Hare & Hounds, Aberthin: The highlight of my favourite meal of 2015. A John Dory fillet is bathed in a lobster sauce of extraordinary intensity and joined by plump mussels, cockles, samphire and buttery courgette mash. 

6. Cubano, Wright’s Food Emporium, Llanarthne: A legendary sandwich at a legendary food destination. Home-baked ciabatta, golden pork belly, thick cut ham, grated cheese, warming sriracha mayo and richness busting jalapenos and gherkins. Oofh. 

7. Burger, Burger and Lobster, Cardiff: Despite the recent arrival of Shake Shack, Burger & Lobster still serve my favourite burger in Cardiff. All the elements are bang on the nail. Except for the £20 asking price. Thankfully, they now offer a £12 burger during weekday lunchtimes. 

8. Santiago tart, Bar 44, Cardiff: I could have picked any one of a handful of dishes from the menu of Bar 44. But, the freshness and intensity of the orange sorbet which accompanies their Santiago tart still sticks in the memory. 

9. Pork, The Great House, Laleston: Pork belly, shredded pork shoulder, a pork shoulder croquette and some stellar accompaniments. I heart pork. 

10. Steak and kidney pudding, King’s Arms Pentyrch: It’s one of those dishes which is so difficult to get right but The King’s Arms get it very, very right. A crisp suet crust contains flavour-packed meat and they also throw in a few pieces of rare steak on the side for good measure.


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  2. The unctuous-yielding drinking game fails me still…