Saturday, 26 November 2016

Time & Beef, Canton - Searching for Cardiff's Best Burger

I’m sure if you spent long enough on the Hipster Business Name Generator then Time and Beef would crop up. In fact, I spent 30 seconds on it and came up with dubious names like Jail and Salmon, Bourbon and Bath and Cocoa and Shoes.

But, what's in a name? It’s all about the food anyway.

Time & Beef, located on Canton’s main drag, is a burger joint-cum-cocktail bar. A mix of tiles, reclaimed wood furniture and exposed brickwork give an informal but trendy feel to the place.

In theory, they’ve got a good selection of draught beers like Tiny Rebel and Goose Island. But, on the night we visited they were off due to a technical problem. So, we more than made do with a hoppy can of Crafty Devil (£3.50) and a refreshing Modelo (£3.50).

Starters were a bit filthy. In a good way of course.

A trio of whopping spice-crumbed juicy chicken fillets (£5) were served with a pot of smoky barbecue sauce.

Deep-fried mac n cheese bites (£5) were well textured with firm pasta and a gooey sauce. However, they could have done with a bigger hit of cheese and the accompanying salsa lacked the freshness you’d expect from homemade stuff. 

Let’s rewind to explain “the concept” behind Time & Beef. On arrival, you’re given a burger tick list to select your bun, patty, toppings, sauces and sides. A basic burger costs £7, meat toppings £1.50, veggie toppings £1 and cheese £1. One you’ve made your selection you’re given the onerous task of naming your burger. 

Here’s what we ate.

Time & Beef offer four types of bread roll from the legendary Alex Gooch. We both looked no further than the demi-brioche. Super-soft, faintly-sweet and delicately-chewy, Mrs G declared it to be the best burger bun she’d ever eaten. That’s the type of bold claim I normally make.

We also both ordered the 6oz beef patty sourced from Braithwaites butchers (located just down the road). Both were served a juicy well done and were tasty but arguably lacked a first rate beefy flavour. 

Mrs G and I followed separate paths with our toppings.

My burger, “Dave” (£9.50), was topped with thumpingly good thick cut bacon, a generous amount of savoury melted stilton and a good squeeze of Tommy K. A side skin on fries (£2) hit the mark. 

“Kevin” (£9.50) was topped with mild melted monterey jack, piquant chorizo and mayo. A side of sweet potato fries were on the nail too (£3).

We dodged desserts as there was nothing available apart from a slice of salted caramel cake; a  missed opportunity to extract some money from my wallet.

All in all I really enjoyed my meal at Time & Beef and it's certainly up there with Cardiff’s best independent burger places.

But, here’s the rub. My burger weighed in at £11.50 including a side. But, the price could easily have ballooned. If I'd added a bit of salad and some gherkins then I would have paid two quid more for my burger. This seems a little steep. Perhaps a rethink of some of the salad pricing wouldn’t go a miss.

The details:

Address - Time & Beef, 169 Cowbridge Road East, Canton, Cardiff CF11 9AH
Web -
Telephone - 02921 158539

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