So, jumping on the bandwagon, here are the ten best meals I’ve had in Cardiff in 2017.
Of course, I’ve had great meals at Hang Fire, Hare and Hounds and James Sommerin in the last year. But, including them in another of my lists would be a bit boring.
Asador 44 is the stellar steakhouse that Cardiff has been crying out for. They’re not only about beef though. This Spanish charcoal grill restaurant also serve whole fish to share (we had an incredible turbot) and they have an interesting list of Spanish wines and a cheese cave. Yes, a cave of cheese.
The team behind the acclaimed Potted Pig sold up their stake and struck out on their own with Pontcanna’s Milkwood. Technically accomplished plates include turbot with leeks, crayfish, cucumber and samphire, and chocolate ganache and mousse with cherry.
Burger Theory serve my favourite burgers in Cardiff. Favourites include the Sheriff with cheese, bacon and onion rings and the hyper-crisp Prairie Girl chicken burger topped with blue cheese and Frank’s hot sauce. Sides of sticky spicy Korean chicken and coca cola pulled ham dirty fries also kick ass.
The Humble Onion
Okay, I know it’s not in Cardiff but there’s some really interesting cooking going on at the Humble Onion in Dinas Powys. Highlights at this modern bistro include stonkingly good onion soup and a fillet steak served with spiced anchovy butter and the crispest triple-cooked chips.
Hotel restaurants are normally a bit boring and overpriced. The Admiral St David at the St David’s Hotel isn’t. This bright Australasian restaurant serves interesting food that includes flavour-packed chicken laksa and dark chocolate cremeux with mango, coconut and passionfruit.
I love the pizzas at da Mara and since their relocation to Penylan they’re now on my doorstep. If you like wood-fired Neapolitan style pizzas made with first rate ingredients then check it out.
In 2017, Cocorico were finalists in the BBC’s Bake Off Creme de la Creme. This modern French patisserie serve creative flavour combinations like the "Tropic Thunder", a choux bun with praline, coconut, white chocolate and passionfruit. Their afternoon tea is a great shout if you want to sample a range of their wares.
The Early Bird make the best breakfast in Cardiff. Judging by the weekend brunch queues I’m not the only one who thinks so. Everything they serve is great but I’d recommend their stunningly squidgy brioche doughnuts and their green eggs and ham which combines toasted brioche, poached eggs, baked ham, and spinach and hazelnut pesto.
I’ve eaten at Pooja more times than anywhere else in 2017. I can’t get enough of the good value vegetarian food from this Indian sweet and chaat house on Albany Road. Paneer tikka with freshly made roti (£3), samosa chaat (£2.50) and pani puri (£2.50) are my go to dishes.
The half n half plate (falafel and shawarma) with chips and rice from Falafel Kitchen in Cathays is a real bobby dazzler. Served with silky hummus, pillowy pitta and lovely salads it's hard to think of many better ways to spend £8 in Cardiff.
Other great meals I’ve eaten in Cardiff in 2017 include Chez Francis, Caban, Curado Bar, Zi’s Cafe, Happy Lok Diner, Mowlana, Bara Menyn, El Chilango and Casanova.
Happy eating in 2018!