Saturday, 4 August 2018

The Secret Garden cafe, Bute Park, Cardiff review


It might seem an odd decision to wait until the only rainy weekend of the summer to visit the Secret Garden cafe in Bute Park.

But, on the last two occasions we’ve tried to visit it was a full house with a decent queue.

This time, there there were plenty of free tables and no one waiting to be served. And there’s sheltered seating so we didn't get wet. Win.


The Secret Garden was taken over earlier this year by the lovely team behind Penylan Pantry and Cheese Pantry.

A hearty brunch menu (see the bottom of the post for pics) includes nutty granola, avocado on toast and sausage sandwiches. Lunches comprise of seasonal salad bowls, stews, toasted sandwiches and baked sweet potatoes.

If you arrive between 11.30am and 12pm on a weekend both menus are still in action…

A sugar free Karma Kola had a proper medicinal hit instead of being bland sugary fizzy water. Filter coffee was fragrant and delicate rather than harsh and bitter. 

 
A salad bowl (£6.50) was a pretty beast which included marinated mushrooms, dill-fragranced tomato and bread salad, vegetable couscous, creamy tahini dressed butternut squash and butterbeans, basil spiked red cabbage and harissa spiced new potatoes. 

 
A big wodge of frittata (£3.50) was flecked with tangy goats cheese, sweet butternut squash and tender courgettes and scattered with pine nuts. Mixed leaves were well-dressed rather than just shoved on straight from the bag and a pot of spiced apple chutney was a lovely accompaniment.  


Crisp wholemeal waffles (£6.50) were topped with buttery kale, tender avocado and a runny fried egg. A side of killer Welsh sausages (£1.50) were golden brown and loaded with peppery meat. It was a lovely plate but as the waffles cooled they unfortunately became rather soft and chewy. 


Whilst mains were very good, desserts knocked it out of the (Bute) park.

Soft serve ice cream (£3.50) was the creamiest I’ve ever eaten. It was topped with intense blackcurrant sauce and cinnamon spiced oat crumble. I inhaled it so quickly that I gave myself brain freeze. 


A slice of lemon and almond polenta cake (£3) topped with icing and flaked almonds was stupendously moist and fragrant. 

 
We had a delicious brunch, lunch and afternoon tea rolled into one at the Secret Garden. I can see why it’s been so busy on my previous attempts to visit.

The Details:

Address - North Rd, Cardiff CF10 3ER




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