Saturday, 8 September 2018

Chain House and The Prince's, Pontypridd reviews

The Prince's Cafe, Pontypridd
The old and the new. Each has an equally important role to play in my book.

As long as your food is damn tasty, I couldn’t care less whether you're serving oysters with dill emulsion and cucumber granite or haddock and chips with mushy peas.

This brings me to Pontypridd’s Chain House and Prince’s Cafe; establishments which typify the old and the new.

The Chain House


Chain House was opened in early 2018 by two friends who used to work for Otley Brewery pubs. The cosy joint has a modern feel with its white tiles, reclaimed wood and industrial metal.

It's just a few minutes' walk from Ponty's beautifully restored Lido so we popped in after a swim.


A daytime menu consists of brunches and toasted sandwiches whilst on Friday and Saturday nights, a dinner menu includes more ambitious dishes like beef featherblade cromesqui with pickled onions and carrot puree and dark chocolate torte with maple butter icing and pistachio.


Decent Americanos (£2) helped us through a slightly long 30 minute wait for our food (despite the place being pretty quiet).


Thankfully, both our plates were very tasty.

The clear winner was toasted sourdough (£6.50) heaped with briny cockles and crisp bacon flecked with laverbread. A richness balancing squeeze of lemon and runny poached egg elevated the dish further.


A Chain House club sandwich (£8) saw toasted bloomer filled with crisp crumbed chicken goujons, melted tangy cheddar, smashed avocado, tomato and rashers of slightly flabby streaky bacon. A side of skin on french fries hit the mark.


We liked Chain House and it's bringing something new to Pontypridd's food scene. On this evidence, their evening menu would be well worth a go.

The Prince's

For dessert, Mrs G and I moved onto the charming The Prince’s cafe, a national treasure of yesteryear like Betty’s of Harrogate or Sally Lunn’s in Bath.


Opened in 1948 by the Gambarini family, it’s now run by the original owner’s grandson and the decor still has a number of its original art deco features from the cashier’s desk to the tea room signage.


The original ornate copper water boiler still sits proudly on the counter.


Groaning window displays of corned beef slices, pasties, pies, rolled fruit pancakes, strawberry tarts and iced fingers had customers queuing out the door on the Saturday lunchtime we visited.


Mrs G and I picked up a coffee choux bun and a strawberry and custard slice for a bargainous sum of £2.40.

Perched on a nearby bench we tucked into the gargantuan choux which combined light pastry stuffed with whipped cream and topped with sweet and sticky coffee icing. The custard slice was a fine example of its type too - the pastry crisp and the custard light and wobbly.


I’ve already fallen for the old fashioned charm of Prince’s Cafe and can’t wait to go back for a slap up lunch after another swim at the Lido.

The Details:

Chain House
Address - Chain House, 11A Bridge Street, Pontypridd CF37 4PE
Web - https://www.facebook.com/chainh0use11/
Telephone - 01443 856442

The Prince's
Address - The Prince's, 74 Taff St, Pontypridd CF37 4SU
Web - https://twitter.com/theprinces1948
Telephone - 01443 402376

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