Sunday, 2 June 2019

Longa, Whitchurch Road, Cardiff Turkish cafe review

Whitchurch Road has got game.

When I moved to Cardiff ten years ago, I never would have guessed that Whitchurch Road would become one of the best places in the city to go to for craft beer, French patisserie, macaroni cheese and high end curry.

But here we are in 2019, and another exciting place to eat has just opened.

Longa is a bright and modern looking Turkish Cafe which has already created a bit of a buzz since opening a few weeks ago thanks to a glowing report from the legend Jose Pizarro.

With Mrs G suffering from a raging hangover, we were pleased to discover that Longa serve their breakfast menu until 2pm on a weekend alongside their lunch menu. 

Whilst their breakfast menu rotates around hearty sounding egg dishes and filled bagels, their lunch menu has interesting plates such as rice stuffed artichoke hearts cooked in orange juice with calamari and stewed beef on smoked aubergine mash. 

Feeling optimistically greedy (as always), Mrs G and I ordered the Anatolian breakfast for two (£17.50) and a dish off the lunch menu.

Our breakfast pretty much covered the entire table. A delightful mix of sweet and savoury bites, the bold yet comforting flavours perked us up no end after a night on the booze. 

The star of the show was a vintage Turkish pan laden with menemen, a mix of golden runny yolked baked eggs muddled together with soft green peppers, onions, fresh tomatoes, spices and chopped parsley. Discs of crisp and fatty spicy Turkish sausage provided the filth factor that all the best hangover breakfasts need. 

A basket of soft and light pide bread with a delicate chew was the perfect mop for the eggs. 

A big plate of cheese included grilled halloumi, strings of a salty and elastic cecil and soft, creamy and tangy wedges of a feta-like variety. 

Peppered salami, plump briny green olives, a deeply savoury sun-dried tomato paste with the crunch of walnut and warmth of chilli, garlic twanged hummus and more slices of spicy Turkish sausage completed the savoury breakfast line-up. 

A pair of sweet items were both super interesting and tasty - a fragrant pink rose petal jam and perfumed wildflower honey topped with a big dollop of cream. 

Manti (£6.95), our lunch dish, was as pretty as a picture. A plate of geometric crisp-topped and thin-skinned dumplings were filled with mildly spiced tender minced beef and sat on a bed of lightly garlic twanged yoghurt and warming chilli tomato butter. 

Drinks were pleasant but not an unmitigated success - Turkish tea was served black, strong and tannic whilst Turkish coffee was thick, bitter and as strong as rocket fuel. With hindsight we’ll probably go for a cup of their local Hard Lines coffee next time. 

We had a delicious brunch at Longa. It’s an exciting and different addition to Cardiff’s food scene and I can’t wait to go back and work my through the rest of their menu.

The Details:

Address - Longa, 180 Whitchurch Road, Cardiff CF14 3NB
Telephone - 029 2063 2082

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