Saturday, 2 November 2019

Asador 44, Cardiff Sunday roast review

As the nights start to draw in, it’s the time of year where I crave roasted meats, crispy carbohydrates, glossy meat sauces and excessive amounts of alcohol.

Wait a second, that’s any time of year. But perhaps a little more during the autumn and winter.

Having had one of the best Sunday roasts of my life at Cardiff’s Bar 44 the other week, I was pretty excited to hear that their sibling restaurant Asador 44 had just launched their own.

Alongside their usual menu of sharing meats and fish such as slow cooked Castillian milk fed leg of lamb and Segovian suckling pig, these Spanish charcoal grill masters have also added roast rump of beef to their menu. Having seen their Instagram video, there was only one dish I was ever going to order. 

Before we arrived at the main event we had starters to contend with.

A pork terrine (£8) was pig to the power three - coarse and soft of texture, it was loaded with spiced pork shoulder, salty jamon and earthy morcilla. Crunchy sourdough crisps, shavings of celeriac with the acidity of caper and cornichon, and a blob of a sweet yet sour puree were bang on accompaniments. 

Across the table, Mrs G really enjoyed her dice of beetroot (£7.50) with lovely notes of sweetness and acidity, drizzled with grassy olive oil and topped with a creamy and decadent hazelnut puree. 

Onto main course, and a hefty slab of 60 day dry-aged coal roast rump of Hereford beef (£18 including sides) was an absolute beauty of a piece of meat. Beautifully pink and ridiculously tender with a big beefy flavour, it had an enjoyably smoky exterior from being finished off directly on charcoal. 

Accompaniments were also very good; smooth and creamy cauliflower puree, a porky manteca Yorkshire pudding (which was a touch dry around the edges) and golden roast potatoes which didn’t have the same level of crispness as Bar 44’s. 

Sprouting broccoli and heritage carrots had just the right amount of bite. 

A leek gratin was the side dish star of the show. The sweet alliums were bathed in a thick, rich and tangy cheese sauce and topped with crisp breadcrumbs and salty nuggets of jamon. Woof.  

A mini jug per person of thick and glossy rioja and bone marrow gravy ensured there were no squabbles over the final drop of sauce. 

A family member also really rated their charcoal cod (£16) with spiced heritage tomatoes, prawn and tomato sauce; I wasn't quick enough to get a taste.

Desserts were mostly a huge success.

Burnt Castello cheesecake (£7) was beautifully light of texture with a good whiff of citrus and a smoky brûléed caramel top. It was joined by a nut-studded tuille and sweet baked fig. 

A smooth and creamy creme catalana (£7), heady with decadent saffron and orange, was balanced by small pieces of slightly tart poached rhubarb. 

However, a chocolate mousse (£8) was disappointingly grainy in texture. Even a genius accompaniment of sweet and savoury beef fat caramel couldn’t compensate. When the issue was flagged to a member of staff it was promptly whipped away and an alternative dessert offered (both desserts were also kindly deducted from the bill). 

Its replacement was a significant upgrade. Almond and quince tarta de Santiago (£7.50) was moist of crumb with plenty of aromatic fruit. Thin golden pastry, a dollop of floral moscatel cream and boozy tempranillo cherries completed the delicious pud. 

We had a delicious Sunday roast at Asador 44. Comparing it to Bar 44, I’d say Asador 44's meat is a definite standout. But, I think Bar 44’s roasties and Yorkshire pud just edge it for me. Both restaurants are unquestionably worth checking out for two of Cardiff's best Sunday roasts.

The Details:

Address - Asador 44, Quay Street, Cardiff CF10 1EA
Web -
Telephone - 029 2002 0039

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