"Good things come to those who wait" is more than an appropriate turn of phrase when it comes to Hard Lines' new Canton coffee shop.
More than a year after they successfully raised £15,000 on Kickstarter, Hard Lines finally opened their new diner and coffee roastery on Cowbridge Road East at the end of November.
They already make a cracking cup of joe at their outposts in Cardiff Market and Riverside Market but now they’ve added a menu of vegetarian and vegan comfort food to their repertoire. It’s the kind of restorative stuff which could soothe even the most intense hangover.
The aesthetic of the new place is on the nail. With its bespoke booths and riot of beige, it’s part Scandi minimalist and part American diner.
If you’re going to go to the trouble of roasting your own coffee, it better bloody well be good. An Ethiopian Aeropress (£3) was packed with juicy blueberries without a hint of bitterness whilst an Iced Black (£3.50) was smooth as you like.
A breakfast bap (£4.50) saw a sturdy yet pillowy soft Alex Gooch roll stuffed with coarse textured hash brown, tangy cheese, a runny fried egg and a good squirt of tommy k.
Huevos Rancheros (£7) combined warm and properly corny tortillas with an earthy black bean stew, punchy and vibrant salsa roja, fried egg, zingy pink pickled onions and a good squeeze of lime.
The star of the show was a whopper of a Parm sandwich (£6.50). Crisp-crusted, soft and airy toasted focaccia with a delicate chew was stuffed with meaty layers of hot grilled aubergine, light and fresh marinara sauce, oozy melted mozzarella, grated parmesan and crucial richness balancing pickled red peppers. There’s no doubt this is one of Cardiff’s best sandwiches.
Stuffed, Mrs G and I ploughed on with dessert.
A bronzed Friends in Knead doughnut (£3) was super light and well-dusted with sugar and cinnamon.
A slice of legendary Inner City Pickle pecan pie (£4) saw thin and crisp pastry laden with crunchy nuts, a thick slick of toasty caramel and a retro squirt of cream.
We loved our brunch at Hard Lines. From their cool aesthetic, to their delicious comfort food and killer coffee, it’s one of Cardiff’s most exciting new openings of 2019. With their roster of all-star suppliers and pop-ups on the cards from exciting ventures like Matsudai Ramen, I can’t wait to see what else the Hard Lines team have in store for us.
Address - Hard Lines Cafe and Roastery, Ground Floor Unit, St Cannas Court, Cowbridge Rd East, Cardiff CF5 1GX