Take for example Mr Croquewich, aka Darren Lewis, who’s worked as a head chef in bistros and brasseries and developed a passion for all things cheesy whilst spending five years cooking in the French alps.
It’s resulted in a street food menu of high end grilled cheese sandwiches and Parmesan chicken burgers which he serves at markets, pop-ups and festivals around Wales. He’ll also be taking a unit in Barry’s new Goods Shed development which is set to open later this year.
But, in the current climate, he’s transformed into a bistro home delivery service. With a menu of hearty French classics and a handful of grilled cheese sandwiches, he’s delivering around Cardiff and beyond on Wednesdays and Fridays. Delivery is free on minimum orders over £10 and dishes arrive cooked and simply need to be reheated in the oven.
To start, we shared a portion of Glamorgan bonbons (£4). A quintet of golden crumbed orbs were filled with a cheesy ooze of leek-flecked deliciousness.
Unmistakably Glamorgan sausage inspired, I could have eaten a dozen to myself without them even touching the sides. A pot of sweet and fiery chilli sauce was a tasty accompaniment.
A generous cassoulet (£7) combined herby sausages, tender boneless chicken thigh and white beans in a thick and rich tomato, bacon and thyme sauce. It was accompanied by golden, tender and garlicky Lyonnaise potatoes and garlic butter drenched green beans.
Red wine chicken saw a pair chicken thighs (£7) bathed in a huge flavoured red wine sauce laced with pancetta and mushrooms. It was accompanied by more of those lovely Lyonnaise potatoes and a mix of roast vegetables in garlic butter.
On another day we shared a tartiflette (£7) with a pair of steaks.
This bubbling cauldron was a delicious mix of cheese, cream, bacon, herbs, onions and potatoes topped with a melted slice of reblochon cheese for good measure. It reminded me of the kind of steakhouse sides you get in America with a ridiculous quantity of cheese and bacon.
Desserts were both very good but not quite the same level as our starters and mains.
The first jar (£3) was loaded with fudgy brownie pieces, light creamy and tangy cheesecake topping, rich chocolate sauce and a tart cherry studded sauce.
A lemon and lime cheesecake jar (£3) was layered with smooth citrus fragranced posset, delicately warming ginger crumb and a light, creamy cheesecake topping with a good tang of lime.
We had a properly delicious dinner from Mr Croquewich. His flavour-packed, rich and generous cooking is just the kind of comfort food I’m craving at the moment. With his French cookery background, he certainly doesn’t hold back on the butter and seasoning.
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