Saturday, 1 August 2020

Milkwood, Pontcanna, Cardiff review 2020

When the world eventually returns to normality, Pontcanna’s Milkwood is going to find itself in a bit of a quandary.

This restaurant, which serves some of the most technically accomplished high end food in the city, has pivoted (PIVOOOT) towards a more takeaway friendly menu of burgers, sandwiches and pizzas.

As a result, they now also happen to serve one of the city’s best burgers and sandwiches, both of which can’t possibly be taken off the menu. 

Open Thursdays to Saturdays for takeaways and outdoor dining, Milkwood’s menu of small plates, pizzas and sandwiches is a compelling prospect. I was gutted my elasticated waistband didn’t have enough stretch to accommodate the ribs with slaw, ox cheek fries, buttermilk fried chicken parm and French dip. 

Mrs G and I sat in the cosy courtyard garden at the back of the restaurant with just a trio of socially distanced tables. We had the place to ourselves as we ate at our customary toddlers’ teatime of 5.30pm. 

A glass of fruity house white (£4) and a Warsteiner lager (£3.50) were both knocked back in a few gulps. 

Golden, super crisp and super fluffy salt cod fritters (£5) were well-flecked with salted fish. Serious aioli certainly lived up to its billing; it’s still lingering on the palate as I write this blog post. 

A Caesar salad (£6) was a fine example of its type. Fresh Romaine lettuce leaves were coated in the classic pokey dressing and topped with a snowdrift of funky pecorino and plump salty anchovies. 

Charred and blistered padrons (£4) were drizzled with a creamy and tangy buttermilk dressing and a good scattering of sea salt. 

Both our mains were absolute belters.

Their Cubano (£8) is an essential Cardiff sandwich. A crisp pressed soft-crumbed loaf was stuffed with fall apart tender hunks of pork belly and sliced ham and a good ooze of melted Swiss cheese. Cleansing pickles and warming American mustard provided vital balance.

The lynchpin of a house burger (£8) was a big-flavoured, seriously juicy and slightly pink dry aged Carmarthenshire beef patty. It was stuffed into a sturdy yet light potato roll and accompanied by shredded lettuce and red onion, cleansing pickle, a slick of American cheese and a secret sauce which tasted remarkably like that found in a Big Mac (I’d like the recipe please). 

This burger is instantly one of the city’s finest. 

A notable mention should also go to Milkwood’s double-cooked chips which are proper golden and crisp rustlers. 

Stuffed, I couldn’t possibly pass up on one of the house doughnuts (£3). Beautifully light and squidgy, a blackberry ripple was stuffed to the brim with berry-fragranced whipped cream. 

Mrs G and I had a cracking dinner at Milkwood and it was a lovely and relaxed first experience of eating out post lockdown. I’m already planning on working my way through the rest of those sandwiches.

Address - Milkwood, 83 Pontcanna Street, Pontcanna Cardiff CF11 9HS
Telephone - 02920 232226

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