A visit to the Caribbean Way on Dumballs Road allowed me to kill two birds with one stone.
Whilst waiting for my lunch to be prepped at this portakabin-based Caribbean restaurant and takeaway, I was able to stock up on groceries next door at the legendary Cardiff Food Centre.
During the twenty minutes it took for our food to be cooked to order I bought Middle Eastern dips, Lithuanian crisps and Indonesian instant noodles.
Anyway, I digress. Caribbean Way opens Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 6pm, offering breakfast until a rather late 1pm and lunch after 1pm. Their menu includes Caribbean classics like jerk chicken, oxtail, dumpling and fried plantain as well as quirkier dishes such as fried jackfruit wraps, salmon burgers and rasta pasta.
On Fridays and Saturdays they exclusively serve heaving Insta-friendly combo boxes, with options including lobster (£27) and a meat feast (£15).
Mrs G and I visited on a Tuesday lunchtime and put their regular lunch menu through its paces.
A fillet of jerk salmon (£8) was a lovely bit of fish cookery - meaty and tender of flake, crisp of skin and lightly licked with char, the fillet was bathed in a jerk marinade of fragrant spice and good chilli heat. Accompanying rice and peas, nicely twanged with coconut, was never-ending in portion size - there's no risk of being left hungry. Lightly creamy and acidic coleslaw provided a vital richness balancing role.
Jerk chicken on the bone (£7.50) could have been a touch juicier but it was still very tasty - coated in more of that big flavoured marinade, there was no shortage of flavour.
Mac ’n’ Cheese (£3) was of the variety you could cut with a knife (in a good way). Soft textured and very very lightly coated with cheese sauce, it was topped with a compelling crust of golden cheese.
Finally, golden tender fried plantains (£2) deftly straddled the sweet savoury divide.
On another visit, I ordered a whopping portion of goat curry with rice and peas (£8). On the journey home, the warm-spiced gravy soaked its way through the rice, leaving the long-cooked super-tender pieces of meat dotted across the surface.
A slab of jam and coconut sponge (£2) was a retro school dinner treat; the light sponge was topped with sweet tangy jam and desiccated coconut. It was delicious cold but I’m sure would have been even better warmed up and served with a puddle of instant custard.
We really enjoyed the Caribbean Way. Their good value and hearty comfort food is right up my street.
Address - The Caribbean Way, 1 Dumballs Rd, Cardiff CF10 5FF
Telephone - 07925 890124