We've certainly started appreciating the wildlife on our doorstep a whole lot more since we’ve being cooped up at home.
We've taken up bird watching (buzzard, goldfinch, tufted duck, heron and great crested grebe have been my Cardiff highlights).
And Mrs G has developed a succulent addiction which makes visits to City Road's Eartha all the more dangerous.
Located on the former site of Milgi, Eartha is primarily a rainforest-esque foliage boutique that also sells produce from some of Cardiff's best makers including Waterloo Tea, Heist, Hard Lines and Penylan Preserves. Their dining room and garden functions as a cafe with food served by Herbivore, formerly of Cathays Community Centre.
Herbivore's vegetarian and vegan food is full of interesting flavour combinations and local seasonal produce. Eating lunch in the calm of Eartha's yurt makes for a dramatic departure from the bustle of City Road.
A fine tousle of spiralised beetroot (£4.50) was seasoned with earthy spiced black cumin to make crisp and soft textured pakora served with a cleansing raitha flecked with cucumber and pomegranate.
Black olive doughnuts (£3.50) straddled the sweet savoury divide - I think I really liked them. Crisp of exterior with a slightly doughy and slightly cakey interior, they were nice dredged through a big citrus fragranced vegan aioli.
My pick of the dishes was a crisp black corn quesadilla (£6.50) stuffed with comforting soft-textured refried beans and tangy cheddar. Zesty pink pickled onions and spicy tomatillo salsa both added a punch of vibrancy whilst Cardiff salad leaves lightened the whole thing up.
Another standout was lightly toasted bread topped with fruity fresh tomato sauce, melted tangy goats cheese and soft textured marrow (£7). Charred courgette salad drizzled with black olive dressing was bursting with mediterranean freshness.
A crisp ciabatta (£6) was loaded with soft tofu, soft baked mushrooms and aioli with a whisper of gochujang. The tofu was billed as being marinated in maple and miso but it didn’t really make itself known - a shame as I'm sure a bigger hit of flavour would have seriously elevated things. Accompanying pickled slaw bought bags of crunch and bracing acidity to the dish.
Stuffed, I of course ordered a slice of cake (£3.50) which was super moist, pleasingly dense and aromatic with orange blossom. It was topped with woody slices of pear which were the only element I wasn’t 100% sold on.
We really enjoyed our lunch at Eartha. It's a lovely addition to the local community and they serve the kind of fresh veg focused food which I should be eating more of. It's just a shame that the added expense of a succulent purchase will be the consequence of every future visit.
Address - Eartha, 213 City Rd, Cardiff CF24 3JD
Telephone - 07715 850530