Saturday, 3 July 2021

Heaneys, Pontcanna, Cardiff restaurant review 2021

Our 2021 reunion tour of our favourite Cardiff restaurants continues apace, having already taken in Uisce, Bar 44, and the Heathcock.

Next on the list was Heaneys.

Owned by Tommy Heaney, a previous Great British Menu finalist, we’ve only visited once since it opened in 2018. In the meantime, the evening menu has shifted towards a tasting menu format with a set menu also available at lunchtime.

Despite the move away from sharing small plates, Tommy’s modern cooking style retains its focus on raw and cooked fish dishes alongside barbecued meat plates.

Opting for the longer tasting menu (£70) over the short version (£55), we worked our way through a series of wines from their extensive range by the glass.

We kicked off the meal with a gulpful of light and sweet aerated pea soup which hid a nugget of creamy goats cheese at its bottom.

A wafer thin pastry case was loaded with pert chalk stream tartare, cleansing diced apple, an intensely herbal dill puree and savoury bonito flakes. It was a mouthful which summed up Tommy’s style of cooking.

A raw oyster dish was kindly substituted for a cooked alternative. It was a belter. The plump bivalve was coated in grease-free panko crumbs and joined by lightly pickled cucumber, salty pearls of caviar and more of that lovely dill puree.

Tommy’s house sourdough and marmite butter needs no introduction. Obviously, it was just as blinking lovely as always.

Sweet and meaty raw scallop slices sat in a light onion consommé were topped with a decadent smoked cods roe. Its richness was countered beautifully by lightly pickled enoki mushrooms.

A golden crusted halibut fillet was the first of two dishes to demonstrate Tommy’s fish cookery prowess. The meaty fish was sat in a crab bisque with a lovely intensity and accompanied by sweet garden peas.

A pearlescent fillet of poached cod flaked into pieces with the merest nudge. Accompanied by a punchy wild garlic salsa verde and a clever broth, which somehow tasted of sourdough, it made for a lovely spoonful.

Loin and breast of lamb were so flavoursome, tender and beguilingly licked with smoke that I’d have happily eaten them on their own. As it was, they were paired with excellent barbecued asparagus, the glossiest of lamb sauces, an intensely savoury seaweed puree and the creamy tang of yoghurt. 

Dessert number one saw fragrant macerated strawberries joined by a hearty dollop of clotted cream, a crunchy white chocolate crumb and nuggets of prosecco slushy, which added a floral, drying and delicately boozy note. Speed eating was of the essence before the slushy melted, rendering the dish a bit watery.

It was trumped by the second pudding, a luxurious combination of light chocolate cremeux, silky coffee ice cream, intense sweet and savoury banana miso and the thinnest of coco nib studded tuilles.

A pair of snacks completed dinner. A slightly crumbly textured macaron with an earthy twang of beetroot was filled with a lovely combination of tangy jam and sweet white chocolate puree. Soft, squidgy and creamy chocolate fudge was elevated by a couple of sea salt crystals.

We had a belter of a meal at Heaneys. Its change of format makes it more of a special occasion rather than every day kind of place. But, if you’re looking for a top notch tasting menu in a laid back dining space, then Heaneys is the place.

The Details

Address - Heaney's, 6-10 Romilly Crescent, Pontcanna, Cardiff CF11 9NR
Telephone - 02920 341264

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