Romana Taverna Restaurant Review in Rome

Me being me, we didn’t do any prior planning for Rome on where to go, what to see and where to eat so after a bit of wandering around the streets of Rome after a bit of sightseeing down at the Coloseum we stumbled on a building that looked so out of place amongst the weathered, ornamental and dust clad structures with it’s grass coat and illuminous fairy lights drawing our gaze across the city.

I was hungry but fancied a pint whilst we gathered our thoughts and pinpointed our next culinary target to feast upon during our gargantuan expedition to feed our ever gluttonous bellies.

The place was empty but had a ground floor open window with seats that promised views out onto the Roman streets, whilst sipping a beer and eagerly swipping pottential eatteries within walking distance.

By now I was appetite for the only beer I seemed to find Moretti was waivering and luckily for me they had a few craft beers in the fridge. Mine was a Brooklyn IPA pushing 7%.

As the old saying goes “when in Rome…”, we thought we would stay true to the saynig and question the guys working in the bar / coffee shop to find out where the locals hang out and the best place to go for one of Rome’s most famous exports after their love of murder, pillaging, roads, pillars, bridges, auqauducts, arches, statues of micro penises and my favourite pasta dish “Spagetti Carbonara”.

Luckily for us they pointed out a little traditional Italian restaurant on the same street not even 100 yards away called Taverna Romana. A quick gander on Google to check some reviews and we were sold. We finished off the beers and took a walk down using my ever so annoying google maps app, which if you’ve attempted to use whilst walking you would realise my frustrations but luckily for us it was on the same road so even when the app did tell us we were walking in the wrong direction several times we found it quite easily.

We thought we just arrived after a guided tour had been dropped off outside the restaurant as there was a small gathering outside the door so after a few minutes I politely asked one of two of the bystanders if they were qeueing to get in for food. It seems that even though there were a number of other restaurants within spitting distance this is the place everyone wanted to go and as it was quite a small place they fill up quickly and then work on a table out a table in system.

Luckily for us a group of 4 or 5 decided to walk off and 10 minutes later the waitress came out to usher the ones at the front who had made an earlier reservation to their seats. We then asked could we get a table for 2 and she obliged and said thank you and closed the door to a bewildered look from both of us. How long would we have to wait? Who knows but seeing as this was the only place we’d passed gaining an ever expanding qeueue we wanted to see what the fuss was all about.

It was probably only another 10 minutes and the waitress called us in for a table next to the glass fridge.

We had had a browse on the menu whilst waiting outside and were trying to stare each other out to win the decider on who would get to order the Carbonara and to my good fortune I’d come out on top.

The Food

After the previous 24 hours scouring the streets of Venice looking for a proper Italian experience and a menu that epitomised Italian cooking I think we had come out trumps with this little finding.

The Italians don’t seem to do starters as we would know them in the UK and from what we could see just consisted of a charcuterie board and at nearly 15 euros seemed to be more expensive than the mains but they were probably for sharing.

By looking at a selection of menu’s on our travels we realised they tend to opt for a pasta dish for first coars then a meat or fish dish for 2nd course then a dessert if you’re feeling brave.

First thing was first and we sat down with a good bottle of Italian red wine to ponder some more over the menu.

traditional spaghetti carbonara at Romana Taverna in Rome

I opted for the eagerly awaited Carbonara for first coarst and Mwsh opted for the a tomato based Roman inspired pasta dish the Fettuccine alla Romana consisting of veal meat in a rich mushroom and tomato red sauce.

To be fair the front of house and guys hidden behind the wall in the kitchen worked like a well oiled machine from first impressions turning over tables, taking orders and delivering the fresh perfumed scent of ladened pasta dishes to hungry diners.

We didn’t wait long for my first experience of a pasta dish for starter and my first encounter of the Roman born real Carbonara dish. Who ever was on the Pecorino Romano/ Parmigiano Reggiano duties was feeling generous and the spagetti seemed so creamy it looked like they had strayed from the traditional Absolutely No Cream!

The pasta was cooked how it’s supposed to be with a good bite, plenty of cheese on top and the Romans don’t use Pancetta as I once thought, they use Guanciale. This is from the cheeks of fatty pigs unlike Pancetta that comes from the belly. I could tell the difference as there was very little meat on the nuggets of of pork rinds it was predominantly fat with the tinniest of layers of pink meat running through it. Slightly crisp, this gives the meaty flavour and the emulsion of oil to help bind the egg yolks too.

Unlike my bastardised version of the Carbonara featuring half a kilo of garlic per kilo of bodyweight of the peson I’m cooking for some recipes do without any at all using just the cheese, egg yolk, Guanciale and splashes of cooking liquor.

I’m all about flavour so mine combines shallots, shit loads of garlic, mushrooms and a bit of oil or butter to help gloss the mushrooms too. I’m glad I tried this traditional Carbonara but I think my interpretation of the dish was a bit more tasty and packs a bigger punch. I had a fork full of the veal and red sauce dish from Mwsh and that was also good but think I prefered my plate I was chomping on.

Secondi or second course I chose the Polpette or meatballs in red sauce to non locals. not knowing to me but they came just as described on the menu with meat balls and red sauce…and nothing else. It was a good job we ordered some bread and potatoes on the side as these added to a bit of stodge to the plate not that I needed it after a first course of pasta. Mwsh went for the Involtini dish with tender slices of rolled beef in a tomato based sauce and cheese.

Two giant meatballs swamped in a generous helping of red sauce took centre stage on my plate. I gentley crushed my fork into the meaty balls expecting a bit of give with course chunks coming off but but they were so tender and just crumbled under the pressure of my fork. When i’ve cooked meatballs in the past i’ve fried them in the pan or baked them on 200c in the oven usually turning them into something that resembled the conkers in colour and hardness.

Due to the sheer size of these meatballs they must of been baked low and slow in the sauce so they cooked through gently and melted in the mouth. We had to ask this time for some Parmagianno / Pecorino but it balanced the dish perfectly so it wasn’t overly tomato based anymore.

I wasn’t overly fussed on dessert and didn’t have much space for it.

Things started to wind down and I think they waiter and waitresses seemed to take their foot off the gas from being worn out form the converyor of punters through the door that evening as we did ask for the bill but had to wait about 20 minutes for it after asking twice.

Romana Taverna bill and review

The Verdict

I’m glad we found this little gem of a place because the Taverna Romana really did ooze traditional Italian charm. It was so cosy inside with us parked up next to the large glass fridge there was no pretence and you could tell people were just there for the food and on our 3 day trek across Italy we never saw anywhere quite like this place with qeues waiting outside to be seated with a mixture of locals and those who had been lucky enough to stumble upon such a great eatery too.

I did enjoy the Carbonara and they stay true to the authentic recipe without any of the essential items i’ve got in mine although I couldn’t tell if they had a little drop of cream to the mixture as they couldn’t get it that creamy from just cheese, cooking liquor and egg if i’m honest but it was good to try with the Guanciale instead of my Pancetta flavoured back bacon from Cure and Simple to compare.

One of you needs to order the meatballs if you’re going in a pair but make sure you order some carbs or side to go with it as it comes with just the meatballs and sauce. We ordered bread and the delicious roasted and percectly seasoned potatoes. It was a struggle to get the two plates down and I did sit there and have a breather till I had a second wind but I wasn’t leaving till i’d consumed both including the bread and potatoes.

I couldn’t comment on the desserts as I didn’t sample one but what I would suggest is you visit the restaurant earlier in the afternoon or evening to book a table as it was a normal Monday night and they were one in one out waiting for a table. We asked the waitress too and she confirmed it was like that every night, which also goes to show how much in demand a spot is valued by locals and visitors to the Italian City.

Wing Wednesday review at Small Bar Cardiff

I’ve wanted to try the wings at Wing Wednesday at Small Bar in Cardiff for the past few weeks after seeing a post on facebook but i’ve had things on and haven’t had chance.

As i was left to fend for myself for a few days and the thought of eating the fish i’d pulled out to defrost in the morning when i got home from work compared to the mound of greasy, golden crumbed morsels of spiced chicken and a beer flight of ipa, sour beer and stout left me weeping ever so slightly inside.

I’d done the Crossfit Open 17.3 on Monday then something that never happens these days a 2nd visit to Crossfit in two days so my arms felt like they were falling off and needing some energy. I don’t quite think I had the energy to turn the oven on, throw two fillets of cod on a tray and stuff it in the oven after squat snatches, chest to bar pull ups, toes to bar, burpees and double unders thrown at me the previous two nights so Wing Wendnesday it was for me!

The Food

So what is wing Wednesday? Basically you get 10 wings in a choice of 3 flavours from sticky caramel and chilli, buffalo hot wings or the “Holy Cluck” which were slathered in Gingerbeards Hot Habanero sauce. You then get to choose from a choice of blue cheese dressing, roast garlic mayo or fresh tzatziki on the side.

I was hoping I could do half of one and half of another flavour as I fancied trying the hottest ones on the menu but unfortunately you had to have all the same flavour. I opted for the sticky caramel and chilli with a pot of garlic mayo as I thought I would just use the chicken as a vessel to mop up the sauces. I also realised that they had bottles of chiptole ketchup and the hot habanero sauce near the cutlery anyway so really I got to try them anyhow.

I was under no illusions that this wouldn’t fill me up so it would of been rude not to order a side of mac n cheese for an added bit of carbs to help fend off the hunger pans till bed time.

There were a couple of people who ordered before me so there was a slight wait but nothing too drastic it was probably just the fact I was sat there with my beer flight like billy no mates that time just seemed to slow down.

So the wings arrived accompanied by a spiderman mug filled with the creamy mac n cheese, which was a nice touch. The first thing i noticed about the wings was that the sticky wings were not so sticky wings. I think they forgot to add the caramel and chilli glaze as they were bone dry but I’d poured a liberal helping of the chiptole ketchup and the hot habanero sauce,teamed with the pot of garlic mayo on my tray ready to slap with my crispy chicken wings.

I think the mild flavour choice was a good call as a plate full of the hot habanero would of overpowered everything and with the dip on the side you can apply to your taste it was just a shame my chicken didn’t seem to have the caramel and chilli glaze making them sticky as I think they must of forgoten about it before plating up. Never the less the chicken was morishly addictive with a smudge of garlic mayo then alternating swipes of the chiptole and habanero sauce with each bite.

The mac n cheese was something else too. Creamy and strong cheesey taste with a kick of mustard lingering on in the mouth after each mouthful I didn’t want the mug to end. It would of been 10/10 with a sprinkle of crispy bacon nuggets on top mind but were delicious without.

It did fill a hole although the glutenous me inside had wished i’d ordered the chilli cheese fries just to try too but I was eating alone and that would of just been greedy!

The Verdict

It’s a thumbs up from me for Wing Wednesday from me at Small Bar and can see me popping in again sometime soon on a Wednesday and this time I’ll get to try the chilli cheese fries too. A bit dissapointed my chicken didn’t arrive as I’d pictured based on the description as they were supposed to be sticky wings and were missing the glaze I would of expected but the Gingerbeards sauces available with the condiments made up for it. Mac and cheese was spot on but as mentioned earlier a bit of crispy bacon or something greazy and crunchy on top would of taken it to the next level.

My good friend Dewi working behind the bar is always on hand to offer some well informed recomendations about what’s on tap on the day and also informed me there is 2 for 1 on pizzas on Mondays. Having sampled the spizy pork calzone the last time I was in I’ll definitely be sampling a pizza there some time soon.

The beer flight deal they have on at Small Bar is always worth a punt too as £7.50 gets you 5 x 1/3 pints of anything 7% and under. But fear not you crazy beer guzzling lunatics, you can top up a £1 per drink for anything over 7% so you can still sample something under the Crazy Shit options on the menu. It’s now my go to option whenever I’m there now as I get to sample so many different drinks in one sitting plus it works out miles cheaper too. I love that they always have a sour beer or two on the go at any one time too as it’s my new favourite tipple.

Saying that the 13% 3 bean stout I sampled in my flight was such a good drink. Some of the stouts and porters on the higher end of the abv scale tend to be so intense they’re unpalatable but this one from Lervig had so many levels of flavour with coffee and vanilla notes coming through.It was so satisfying and a great drink to end on especially as I hadn’t ordered dessert.

Nant Restaurant Review – Coleg y Cymoedd Treforest

Having sampled the food on offer at The Classroom back last year after it all kicked off online with Jay Reiner slating the Cardiff food scene I thought I’d compare the offerings from the food college further up the valley and a bit closer to home at Coleg y Cymmoedd’s Nant Restaurant.

I started following the restaurant on Facebook back last year and have often been tempted by the ever changing weekly menu it was just finding a suitable time as they don’t open on the weekend and are usually fully booked unless you ring a couple of weeks beforehand but then you have to take a gamble on the menu.

Anyway we thought we would take a stab at it and hope the weekly menu stood up to our tastes and luckily enough we got in for the St David’s day special menu.

The Nant Restaurant is attached to the Coleg y Cymoedd campus in Treforest, opposite Showcase Cinemas and has it’s own entrance seen from the road heading onto the roundabout for McDonalds, Showcase and Makro.

The restaurant was a bit smaller than I had imagined although there was a big group of about 20 people sat on a long table near the window then id say about 5 tables for two or 4 people dotted around the room.

Being on the ground floor and netting on the window, the views didn’t quite match the top floor panoramic view of Cardiff at the Classroom but you can’t blame the restaurant for that and I was going to leave the food do the talking.

nant restaurant wine and drink menu

The Food

There is a set menu featuring a choice of 3 starters and 3 mains that changes weekly with a meat, fish and veggie option usually featuring on the menu and two desserts with a set price of wait for it…£12.50 for dinner! Yes you heard that right just £12.50 for 3 courses. The drinks prices couldn’t of been far off cost price either as I paid 2.60 for a glass of wine or could of got a whole bottle for under a tenner.

For starters we ordered the salmon fishcakes for Mwsh and the goats cheese and red onion tartlets. Being terrified of the thought of salmon passing my lips I grew some balls and mustered a fork full of the crispy coated fishy nuggets and I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t like salmon in fact in fact I detest the stuff but I gave it a try and the starter was good. Mwsh gave the thumbs up too as it was her choice but we do like to have a try of each others.

Mine was the goats cheese filo tart with a perfectly crisp filo pastry base, filled with a good measure of caramelised onion and golden crusted goats cheese. I am quite partial to a wedge of goats cheese and must of finished off a log to myself this week on toast with fig and chilli honey and this was equally as scrumptious. I think they must of layered a smudging of honey on top of the cheese before baking as it was beautifully golden and slight crisp on top. Expertly presented with doodles of balsamic I believe on the plate both adding decoration and flavour to the creamy, crispy plate of food before me.

We usually opt for two different mains but as the menu was smaller than your average restaurant we didn’t want to go veggie and neither of us fancied the trout so we both opted for braised shoulder of Brecon lamb on braised red cabbage with rosemary jus.

Again both presented to a high standard Mwsh’s was cooked perfectly pink with mine a bit on the well done side. By no means was it burnt and was tender and tasted delicious but it wasn’t as good as Mwsh’s as there was no pink juicy flesh in sight. The jus was scarce in it’s presentation on the plate and could of done with a little pot to add over the veggie bowl accompanied with the meal but what was there tasted excellent.

We couldn’t quite work out what the other round thin disk was on the plate it resembled a sort of nut stuffing and added to the flavour of the healthy chunks of lamb. The veggie bowl comprised of carrots, roasted potato cubes in what I think was paprika, a few green beans (3 to be precise) and neither of us could tell what the other ingredient was as it was very soft, had the texture and colour of potato but think it could of been swede. All cooked to perfection but would of been nice with a bit of extra jus to drown them in.

Thumbs up from both of us for the lamb main and at this point had us planning out next trip and even contemplating a monthly visit for the crazy price. I’ve spent more on a curry and pint in spoons in curry club on a Thursday after I’ve added a few sides to go with it.

Being only two desserts on the menu, the only right thing to do was have one of each to share. Mwsh went for the apple and cinnamon tart with barabrith ice cream and Penderyn Whisky and I opted for the Whisky chocolate fondant with honey cream.

the apple tart had a lovely crisp finish complimented by a spoonful of pure Welshness in my mouth from the barabrith ice cream and Penderyn Whisky and all came together really well. Couldn’t quite taste the Penderyn Whisky myself and wasn’t sure in what form it was on the plate but I only had a sample so could of missed it on my spoon but tasted great non the less.

I’ve been neglecting my old friend recently so it was time to be reacquainted for dessert. My good friend chocolate came in the form of a moist sponge with it’s inner liquid belly oozing out when eagerly stabbing it’s core with my fork waiting to see how well cooked it had been. Top marks on the chocolate fondant with firm exterior and perfect balance of gooey chocolate centre. A milk and white chocolate shard paired with the honey cream to tame the dark chocolatey fondant. Again I couldn’t quite pick up the whisky flavour in the dish but might just be compared to my overly generous portions of liquid fire i’ve added to my Penderyn Whisky cream when i’ve attempted it at home. Not for the faint hearted that’s for sure! I’d take a mark off for the lack of whisky flavour in both desserts but they still came out scoring very high so I wasn’t too dishearten.

nant restaurant final bill

The verdict

The desserts rounded off an excellent first dinning experience at the Nant Restaurant. All 3 courses were presented well, tasted better than good and the students were so attentive I didn’t wait longer than 30 seconds between finishing a drink or course and they were gone from the table.

This is an excellent idea to get the students real world experience of the hospitality industry and even though I don’t think the final finish of the food wasn’t quite up to that of The Classroom I’d pick this over again next time as it wasn’t much in it and the little fact of it costing just over a third of the price of the Classroom. The bill there was just around £110 for 3 courses a bottle of wine and two cocktails.

The classroom did have more of a restaurant feel and vibe to it and featured a much better stocked bar and cocktail list and the view (if you sat on the right side of the room) is second to none in Cardiff but you don’t half pay for those additions. It was probably average for a good quality restaurant but at the end of the day the students are providing the service so you would expect a slight discount on the the overall price. At the Nant Restaurant it is all about the experience for the students with prices not much more than cost price that’s what the end goal is but The Classroom would in my eyes seem to be turning over a healthy profit in comparison.

Some feedback I would give the Nant is a nice wedge of bread and some butter or freshly baked roll wouldn’t of gone a miss and could of showcased some of the student bakers end products before we ate as everyone loves a bit of bread to start no matter who you are. One other thing was out table had a beyond rediculous wobble and drove both of us nuts we couldn’t cut into the food even gently without fear of spilling the wine so I had to sit with my elbow holding the table in place whilst we ate. We were sat just right of the bar and a bit of wood to wedge the table in place wouldn’t be too hard to remedy this for the future but all in all a very good first visit. I would highly recommend not only for the price but the quality of the food and the opportunity to give students some highly valuable experience in the hospitality industry and their future working lives.

We are looking to make it a regular visit maybe once a month if we can get in as the menu changes every week so we won’t get bored for a while eating the same thing like most restaurants.

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The Pot Bistro Restaurant Review Cardiff

I first came across The Pot Bistro back last year whilst researching French restaurants in Cardiff to compile my list of places celebrating Beaujolais Day. After doing a bit more digging and seeing some of the pics of the food they are banging out of the kitchen i’ve been desperate to go try it there.

The only sticking point is it’s based up on Whitchurch Road, just down from Got Beef and Society Standard and being a French restaurant it’s against the law not to have a glass or two of wine to wash the food down with so that’s driving out and the price on Uber getting is recidivous.

Not one to follow tradition I didn’t fancy going out for food on Valentines night and basically pay double for what is pretty much the same food with just the odd dash of champagne tossed in the dessert and on the table so opted to go out on 15th instead.

I bit the bullet and offered to drive so we could finally sample The Pot Bistro, having to make do and ration a small glass of vin du for the entire evening with my meal, who said love is dead hey?

The Bistro is a no nonsense back to basics approach to decor and you couldn’t help but think you are sat tucked away in a back alley cafe in the shadows of the Chateaux de versailles, where I spent quite a few trips away with work back at my time with a well known French Aviation company a few years back. This being the reason I grew fond of French cooking, feasting on Foie gras for the first time, realising lamb could actually be served medium rare instead of resembling tree bark that i’d grown accustomed to with my nans Sunday roast, how much meal time was such a social event out there and how much wine they consumed with their food even at lunch time at the onsite restaurant in the office!

The Pot Bistro had an open plan kitchen setup with a little bar in front of the kitchen proudly displaying the array of spirits on offer. The place was a bit busier than I had expected being mid week but there were probably a few others with the same idea of me not wanting to be vomiting in a bucket watching new loves gazing into each others eyes over a candle lit dinner the night before on Valentines night.

The place isn’t huge though i’d say seating for around 30 but we did have a choice of seat from the waitress. It was just my luck I picked the worst seat i’ve ever perched my booty in, it was beyond painful to sit and basically had to lie back with my head just above the table to find a sweet spot on my back. All the chairs were different though they seemed to be miss matched so it could of been that was the only one like it in the restaurant. I should of just asked to swap but it was quite intimate in there and i didn’t want to make a fuss so my own fault for putting up with it really.

The waitress was lovely and went through the menu with us on what we could have and any extra we had to pay for some more expensive items as we had a 3 course and glass of wine offer through Wriggle Cardiff the app and website specialising in independent restaurants and offering daily deal type offers. Take a look here for more info and discount code AUHPSS will get you a bit more off your first order if you sign up, go to invite friends in the app and add the code in the top right.

Pot Bistro main menu

The Food

I know i should start making my way through some different items on the starter menu but when you like something it’s hard to deter from that so I went with the seared scallops, french sausage, bacon and sweet potato puree. Mwsh liking scallops just as much as me gave me the death stare on announcing my option to the waitress so felt compelled to try something different and with her utter contempt for soup it was only going to be one runner up and that was the pate.

The scallops were perfectly cooked with nice golden sear on the outside yet succulent and tender in the middle. It was nice to have scallops with a bit of saltiness from a cured meat with the bacon but the herby French sausage brought through different levels of flavour I’d not had with the standard chorizo or black pudding that every Doug or Geraint knocks up in the kitchen of most restaurants these days. The smear of sweet potato gave a bit of sweetness to the salt and meatiness of the sausage and bacon.

The pate was presented in a nice little mason jar that has been a staple in my work bag the past few weeks filled with proats although this was a little smaller but still very generous portion size for one. The pate was so smooth, protected by a thick layer of set butter. I don’t know why but it always seems to be the case that you could feed a family of four with the portion size of the pate in almost all restaurants i’ve ordered pate at yet you only a portion of bread to feed an 8 year old child. Mwsh made her way through about half the pate, which tasted of velvet offally goodness when she ran out of bread. Then here comes the dilemma of do I just leave it or do I look like someone feeding pate to a dog by spooning it on the knife and smearing it onto your tongue scraping it off with your lips.

With some gentle persuasion she asked if there was a spare bit of bread to help mop up the remnants of the mason jar filled with prime french inspired livers and they were more than happy to accommodate the request without a second thought. I don’t know why i’ve never tried this before but sometimes us British are just too damn polite when it comes to dinning out. The extra bread about 3 or 4 toasted slices of baguette were greatly received and meant I could wean another portion off the plate for my own gratification.

The mains and the gloves were off once again with both myself and Mwsh favouring the same plate off the mains and I went with the duo of lamb because it reminded me of the best plate of lamb cutlets I’d ever had whilst on a trip over to France and wanted to relive the sumptuous occasion being in a French restaurant, which is a rare occasion for me in Cardiff with little other options in the City until recently.

She was more than welcome to have the same but we do like to sample a few different dishes so we can share when dinning out but her option might go some way in showing her stance on me picking the best two items off the menu as she went for the bouillabaisse. Basically a fish stew featuring my worse nightmare…salmon!

lamb rump and cutlets main from Pot Bistro in Cardiff

Out came the mains and my eyes widened with pupils dilated on the delivery of such a thing of natural beauty bestowed upon my stunned open mouth. The thing was epic but soon brought me down to earth with the upside down smile bent thrown across the table in disappointment compared to her dish. Mine was a monster and even though the bouillabaisse looked like it was a well of flavour waiting to be lapped up adorned with a huge prawn it did look a bit like a stew. Reading from the menu we both thought it would be more of a pie as it had potatoes and we saw something on the Instagram account that resembled the description but the potatoes were a side dish of crispy cubes but the place was more of a fish soup and she hates soup.

I was informed the lamb would be cooked medium rare and I was more than happy to agree to the Chef’s recommendation when ordering. There was a decent sized hunk of lamb rump, browned to perfection but plump and glistening with pink and red whilst expertly sliced with my steak knife. There were two lamb cutlets accompanying the rump, generously coated in thick, rich red wine jus. The cutlets were a bit thinner than my plate in France but they didn’t come with a thick juicy rump of lamb so I wasn’t too disappointed. The dish came with a big wedge of tartiflette, which must be French for potato gratin. Not quite as divine as my favourite potato dish, dauphinoise but couldn’t fault them and it was a decent portion compared to some measly slices i’ve had in the past.

There were a few nuggets of my newly acquired taste of black pudding, paired with sautéed leeks within the jus that offered another layer of flavour to the dish.

I only had a little sample of the Bouillabaisse as I’m not a fan of salmon but Mwsh did work her way through the array of fish chunks sitting in the bowl. She said it was tasty i think it was just the image of soup she couldn’t get out of her head as she was expecting a fish pie with fondant, crispy potato swirls pipped on top of the fishy underbelly of the dish. What was lacking in my eyes though as anyone who has a soup, pie, stew of any sort there’s one thing that is universally agreed upon is the broth must and i repeat MUST be mopped up with a big hunk of fresh crusty bread but there was none in sight. I’m sure the waitress would of offered if we had asked but we’d already asked for more bread on the previous dish so didn’t want to take the piss.

chocolate torte with raspberry coulis at Pot Bistro in Cardiff

There wasn’t a flambeed crepe suzette in sight on the dessert menu thank god but wasn’t sure what to opt for on the choices that were on offer. Mwsh opted for the Cointreau bread and butter pudding with creme anglaise so I opted for the chocolate torte and cream so we could sharsies.

The bread and butter pudding reminded me a bit of a softened bara brith flavour wise and I couldn’t find any hints of the Cointreau but it was a heavenly plate of sugary stodge and the creme anglaise was the perfect touch.

My chocolate torte was so rich, it left swathes of chocolate inches thick inside my mouth and tongue on each spoonful. The creme added a good balance of creaminess to the plate and the smear of raspberry coulis gave a extra hit of flavour to the chocolate party going on inside my mouth.

The Verdict

I was impressed with the nights events and the food we ate and would definitely recommend it to anyone. The breakfast is next on my list there as it sounds right up my street and I need to start ticking off some places for breakfast in the city as I’ve only sampled a handful. There’s a decent selection of wine on the drinks menu, I didn’t enquire about cocktails and I didn’t’ see any draft beer on tap as I was driving but I’m sure there would be a few bottled European options to choose from.

The food was on the ball and the service was excellent. I would recommend the owners or waitresses to try sitting on the chair I was sat in and either take an axe to it or put a new back rest on it as it was so uncomfortable I was actually in pain sitting down and don’t be shy with the bread with the pate starter or the Bouillabaisse but apart from that I’d definitely go back.

They have a midweek deal on at the moment £20 for two courses and a glass of wine or keep an eye out on Wriggle to see if the £20 deal for 3 courses and a glass of wine.

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The Lobster Pot restaurant review Anglesey

It’s always the case when you visit somewhere new, when you haven’t got the foggiest idea where to go for food or a drink. It’s not so bad in a city as you can go for a mini adventure on foot as the streets tend to be straight and easily navigable but on an island attached to the mainland by two bridges and with little pockets of settlement and housing dotted around the island it sometimes becomes a little harder.

You can try the trip adviser method but sometimes you just end up with the Janes butty hut serving lunchtime sandwiches instead of a decent restaurant for tea. Luckily for me I was in the company of Ynys Mon born and bred Llio Angharad, so we had to dine where the locals dine at her favourite and by the sounds of it everyone elses favourite place to eat on Anglesey, the Lobster Pot. Seems it was a family tradition working at the Lobster as that was her first ever job so brought back some fond memories.

The Lobster Pot in Anglesey seems to be the islands worst kept secret with mostly only locals knowing about the quint little restaurant located in Church Bay about 25 miles or 30 minutes from Menai Bridge.

The Food

Starter : Anglesey Mussels – £7.50

Main : Lobster Surf and Turf 1/2 lobster thermidor and 8oz Fillet Steak – £29.95

Dessert: Sticky Toffe Pudding and Ice Cream – £5.25

The Lobster Pot had been feeding the local Anglesey residents lobster, crab and oysters since 1946 and when dinning at a fish restaurant with so much experience and their speciality in the name of the business there wasn’t much that was going to stop me having lobster.

 

the-lobster-pot-anglesey-muscles

 

I had opted to give mussels a miss for lunch at Dylan’s in Menai Bridge a few hours before knowing I was coming to The Lobster Pot so thought I’d go the full sea food hog for tea. I opted for the Anglesey Mussels steamed with garlic, onions, cream & white wine with a chunk of bread drowned in real butter to mop up the hearty broth. I’ll be honest I could probably have smashed a whole boule of sourdough to soak up every last drop of the sea kissed juices eagerly staring at me from the bottom of the pot but i didn’t want to crash and burn too early.

I managed to sample a little nugget of scallops from Llio’s starter of Scallops Mornay, which were basked in Welsh Cheese sauce, reminding me of my favourite starter ever the St Jacques Coquilles sauce minus the crispy pipped potato. My buttered bread chunk gliding over the plate like a stealth bomber stealing a dollop of sauce to sample the flavours of the other starter on the table.

Main course I was looking to the most. I’ve had lobster quite a few times but it’s just been grilled with a bit of garlic butter and a few herbs liberally sprinkled like confetti on top but i’ve always fancied the lobster thermidor after watching a programme on BBC of them painstakingly preparing them for dinners on the Belmond British Pullman. Unless I was going to fork out for a 5kg beast I knew a £25 lobster wasn’t going to fill me up so I opted to sample some of the finest Anglesey fillet steak cooked medium rare to compliment the fish course.

I couldn’t decide where to stab my fork first the succulent, blood licked fillet or the white flakes of lobster submerged in the creamy, blistered cheese sauce but it had to be the lobster i’d been dying to try for so long. The sauce was something else it truly was and didn’t want it to end scraping every last morsel from the lobster shell and the steak was so tender, with a perfectly seared crust yet melted in the mouth and knife glided through it like butter. The steak wasn’t complete without a good dusting of Anglesey’s finest export with the white tub of Halen Mon taking centre stage on the table.

lobster at the lobster pot Anglesey

 

I was torn on the desserts hoping for a cheese board to share but with none on the menu I set up on a trust favourite the sticky toffee pudding and ice cream. A perfect ending to the 5* previous two courses, the portions were just right with a warm, moist sponge, buttery toffee drizzled on top with ample scoops of good vanilla ice cream. No Walls shit here that’s for sure.

sticky toffee pudding at Lobster Pot Anglesey

If you are on Anglesey and looking for some of the finest sea food the island has to offer then make sure you pencil in The Lobster Pot because it truly was the best lobster dish and one of the best cuts of fillet i’ve tasted. Everyone we spoke to about our booking for tea were in no denial we would enjoy the meal, which goes to show the quality is something they pride themselves on in the old cottage restaurant.

Contact Details

Church Bay, Anglesey, LL654EU.
01407 730 241

http://www.thelobsterpotrestaurant.co.uk