Jols restaurant in Merthyr is churning out some of the best food in the north end of the valleys with head honcho Jamie o’Leary orchestrating things behind the kitchen.
Jamie who was taken under the wings of Stephen Terry at The Hardwick and learnt his trade as sous chef at the Abergavenny fine dinning restaurant.
I’ve been a fan of Jol’s for a few years now after sampling some of the smaller dishes they’ve mustered up at regular streetfood festivals in and around Cardiff such as the ever popular Streetfood Circus.
I’ve not had the chance to test out the regularly changing menu at Merthyr’s best restaurant yet even though it’s been over a year since opening the doors but i’ve kept a close eye on what they’ve been cooking up on social media.
You can also get a 3 course discount voucher for 4 dinners for £85 saving an extra £5 for the group.
In the Jols Restaurant discount voucher you’re entitled to a starter up to £8, main up to £21 and dessert up to £8 with anything over this value having to be supplemented to the restaurant on the evening.
Based on the main High Street in Merthyr it’s easy to get to by train from my hometown of Abercynon but only a little extra with direct line from Pontypridd, Cardiff or change at Abercynon from Aberdare or Mountain Ash. There’s also a car park just behind if someone fancies being Des for the evening.
The menu changes quite regularly but you can see a sample menu below
A la carte sample menu
Cauliflower soup with grated cheese
Cornish white crab on toast
Carpaccio of Welsh beef with parmesan, rosemary, anchovy and garlic dressing
Porcini mushroom arancini
Bread crumb shin of beef and mozzarella
Welsh rarebit on Alex Gooch sourdough with streaky bacon
Grass-fed sirloin steak with grilled baby gem lettuce, triple cooked chips and Chimichurri dressing
Chicken Holstein, breadcrumbed chicken breast, with creamed cabbage and bacon, anchovies, caper sauce and a fried egg
Roast duck and orange
Pan roast hake with cavolo nero, butter beans, tomato sauce, chorizo and black pudding
Roast gurnard with potato gnocchi
Vanilla crème brulée
JOL’s chocolate brownie with salted caramel sauce,
Macadamia nut praline and brownie ice cream
Vanilla rice pudding with plum jam and shortbread crumble
Apple and sultana bread and butter pudding with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream
Pineapple parfait with grilled pineapple and mint and chili syrup
Tiny Rebel have recently teamed up with independant daily deal app / website Wriggle offering a couple of different discounts at the Westgate Street venue.I snapped up the 3 bottles for £7 deal last week with the Wriggle Cardiff app giving you any 3 bottles under 6% abv but you can get another £2 off your first Wriggle deal using the discount code AUHPSS.
To add the discount code to your account, register on the Wriggle app, click the icon in the top left of the screen, click on Refer a friend then Redeem a code in the top right tab. Then enter the code AUHPSS and you get the 3 bottle discount at Tiny Rebel for even cheaper.
So how does Wriggle work? Log into the app or website, select your Town from Bristol, Brighton or Cardiff at present then choose which day you want to find a deal. When you find one for the day you are planning to visit, which unlike most other daily deals sites has to be within 4 days and you have to use it on the date and within the timeframe advertised on the deal for it to be valid.
If you’re feeling pekish or want to line the stomach before sinking a few crafty ones Tiny Rebel have also been offering any burger, skin on fries and a pint of cask beer, glass of wine, Tiny Rebel fav “Cwtch” or a soft drink for you sensible pub goers for just £5.99.
Burgers aren’t as exotic looking as Burger Theory at Kongs on St Mary’s Street who also have a regular burger and fries Wriggle deal for around £7 but this does include a pint. They also happen to stock Tiny Rebel Cwtch on Tap at Kongs so that would cost you around £12 when you factor in the £5 for a pint.
Don’t forget though you can get the Tiny Rebel discount burger, fries and pint (wine or soft drink) for just £3.99 with the discount code AUHPSS on Wriggle.
You really will struggle to get a pint for under £4 in Cardiff let alone a craft ale or glass of wine with a burger and fries! You couldn’t even get an unbiodegradable, plastic esque bag of mess from Maccy D’s for that price.
I didn’t go for the burger deal last week with my bottles as it wasn’t running the same night but I did sample a few of the small plates such as the poutine with gravy, fries and homemade cheese curds, the fries, sausage gravy and torn waffles along with the chilli roulette balls.
No complaints there really, decent price for around £3-5 for the small plates and were the perfect beer food snack. I hadn’t tried poutine previously and been dying to try it when I found out about them. The portions weren’t massive but then I wasn’t expecting them to be for around £4 and just fancied a graze with a beer. The little nuggets of creamy dairy melted in with the gravy and fries created a eutopia of stodge helped on it’s journey down my asopheogus with a couple of Wild Beer Co beers such as Breakfast of Champignions, which was my fav.
Chilli roulette cheese ball thingymagigs weren’t bad. I was expecting a bit more goeyness personally a la Burger King chilli cheese bites but they were quite sturdy inside. Taste was more than palatable and a good kick to them although they were advertised as being spicy with one crazy hot thrown in the mix for shits and giggles but they all tasted the same heat wise for me. Saying that I probably would order them again with a beer so no dramas.
I was gutted the poutine didn’t come with sausage gravy like the waffles but we ordered both just to compare. The waffles were slightly sweet, which played mind games paired with the savouryness of the fries and slather of meaty gravy. Having said that it was I did like the pairing and would recommend a bowl instead of your pork scratchings or dry roasted nuts next time you’re in Tiny Rebel.
With Cardiff Castle as the perfect backdrop to sample triple layered sandwiches, welsh cakes, scones with clotted cream and jam plus a selection of mini pastries such as macarons this afternoon tea discount voucher would make nice little Christmas gift for sisters, mums and grandmothers although not forgetting the male appreciators of sugary treats as I wouldn’t mind this one myself.
I bought one for my grandmother back last year when there was a similar discount on the afternoon tea at the Hilton but that was before the relaunch of the new Grey’s Restaurant and that didn’t include a glass of bubbly either so I’m sure it will be even better this time even though nanny Carole wasn’t complaining about hers anyway.
My mum decided to buy a separate voucher for her sister at the time but you can purchase an afternoon tea discount voucher for 4too instead of messing around with multiple vouchers for just £45.