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Porro Restaurant Review Llandaff, Cardiff

Porro has been on my radar for a while now since I heard about the launch of the Wellfield Road addition and no more since my return from Italy last week. I’ve never been one for pasta to be honest but probably because I’ve only ever really had it at home and when your mum has been known to burn it on the hob, yes a good few inches of pasta scorched and crusted on the bottom isn’t something too unfamiliar in my household. Well it sort of scars you for life.

From having nightmares of charcoal like embers of pasta clinging to sauce pans in my nightmares growing up, opting to go for an Italian when I fancy dinning out has never been at the forefront of my picklist to be fair so fresh silky smooth, buttery pasta ribbons haven’t entertained my insatiable dustbin lips all that often.

My 3 day trip to Italy changes all my perceptions of pasta. I don’t know how they could marry 2 or 3 ingredients, sandwiched between parcels of egg and flour to create such a desire to wipe devour all contents of the plate then place said empty plate to my face and lick every last drizzle of butter oil.

The porcinni mushroom, ricotta, sage and butter Ravioli at the Cantina de Spade in Venice just blew my mind. So simple yet it left myself and Mwsh speachless (well her for a whole 3 seconds, which is unheard of).

Anyway, still suffering from the holiday blues and still in Italy mode I wanted to see how one of the most popular Italian’s in Cardiff faired up against the real thing. With the weather being like it has been this week, I’ve lost all motivation to cook so a quick browse on the Wriggle App and Porro in Llandaff were offering any 2 pizza or pasta dishes for £15 a cool 50% discount last night. That will do nicely I thought and got on the buzzer to Mwsh, just to make sure she hadn’t got anything booked on and luckily she hadn’t.

The Venue

Porro Italian Restaurant Llandaff, Cardiff

I won’t bore you too much with the details. We didn’t book and just turned up as it was a Wednesday and not as busy as I assume the weekend would be. We managed to park outside as there is space for disabled cars but as it was 7pm it was quite dead so was naughty and parked up. There’s some parking around the corner by the Cathedral though if you’re visitng on the weekend.

We arrived and were a bit suprised how quite it was, just two dinners in there at the time but that was a bit of a relief as we just fancied a bit of down time and a relaxed meal without shouting at each other to hear over a jam packed restaurant. This also meant we had pick of a table and not some crooked and wonky child table next to the coat hangers you sometimes get in places when they are pushed for tables.

I liked the decor, a more modern approach to that we had become accustomed to in Italy last week with the small traditional Taverna’s who probably hadn’t had a lick of paint since the war. Good lighting, spacious with nice brickwork and large front window view if you fancy having a nose out onto the high street if it’s busy.

The Food

As we had bought a deal on Wriggle our mains were a bit limited but to compare what we had consumed in Venice and Rome we had to do one of each so opted for one pizza, the speck, artchoke, mozzarella, rocket and chilli then one pasta dish with pappardelle with braised ox cheek, tomato and parmesan.

speck,-buffalo-and-chilli-pizza

It would be hard to beat the mixed platter of Pizza from Pizza Zizza opposite St Peter’s Basillica in the Vatican, Rome. Well we did have about 8 different flavours but they were such magnificent pieces of cheesy goodness. The pizza at Porro was good but it was nothing special in all honesty. I think the rocket overpowered everything else as there was so much, wasn’t too spicy but just didn’t fill me with much love as something laden in cheese should do. I can’t knock the ingredients as they were all no doubt of the highest quality I just wasn’t bowled over by the pizza.

ox cheek pappardelle pasta at Porro Llandaff

The braised ox cheek pappardelle on the other hand was simply divine. Silky ribbons of fresh pasta, clinging on for dear life were chunks of tender and rich ox cheek waiting to be slurped up into my eager mouth. I’ll be honest, I was gutted we said we’d do a sharsies and halve half each of both courses because I just wanted to demolish every last morsel myself.

white truffle fries at Porro Llandaff

The unlikely star of the show on the mains though was the bowl of chunky chips, lathered in elegantly perfumed white truffle oil. I’d had posh fries with truffle oil and parmesan a few times, tried it myself once too but these were something else. I’d probably had a cheap black truffle chemical shit storm in the past but this was so light with delicate truffly aroma. The best £3.75 i’ve ever spent.

Being against my religion to just order one course each when dinning out we opted to go for a starter each and pay the difference with them all ranging between £7 and £8 we chose the tortellini with garlic, sage and parmesan as it sounded similar to the raviolli dish in Venice and the braised leeks, talleggio on sourdough.

garlic, sage and parmesan tortellini at Porro Llandaff

Again we decided to do halfsies on both plates so we only really had a little bit of each one but no complaints on either course. The tortellini was quite small for the price, not sure I was still in European prices were we got a whole plate of quality pasta for 11 euros but £7 for 2 tortellini pieces cut in half was a bit mean but the flavour was on par with our Venice raviolli. Sage, pasta and oil/butter is such a good compbo although the porcini and ricotta pairing added extra creaminess and umami kick.

braised leek and taleggio on sourdough toast at Porro Llandaff

The braised leek and tolleggio was decent in portion size, you definetely got your leeks worth with this one although a bit less generous with the talleggio cheese. Luckily for me I had a little nugget of the stuff on my half but Mwsh had to try and stab a goey morsel from my plate before I’d consumed it as she didn’t get much on her bit of bread.

We both had a glass of the Sauv Blanc, which was a perfect match for the starters. we even enquired about the bottle and took a snap to try and find it for the house. At £7.50 for a large, it’s not the lightest on your wallet but then it was a corker. We didn’t go for the house wine though so there were more reasonably priced wines to choose from.

We would of both gone for a dessert had we not gorged on cake from Pettigrew straight after work so can’t comment on them unfortunately.

The Verdict

I’ve not heard a bad word said about Porro from anyone and did enjoy our meal there. It was an off the cuff thing and as we had a deal from Wriggle we were stuck with the pasta and pizza option althought the braised ox cheek papadelle would be on my hit list again.

Next time around I wouldn’t mind sampling the grill or meat menu, once I’ve fell off my pasta and carb fest I’m currently stuck in. I’d have no qualms in recommending the place although I’d opt for a pasta dish as they didnt’ dissapoint or try a meat dish. The pizza was ok but just that. Had I not sampled some of the best pizza in my 31 years of existance in Rome last week it might of been a different story but the bar has been set high from there.

The bill came to £31 for the two starters, two wines and truffle fries plus the £15 Wriggle deal for the mains so £46. The real price would of been £61 had we not used the wriggle deal.

Although they aren’t on every night I have seen Porro discount crop up a couple of times of the past few weeks on Wriggle so keep an eye out on the App / website and rememebr to use the code AUHPSS in refer a friend, redeem code on the app to get a further discount off your first order.

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My flat white tour of Cardiff – Top 5 best coffees in Cardiff

As most things I’m quite accustomed too these day’s it was a long old struggle conditioning my sensitive tastebuds to appreciate the grown up flavours from red wine to olives, beer, gin and now coffee.

I was a late starter and couldn’t quite fathom the explosion of coffee shops in and around South Wales over the years especially in some of the towns and villages I thought would never appreciate and savour the complex caffeinated flavours of freshly ground coffee especially paying up to £3 when a packet of 100 teabags will set you back about the same for some Dutchy Originals Orgnanic blend ed tea from Waitrose.

I can remember it now one afternoon stuck working in a business development event about 2 years ago bored out of my skull wishing my life away when all of a sudden a strong whaft of a roasted perfume seemed to seduce my concentration or lack of it from the coffee shop in corner. Coffee up to this point just brought me out in a cold shiver thinking of chomping down on a coffee Roses chocolate by mistake or playing russion roulette trying to steal a Revel off my nan who if you know her guards her Revels like her life depended on it and picking the bloody coffee one out of all the other posibilities!

So I thought come on your a grown up now, you should of grown out of the carton of Caprisun a long time ago it’s time to start enjoying or at least attempting to drink something a bit more refined and delve into the coffee culture I’d looked on in bemusement until now.

I thought I’d ease myself in gently plus I didn’t have a clue what the difference was between a coffee, latte, machiatto, cappuccino and the rest on the list the length of my arm so opted for a latte as it seemed to have the most milk content and I was pleasantly suprised how much I actually enjoyed it.

It was a long old slog after that mind switching up to something a bit different but probably because of the quality or lack of that a latte was quite strong or bitter enough to entice me to grow some balls and have something with a bit less milk in it up until a few months ago. So the scene was Riverside Market in Cardiff, the drug dealer (well coffee is more or less a drug and got me hooked since) – Coffee am Byth, the caffeinated beverage sampled – The Flat White, the result – I haven’t looked back since!

This led me on my quest for the best coffee or more precisely the best Flat White in Cardiff. Check out some of the coffee traders sampled below and my favourites in order of preference.

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1. Coffee am Byth – Roath Market Saturdays & Riverside Market Sundays

It might of been my first sample of a flat white but it raised the bar so high it just hasn’t been rivaled yet and finding it hard to imagine anyone actually presenting to me a more pleasant, smooth and sublime concoction in a carboard cup than this.

The guy might be cheating a bit by pimping the flat white with his “Cuban” upgrade option, which comes with subtle hints of brown sugar and cinnamon that are planted in amongst the freshly ground coffee beans before it’s poured so it leaves just traces of the golden caramel and christmassy taste in your mouth instead of being mixed post pour in your cup of coffee leaving ugly remnants and floaty bits of cinnamon to choke on.

I don’t mean this with any malice but the guy who owns Coffee am Byth is the ultimate coffee geek and that’s exactly what you want when ordering a steamed, golden cup of brain surging juice. We’ve asked loads about coffee when we’re shivering in the deathly wind storming down the taff opposite the Riverside Market on a Sunday just out of a love for the coffee and in an attempt to recreate the Cuban flat white at home after recently investing in a De’Longhi Coffee machine and his knowledge on the subject is second to none.

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2. Uncommon Ground – Royal Arcade

I stumbled on this coffee shop after deciding to bite the bullet and get my head scalped the week before next door at Keep the Faith. I was on a mission that evening though as I had a spare 10 minutes to get the final few strands on my skull expertly sheared off before jogging to the appartment to get ready for a works night out so didn’t have time to sample a coffee at the time so vowed to come back the week after when i did.

The wait wasn’t long (thank god) and I was presented with my 2nd favourite, skillfully decorated, steamed and golden nectar in a cup. Mwsh wanted a bit of added flavour to hers but I liked that they were complete purists and don’t stock syrups it’s just coffee, milk and sugar if you’re that way inclined which I did add my customary half a teaspoon of brown sugar.

canna-deli-flat-white-pontcanna-cardiff

3. Cana Deli – Pontcanna

I don’t know if it was the rocket fuelled swift pint I’d just slurped across the road at Pipes open bar before walking over or the relief in comfort the warm cup had on my numbing fingers as we opted to sit outside due to the lack of available seating inside at the time but I did do an overly loud mmmm. Of which, I thought was in my head but turned out my mouth wasn’t connected to my brain properly and blurted it out much to the received satisfaction of the waitress.

The hidden gem of a coffee shop was nestled between two buildings with a little courtyard with 3 businesses adjoining, decorated in wood, which was a nice contrast to the rest of the buildings in the street.

We were a bit peckish as it was just after midday and hadn’t had much of a breakfast for a Saturday so opted for a Cheese board, charcuterie board and a sausage roll to go with the flat white, which were also delicous and highly recommended as an accompanyment or on their own.

I liked the big wooden table’s outside as it gave us ample space to sit and stack the sharing tables out and our drinks instead of some of the dainty little tables and chairs that look like they wouldn’t support a bag of sugar let alone the mountain of nibbles and drinks we ordered there.

The flat white was very smooth and indulgent and big inviting heart shaped milk heart inticing the warm golden sugar sweetened cup into my cold hands bringing life back into them from the temperature outside.

artigiano-flat-white-coffee-cardiff

4. Artigiano – The Hayes

I’d been here just once before around January but was still on my “Coffee Squash” at the time but loved the fact you could order a good coffee or a craft ale and food with even the mention of music and entertainment in the evening this sounded like a one stop shop.

I opted for a grown up coffee this time as my Cardiff’s best coffee quest was in full swing and couldn’t deviate from my mission and ordered a flat white.

The decorative, expertly crafted milk shaped top was the best I’ve had so far I was very impressed. The coffee, somewhat stronger and more pungent that the first three but pleasant, warm and richly satisfying at the same time.

quantum-flat-white-coffee-cardiff-bay

5. Quantum – Cardiff Bay

I’d heard of most of the other coffee shops in my list previously but this one had escaped my attention and only happened to stumble on it by accident walking from the bay one Sunday afternoon.

It wasn’t entirely obvious what the building was from the outsie, it was only becuase Mwsh had previously been a fan of the coffee there and mentioned it might be worth sampling a flat white to see how it compared against the others in the list recently.

The made the most of the industrial look with exposed brick, plywood and concrete with the usual funky lights that are all the rage. They had a mahooosive roaster/grinder in the corner, which was pretty cool too although I’m not sure if it was used for it’s intended purpose or just a piece of furniture.

The flat white was good, it lost a bit of it’s presentation on top but was wasn’t quite on par with the 4 spots above it so comes in at a number 5 slot.

Other Coffee shops sampled that didn’t quite make the cut of top 5 best flat whites in Cardiff

As I’m not a daily drinker of coffee when I do have one I want it to be something worth remembering and enjoy every mouthful of rich, warm bold and delicious coffee.

So for me a coffee isn’t just about the flavour it’s much more than that it’s the whole experience from the flavour, proportions of freshly ground treacle esque espresso matched against perfectly steamed , silky smooth milk, the presentation, the surroundings, the service and the love that’s gone into making cup of coffee. For those reasons that’s why on my first experience of the traders below didn’t score higher than they have.

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Waterloo Tea Garden

Waterloo Tea – Ok so they are more renowned for their tea’s but thought they sell cake and do coffee so might be a winning combo. I ordered a spinach and pistachio cake to go with it although that turned out to be the saving grace of the visit as the coffee was just an OK. It wasn’t a bad coffee I just had high expectations from a tea house.

The other thing I wasn’t too impressed with was the actual coffee shop it didn’t look very inviting. Ok so most of the new places look a bit more rugged with the industrial look but i’d much rather that than something that resembled a council library from 10 years ago.

Everything was clean and tidy it just so I wouldn’t say they need to work on that I just wasn’t feeling the look and feel in there and after sitting on a few tables inside we took a pew outside in the arcade on a sofa so I didn’t get depressed in the surroundings of inside whilst trying to enjoy my coffee.

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Penylan Pantry

I do feel a bit quilty about placing these at a number 7 and probably due to our own fault on the visit, which was a horrible day to be out an about. It was a Friday afternoon, terrential rain and not sure if the whole of Roath had descended on the place for shelter from the rain but it was heaving. We stood around for a short while at no fault of their own it was just busy and as we had unsuccessfully tried to dine for lunch at Pettigrew Bakery 15 minutes before as we thought it had inside seating and lunch menu items and fancied a sit down drink to warm up.

We had the table cleared and were seated with minimum fuss after a few minutes of standing by the counter, which worked in their favour as my vision became quickly focused on the sharing boards but what to have the meat or the cheese as we had just shared a scotch egg and pasty at Pettigrew.

Anyway cheese it was with a flat white to wash it down with but what was presented to me was the most dissapointed flat white to date although the cheese was awesome mind. I realise they were busy and working flat out keeping everyone served and the girl behind the kitchen had smoke coming from her chopping board she was working so fast but for me the flat white is equally about the presentation as it is the taste and it came in a small (which isn’t bad when it comes to a flat white) clear glass and had just been poured. No love, no presentation, no fancy milky Picasso on top just coffee poured into a glass. The coffee didn’t taste bad but my love for what sat in front of me didn’t fill me with any excitement what so ever.

Coffee Barker – St Mary’s Street, Cardiff

For such a prominent mens fashion establishment in South Wales over the past 20+ years to turn it’s back on it’s heritage to pursue a totally new venture was a bold decision. I think 90% of guys in and around Cardiff had bought one of the rock inspired sequin tops such as kiss and AC-DC from Barkers when they were all the rage about 10 years ago or the highly popular Two Stoned brand shirts they had in every colour you could think of stacked on the rails.

The coffee shop originally set out as an addition to the clothes shop probably so the girlfriends and wives didn’t have to endure hubby doing the catwalk in a choice of 10 two stoned check shirts and could sip aimlessly thinking about their 3 visit that day to Topshop. It soon grew and grew, devouring every last inch of what was left of Barkers the clothes shop and took centre stage and the sole bread winner of the Barkers family business  but I’d not ventured that end of town for a while so not had a chance to sample the coffee or cake or waffles, or ice cream or hot chocolate!!

As I’m writing this I’ve only just realised that Sunday seems to equal coffee day and the main day I get to conquer a new coffee trader in Cardiff but probably something to do with me not working in Cardiff during the week and coffee shops closes well before I finish work in Newport. So a Sunday it was we were passing and the sun was out so we decided on a pit stop to remedy a much needed dose of caffeine from our trek around town and sit outside to make the most of the last few days of summer sun.

We grabbed a table outside trying to find a table that had the smallest mountain of dirty, sticky plates and cups. Not sure if they were just exhausted from the colossal amount of trade they had the day before with the Roald Dahl celebrations taking place a stones throw away from the cafe but they took about 20 minutes to eventually decide to take our order inside as there seemed no urgency amongst those serving and no real reason for the extended wait.

Fair enough if they had been busy clearing the ever increasing collection of cups and trays outside but they didn’t even do that we had to site amongst the mess left from the previous few hours of trade. Then comes the coffee, which looked very miserable. This wasn’t what I was expecting from someone who had basically taken over castle arcade with the every increasing extending of the coffee shop but I was left bitterly disappointed. It looked like the flat white had been made with no offence to Nescafe granules there was no creative mark of approval on top with the milky creations I’d become accustomed to. It was that sad looking I didn’t even go to the effort of going into my pocket to take a picture for Instagram, which isn’t like me of late I can tell you! Not only was the place a tip outside, waited ages for no reason, coffee just looked like it had been thrown in the cup but the coffee was very bitter in comparison to all the other places I’d sampled on the list.

The place always seems busy when passing but for whatever reason I don’t know if they were just having an off day but I won’t be going back in any rush that’s for sure and wouldn’t put my name to somewhere like that after my dreadful experience and recommend it to any friends or family.

 

Coffee Co – Cardiff Bay

I was really looking forward to this place after being left disappointed a few weeks back when I took a you guessed it a Sunday afternoon stroll for my weekly dose of a flat white but it was closed for refurbishment and extension by the looks of it going from one shipping container to another two bolted on to the side meaning they have additional seating inside in preparation for the predicable shitty Welsh weather.

I’d be tagged in a post on Instagram two weeks ago so I was aware the place had now opened back up so set off Sunday just gone at 4.30 knowing the place shut at 5 so it was a bit of a power walk from town to just in front of the Doctor Who Experience down the bay. We got there with about 10 minutes to spare and the walk had built up a slight eagerness to sample on of the savoury pastries with the spotlights fixated on them just in front of the counter but they had quite rightly ran out of mash and gravy being all but closed in a few minutes so opted for the chicken and chorizo pasty.

Two flat whites were ordered with the pasty coming first after a quick blast in the microwave so was only right to have a little nibble whilst the “flat white” was in my mind being blasted with boiling oxygenated milk on the coffee maker and steam nozzle.

“You’re flat whites are ready” came the voice behind the counter so picked them up not really looking and parking them on the bench outside with the amazing view of the sunset over Cardiff Bay. I looked down to the oversized cardboard cups, no arty creation of the milk on top this was just a latte this weren’t a flat white even though we paid for the more expensive option of a flat white. No time to complain the shutters were going down. Maybe they just ran out of the smaller cups a flat white is usually poured in but what we were left with was an overly milky cup of coffee not what I’d busted a bead of sweat to pour down my eager throat and for that reason they are disqualified from the flat white tour as I didn’t actually get what I ordered in my eyes. It was ok if I was after a latte but I wasn’t. I’ll still probably be back to sample a pie mind but might opt for something I know should be stronger next time if they do any IPA’s as the “flat white” can have miss next time.

Independent coffee shops worth a look in Cardiff and discounts with Wriggle

There’s a few coffee places I hadn’t heard of and definitely on my list of places to sample that I came across on the newly launched Wriggle Cardiff website/app that is a daily deals site but only showcases independant traders.

Sign up on the Wriggle Cardiff site or app for a look around but use the discount code AUHPSS for £3 off your first order meaning you can probably get a free coffee on your first purchase. To use the wriggle discount code sign up, log in and go to refer a friend and redeem a code or add it at the basket just before paying for your deal.

Coffee Shops recently and regularly on Wriggle

 Discount code  AUHPSS for £3 off for £3 off your order at Wriggle

Time & Beef review in Cardiff and discount voucher with Wriggle

So what is the Wriggle Deal?

Yesterday’s Wriggle Cardiff deal was a discount voucher for Time & Beef in Cardiff offering 1 x burger, 1 x cheese, 1 x topping, 1 sauce and 1 fries for just £7.95 instead of £12.95 on the most expensive options in the burger.

When is the Wriggle deal and discount available at Time & Beef in Cardiff?

I purchased mine yesterday evening on the way to Time & Beef as the window of opportunity to use the discount voucher was 6pm – 7.30pm but i’ve seen today that the voucher is also available on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd November 2016 but do keep checking as I’m sure it will be a regular if it proves popular, which i’m pretty sure it will be.

Do you fancy getting and even bigger discount at Time & Beef?

Wriggle Discount code : AUHPSS

Head over to the Wriggle Cardiff website or app and sign up as a new member then select referral in the left hand menu. Click the redeem a code in the top right of the page and enter the Wriggle discount code AUHPSS to get a further £3 off your order and getting you the Time & Beef deal for just £4.95.

time-and-beef-menu-and-tiny-rebel-pint

About the visit to Time & Beef

This one has been a long time coming and i’ve wanted to try Time & Beef since I first saw a picture shared on Facebook back sometime in the Summer but just haven’t had chance to try it till last night. Having a deal show up on the Wriggle Cardiff app giving a discount at Time & Beef swayed me a bit to especially as I had a meeting in Holiday Inn at 7:45pm and I had 1 hour 45 to kill as I got in to Cardiff at 6pm. Out came the new iphone 7 that I’d bitten the bullet and bought on the weekend (and still trying to get my head around after being an android geek for 8 years!) and tapped the address into google maps from the Holiday Inn and it’s just 0.6 miles and a nice 12 minute stroll up to Canton to work up an appetite for what local legend has it the coveted title of “Best burger in Cardiff”.

I wasn’t entirely sure where it was until I got close but realised it’s just across the road from another favourite of mine in Canton Kimchi the Korean BBQ Restaurant. Well it’s the only other place I’ve eaten in Canton so far apart from Miss Millies but I haven’t even had one of those for years and there are quite a few good eateries popping up and been going for some time worth giving a go.

As I was in between finishing work and my next appointment this was one of the rare occasions I was dinning alone and was a bit aprehensive about looking like a loner in the corner tucking into my food but luckily it wasn’t too busy and had ample seating on the stools and table up the front of the restaurant. I liked the decor with the rough and ready industrial vibe going on that’s all the rage right now with lot’s of reclaimed wood, benches making the most of scaffholding beams and some funky dangly lighting i’d taken a shine too in Ikea recently.

I did notice a set of decks taking a permanent fixture close to the door, which weren’t being used at the time but looks like they’ve got some music and beef orgy going on at some point during the week.

I’d had a quick browse at the menu on the website before hand but i’m so indecisive I hadn’t quite decided especially as they employ the build your own method of choosing food and they claim to offer a 40k+ different combinations with all the options you get to choose from.

The Buns

One thing I did like was the option to choose your own bread roll and with the choices on offer delivered fresh each day from

artisan bread maker Alex Gooch, who i’d noticed the week before stocks in Waitrose in Pontrennau. There’s a choice of 4 rolls with the standard gourmet burger option the brioche, a 7 seed potato bun and vegan options the potato bun or mixed grain brown bun.

The Burgers

They don’t just cater for the carnivorous vultures there’s a choice of beef, chicken breast, welsh lamb, citrus white fish or 4 bean with feta & beet crisp.

The Cheeses

We all love a slice of plastic cheese bubling, dripping and singeing our arm hairs as it drips down your arm when we cook our own burgers at a summer BBQ but you’ve cot choices galore when it comes to cheeses too with:

Mozzarella, cheddar, halloumi, feta, brie or stilton to adhorn your impending meaty masterpiece.

The toppings

Toppings come in two tiers the meat priced at £1.50 per item and the veggies adding £1 per item added to your bun mountain.

Meat options are: pulled pork, chorizo and bacon

Vegetable options: grilled chilli, warmed pineapple, roasted peppers, guacamole, gherkins, fried egg, sauteed mushrooms, beer battered onion rings, crispy onions, mixed salad, jalapenos, house slaw, house potato chips

The Sauces

The crowning glory of any burger and something that can make or break even the most masterfully prepared burger is the sauce. It can just give it the edge if it compliments the contents over other burgers on offer at other restaurants and luckily there’s a few tasty options to choose from including:

BBQ, mayo, garlic mayo, mustard, mint, raita, horseradish, salsa, sour cream, sweet chilli, brown or tomato sauce.

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What did I go for?

After what felt like 4 hours of deliberating I finally come down to a combo of potato bun for a change as I’m a bit sick to death of brioche buns the past week, halloumi as I’ve liked that a few times on my burgers at home, beef patty as I wanted to compare against the other 2 contenders Got Beef and The Grazing Shed, pulled pork for an extra protein hit plus i’ve been smashing the free bacon from Cure and Simple lately, opted for an extra topping of guacamole on top of what the Wriggle deal included but thought i’d push the boat out for a quid then for an added bit of heat the chiptole sauce.

So what did I call my creation?

The guys and Time & Beef add a bit of fun to the burger building process and ask you to name your monster burger with mine being the Holy Fecking Moley for obvious reasons.

So what’s the verdict?

It wouldn’t be hard as my burger had arrived before I sat down at Grazing Shed on Saturday but took a bit longer to come than from them but after the rubber esque block of miserable beef they served up to me I’d come to the conclusion you can’t rush perfection. Having said that it didn’t take that long about 15 mins as everything is cooked to order unlike the one I had Saturday and there were a couple of people who were waiting before I made my order.

The staff were really friendly and made sure I had everything I needed before I wrapped my gums around the food from stabbing devices, sauces and napkins which was definitely needed due to the size of the burger and length of my flavour savours keeping my face warm at present.

The knife was a good option to cut the patty and bun into two as there was no way that was fitting into my mouth and would of lost half the contents had I attempted it in one. The bun was a generous size to hold it all in and to keep it’s structure with the wet ingredients inside.

The beef patty was the most most and juicy I’d ever tasted although the hunk of pulled pork on top acted to self baste the burger with each bite and the halloumi added a bit of saltiness but kept its shape unlike more softer cheeses like chedar normally do but that does give a sexy pic with it oozing down the sides on squeezing the burger.

There was a good dollop of guac to accompany the other toppings and not too much that I had half of it over my face and down my arms. The skin on fries tossed in garlic and herbs was a nice addition too and similar to that offered at Hogwurst although the enamel tray they put them in meant they could swim in the herby butter came with lovely wad of cheese on top too. The portion offies wasn’t very big although paired with the potato bun I had more than enough carbs to contend with as it was and didn’t take me over the edge in terms of bloatedness.

I wasn’t feeling overly hungry on my walk there and was trying to stick to the Wriggle deal to not spend a fortune with just a £1 for the extra topping of guac and £4 for the pint fo Tiny Rebel Cwtch but my next visit I’ll be going all out with a monster of a burger believe me!

I did get halfway through my burger by the time I’d realised there wasn’t much heat coming from the burger and was a bit sweet in comparison to what i’d ordered so I think they had forgot to add the chiptole and was just the sauce coming from the pulled pork but I enjoyed it never the less. One other thing I don’t think it came with any salad/onions/tomatoes/gherkins as standard these would of been added extras for a cost and at £1 per item gherkins and some lettuce would set you back £2 on top.

tiny-rebel-cwtch-welsh-beer

So would I come back?

Yes I will be going back and I would definitely recommend the place as it currently sits at the top of my Best Burger in Cardiff table to date but I would suggest an ongoing burger special for those who like me like to go to a burger restaurant and have the experts (those cooking the burger) put together a killer combo of ingredients or something not actually on the list of toppings and sauces. That’s one of the reasons I’ve not taken to 5 guys as I thought they took the easy option giving the customer all the hard work of putting flavours and combo’s together but not everyone is good at doing that on the spot and I do like the restaurant to be creative and put something seasonal or current together for a change.

One other thing I know I had a wriggle deal and got 1 x burger, 1 topping, 1 sauce and 1 fries for £7.95 if you were going there any other time and if you wanted to create a mammoth burger the price does creep up quite quickly if you wanted 3 or 4 toppings you would be looking at around £17 for a burger and chips yet Got Beef who do put combos together for you to pick such as the Heisenburger with the blue crystal meth esque onions that comes with around 4 toppings with fries would be around £12, which if you’re two parents with 2 or 3 kids you won’t be getting much change out of £100.

Don’t forget to use the Wriggle discount code AUHPSS once you’ve singed up on the Wriggle website or app to get a further £3 off your order including the already discounted Time & Beef burger and fries deal.

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Wriggle Cardiff Discount Code and review

New on the daily deal discount scene if you haven’t heard about it yet is Wriggle. It popped up on my Facebook a week or two ago so i thought i’d have a nosey around on the site and signed up and to be fair i’ve been pretty impressed with the deals on offer so far in Cardiff since I signed up.

Instead of the usual chains and garbage you have to rummage through on some other well known daily deals sites they’ve hand picked some really good local favourites of mine with discounts from Crafty Devils Brewing Company, Chez Francis, Spit and Sawdust, Pizza Pronto, Dusty Knuckle Pizza’s and Lab22 cocktail bar to name but a few.

The first few deals that came through on Wriggle Cardiff happened to be lunch time deals but as I don’t live or work in Cardiff at the moment I (with tear in my eye) had to wait a whole 24 hours to see what deal they were pushing.

I waited too long to take advantage of the discount at Chez Francis with a 3 course meal and wine for just £11.50 so i’ve made it my mission to check first thing in the morning since then and bagged myself a 3 course cocktail taster at Lab22 on Chippy Lane in Cardiff for just £12.50 instead of the usual £25 but using the wriggle discount code AUHPSS I got £3 off so had 3 expertly crafted cocktails with side nibbles for just £9.50!! Absolute bargain.

espresso martini with lab22 discount voucher from with wriggle cardiff

I was hooked already and was gutted with tonights offer of 5 x 1/3 pints at Crafty Devil Brewing Companies bar and bottle shop with bar snacks for just £5 as I was up nanny Carole’s for Tuesday night supper up the pub! Bearing in mind I had 4 x 1/3 and a pint in Brewdog for £20.50 on Saturday night this was a real steal if you ask me.

All was not lost though as I’ve booked in for a £3 pizza and drink at Pitch on Mill Lane tomorrow night. I would of even pushed the boat out for a double header with pizza again from Award winning Dusty Knucle Pizza for just £2 on Thursday night, which is just up the road from the Crafty Brewing Company in Canton but I’d I’ve been eagerly awaiting the Gin Fest that night down the bay. I’m hoping to sample some new botanically infused white liquor and hopefully stock up on some 1724 tonic water whilst i’m there too as I’m running low from my recent trip to get some in Harvey Nichs in Bristol.

So why is Wriggle different to other daily deals sites?

The difference between Wriggle and other daily deals like Groupon and Livingsocial is that when you buy from them you have roughly 3 months from purchase to use it but with Wriggle they advertise the deal for a specific day in the next coming week and between the window of opportunity like 5pm-9pm for example and you have to use the deal then and only then. They also don’t seem to have the somewhat infinite amount of vouchers available like some other sites but then that’s probably down to the size of the traders and because it’s only available for exchange between a few hours on a specific day but that’s what makes it better in my eyes.

I’ve lost count how many times i’ve bought a daily deals voucher with no idea when i’m going to use it in the next few months whereas with Wriggle there’s a sense of urgency and I like the knowledge in knowing I’m going to use it and sample some great local food and drink in a day or two and makes you move your ass to sort it out asap.

I’m not sure if the deals are going to feature some of the local favourite independent traders in the future as heavily as it has done in the launch and for such amazing prices but let’s hope they don’t take the easy option and poison the site with chain after chain like some other daily deal sites.

Sign up to Wriggle Cardiff and discount code

You can sign up for Wriggle Cardiff here but have also launched in other large cities in the UK too to take advantage of but make sure you use the Wriggle discount code AUHPSS to get money off your first deal.