Cardiff is exciting, vibrant, and multicultural; a capital city of which Wales is rightfully proud. From its lively student atmosphere to its waterfront, Cardiff offers a rich mix of art, sports and cuisine. New and exciting restaurants are popping up at such a rate that there is no question it is home to some of the finest dining venues in the region. Here, we discover the cream of the crop.
Duck Egg Bleu
Independently owned Duck Egg Bleu is said to be one of Cardiff’s most hidden gems. Serving up a modern mix of flavours layered on a classically British menu, expect some wonderful seasonal delights. Nicknamed ‘The Lazy Duck,’ this cozy yet sassy space takes enormous pride in using the finest Welsh ingredients, from Anglesey sea salt to also foraging for wild garlic along the Taff Trail, all to create its own unique taste. Some culinary delights from Duck Egg Bleu include dishes such as celeriac and apple soup, accompanied by walnuts and Perl Las cheese dressing to start, grilled sea bream, haddock and mussel bouillabaisse with pickled carrot and ginger, and a selection of mouthwatering desserts to follow. In addition, Duck Egg Bleu offers an elaborate wine list to complete the perfect dining experience.
Duck Egg Bleu, 435 Cowbridge Rd E, Cardiff CF5 1JH, +44 29 2022 0993
A family-owned restaurant set in the upmarket borough of Pontcanna; Arbennig meaning ‘Special’, definitely creates an atmosphere that is just that. Arbennig takes pride in having a homely feel, using locally sourced ingredients from the surrounding Welsh landscape. Expect beautiful food pairings packed with flavour, such as charred beef fillet, wild rocket, Datterini tomato, parmesan and caesar cream to saffron arancini with butternut cumin puree; whilst dining in relaxing fresh and modern surroundings. In addition to dining, Arbennig holds courses at its very own cookery school with a range to suit everyone in parties of 4-8 people.
Arbennig, 6-10 Romilly Crescent, Pontcanna, Cardiff, CF11 9NR, +44 29 2034 1264
Park House Restaurant & Wine Bar
Located along the grand avenue of Park Place, home to Cardiff University, and close to impressive buildings including City Hall, Park House is set in a grand traditional grade 1 listed townhouse. Designed by renowned Victorian architect William Burges in 1874, it was once described by Cadw as perhaps the most important 19th century house in Wales. Having received the award for the AA Wine List of the Year for Wales in 2013-2014, the focus of this venue is its perfect pairing of food and wine; so each dish comes with a wine match recommendation to enhance the dining experience. Park House provides an exclusive setting amongst early French gothic architecture, whether for lunch or evening dining. It’s also the perfect spot to treat yourself to an Afternoon Tea.
Nestled into the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cardiff’s city centre, Filini offers fine dining in a sleek city style. Its interior has a distinctively modern vibe with its dark wood flooring and splashes of vivid colour. Enjoy its range of fine Italian cuisine created from extensive ingredients sourced from Italy’s many delightful regions. Classy and modern providing an air of unmistakable city luxury.
Providing Catalan cuisine in the Welsh capital, La Cuina was founded in 2012. The story began many years ago, when owner and chef Monserrat was very young and peeling potatoes for her 15 family members on a quiet provincial farm. La Cuina prides itself on quality with a range of different styles, from tapas to an a la carte evening meal offering a brilliant range of fish and meat dishes, plus cheese and salami platters. In addition to these tasty dishes, La Cuina hosts an hour a week of Spanish and Catalan conversation in order to really savour the atmosphere. Take away a piece of Catalunya to enjoy at home from the deli store, which is attached to the restaurant, offering produce from many unique Catalan towns throughout the region.
La Cuina, 11 King’s Rd, Cardiff CF11 9BZ, +44 29 2019 0265
Fish At 85
Situated in Cardiff’s upmarket Pontcanna district, the setting for many designer boutiques, Fish At 85‘s pretty entrance surrounded by beautifully arranged window displays welcomes you inside. This quaint restaurant, which also runs a functioning fishmongers, specialises in fish caught in British waters and takes a lot of pride in the freshness, quality, and range of fish available. An exclusive feel in this restaurant comes with ordering from the ‘Catch Menu’ where you can speak to a fishmonger for advice on which type to choose, one of the many ways to have it cooked and any accompanying side dishes or sauces that may compliment well.
Fish @ 85, 85 Pontcanna St, Cardiff CF11 9HS, +44 29 2023 5666
Mint & Mustard
Adding to the ever growing popularity of Indian food throughout the UK, Cardiff’s Mint & Mustard takes pride in being ‘natural all the time,’ serving up a contemporary mix of fine Indian cuisine. It has been highly praised by prestigious publications, including Tatler and The Independent, in addition to obtaining several awards amongst them the UK’s Top 100 Restaurants at the National Restaurant Awards. Exquisitely displayed dishes oozing with bursts of attractive colour, you’ll soon see what all the fuss is about.
Mint and Mustard, 134 Whitchurch Rd, Cardiff, South Glamorgan CF14 3LZ, +44 29 2062 0333
Enjoy fine dining amongst a somewhat quirky interior in which every inch of wall is covered with pictures and mirrors. Bullys serves up a fusion of fine French and Welsh cuisine, and was awarded the AA Restaurant of the Year Wales award in 2014-2015. The menu changes each month to ensure a variation of interesting dishes, from citrus-smoked salmon paired with chive crème fraiche to start; to the rump of Welsh lamb, braised middle neck, pomme anna, spring turnips and feves. Be sure not to miss out on the desserts too, with white chocolate creamaux and meringues, lemon panna cotta and amaretti crumb and set Welsh custard, Languedoc red plums with ginger biscuit, to name a few. Accompany all of this with something from its small, fine French wine list.
Bully’s, 5 Romilly Crescent, Cardiff, South Glamorgan CF11 9NP, +44 29 2022 1905
The Beech Tree Inn
Located slightly outside Cardiff next to the ITV Studios in an acre of land, the food is simple yet exquisitely presented. Owned by Anthony Armelin, who has been running successful seafood restaurants for over 18 years, The Beach Tree Inn has won many awards, AA Restaurant of the Year for Wales, and the Michelin Bib Gourmand Award among others. The emphasis is placed on simplicity serving tasty traditional pub food with a modern twist of luxury. The interior is spacious yet warm, and the building is set amongst beautiful grounds.
The Beech Tree Inn, Old Port Rd, Wenvoe, Cardiff CF5 6DN, +44 29 2059 3106
Opened in 2005 by three Italian friends, this little oasis of a restaurant has been serving up flavourful Italian cuisine using local produce mixed with imports such as salami, olive oil, truffles and pasta direct from Italy. The menu is not extensive, offering around 5 choices, yet this adds to its exclusivity, alongside ensuring maximum quality to create some interesting seasonal dishes. These include Pasta E N’Duja, pasta enriched with aubergine cherry tomatoes and chili finished with fresh ricotta; or Maiale, a Tuscan marinated pork cutlet dish. Casanova is the perfect place to experience a little slice of Italy in Cardiff, with the menu reflecting authenticity and style inspired by the many regions of this beautiful country.
Casanova, 13 Quay St, Cardiff CF10 1EA, +44 29 2034 4044