While kicking about ideas for starting this blog, I naturally looked around to see who was writing about food in Cardiff. Two of the most well-respected players I came across were Cardiff Bites and Tea and Biscuits.
To date I have only had email and Twitter contact with CB’s Nicki, but this week I had the chance to meet with T&B’s head honcho the Chief, who “hated going to restaurants, eating a bad meal and feeling there was nothing I could do about it – so I wanted to set up a site with content you could trust.”
When I asked the Chief his opinion of Cardiff as a place to eat out, he argued that while the city may not be stacked high with prestige joints, the number of quality budget to medium-priced eateries more than made up for this – “and how often can most people afford to go to a really high-end restaurant anyway?”
These are sentiments I’m inclined to agree with – I’ve got nothing against swanky dining, but have had way more disappointment at places where pretension stacks the expectations unreasonably high, whereas more basic, often local restaurants that are friendly & reliable have tended to be the ones I’ll go back to time and again.
Obviously my next move was to demand a list of Cardiff’s finest cheap eats. I got the following responses:
- Vegetarian Food Studio: as featured on Bare Grills’ very first outing, “the best cheap restaurant in Cardiff” serves up a reliably fantastic pure-veg Gujarati menu.
- Cafe Minuet: tiny Italian in Castle Arcade recently said farewell to long-term proprietor Marcello Genesi, but new owner Nadine Lodwick has apparently kept the fires of its “fantastically loyal following” burning.
- Chai Street: Mint & Mustard’s Indian street-food baby brother is “a bit more more straight-laced than VFS, but really, really good food – you can get lunch for five quid in there – and the breakfast is absolutely brilliant too.”
- Milgi: City Road’s boho hangout went 100% veggie last spring following a customer poll – “excellent platters for £5-6 – hummous, falafels, slice of pizza.”
- Kemi’s: a new one on me, this, at Craft In The Bay opposite the Millenium Centre – “cheap food often means unhealthy, but over there you can get a really beautiful slice of quiche, cous cous salad – a big plateful, too – for the price of a visit to the chippy.”