Posted by: mikeydude | March 29, 2011

Bayside Brasserie Cardiff Restaurant Review (6/10)

Respectable Food for a Night of Celebration!

Happy Days! After being both surprised and extremely chuffed at finally completing my postgrad exams I was to celebrate in the form of an early dinner so that little one could go back and be put to bed!! It was a mild evening with clear skies, so where better in Cardiff than the Bay?? I had a 50% discount available off A La Carte at the Bayside Brasserie and so we ventured there to test some culinary magic. Last time I had been a few years ago the food was ok but prices were fairly steep. Let’s see how things have evolved…..
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Posted by: mikeydude | March 16, 2011

Crown Social Cardiff Restaurant Review (7/10)

Martin Blunos leads the charge to revamp Cardiff’s dining scene!!

I have not dined out properly since the birth of my little one and so had to endure essentially 6 months of home cooking! So what better time to revitalise my tastebuds than to try out this newly opened restaurant by Crown Group led by former 2 michelin star head chef Martin Blunos? Interestingly the menu boasts small dishes not unlike the critically acclaimed Maze restaurant in Mayfair London. Prices are not cheap but yet not ridiculous in this day and age. The restaurant was only open 1 week ago and so it would be interesting to see how things fare during these early days…

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Posted by: mikeydude | March 11, 2011

Teriyaki Sirloin Steak Dinner

Steak Heaven!!!

It’s been too long since I’ve had a chance to cook a proper meal, but now since all those blasted exams are over temporarily and after a mad 10 days of work my cookbooks have reemerged! And what could be simpler and delicious than to cook up an authentic Teriyaki steak served with stir fried chinese vegetables???

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???!!!! Fresh fish from Asda ??????

Good promotion from ASDA (aka Walmart) this month with substantial discounts from their entire premium ‘extra special’ range. Took this opportunity to buy as much ‘premium’ stuff as possible, ending up spending £70 on a weekly shop (yikes!). Anyway I disappointed the Mrs by not being able to take her out to the Celtic Manor for dinner due to high demand that evening so the pressure was on to cook up a half decent meal to compensate!

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Posted by: mikeydude | October 30, 2010

Dashi Simmered Chicken & Chinese Cabbage with Crispy Skin

Tedious but well worth the calories!!!

After getting a ticking off from the wife for not buying enough vegetables in our weekly grocery shop, I was only left with a whole chinese leaf to cook with one Autumns evening. I also had some dashi made from a few days ago with some chicken legs. Upon browsing through my Japanese cookbook (trusty Tsuji might I add!) I came upon this simmering recipe I have not attempted before and it’s dead simple to do! Here’s what I did.

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Posted by: mikeydude | September 12, 2010

Amazing Chocolate Brownie Alert!!!!

Yesterday was the 1st day of the St Fagans Food Festival (not very well publicised, I only came across it by chance). I didn’t actually go as I have a 2 wk old little girl to look after, but my mother-in-law and her sister went instead. Not particularly sure how good the food festival was, but I stumbled across quite possibly the best chocolate brownie all my life. This is quite strange coming from a non sweet-tooth. Turns out they bought it from a company called, rather originally; chocolate brownie company. Not cheap at £3.50 for 4 small cubes and so I was just expecting typical food festival rip-off pricing average produce. Not to be it turned out….

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Posted by: mikeydude | August 7, 2010

Cricketers Pub Cardiff Review (5.5/10)

Come on where’s the seasoning???

I wasn’t particularly surprised that gastropub Y Cadno had closed 1 year after it opened in June 2009. The disorganised staff were easily forgiven for its early days, but the cookery that followed that evening showed no signs of excitement. Unfortunately to survive these days you have to be extraordinary and the standards there were simply too far from that…. In any case I recently received a comment from the new management team who had taken over with its new name “Cricketers”; boasting a similar kind of gastropub setting but with much improved service and quality of food. There’s a new chef too, which could only be a good thing, and one that has ‘spent time’ in critically acclaimed Boxwood Cafe in London. I browsed through the menu online; lots of home grown food and menu items that genuinely looked different and exciting such as Welsh Black Beef, as well as cockles from West Wales. When some of the Mrs’ friends came to visit, it therefore seemed like the perfect opportunity to savour this ‘new found’ talent just to see whether they could live up to their claims. Here’s my report.

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A good pork chop and a good pasta that don’t mix… but nevertheless a good dinner!

Ok I was allocated to cook this evening with no further exams in the way. Sigh… but failed it though so will have to resit in October…. another £600 down the drain. I urge whoever is even contemplating a career in Medicine to fully understand that there is a high possibility that you will be taking exams up until the age of 30!

Sidetracking and ranting aside, let’s talk food. So I had some parsley in my fridge that was wilting, and I had an overgrowing sage plant in my garden… herbs based cooking it was then… Italian. Fancied some pasta which I could also leave extras for the Mrs to eat at work the following day for lunch. It was also rather warm in July 2010 and so this was a fine choice.

After being sick of tomato pasta which I have been making for the past couple of months, I decided to attempt a cream based one from another Ramsay recipe. However I needed more meat than simply pancetta, so opted for grilled pork chop cooked in an Oliver like style.

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Much improved, but still a way to go….

I think in total I’ve been to the Gallois around 3 times before this evening. The first time was back in 2006 when I just started working and it was recommended by a friend. I remember being wowed by the then novelty “French” standards of service and the dainty presentation and impressive cooking of dishes. The then fiancée and I felt it was the best restaurant in Cardiff. However as the trend generally goes things did not improve from there and I think it was in 2007-8 that we brought the father in law to try. We were served burnt fillet steak which was raw in the middle when medium rare was asked for, and the general quality of the dishes were way below par. A return therefore was not imminent.

Until this month, where news of a new chef and glowing reviews from my work colleagues rekindled that buzz that the mention of the place used to give me. It was time to retry this old favourite but this time round I have a much improved insight into the world of good food (!).

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Posted by: mikeydude | April 22, 2010

Mint & Mustard Restaurant Cardiff Revisited (6/10)

Once the novelty factor wears off it’s even tougher to maintain quality!

It’s been a while since I last came to what I thought was one of Cardiff’s best eateries. I remember the excellently flavoured lamb shank as well as the full-spiced aromatic curries that makes the cooking stand out amongst the crowd. It so happened that I craved for lamb shank on a warming spring Saturday and so opted to come back and see how things have progressed since my last visit! As I’ve found so many times in the past, going into a restaurant with high expectations usually proves a let down….

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