Cardiff Bay restaurants getting tasty

There can be few places with as many food outlets as Cardiff, Wales. Boosted by the Cardiff Bay housing and leisure development, its cuisine now stretches around the world, while still finding plenty of space for city’s long term love affair with Italian restaurants.

Cardiff - a cultural and taste hotspot
Cardiff – a cultural and taste hotspot

The port city’s streets has soulless fast food outlets chippies, kebab shop, burger joints, but is a popular destination for national brands chains such as Bill’s and branded Italian outlets including Jamie (Oliver’s) Italian, Pizza Express, Zizzi and ASK, in addition to fine dining restaurants. As a historically important trading port, the city has long been multicultural. Today, people newly arrived from the Horn of Africa, eastern Europe and the Middle East rub shoulders with those descended from previous waves of immigration from Italy, China and many other trading partners. This gives the city food shops an enviable vibrancy and choice of cuisine. Even the giant Tesco supermarket carries an impressive range of culinary exotics.

Although Cardiff doesn’t have a Michelin star to boast about and help with marketing the city as a foodie destination, there are plenty of places to enjoy great food. Independent restaurants such as Entrecote Café, The Potted Pit and Pier 64 and Bully’s, named Wales’ 2014 Restaurant of the Year. The glass and steel Bosphorous Turkish restaurant sits on a spectacular position above the water in Cardiff Bay and offers traditional and modern dishes from Kleftico (knuckle of lamb) and charcoal grilled chicken Beyti.

Home to rugby, food, culture and clichés!
Home to rugby, food, culture and clichés!

However, perhaps a Michelin star may not be so far away as previous winner James Sommerin has opened his first (and he promises only) eponymous restaurant on the beach front west of Cardiff Bay in Penarth. James was previously head chef at the Michelin-starred Crown at Whitebrook in Monmouth, south-east Wales. With hand made butter knives and Himalayan salt candles, you know James is aiming to create an impression. While fish dishes are sprinkled across the various menus, they do not dominate. Lobster and spider crab are locally sourced from Carmarthen and Cardigan and other fish is bought from the popular E. Ashton’s fishmongers in Cardiff.

Reports from the city suggest the hip new burger company Five Guys will open a branch by the end of the year, alongside London-based Burger and Lobster (Cardiff locals are hoping) new outlets for ‘Mexican market eating’ Wahaca. The ever popular Wahaca and. For Wahaca, it’s the first time outside its set up shop London – quite a coup for the Welsh capital.

Cardiff grafitti
Cardiff grafitti
Rough Guide to Cardiff

Bruce McMichael

Food writing, discovering food stories, meeting producers, chefs and food enthusiasts are all part of desire to inspire, inform my readers and fellow food lovers. I am a freelance writer, journalist and published author focusing on the international world of food and drink, culture and travel. In 2019 I graduated from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy with a Masters in Food Culture, Communication and Marketing. I am now a visiting Professor at the university teaching Food & Drink Writing. Based in London I travel widely, particularly across western Europe. I have chaired many conferences and meetings, spoken at conferences and events and often appear on radio and TV talking most about food, the business of food and being an entrepreneur. In 2017 I won an episode of the ITV (the UK-based national television channel) cooking competition show, 'Gordon Ramsay's Culinary Genius'. I took my children on holiday to Sicily with the prize money. As an experienced farmers' market manager and operator of a small marmalade/ preserves company, I am very familiar with the issues surrounding local food, farming, enterprise and the environment.

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