Friday, 4 November 2011

Wally's Kaffeehaus

For lunch on Wednesday at Wally’s Kaffeehaus, in Cardiff’s Royal Arcade, we went for Open Sandwiches.

I had the Tyrol, which consisted of Roast Chicken breast, sweet Spanish chorizo and shaved manchego cheese, with Piquillo peppers, garlic mayonnaise and rocket, topped with black olives and served on toasted artisan sourdough.

My partner (the one who always chooses best) had the Baden, comprising German dark smoked black ham, Hereford Hop cheese and ploughman’s chutney with green salad, chopped balsamic onions and sliced pear, served on wholegrain seeded bread.

Although I really enjoyed my Tyrol, the Baden seemed to have more going for it, with a wider variety of flavours and textures, especially the tangy balsamic pickled onion and the full-flavoured cheese. The bread was also tastier and there was more of it. I know it’s an open sandwich, but I felt I wanted an extra bit of sourdough, that wasn’t under all those ingredients, just to better appreciate the bread.

There are eleven Open Sandwiches to choose from (all named after Austrian towns or villages), all served with a side garnish of potato salad, including two vegetarian options: the Rohrbach, with grilled aubergine and Caerphilly cheese, and the Linz, with marinated mushrooms, sun-blushed tomato and Perl Las cheese. I noted the Kitzbuhel, which included liver sausage and sauerkraut, and the Wiener, with marinated herring and dill pickle, for future reference. We were also tempted by the Aufschnitt: selections of cold meats and cheeses on a platter for two.

Wally’s Delicatessen has been in the Royal Arcade since 1981. It doubled its size by taking over an adjoining shop a few years ago. The Kaffeehaus opened above the Deli about a month ago. It is a family business owned by Steve Salamon - who was chatting to diners in the Kaffeehaus on Wednesday. See the Deli website (link below) for the fascinating family history.

The Kaffeehaus aims to bring Viennese Coffee House tradition to Cardiff (Steve’s father Wally Salamon was born in Austria). That is, there’s no rush, feel free to chat away or read the newspapers provided, while listening to Beethoven and Mozart on the sound system.

There is a pleasing synergy between the Deli and the Kaffeehaus. The café obviously has a wide variety of delicacies they can draw upon (the staff regularly bring trays of ham and cheese up the stairs), and the menu is designed to showcase what the Deli has to offer; while diners can take home the favourite ingredient from their lunch. We particularly liked the Hereford Hop cheese and bought some downstairs in the Deli on the way out.

The Deli sells all manner of things (around 1,600 products from all over the world) and there’s always something new to discover. I also bought fresh yeast this week and have subsequently been doing some baking (but that’s another blog post).

Wally's Kaffeehaus and Wally's Delicatessen
38 - 46 Royal Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1AE

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