Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Cowbridge Road East 1: Cathedral Road to Wyndham Crescent

We are passing through Riverside and heading to Canton on our walking tour of Cardiff.

Previously, I left you crossing the River Taff on the bridge to the start of Cowbridge Road East. It's a long road, with many independent restaurants offering cuisine from all around the world. At the first junction, with Cathedral Road and Lower Cathedral Road, on your left:

The Westgate
49 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9AD (2030 3002)
The Westgate Hotel is a large traditional Brains pub, on the corner with Lower Cathedral Road, with a long horseshoe-shaped bar. It serves a wide range of standard pub meals and real ales. The original Westgate Hotel on this site was established in the eighteenth century, but was demolished in the 1930s. Children welcome with dining adults (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. July 2011).

Across the Lower Cathedral Road junction, and after Electric Bikes:

Posh Nosh
53a Cowbridge Road East CF11 9AE (2039 8055)
Posh Nosh is a catering company, with a popular front-of-house sandwich bar. A wide range of sandwich fillings are available, though don’t expect radical or adventurous options (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. July 2011).

55 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9AE
A small Spar store opened here earlier this year. Formerly D&A News.

Further along Cowbridge Road East is a busy junction, with Neville Street doubling back sharply to the left and Wellington Road straight ahead. Keep to the right fork and walk past the entrance of St David’s Hospital to stay on Cowbridge Road East. It should be noted that the numbers on the left and right of this road soon go wildly out of synch (e.g., 149 on the left opposite 72 on the right).  On your right:

The Jaipur
52 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9DU (2064 4555)
Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine: take-away and delivery service, with online ordering. Kebabs, tandoori oven, biryani, vindaloo and numerous other curry dishes, good vegetarian special selection, and curried cockles. Halal (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Oct 201).

On Way Pizza
54 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9DU (2023 1661)
Take-away: burger, kebab, pizza. Maybe One Way Pizza missing an 'e'. This was formerly Canton House Kebab (Canton House Kebabs: Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. Sept 2011).

Hot Wax Records (58 Cowbridge Road East) sells vinyl records. Plenty to interest the collector and a boxful of free vinyl on the pavement outside to get the curious hooked on its superior sound quality.

Dragon Seafood
60 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9DU (2022 7120)
Fishmongers selling interesting range of fish and seafood, including crabs, lobster, octopus, squid, scallops and shellfish, along with seaweed, vegetables and game (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. March 2012).

64 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9DU
Off-licence and general store. Sells spices.

The Eurasian Tandoori
66 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9DU (2039 8148)
Contemporary Indian and Indonesian cuisine served in restaurant established in 1968, making it one of Cardiff’s oldest family-run restaurants. The distinctive purple frontage leads into a surprisingly large establishment, with areas for group and couples dining. The menu features Tandoori, Bangladeshi, Indonesian, Punjabi, Balti and interesting house specials. Unlicensed, but you can bring your own wine or beer for a small corkage. Take-away menu closely mirrors the restaurant menu (Food Hygiene Rating 3: major improvement necessary. March 2012).


U Diner
145 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9DU (2022 8911)
In the impressive old Royal Exchange building (1887), U Diner is a large all-you-can-eat Chinese oriental buffet and hotpot restaurant. Licensed and operates maximum two hour stay at table (to stop people doing lunch and dinner for around £11). Also an extensive take-away menu.

La Galleria
147 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9AH (2022 7700)
This Italian Restaurant and Lounge Bar opened in April 2012. La Galleria is an independent serving classic Italian food, including pizza and pasta, fish dishes, and chicken, veal and steak meals. The Head Chef is Pietro Godino. Chef’s specials include Risotto Gamberoni e Cozze (arborio rice, king prawns and mussels in a white wine, plum and Tuscan tomato sauce). Open for lunch and dinner every day except Sunday (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. June 2012).

Balti Wallah
149 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9AH (2039 5959)
Indian restaurant and take-away, with Balti and tandoori dishes a speciality (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. Oct 2012).

New Champagne
151 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9AH (2034 1844)
The New Champagne is a Chinese take-away  (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. April 2011).

La Lupa
153/155 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9AH (2022 3697)
La Lupa Ristorante is a large independent serving authentic Italian food, specialising in Roman cuisine (e.g., Pollo con Peperoni and Saltimbocca alla Romana). The owner is Roberto Raffaelli. Bread and pasta are made on the premises, and the best value on the menu is the three-course midweek (Tues-Thurs) special for £13.50. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Saturday (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Sept 2011).

The Italian Way
157 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9DW (2036 6980)
Locally-owned Italian restaurant offering all the Italian classics; typical menu items include pan-fried sea bass, Chicken con marsala and Linguini  marinara (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Oct 2010).

Right side and backtracked to opposite Balti Wallah:

Pho Bac
72 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9DU (2034 4320)
Opened almost a year ago (on 15 Dec 2011), Pho Bac is unique in Cardiff for serving authentic Vietnamese cuisine. I met a friend for lunch there this week. We opted for the £6.50-a-head lunch menu, for which you can currently choose practically any starter and main course on the menu, and also get a soft drink or tea for the price. I opted for Sweet and sour grated salad with mango and beef jerky, followed by a fried catfish dish with ginger and mango sauce. My companion had seafood spring rolls followed by a Pho dish (photos below).  The restaurant is named after Vietnam’s most popular dish (pho), Vietnamese flat rice-flour noodle soups (Pho Bac means northern pho, variants on the dish from up near Hanoi, as opposed to Pho Sai Gon).  Special dishes on the menu are not included on the lunchtime deal; these include goat meat hot pot (£90) and Vietnamese delicacies such as Duck tongue in crispy batter and Vietnamese pork feet delicacy. The menu is being simplified this month, to specialize in a smaller number of Vietnamese street foods (including all the dishes that are most popular with customers). They will still do the Vietnamese specialities, but they will have to request them off-menu. There is a take-away menu and karaoke at the weekends.

Kings Castle
74 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9DU (2037 2697)
The Kings Castle Hotel is a traditional locals’ pub on the corner of Cowbridge Road East and Kings Road. The pub dates from around 1890, and according to, was once called Ebenezer Riley’s Kings Castle. It is owned by Enterprise Inns. It’s a drinkers pub and I could see no evidence of food being served.

A short distance along Kings Road:

La Cuina
11 Kings Road CF11 9BZ (2019 0265)
Opened in Sept 2012 by Richard Edwards and Montserrat Prat, with Chef Pablo Melillo, La Cuina (Catalan for ‘the kitchen’) brings authentic Catalonian food to Cardiff for the first time; indeed, it claims to be the first Catalan deli/restaurant in Wales. The downstairs deli sells artisan bread and a range of Catalan products including olive oil, chorizo and other dried meats, sheep and goats’ cheeses, wines, wine-based vinegars, honey and cakes, as well as Catalan earthenware for the oven and dining table. I left with some Xorico. There are also vacuum-packed meals from the kitchen to take-away. Tapas are served in the upstairs restaurant at lunchtimes, with a full menu of Catalan dishes served Thursday to Sunday evenings. A new menu is being printed this week. Expect dishes like Catalan chicken casserole with prunes, chocolate and wine, and Slow-cooked rabbit in escabetx (white wine vinegar). Mains from around £18. From 2002 to 2012, the acclaimed South American meets modern European restaurant Patagonia traded in this location.

The food and drink establishments at the other end of Kings Road are on another part of this tour.

Bar Sicilia
76 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9DW (2038 4210)
Pasta, pizza and other Italian dishes are served in this traditional Italian café, noted for its coffee. Sandwiches deals and other take-away options (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. Sept 2011).

Mario’s Kebab and Pizza
78 Cowbridge Road East CF11 9DW
Take away. Seems to be closed for business at the moment (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Oct 2011).

At the nearby junction with Wyndham Crescent, take a short detour:

Satay Hut
2 Wyndham Crescent CF11 9EH
Opened earlier this year, this take-away offering authentic Malaysian food, appears to have been short-lived. It closed last month for “restructuring” and is currently still closed (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. Sept 2012).

Curry Licious
4 Wyndham Crescent CF11 9EH (2123 0464)
Indian takeaway, which used to be Masala Night.

King Wok
14 Wyndham Crescent CF11 9EH (2034 0197)
Chinese take-away (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Nov 2011).

Go back to the junction. I'll meet you on the corner next time!

Previously, on the walking tour:

Bute Park

Cathays Park

Cathays Terrace

Salisbury Road

Woodville Road

Crwys Road

Wellfield Road

Albany Road

City Road

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