We are leaving Canton and entering Pontcanna, on a walking tour of Cardiff. Previously, I left you at the Romilly Road and Llandaff Road junction. Cross the road and walk down Romilly Crescent.
On you right:
69-71 Romilly Crescent CF11 9NQ (2025
The Romilly Hotel is a traditional
Brains pub, with a strong sense of community. It’s family-friendly and has a
pub garden. There’s bar snacks, classic pub meals, Sunday roast, and vegetarian
options. The tricky Pub Quiz has its own website, where you can buy past
questions to help you get up-to-speed before hitting the lounge on a Sunday
evening (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Oct 2011).
Pass the junction with Conway
Road. On your left:
14 Romilly Crescent CF11 9NR
Family-run Stefano's Ristorante
Italiano has been serving Italian food with a modern twist since it opened in
April 2002. Stefano Caramella and his team must be doing plenty right, as this
week they were voted Best Italian Restaurant in the South Wales Echo Food &
Drink Awards 2012/13. Regional Italian cuisine gets highlighted, for example,
earlier this week there was a “Taste of Sardinia” night. Notable dishes include
Seared scallops on a bed of sweet potato, Italian meatballs, and fishcakes. You
will also find numerous pasta and pizza options, with vegetarians being well
catered for. There is also a children's menu. Tuesday is live music night.
On an enjoyable visit to Stefano's in November
last year, I liked the Agnello (tender lamb fillet served with pesto) as a
starter, followed by the excellent Cervo al vino rosso (wild Scottish venison
in a rich red wine sauce, served with polenta mash and seasonal vegetables). My
partner went for a vegetarian main, with courgette, ricotta, parmesan and salad.
The dishes of seasonal vegetables, which we shared, included rosemary-flavoured
sweetpotato, roast potato and mushrooms. There is a take-out menu, which
includes a number of their distinctive restaurant dishes, available from Mon to
Sat evenings (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Jan 2012).
6-10 Romilly Crescent CF11 9NR
Oscars of Cardiff opened in April
2011. Head Chef John Cook has assembled wide-ranging brunch, lunch and dinner
menus. The international range lends itself to interesting fusion opportunities.
On Wednesdays, Oscars put on a range of themed evenings (e.g., Vegetarian, Fish
Supper, Sizzling Steak, and Burger Nights). Sundays feature roast dinners,
although a range of other ‘lazy Sunday’ options are available during the
afternoon. Oscars is family-friendly, and its dedicated children's menu is
served until 7pm. The current evening menu includes Lamb confit, Chicken
schnitzel, White bean and cauliflower curry, and Cornish crab cakes. There’s an
extensive wine list. Oscars is located on the site previously occupied, from May 1998 to Feb 2011, by French
restaurant Le Gallois (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Aug 2011).
I have not eaten at Oscars of
Cardiff, but I have eaten recently at its older sibling - Oscars of Cowbridge.
Much of the menu is the same, although the different clientele in the two
places means that it is starting to diverge. My partner had one of the day’s
specials: a beef and chorizo meatloaf with mashed potatoes containing feta. I
had the Classic Oscars Burger, with aged beef, a popular menu item at both
locations. It had a quality seeded bun, a thick moist patty, included bacon and
cheese, and looked like this:
I don’t often go for the burger
option, so if you want to know more about burgers in Cardiff then I recommend
you seek out Gourmet Gorros’s blog. Ed Gilbert, for it is he, is looking for
Cardiff’s best burger. He writes: “Oscars’ Burger is the epitome of tasteful… a
burger for the refined individual.” He says he likes his burgers a little
filthier, but with budget and fast-food burgers containing up to 85% meat
filler and reconstituted meat slime, not to mention horsemeat additives, I’ll
settle for refined!
The Fat Pig Deli
4 Romilly Crescent CF11 9NR
This café deli opened on 13 Dec
2012, next door to Oscars. In its day, La Gallois used to have a deli here;
though Fat Pig Deli is a new company, owned and run by Barry Pickup and his
partner Carys Simpson, so is not connected to Oscars of Cardiff. The Fat Pig
serves breakfast and lunch. A range of home-made deli sandwiches, soups, stews
and cakes are available to eat in or take-away. There is a Welsh and Spanish
flavour to the food (e.g., Full Welsh or Spanish breakfast). You can get a
Bloody Mary at 9am, croissants, or indulge yourself with American pancakes,
maple syrup and bacon. I met a friend here for lunch this week. I had the
Albondigas (Spanish meatballs in a roll) and he had Garlic mushrooms on toast;
both no-thrills and substantial. There’s an eclectic range of tinned and bottled
items at the back to browse, although I assume the impressive row of cookbooks
are for their reference and not for sale.
Across the road:
5 Romilly Crescent CF11 9NP (2022
With its distinctive modern
French cooking, Bully’s has carved itself a unique and much-admired niche
on the Cardiff food scene since it opened in 1996. Scallops and crayfish, more
unusual fish such as black bream, Welsh beef, venison, Barbary duck, and a
limited number of interesting vegetarian options, feature on the menu. There
are popular Food and Wine Gourmet evenings (up to 7 courses), while a lunchtime
Tasting Menu has been introduced. Owner Russell Bullimore previously wrote with
intent on a 2012 menu that "you can have fried foie gras on
anything". There is a notable wine list, with suggested wines for each
dish on the menu. It’s small and intimate; you may need to book. The quality
and originality of the food on offer has garnered Bully’s a number of awards,
and it was Highly Commended in the
General Restaurants section on this week’s South Wales Echo Food and Drink
Awards (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. June 2012).
On the junction of Romilly
Crescent with Severn Grove, Wyndham Road, Wyndham Crescent and Severn Road:
Monk’s Bakery Coffee Shop (90-92
Severn Road CF11 9EA) is currently closed. A notice on the door states that it
will reopen in September, but I guess that was last September, so things don’t
look promising (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. May 2011). Next door:
89-98a Wyndham Crescent CF11 9EG
Traditional small fish and chip
shop, concentrating on a small menu. Pete is keeping up the fine tradition of
punning fish and chip shop names in Cardiff (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good.
Across the road:
Philip Morgan Wine Merchant
126 Wyndham Crescent CF11 9EG
Philip Morgan & Sons are an
off-licence selling wine, beer and spirits. Beers from Untapped Brewing Co. and
other local breweries can be purchased here.
Turn left up Severn Grove.
On your right:
16 Severn Grove CF11 9EN (2037
The Robin Hood Hotel was
originally built in 1901 and is a traditional, relatively small, but very
lively pub; with bar, lounge, beer garden (rear) and terrace (front). Pub food is
served at lunchtimes and in the evening; steak and chips and other pub
classics, with a mid-week curry night. There’s live music at weekends, a quiz
night and other community activities, including French boules in the garden. This
former Hancocks pub was once run by Charlotte Church’s mother Maria; the current landlord is Paul Careless. Brains
beers on draught (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Jan 2012).
Carry on up Severn Grove, to the
junction with King's Road on your right. I’ll see you there next time.
Previously, on the walking tour:
Road East 3
Road East 2