Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Caroline Street, Cardiff

In the few hundred yards of pedestrianized Caroline Street / Stryd Caroline there are over a dozen food outlets, nearly all doing take-away. A survey conducted by Wales Online in 2011 asked what Caroline Street is really called. The result: Chippy Lane 47%; Chippy Alley 19%; Caroline Street 27%. The fish-and-chip and kebab houses open late to cater for the post-pub and nightclub crowds. Some open so late that there’s an overlap between clubbers and those seeking an early breakfast!

Caroline Street is undergoing change due to being sandwiched between the Café Quarter in Mill Lane and the Old Brewery Quarter. In particular, Caroline Street was redeveloped when the Old Brewery Quarter was established. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of long-established and no-nonsense chippies and kebab houses. Cheesy chips, jumbo sausages and chicken off-the-bone curries are among the favourites here.

Previously, I left you at The Corner House at the end of Mill Lane. We will be walking down the left (south) side of Caroline Street to St Mary Street, then turning around and walking along the other (north) side. Next time we’ll go into the Old Brewery Quarter from the Caroline Street entrance.

The Corner House
25 Caroline Street CF10 1FF (2022 8628)
The Corner House Bar & Dining Rooms opened in December 2011. It replaced The Kings Cross, a drinking pub and focus for the local gay community. There has been a pub on this site for 137 years. The Corner House is the first of Mitchell and Butler’s new Mayberry gastropubs. It covers most bases: breakfast, lunch, afternoon deals, and evening meals. Downstairs mainly operates as a bar, with dining upstairs. Pub classics with a bit of a twist to some pretty fancy cooking served, with plenty of choice on the menu. Last time we ate here, we enjoyed the fishcakes and the lamb rump steak. The Corner House has one of those annoying computer-crashing websites.

29 Caroline Street CF10 1FF (2022 4811)
Smartened up since the Food Blog last chronicled Caroline Street, Griller is a take-away specializing in fried chicken; serving peri-peri chicken, chicken nuggets, burgers, lamb kebab and wraps (rolos). For the health-conscious, there’s “fried-style chicken without frying”. This is the only Griller in Wales (around 38 in total across the UK). Like a number of outlets along Caroline Street, it’s Halal. It made the news in 2011 for being one of the first takeaways in Cardiff to have bouncers on the door for late-night Thu-Sat openings, by order of a district judge. Staff thought the ruling over-the-top.

30-32 Caroline Street CF10 1FF (2132 8148)
PiPi’s Greek Coffee Shop, Patisserie and Restaurant opened in this location in 2009, after moving from a smaller location in Church Street. The upstairs restaurant closed last year, however, and is now an Indian restaurant. The patisserie and coffee shop opens in the mornings and through the day, with croissants, spanakopita (filo pastry with spinach and cheese filling) and other pastry delicacies. The eating-in menu features Meze, Taramosalata, Calamari, Soutzoukakia (meat balls), keftedes, Stifado, Moussaka, Greek salad, and other authentic Greek dishes. Desserts include Baklava, Kataifi and Greek yoghurt with honey and nuts. PiPi’s also get out and about. They had a stall at the recent Cardiff International Food & Drink Festival, where I sampled their fresh honey-drenched baklava and kataifi (the ‘shredded wheat’ one): like eating nectar in the blazing Cardiff Bay sunshine.

Spice Berry
30-32 (upstairs) Caroline Street CF10 1FF (2009 9199)
Opened in February 2013, in what was previously Pipi’s upstairs Greek restaurant. Spice Berry (”Savourix Indian Dining”) specialises in the cuisine of Southern Indian, with authentic dishes from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and in particular the Malabar coastal region. Seafood options include crab, scallops and a shellfish feast; fish dishes include sea bass wrapped in banana leaves and tandoori salmon. Kerala curry, slow-cooked lamb shanks, duck milagu pirattal and Malabar biriyaani also feature. The owner is Sheikh Renoj Mohamed and head chef is Sundara Moorty Krisshnasamy, whose signature dishes include Navadhamiya Patties. Influenced by the success of the nouvelle Indian cuisine found in Purple Poppadom and Mint and Mustard in Cardiff. Highly rated (#4 today) on TripAdvisor. Spice Berry also operates a catering service.

After Colin’s Books (you won’t find any Harry Potter), there is a weed-infested gap behind the hoardings on this side of the street. This plot (34-35 Caroline Street) used to be Bloomers nightclub, which was petrol-bombed and burnt down many years ago; the site has never been redeveloped.

Morgan’s Fish Bar & Kebab House
36 Caroline Street CF10 1FF
Take-away: fish-and-chips and kebabs. You can also order online. Morgan’s is one of the establishments that leapt from an original zero to a perfect 5, if you are in any doubt about the value of the compulsory ‘scores on the door ’ Food Hygiene Rating system in Wales.

Mamaris Kebabs and Pizza House
38 Caroline Street CF10 1FF (2023 0208)
This take-away, previously called Kebab Land and Pizza House, serves shish kebabs, pizzas and other fast food.

Dorothy’s Fish and Chip Bar
39-40 Caroline Street CF10 1FF (2064 5813)
Dorothy’s Fish Bar is probably the oldest establishment in Caroline Street - opening in 1953 - and is well-used to catering for the post-pub and nightclub queues. It proudly boasts that it was the first to bring chicken curry to Cardiff city centre around 40 years ago, and chicken-off-the-bone curry with chips is still a house speciality. Traditional fish and chips, fish cakes, chicken spit-roasted daily, scotch eggs and a range of fast-food. Several generations of Cardiff families will have dined here. Dorothy’s key-rings available as a souvenir.

Tony’s Fish & Chip Bar
41-42 Caroline Street CF10 1FF (2034 2078)
Tony’s has been served chips to Cardiff’s late-night crowd for decades, and it’s still one of the most popular late-night chippies in the city. A traditional takeaway fish and chip shop, but also serves jumbo sausages, kebabs and other Chippy Lane favourites.

The Red Onion
43-44 Caroline Street CF10 1FF (2033 1284)
The Red Onion Fish & Chip Shop was established in 1971. Fish and chips, chicken curry, and other take-away choices.

Kebab King
45 Caroline Street CF10 1FF (2033 1284)
A kebab and burger take-away.

The door to the former Charleston Brasserie is still marked: it used to occupy the upstairs of the corner unit (46 Caroline Street). We have now reached St Mary Street.

Turn around and walk back along the other (north) side of Caroline Street:

kitty flynn’s
51 St Mary Street CF10 1AD (2064 4952)
Irish pub on the corner of St Mary Street and Caroline Street, owned by local brewery Brains (just a couple of blocks away). Apparently the pub was named after a famous Cardiff landlady; a drinking rather than dining destination.

The next unit was occupied by Mamma’s (pizza), until it closed in 2012.

We are now passing the Caroline Street entrance to the Old Brewery Quarter, with Bella Italia on this side and Thai Edge and Spice Quarter on the other. We will be going under the archway here next time. Carry on along Caroline Street:

Rosario’s Steak House (19 Caroline Street) closed and is still an empty unit.

Capital Takeaway
21 Caroline Street CF10 1FG (2039 8600)
Take-away, mainly doing pizza, kebabs, burgers and fried chicken. I read somewhere that it was once referred to as “6 fingers” because someone who worked there had six fingers on one hand.

Lab 22
22 Caroline Street (upstairs) CF10 1FG (2039 9997)
Lab 22: The Molecular Cocktail Lounge is run by Matt Zain and Stephen Carwardine, and serves avant-garde cocktails in the spirit of Heston Blumenthal. This is bar as theatre. Jellied gin, oak-smoked coke and whiskey, solidified champagne on a spoon. Don't ask for Brains.

22-23 Caroline Street CF10 1FG (2022 7896)
This is one of at least 15 Greggs bakery and sandwich shops in Cardiff. This one is the only major chain in Caroline Street and keeps regular opening hours, unlike its neighbours.


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