Monday, 5 August 2013

The Old Brewery Quarter, Cardiff

The original brewery on St Mary Street, which was called William’s Malthouse, was built in 1713. It was acquired by Samuel Brain in 1882, as the building in which he founded his brewery. In 2000, Brains relocating to the other side of Cardiff Central railway station. In 2003, the building was largely demolished and redeveloped as the Old Brewery Quarter. It is a partially glass-roofed open air piazza, which houses chain restaurants specializing in European, Mexican and Far Eastern cuisine. Above these are 42 loft-style apartments, centred on the old brewery clock.

On the previous leg of this walking tour of Cardiff I left you on the redeveloped northern side of Caroline Street. Enter the Old Brewery Quarter through the Caroline Street entrance.

On your right:

Thai Edge
Unit 8 The Old Brewery Quarter, Caroline Street CF10 1FG (2023 5665)
Downstairs at the entrance, Thai Edge is a restaurant offering contemporary Thai cuisine. There’s a large menu, with 145 dishes, authentically spiced with lemongrass, basil, coriander, galangal, krachai, ginger, garlic and chillies. The head chef is Surichet ‘Boi’ Patpun. Dishes feature specialities from the four culinary regions of Thailand. Set menus and buffet options may be available. Started in Birmingham, Thai Edge also has outlets in Leeds and Bristol (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. June 2011).

Spice Quarter
Unit 8b The Old Brewery Quarter, Caroline Street CF10 1FG (2022 0075)
Upstairs by the Caroline Street entrance, Spice Quarter offers dishes from across India. Over 80 dishes on the menu. Chef’s specials have delightful names: Dhaniya murg, Delhi wale taw eke thikke, nalli ki kaliyan, Jalandhari duck and Samundri khajana. Special Thalis are a speciality. A previous winner of the Best Indian Restaurant in Wales award. There’s another Spice quarter outlet in Leeds (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Feb 2013).

La Tasca
Unit 6-7 The Old Brewery Quarter, Caroline Street CF10 1FG (2023 0087)
There are around 40 La Tasca Tapas Bar and Restaurants in the UK. Family-friendly Spanish meals and tapas, serving a range of paella and other Spanish classics. You can also find more unusual regional Spanish dishes in the Chef’s Specials, including Stuffed aubergine rolls (Murcia), Slow-cooked pork cheeks (Castilla y León), Pimientos de Padrón (Galicia), Boquerones en vinagre (Basque), Pan-fried duck wings (Extremadura) and octopus. Set menus and party options (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. May 2013).


The Pancake House
The Old Brewery Quarter, Caroline Street CF10 1FG (2064 4954)
In a glass box with inside and terrace seating, The Pancake House is a café serving savoury and sweet pancakes, ice creams, milkshakes, teas and coffees. Popular options involve cheese, ham and egg; spinach and ricotta; Nutella; and apple and cinnamon (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Jan 2013).

In the far corner:

Unit 5 The Old Brewery Quarter, Caroline Street CF10 1FG (2034 1263)
Roast chicken is the thing. My default choice at Nando’s is the medium or hot piri piri chicken. I have ordered off the core menu, with slightly disappointing results. The straightforward options always deliver though. Favoured by celebrities in Cardiff (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Jan 2013).

Mia Porto Due
Unit 4 The Old Brewery Quarter, Caroline Street CF10 1FF (2022 7147)
Portuguese and Italian Restaurant and Café Bar, which was previously located in St Mary Street (Porto Due) for 20 years before locating in the Old Brewery Quarter. We recently did the 2-course set lunch. I had the mussels in tomato and chilli sauce (hot), my dining partner had the garlic mushrooms, with lots of bread to mop up. For mains, we had espetadas: grilled meat skewers that were suspended on stands at the table; I had the chicken piri piri and my partner had pork, both served with fries and salad. San Miguel was my beer of choice here. We chose one of the first really sunny days of the summer and soaked up the sun at one of their outside tables. There’s a second Porto Due, in Swansea (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. June 2013).

The Yard
42-43 St Mary Street CF10 1AD (2022 7577)
The Yard Kitchen and Bar is Brains-owned and offers a large food menu. See the St Mary Street post (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. April 2012).

The unit on the other side of the St Mary Street entrance to the Old Brewery Quarter used to be Polynesia, but this closed in 2012. The front part of this unit, only accessible from the front door in St Mary Street is Starbucks.

The Old Brewery Quarter CF10 2GQ (2034 4026)

Behind Starbucks, and with another entrance via The Brewhouse Coffee Shop on St Mary Street:

The Old Brewery Quarter CF10 2GQ / 49 St Mary Street CF10 1AD (2039 9913)
Bar and music venue, connecting to a coffee house and sandwich shop on St Mary Street. Pub food menu with locally-sourced ingredients (e.g., Cardiff Market). Fish and chips, burgers, pizzas (with novel toppings such as leek and pumpkin, and Peking duck), Gourmet hot dog (the Mediterranean Dionysus Dog and Ci Ddraig Cymraeg), steaks and other grills, all day breakfast, wraps and sandwiches. There’s a cocktails and wine list; though not the real ale bar its location and name implies. There’s a good ambience here and live music most nights in the stage area.

Back outside in the piazza and down the stairs to the lower terrace area:

Unit 11-13 The Old Brewery Quarter, Caroline Street CF10 1FG (2038 7465)
Family-friendly Chiquito Restaurant and Mexican Grill was one of the first chains specializing in Mexican food in the UK, introducing a generation to chimichangas, quesidillas, burritos and fajitas. Cocktails  (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Jan 2011).

Lava Lounge
Unit 15 The Old Brewery Quarter, Caroline Street (2038 2313)
Nostalgia party venue (70s, 80s and 90s music). Wine, champagne, cocktails, shooters and more from the bar. There's another Lava Lounge in Swansea (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Feb 2011).

Back up the stairs and return to the Caroline Street entrance:

Bella Italia
Unit 9 The Old Brewery Quarter, Caroline Street CF10 1AD (2039 9466)
This is one of three Bella Italia outlets in Cardiff. A family-friendly chain of Italian restaurants. Menu features pizza, pasta, oven-baked pasta, salads, burgers and grills. I tend to go for the pasta dishes at Bella Italia (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Nov 2011).

Exit to Caroline Street, turn left and walk along to The Duke of Wellington pub on The Hayes. I’ll see you there next time.

Previously, on the Walking Tour of Cardiff:

Caroline Street

Mill Lane and Wyndham Arcade

St Mary Street

High Street

Castle Arcade and Castle Street

Womanby Street and Quay Street

Westgate Street


Cathedral Road

Pontcanna 2

Pontcanna 1

North Canton

Cowbridge Road East 3

Cowbridge Road East 2

Cowbridge Road East 1

Bute Park

Cathays Park

Cathays Terrace

Salisbury Road

Woodville Road

Crwys Road

Wellfield Road

Albany Road

City Road

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