Monday, 16 December 2013

Wharton Street and Trinity Street, Cardiff

Previously, on this Walking Tour of Cardiff, I left you outside Waterstone’s in The Hayes. Turn left and walk down Wharton Street / Heol y Cawl.

On your left:

12 Wharton Street CF10 1AG (2041 3600)
This stylish bar, owned by the SA Brain Brewery, puts a strong emphasis on its food. Brains opened Barocco in 2007; it was previously the site of the poorly-named ‘Bar IsIt’. Barocco is open for brunch, with pancakes a speciality, lunch and evening dining. The menu features a good range of burgers, including the Barocco Burger, the vegetarian spinach and lentil burger, and wild boar and chorizo burger. There are stone-baked pizzas and a range of Brains’ more interesting pub menu items, including baked spinach and bean pie, and spiced chicken and almond tagine. The coffee is sourced from the Great Little Coffee Company. As with a number of establishments in Cardiff, they were only doing pre-booked Christmas party groups on Friday (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. June 2013).

Staying on this side of the street and on the other side of Bakers Row, a side street that connects back into the Morgan and Royal Arcades, is the former City Glass Works:

The Glassworks
4 Wharton Street CF10 1AG (2022 2114)
Greene King of Bury St Edmunds own this pub located in the former City Glass Works, a Grade II Listed Building. The Brewery had previously operated this unit as Copa, which closed on 1 October 2013. Greene King game it a bit of refurbishment and changed it back to its original, pre Greene King, pub name; it re-opened on 8 October. Trivia fans might like to know that this pub also once traded under the name The Newt and Cucumber (yes, there was a trend for this sort of thing back in the day). The Glassworks has a full Greene King pub food menu, served from 9am to 10pm. Breakfast, deli lunches, grills and burgers, and pub classics such as fish and chips, pies, and bangers and mash (As Copa: Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Jan 2012).

Wharton Street exits onto St Mary Street, with the Sandringham Hotel on one side and Howells on the other. Turn around and head back toward The Hayes.

All along the northern side of Wharton Street is Howells, Cardiff’s oldest department Store, established by James Howell in 1856. It was acquired by the House of Fraser group in 1972, and since 2010 has had the House of Fraser banner above the main door (though James Howell’s plentiful old signage remains around the building). On the second floor is Howells Restaurant and on the first floor is the Zest Café (as previously noted on the St Mary Street leg of the tour).

Back at Waterstone’s, turn left into Trinity Street / Heol y Drindod:

The Old Library Building, on the right-hand side as we walk towards St John’s Church, houses The Cardiff Story museum (opened in 2011) and a restaurant/bar, which will be approached from the far side and will have probably changed its name again by the time we get there.

On your left, in the ground floor of Howell’s (this stretch to the Cardiff Indoor Market is also called St Johns Square):

Caffè Nero
3 St Johns Square CF10 1GJ (2039 9940)
This is the first of three Caffè Nero outlets within a couple of blocks of each other. “The Italian Coffee company” is a fine coffee shop, though this unit used to be Howell’s deli (a sort of mini Welsh Harrods Food Hall that offered something a little different) (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. July 2013).

Pass the entrance to Cardiff’s Indoor Market:

20-21 Trinity Street CF10 1BH (2037 1263)
This is one of two O’Neill’s, the Irish pub chain, in Cardiff. There is a large bar menu and live music. I had sausages and colcannon washed down with a Guinness when I lunched here earlier this year – it really hit the spot. Plenty of grills, pasta dishes, burgers (e.g., bison, wild boar and chorizo (again)) to choose from, and other favourites that include Irish stew with thyme cobblers, lamb shank, and steak and Guinness pie (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. May 2013).

22-23 Trinity Street, Cardiff CF10 1BH (2047 2123)
Officially opening today (Monday 16 Dec), Münchesters is the latest venture from Chef Anand George and his team from the Purple Poppadom. The Head Chef at Münchesters is Kuldeep Singh. It’s a sandwich bar and coffee house with an Indian twist, serving freshly-made salads, pastries, wraps, soup, coffee and cakes. Take-away, or take your food to the pleasant room upstairs. I went along last week, via a Twitter promotion, to sample some of the food. I enjoyed a chapatti wrap with shredded spiced lamb. Soup and stew of the day will feature; I had a cream of parsnip soup, while the stew last week was Kerala chicken and carrot. They bake the bread and cakes on the premises. The chefs have more experience of working in top kitchens than in your average take-away. The coffee is a unique blend, produced for Münchesters by the Clifton Coffee Company of Bristol. This is the first Münchesters to open, but there may be more in the region plus pop-up kiosks to look out for. The ü, incidentally, should be read as a smiley face rather than an umlaut (it makes more sense on their green and red logo). This unit was previously occupied by 1 Malaysia Restaurant; and Piazza Italia prior to that.

Retrace your steps, back down Trinity Street, to the entrance of Cardiff Indoor Market. I will meet you here early in the New Year for a tour of the market.

I wish all the readers of this Food Blog a very Happy Christmas.

Previously, on the Walking Tour of Cardiff:

Morgan Arcade

Royal Arcade

The Hayes

The Old Brewery Quarter

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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