Bully’s Restaurant Cardiff – Review

Although I’ve been living in Cardiff for the last three years, it has taken until now, along with  an entire evening spent scouring restaurant reviews on Trip Advisor, to discover that Cardiff is a little limited when it comes to good food venues. But after extensive (and exhausting) research, along with a recommendation from a friend, we settled on Bully’s in Canton. A glance over the menu on-line had me pretty excited, especially for the starters, which all sounded very intriguing, with food combinations and ingredients I’d never even heard of before. Mum went for the kohlrabi, goats cheese and marinated anchovy carpaccio with dijon mustard emulsion. After a sneaky taste (or two) I can say that goats cheese and anchovy (good ones mind, not those dried out super salty ones you find on pizzas) is a revelation. I will have to make this pairing myself in future, because it really works, in a fresh, creamy, salty way. The thin, crisp slithers of mild tasting kohlrabi make the perfect base ingredient to carry the punchy flavours.

The boyfriend and I went for the smoked squid, mango, root ginger and okahijiki salad (which sounds very cool, and after a little internet research I have  discovered is also known as land seaweed, which sounds a little less cool). For me it was a very tough decision between this and the pan fried beetroot gnocchi (because I have a strong desire to work out my opinions on gnocchi and because I wanted to be a part of the current beetroot-eating  trend). The squid dish was good, but (and this is a fairly big but) more squid please! I think I could have eaten my squid, and my boyfriend’s squid and still felt a little squid deprived. Now I know it is a ‘starter’ and it is supposed to be ‘small’, but there is small and there is minuscule, I’d say this was more minuscule. At least one squid ring to accompany my squid tentacles would have been very much appreciated. The dish itself was lovely though, the sweet, smoky dressing contrasting nicely with the fruity mango.

I tried taking photos, but it was very dark and I don’t like using flash in restaurants so they’ve not come out great.

smoked squid, mango, root ginger and okahijiki salad

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Wagamama? I’m just not sure…

Until the other day I’d only heard the following about Wagamama: ‘amazing’,  ‘soooo good’, ‘love it so much’, ‘really want to go to Wagamama’ and the like. With so much enthusiastic praise behind it, I eagerly anticipated my first visit. On glancing at the menu I remained considerably excited, thinking ‘oooo…this looks interesting’. Such thoughts, however, quite quickly morphed into more of an ‘ohhh…this feels a little overwhelming’ as I scanned the rather extensive list of meals. I’m an English student, I like to read, but for me there felt like far too much reading required for this menu. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It meant there was plenty of choice, the food was exotic, ‘pan-Asian’ to be precise, and after making the effort to read through the explanations as to what all the dishes were, many did sound pretty appealing. Continue reading