Grady Atkins (formerly from Le Gallois) has recently taken over at the Park House as head chef and Mr. V and I were invited along to a night of sampling his signature dishes!
I had been to the Park House only once before for a wedding and the food was very good but I was very excited to sample some of Grady’s cooking. The evening kicked off with canapes and cocktails in the bar before we were shown to the dining area where we were all seated around a large round table- very grand!
After a few words from Managing Director Adam Pledger about what was to follow and the wine we would be sampling with each course, the first course arrived- Charles McLeod Boudin Noir (onsen egg, smoked mushy peas and foie gras sauce). Beautifully presented, what might be considered ingredients for a fry up were brought up to fine dining standard with the beautiful foie gras sauce and subtle smokiness of the peas. The black pudding was the best I have ever tasted- absolutely heavenly and I’m not even a huge fan of black pudding.
More wine was poured and we moved onto the next course which was also my favourite of the seven!- Miso Marinated Whiting with picked vegetables and larver butter. The fish was marinated beautifully and cooked to perfection. The miso was subtle and delicious as was the lava butter whose salty flavours worked well with the rest of the dish.
The wine continued to flow and we were introduced to the main course- Richard Vaughan’s Middle White Pork, sweet and sour shallots with lapsang glazed vegetables. Pork belly is always a hit with me and I enjoyed this dish although it was probably my least favourite of the night. The sweet and sour shallot was very good but I wasn’t so sure about the tea soaked vegetables. Maybe if the standard of the other dishes wasn’t so high, this one would have had more of an impact but the rest were divine!
After a short break to let the food go down, we had Organic Hafod Cheddar served with white truffle honey and oat cakes. The sweetness of the honey complimented the salty cheese, very enjoyable. However, the star of this course was the wine! I don’t profess to know wine at all, in fact, I am pretty useless when it comes to wine but I could tell this one was special.
After the cheese, we were brought a pre dessert of Lemon Granite with lemon curd. By this point, I was starting to get disappointed because the meal was coming to a close! Savory courses are my thing and they had left me wanting more!
However dessert, a buttermilk ce cream with honeycomb, Pedro Ximinez sherry and apple puree, served with a glass of Ximinez was next on the agenda. The sherry was sensational and I have since stocked up for Christmas! The dessert was beautifully presented in a small jar. It was very pleasant with the crunch of the honeycomb against the softness of the ice cream. I could only taste a hint of the sherry so I was very pleased to have the glass to accompany it.
Last but by no means least was the most delicious milk chocolate and sour caramel truffle! My only complaint about this course is that I could have eaten 10! If these were sold by the box I would have indulged!
Overall, I thought the meal was excellent. As these were signature dishes, they did not come with prices but each one will be incorporated into one of The Park House’s menus. The Park House has a reputation for being a bit inaccessible. It is often perceived to be a members only club but this is not the case. There is an option of membership but it is open to the general public to dine and I highly recommend it. The Park House is a secret that needs to be shared! There are many excellent places to eat in Cardiff but they are lacking in the city centre and I think the Park House could be up there with the best of them.
From higher priced fine dining experiences like the Taster Menus for £59 per head to a 2 course lunch menu for £9, the Park House has something for everyone and I think this is a wonderful concept. In such a beautiful setting, it’s easy to feel spoilt in the beautiful Grade 1 listed building. Staff are attentive, the atmosphere is relaxed but formal and with Grady Atkin’s on board, the food lives up to the grand exterior.
My Last Mouthful was: The Miso Marinated Whiting
Atmosphere and decor-
Quality of food-
Diversity of menu-
Value for money-