Following a very enjoyable evening at one of Park Plaza’s Supper Club’s, Mr V and I were invited back to The Laguna Kitchen and Bar sample the A La Carte menu. We were very excited to see what was on offer, especially as Park Plaza recently won an award in the South Wales Echo Food and Drink Awards.
We entered through the bar area and were greeted at the door. The restaurant is very large but there were lots of diners and we were seated close together so it didn’t feel uncomfortably big. The lighting was low so it still felt intimate and cosy.
The restaurant itself has an upmarket feel, in keeping with the hotel in general. Contempory shelving housing an array of wine bottles covers one end of the room and at the other end is an open kitchen. This is well designed because it allows you to see the kitchen and what is going on but it is set back a bit so that you ca never sit so close that you feel like you’re in it.
We settled down and the waiter arrived with bread and oil which is always a welcome touch and our wine was brought over and poured. As we browsed the menu, we were very surprised at the prices. There was a good range of dishes and they were very reasonably priced. I didn’t imagine them to be over priced but for such a nice restaurant, creating the upmarket atmosphere that it did, I was expecting prices to be higher.
We took a while to choose our starters, mainly because we wanted the same thing. On this occasion Mr V won and ordered the dish of Black Figs, Prosciutto, Parmesan and Rocket with Balsamic Vinegar. It was absolutely beautiful. So simple but the flavours were wonderful. Each mouthful gave a burst of sequential flavours, starting with the sweetness of the figs followed by a great contrast of the ham and balsamic and finished with the saltiness of the parmesan. Delicious!
My Ham Hock and Parsley Terrine was very good too. It was softer than some I have tried and I could really taste the parsley so it wasn’t just in there for effect. A sharp but sweet piccalilli worked well as an accompaniment.
Impressed with the starters, we were expecting good things from main and we weren’t disappointed. I chose the Sea Bass with Pumpkin Gnocchi, Pak Choi and Sweet Chilli. The fish was beautifully cooked with a crispy skin and a soft flakey body. This dish had some unusual flavour combinations but the Italian gnocchi and Asian spices worked very well together.
Mr V had Cod with Crab Mash and a Butter and Herb Sauce. The fish was perfectly cooked. It was tender and juicy and worked in harmony with the flavoursome crab mash and the sauce was simple but full of flavour. Very enjoyable indeed.
Dessert is my least favourite course in a meal but when I got to dessert menu I was thrown because I had to choose between one of my absolute favourites, creme brulee or a chocolate torte which I have really come to enjoy recently and this one swung it for me because it came with vanilla mascarpone. Mr V chose the creme brulee.
The Chocolate Torte was beautifully presented and was lovely but it was very rich and I’m ashamed to say I couldn’t finish it. Mr V helped me out though.
The vanilla creme brulee was very good too. It arrived in a shallow round dish to allow for maximum crunch. This excited me greatly because usually once you break into a creme brulee the top is gone in two mouthfuls.
We were very impressed with the Park Plaza. The quality of the food and atmosphere were excellent and the prices were very good for such a high standard of food. My main was £16 and Mr V’s was less which was very good for what we had and compared to other restaurants in the area that serve a lower quality of food for a similar price. Desserts were only £5 which really is an excellent price for what we were served.
I think that the Park Plaza might seem out of reach to some people. It has the air of somewhere expensive and so may be disregarded by some as out of their price range but if you were thinking this, you will be pleasantly surprised. In such a great location, it is a real contender for a quality option in the City Centre. Where the restaurant scene is dominated by chains, this is a great alternative and comes with my recommendation.
My Last Mouthful was: Black figs, prosciutto, parmesan and rocket with balsamic vinegar.
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