Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

The Kings Arms- My Kind Of Pub!

Pulling up outside The Kings Arms in Pentyrch, I remembered how much I loved it the last time I went. It was for a summer BBQ and I fell in love with this beautiful country pub then. With its welcoming exterior, low doors that make me feel like I need to duck even though I’m only 5 foot 3 and a roaring fire, this grade II listed building is my idea of pub heaven. It has that country pub vibe and on a cold December night, I couldn’t think of anywhere I’d rather be.

Inside is so cosy. The word rustic comes to mind but it doesn’t really do it justice because everyone is doing ‘rustic’ these days. The difference is this really IS rustic. It’s not pretend, it’s not pretentious, it’s cosy country pub with rustic charm.

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That fact that it’s Christmas and there were white lights adorning the dining room only added to the homely feel. The stone walls and large wooden beams combined with the twinkling lights and faint Christmas music made me feel quite festive. Although I love to be at home at Christmas with a home cooked meal, if I was going to go out for dinner, it would be here.

We had been invited to sample the Christmas menu. After a few Christmas meals already, I was very pleased to see that this menu had some non turkey options. For starters we were a bit torn but we settled for the carpaccio of Welsh beef fillet with watercress and pickled girolle mushrooms and the Arancini which in this case was deep-fried Hafod cheese and parsley risotto balls served with red chilli creme fraiche.

The Arancini was very nice. The flavours were subtle but they were well cooked and nicely presented. The red chilli creme fraiche was delicious and worked well to moisten the dish.

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The carpaccio came as a generous portion, seasoned with sea salt which gave it a nice texture. The addition of the pickled mushroom wasn’t quite to my taste because the dish also come with a balsamic dressing which made it all a little too acidic. It was still very nice though and we happily polished off the plate.

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Moving onto the mains, we knew exactly which two dishes we wanted, the question was, who had what. In the end, as it was a cold wet night and I needed warming up, I went for the roasted silverside of Breconshire beef with yorkshire pudding and horseradish sauce and Mr V had the pan-fried salmon with cockles and laverbread butter, wilted baby gem and truffle mash.

I was very pleased with my choice. My beef was tender, the roast potatoes were crispy and the yorkshire pudding homemade.

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The dish was served with some delightful parsnip crisps and seasonal vegetables. After tasting this, I will most certainly be going back for a Sunday roast.

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Mr V’s salmon was again delicious. The salmon was moist and well seasoned and a perfect partner to the salty and buttery cockles. The mash had a powerful taste of truffle which we both really enjoyed and it worked well with the other flavours of the dish. The wilted gem lettuce was an unusual but welcome addition.

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Full from the very generous portions, we had a break before dessert. Stuck between two, we had both and shared. We chose a lemon and lime tartlet with clotted cream and chocolate coulis and a chestnut and whisky cheesecake with crystallised ginger and vanilla syrup.

The flavours in the cheesecake were very subtle and although beautifully presented with mint and berry’s I think it needed something more.

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The tart however was packed with flavour. I loved the bitterness of the lemon and lime combined with the chocolate and the cream. The filling was a little runny but it still tasted great.

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The lovely setting, faultless service and great homely food make The Kings Arms a hit with me. The Christmas menu was £22 for three courses and the evening menu looked just as good. As it’s owned by Otley Brewing Company, it meant that we could also have Otley beer with our meal which pleased Mr V who rounded his meal off with a pint of O Ho HO.

My Last Mouthful was: The truffle mash

Service- small spoon-green40

Atmosphere and decor- small spoon-green40

Quality of food- small spoon-green40

Diversity of menu- small spoon-green40

Value for money- small spoon-green40

Overall rating- spoon-green80

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