Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Tag Archives: Brain’s pub

The Ty Mawr- Stunning view but food could have been better

On a recent drive back into Cardiff via Caerphilly Mountain, we decided to stop at a pub for a cooked lunch. They seemed to be in abundance but as we stopped at one by one, we realised they were all chains and the food really didn’t appeal so we kept on driving. We didn’t mange to find a single place to stop.

Annoyed, I used an app on my phone to locate all the pubs in the area. One of the pubs on the list was the Ty Mawr so we decided to head there as it had been recommended by a friend.

On the approach, it looked great. A lovely looking building and a stunning view over Cardiff with a nice seating area outside. Unfortunately it was raining so we didn’t get to enjoy the view and went inside. Inside was very pleasant. It was quite rustic with a real fire, wooden beams and chunky wooden furniture. We found a quite table and sat down.

We were welcomed by a friendly waitress who brought over the specials board and some menus. The Ty Mawr is a Brain’s pub so the menu was very similar to another pub I had eaten at recently. The specials looked nice but as it was lunch time we decided to opt for something smaller and went for the burgers. Ben chose a pesto chicken burger with coriander creme fraiche and chunky chips and I chose a pork and mustard burger with apple sauce and chunky chips.

When the food arrived, it wasn’t quite as it was described. My burger had no trace of the promised mustard. I can only assume it was actually in the burger but I couldn’t taste it. It tasted ok but I do like to get what I have ordered. Ben’s was again not how it was described. In fact, his was a plain chicken breast in a bun minus the pesto so it was pretty bland and the creme fraiche was just normal creme fraiche, no coriander had gone near it!

This annoys me because had we known that a pesto chicken burger with coriander creme fraiche was not going to contain any presto and coriander we would have ordered something else.

It’s a shame the food wasn’t as good as it could have been because the pub itself is really lovely and on a good day, it would be the prefect place to sit outside. I can’t help think what a great place it could be if it was an independent pub serving proper home cooked food.

All in all, it’s not a bad place to eat by any means. The food tasted nice enough but it was nothing out of the ordinary and I don’t think it’s right to serve a dish with key ingredients missing.

My Last Mouthful was: Pork burger with apple chutney

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The Pear Tree- would you like an empty bowl with that?

A few weeks ago, my friend Mrs. J and I went out for a bite to eat at The Pear Tree in Roath. A few people have told me that I need to get down there and give it a try and I’ve been meaning to for a while.

We walked in and it immediately felt nice and welcoming, I often feel intimidated when I walk into pubs but I didn’t at all at The Pear Tree. The Pear Tree describe themselves as a cafe bar and I think this is a fair description. It’s clearly a bar but it has the coziness and relaxed feel of a coffee shop.

The decor is very unusual and is set out like an old house. There are book shelves, ornaments and lamps and old portraits on the wall that look like they came straight out of a museum or a very elderly relatives house.  There was even an old style sewing machine thrown into the mix.

We found a table for two and looked at the menu. The menus were on A4 paper but also displayed on boards around the room. There was also a tapas checklist on the table which you could take to the bar so you didn’t forget which tapas you had tried which was a good idea I thought.

I was a little disappointed by the choice of food available, the menu was quite uninspiring. We had gone for an evening meal but they seemed to cater mostly for lunch and breakfast with lots of sandwiches and paninis.  However, after we had ordered, I did actually see a board of specials which would have been a lot better for an evening meal than what we picked.

I ordered a spiced chicken breast burger with chilli jam and minted creme fraiche with chunky chips and Mrs. J ordered the tapas deal- 3 dishes with a drink for £7.95. She chose  spicy chicken wings, meat balls and squid.

My chicken burger and chunky chips

When it came to ordering the meals, we did have a few issues. While staff were very friendly and accommodating, they made a few mistakes. Firstly with the tapas Mrs. J was allowed a continental beer or a glass of wine. She wanted the beer but as this particular beer had run out, they didn’t offer her a different one, she was only allowed wine. I thought this was pretty poor and she should have been given the option of a different beer.

Mrs. J ordered bread and olives as an appetizer and half way through eating the bread, we noticed that she hadn’t got any olives, in fact she had been bought an empty bowl! Staff were quick to rectify this though but we were baffled as to how you can go as far has getting the bowl out and then forgetting to put the food in it!

Mrs. J's tapas. Note the empty bowl...

When our mains arrived, my burger was pretty small for the price I paid for it. It tasted fine but it didn’t come with the minted creme fraiche so I asked the waiter about this and he bought out a little pot of it. Mrs J enjoyed her tapas, especially the wings which were marinated in a spicy sauce.

Not quite full, we decided to have dessert. We chose apple rhubarb and gooseberry pudding and chocolate and cherry fondant. Both were mediocre and clearly bought in. They were a bit dry so we could have done with a bit more ice cream.

Rhubarb and Gooseberry pudding

All in all, I won’t rush back to eat at The Pear Tree but it is a lovely place for a drink. It has quite a ‘first date’ feel to it. The food wasn’t bad, it’s what you would expect from a Brain’s pub but when it comes to food, with other independent places in the area, I would choose them for food over The Pear Tree.

My Last Mouthful was: Chips dipped in minted Creme fraiche

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