Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Tag Archives: French

Le Bistrot Pierre- Comme ci comme ca

I had never visited French food chain Le Bistrot Pierre until I was invited to sample the food at their latest addition on Caroline Street in Cardiff. Those of you who know Cardiff will probably know the location better as Chippy Lane, notorious for fights and filthy late night fast food. However, Le Bistrot Pierre isn’t nestled in amongst the chip shops, it’s on the corner of the Brewery Quarter, a popular area for those who like their well known chain bars and restaurants and it fits in well with its neighbours.

Le Bistrot Pierre say that they are a chain but that each restaurant is styled individually. This particular establishment was well designed with leather look booths, vintage French style furniture and street lamps not unlike rivals Cafe Rouge and Browns but it definitely had that ‘chain feel’ about it.

We went on a Tuesday which meant we were able to sample the Soirée Gastronomique; a six course set menu for £22.95. Sounds like a bargain eh? It certainly seemed popular because there were only a few tables free when we arrived at 8pm. However, we did struggle to see any sign of the menu we had been promised. We eventually spotted it advertised on a small board behind the booths on the way to the kitchen. We were eventually brought a paper copy of the menu but not before being given the a la carte to peruse.

Food arrived quickly but by the time we were brought our starters we had already been served by four different waitresses. Personally I prefer it when one person is assigned to a section so as a diner you know who is serving you and you know who you are tipping. It also prevents problems like we experienced later when we agreed a break between our dessert and cheese course and then the waiter went on a break or home leaving us waiting for a very long time as no-one seemed to know we hadn’t had our cheese.

Anyway, the food was very nice and excellent value for money. To start we had creamy wild mushroom soup with chives. It tasted good but was very salty.

Wild mushroom soup

This was quickly followed by the fish course; pan fried scallops with ratatouille. We thought it seemed like an odd pairing but it worked. The scallops were cooked nicely and it was light and fresh.

scallops and ratatouille

For the main course there was a choice of two dishes so we picked one each. I had Limousin beef, slow cooked with red wine and moutarde violet te de brive and Mr V had breast of chicken in a mushroom jus.

Slow cooked Limousin beef

Both meats were cooked very well and the meat portions were very generous. Our side dish of potatoes was especially good. However, when it came to the accompanying vegetables the dish was mostly cabbage with a small amount of broccoli and carrots placed on top. It seemed a shame to be so economical with the vegetables when they were so generous with the meat.

Vegetables

Dessert was creme brulee, a favourite of mine. Sadly it was very disappointing. I’m used to my creme brulee arriving in a deep dish so you can tap through the crispy top into the creme anglaise below but this was served in a wide shallow dish and spread so thinly that we ended up with more sugar than custard with every mouthful. Mr V couldn’t finish his. I persisted but I can’t say I enjoyed it much.

creme brulee

The cheese board was nicely presented with three different cheeses and the meal was finished with a freshly brewed coffee and chocolates.

cheese board

We left feeling full and agreed that if we had been paying customers it was very good value. Aside from the issues mentioned above, staff were friendly and knowledgeable and there was a good atmosphere. Other than the creme brulee, the food was good but forgettable. If you like your chain restaurants, I’d say Pierre is a good option but with so much choice in the city centre, I’m afraid it didn’t stand out for us.

 

 

 

Cocorico Patisserie – Vive La France

Guest review by Mr. V

We arrived at this little gem, which sits on Whitchurch Road in Heath, at lunch time last Friday. We entered and in front of us were glass display counters of French cakes, savoury pastries, fruit and a collection of large colourful meringues.

The light interior had the standard fair of café style tables, chairs, soft benches and a breakfast bar, with people reading newspapers and filling in crosswords created a very relaxed atmosphere to while away the hours. Blackboards displaying the choice of sandwiches and drinks, freshly made bread behind the counter and rustic French signs hanging on the wall giving it the French patisserie feel.

The clientele of the café was a mixture which shows it caters for all. The pleasant atmosphere is also welcoming to anyone – whether you’re with someone or by yourself.

I was with my friend Mr B who lives just around the corner from Cocorico and comes here every Saturday morning to get a freshly baked loaf of bread. We discovered later that everything is handmade and baked by the friendly, French owner – even the bread for the sandwiches – which shows the dedication and passion he has for his business. The tea we both ordered was served in small tea pots with loose leaf tea.

We made up our minds and placed our order with the friendly waitress at the counter.
I went for a black forest ham, avocado and sun-dried tomato sandwich in a brown crusty roll. The bread was lovely and soft and a very good combination of ingredients (£3.50).

Mr B went for the Cocorico Club sandwich which had chicken, chorizo and salad on white soft, fluffy bread (£4.95). He gave it the definite thumbs up. He also went for a leek and cheese quiche which was also very nice, well made pastry and a nice warm and soft leeky, cheesy filling.

Right, onto the cakes. The cakes look fantastic and it took a while to choose. Mr B went for the orange and cinnamon cake which was soft and mousse like and a nice combination of flavours.

I went for the pineapple and coconut cake. It looked the business and the taste was even better. A French tart covered in a hard yellow icing containing a sweet, soft, cakey, crumbly explosion of pineapple and coconut with small chunks of pineapple and coconut shavings. Mr B decided to talk to me while I ate this cake but I have no idea what he was saying. C’etait Magnifique!

The prices of the cakes ranged from £1.60 to £3.20 which for the high standard is very good. In fact I took Mrs V back there the next day and bought a lemongrass, basil and lime meringue tart, a sweet chestnut cheesecake and a raspberry chibouste which put us both in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Overall, this is an excellent place to sit a while and have a good tea or coffee and have a quality bite to eat, or just pop in and take away cakes or freshly baked bread.

My Last Mouthful was: The pineapple and coconut cake

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Get yourself down to Riverside Market for a delicious crepe or galette by Le Creperie de Sophie

After seeing some really positive comments on Twitter, I was really pleased when Le Creperie de Sophie invited me down to Riverside Market to try their delicious crepes on Sunday!

I love Riverside Market, it’s full of stands selling delicious local produce and the biggest crowd was around Le Creperie de Sophie’s stand. We read the menu board and watched for a while to see which looked like the best filling. There was a huge choice available, both sweet and savory. Banana and chocolate looked like a popular topping and smelt lovely but I am more of a savory person so I was really pleased when Loic Moinon (the owner) made us the special of the week- Salmon and Samphire galette.

We watched as Loic cooked the galette on both sides and covered it with salmon, onion, rocket, samphire and creme fresh. It tasted absolutely delicious! The galette was so light and tasty. Le Creperie de Sophie’s galettes are unique in the UK as they are made from buckwheat so they are gluten and wheat free which is great. I’ve tasted gluten free products in the past that just do not deliver on taste but these were fantastic.

As well as serving pancakes at local markets, Loic and his team offer mobile catering services for events. I mentioned their crepe parties in a previous post which you can read here but they also do weddings. My fiance and I are getting married in July and this would be so amazing to have at our wedding but unfortunately, we aren’t getting married in Wales which is a real shame. I would love to go to a wedding that served crepes- how original!

I highly recommend a stroll down to Riverside market to sample these. I loved my salmon galette and will certainly be going back again to try a sweet one. You can even buy bags of the mix to make them yourself. The Creperie de Sophie team are so friendly too and it was great to have a French snack made by a real Frenchman!

Check out their website:  www.lacreperiedesophie.com

A great French restaurant in Cardiff!

Last Wednesday, I went to Cote, a new French restaurant that has opened in Cardiff Bay. I was very excited because I absolutely love French food. We also had a voucher for 50% off our food bill which is a fantastic deal!

The restaurant is right at the end of Mermaid’s Quay in the Bay, almost directly opposite Wales Millennium Centre which is a nice location. We walked in and realised the restaurant was quite posh. The decor was classy and sophisticated with small round tables with candles and dim lighting. It looked lovely and my tummy was rumbling!

We were seated and brought a menu. Drinks were very reasonable and there was a good choice. The food menu was reasonably extensive and had some really nice dishes, especially starters. As I read through, I realised that there were lots of nice dishes but nothing that really jumped out at me as a definite choice except for the Confit De Canard, which I chose as my main.

Our waiter was very nice and polite. The service was very upmarket. The waiter called us Madam and Sir and poured the wine with one hand behind his back (unfortunately, he also spilt it all over the table which was quite amusing!). Unfortunately, we had to wait 35 minutes for our starters as it was busy but our main and desert came quicker.

I was impressed with my pate starter which was very nicely presented. The other two people I was with had scallops which they said were nice but not outstanding. The portion and ingredients were a bit measly apparently. My main course of Confit de Canard was delicious! The only thing that was slightly annoying was that you had to buy vegetables and potatoes separately which I found a bit pretentious and it bumps up the price. Deserts were nice, although a bit on the small side.

Overall, we had a lovely night. The atmosphere was spot on and with our voucher, it was excellent value. I’m not sure whether I would hurry back at the original price too often but I will definitely go again. One thing to watch out for though is that they add a 12.5% service charge to your bill! I think this is very steep! I don’t like it when a service charge is automatically added to your bill, I think how much you tip should depend on the service you receive but either way, 12.5% is too high.

 

 

Love the accessories!

 

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