Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Tag Archives: mercure

Beyond Vegetarian Week- The Best Veggie Dishes!

Having just celebrated vegetarian Week, I thought it would be fitting to share with you some excellent vegetarian dishes that are available on the menus of some of our Green Spoon Businesses.

Vegetarian week certainly introduced me to some excellent dishes this year and it’s good to know that there are quality vegetarian dishes available all year round.

ffresh

Ffresh have two starters that they would recommend and they are made with local produce. Both are available on ffresh’s bar menu.

Roasted Mushroom and Basil Pate with Spelt Bread

The pate is produced by Wales the True Taste winning supplier Capital Cuisine and is accompanied by another Wales the True Taste winning product Jones Organic Spelt Bread.

Roasted Mushroom and Basil Pate with Spelt Bread

Perl Lâs Blue Cheese and Elderberry Port Mousse with Pea Shoots and Candied Walnuts

The cheese is supplied by Wales the True Taste winning supplier Caws Cenarth and is made from organic cow’s milk in Carmarthenshire.  The port is supplied by Wales the True Taste winning Celteg.

Hodge’s Restaurant- Mercure, Holland House

Spring Vegetable and Pearl Barley Risotto

Spring Vegetable and Pearl Barley Risotto

Joseph Procak, Executive Chef at Mercure Holland House Hotel & Spa has a vegetarian risotto on the menu currently.

It is a risotto with a difference made with pearl barley and seasonal ingredients. The Spring Vegetable and Pearl Barley Risotto is served with sautéed seasonal greens, torn basil and soured cream.

I have actually been lucky enough to try this one and can confirm that it is very good indeed.

Laguna Kitchen and Bar- Park Plaza

Laguna Kitchen and Bar at Park Plaza recommend a dessert as part of a vegetarian option and they have even included a recipe for you.

Perry Jelly and Summer Fruits with Elderflower Ice Cream

Ingredients

For the elderflower ice cream

300ml/½ pint whole milk,

6 medium free-range egg yolks

100g/4oz caster sugar

300ml/ clotted cream,

200ml/7fl oz elderflower cordial

For the Perry jelly and summer fruits

4 gelatine leaves

500ml/18fl oz Perry (sparkling pear cider)

75g/2¾oz caster sugar

125g/5oz mixed berries, such as blueberries, raspberries and wild strawberries

Preparation method

1.For the elderflower ice cream, bring the milk to the boil in a heavy-based saucepan, then remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl, pour in the milk and whisk well. Return to the pan and cook over a low heat for about five minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Do not boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream and elderflower cordial. Leave to cool, then churn in an ice cream machine (according to manufacturer’s instructions) until thickened. Decant into a clean container and place in the freezer.

2.For the perry jelly and summer fruits, immerse the gelatine leaves one at a time in a shallow bowl of cold water and leave for a minute or so until soft. Bring 100ml/3½fl oz of the perry to the boil in a medium saucepan, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Drain and squeeze the gelatine leaves, then add to the hot perry and stir until melted. Remove from the heat, add the rest of the perry and stir well. Put the pan of jelly somewhere cool, but do not let it set.

3.Divide half the berries among four individual jelly moulds, or use one large mould. Pour in half of the cooled jelly. Chill for an hour or so to set, then top up with the rest of the berries and unset jelly. (This ensures the berries stay suspended and don’t float to the top.) Return to the fridge to chill until set.

4.To serve, turn the jellies out onto plates and place a scoop of the elderflower ice cream in the middle of each one

There will be more vegetarian posts this week including a review of a vegetarian 3 course meal.

For more reviews, competitions and events, please see my website- www.yourlastmouthful.com

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Mercure Cardiff Holland House – A four star hotel with food to match!

Review by Mr V

Last week Mrs V and I were asked to review the Hodges Restaurant of the four star hotel, Mercure Cardiff Holland House. We arrived at the clean, marble clad hotel lobby and followed signs up to the first floor where the restaurant is situated. Through the bar area and into the restaurant, the barman showed us to the tables next to the large windows where we could people watch down onto Newport Road.

The decor was quite typical of a hotel restaurant, smart, stylish with patterned carpet and low level background music but very pleasant. It was a thursday night and was very quiet but apparently it does get very busy from Friday, through the weekend, even with non-guests.

The waiter came over, introduced himself and presented us with our menus. A first class waiter who instantly made us feel comfortable and welcome as he was friendly and jovial.

First for the starters. I opted for the prawn and crayfish salad, with cucumber salsa and micro herbs (£6.00). My guilty pleasure (amongst many…) is enjoying a massive bowl of prawn cocktail so I thought I’d order it and see how they get away from the ‘it’s just a prawn cocktail‘ response. Presented very nicely with a generous amount of crayfish tails and prawns wrapped in a long slice of cucumber, it was light and fresh with nice textures. There was a touch of marie rose sauce but was seperate to the prawns and crayfish tails. With the micro herbs and cucumber salsa it was a very pleasant way to start a meal – and not a cocktail remark in sight.

Mrs V had the bubble and squeak with poached hens egg and hollandaise sauce (£5.00). The knife went in and the yolk spilled out – a moment all foodies must enjoy… The bubble and squeak had a nice outer crispness which balanced nicely with the creamy sauce and egg. Nicely presented and very tasty.

Onto the mains. I went for the pan fried calves liver served with fondant potatoes, green beans and a caramalised red onion jus (£15.00). Perfectly cooked liver – very tender, al dente green beans and well cooked potatoes. Everything went well together, the sauce was just about strong enough to stand its ground againts the strong flavour of the liver but not so much as to overpower everything else. Overall a very nice dish.

Mrs V went for the market fish of the day which was grey mullet and was served with asparagus, spring onion mashed potato and sundried tomato butter (£14.50). The fish was cooked just right, a bit of crunch on the asparagus and lovely smooth mashed potato. It was a very good dish indeed – it hit all the right notes but sadly the potato was cold. When a dish is as good as that its very disappointing to have just a small factor mar the overall result. However, it was still very enjoyable.

Lastly, the desserts. Surprisingly the waiter gave us the menus again and then stressed that we should avoid the ‘taste of raspberries’ dessert. I thought he was just having a bit of a joke with us but he really wasn’t! Apparently the menu is decided by head office somewhere far, far away and despite the chef and staff asking for it be taken off it was still there – resulting in the waiter having to say that not all the items on the menu are good. When the chef is clearly very good it’s a great shame that his voice isn’t listened to.

Anyway, I went for the peach and nectarine tarte tatin with honey mascapone and butterscotch sauce (£6.00). Nicely presented, lovely honey mascapone making a good companion to the peach and nectarine.

Mrs V went for the lemon bombe (£6.00). This was a lemon meringue, with a berry compot and a small bundle of candy floss. Nicely presented with the candyfloss sat on top and a white chocolate stick sticking out of the candyfloss, envoking memories of childhood days at the fairground. It’s ceratinly nice to have something a little bit different!

Overall, the food was good and well priced. The atmosphere was hard to judge as it was very quiet but decor was warm and inviting. and despite being on the first floor of a hotel, it was still a nice place to come in off the street to have a good meal.

My last mouthful was: The bubble and squeak

Service- 

Atmosphere and Decor-

Quality of food-

Diversity of menu-

Value for money-

Overall rating- 

For more reviews, foodie news, competitions and the Green Spoon Directory, please see our website at www.yourlastmouthful.com

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