Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Tag Archives: Park Plaza

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 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


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-

Park Plaza- Quality at a Very Reasonable Price!

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.

Service –

Atmosphere and decor –

Quality of food –

Diversity of menu –

Value for money –

Overall rating – 

Supper Club at the Park Plaza

Following their recent award as Best General Restaurant in The South Wales Echo Food and Drink Awards, Park Plaza have been enjoying some local praise so Mr V and I were pleased to be invited along to the launch of their new ‘Supper Club’. Supper Club is being held once a month at the Laguna Kitchen and Bar and will be an evening pairing food with certain well known drinks. The first Supper Club was entitled ‘An evening with Cloudy Bay’ and paired four courses with four glasses of the renowened Cloudy Bay wine.

Fellow food bloggers Hannah (Lovetodine) and Nicki of Cardiffbites and ther partners were also invited along and we were seated on the same table so we had some good company for the evening. Those attending the Supper Club were seated close together with a Cloudy Bay expert on hand to explain the wine that accompanied each course. The restaurant was still open to diners choosing from the A La Carte menu so it was quite a low key affair.

The evening was kicked off with a starter of Welsh Beef Fillet Carpaccio, Aged Parmesan, Micro Rocket and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This was accompanied by a glass of Pelorous Sparkling which was a fine way to set things off. The wine complimented the starter which was nicely presented. The flavours worked well together and the parmesan was especially nice but the beef needed a bit more seasoning to bring out its full flavours.

For the our second course we had a Free Range Chicken, Fennel and Chick Pea Ballontine, Spiced Carrot and Coconut Sauce and Couliflower Samosas. This was the best course of the night and as well as being beautifully presented, it balanced all the complex flavours perfectly. The chicken was moist and tender and the sauce was beautifully sweet and mildly spiced. The cauliflower samosa was the star of the show. We were all very impressed that what sounded like a accompaniment turned out to be the best thing we ate.

The wine that accompanied the dish (a Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc) was also very well received. It was my favourite of the night and one I will most certainly be buying again and have done in the past.

After just enough of a break, we were onto our next course, Smoked Haddock and Spring Onion Risotto with a Soft Boiled Egg and Curry Oil. This is apparently Laguna Bar and Kitchens signature dish and it was very enjoyable. It was light and creamy and I loved the addition of the egg. This dish is definitely something I would order again as I love risotto. The accompanying wine was a Cloudy Bay Chardonnay which again was beautiful and worked well with the fish.

Feeling satisfied, we were looking forward to dessert but unfortunately, the dessert was savoury apart from a pear. We had a Walnut and Raisin Bruschetta, Red Wine Poached Pear and Gorgonzola Dolce. While very nice, we were disappointed not to end with something sweet. The Bruschetta sounded as though it was going to be sweet but it was definitely savoury and while I enjoyed the pear, it just didn’t satisfy my dessert craving. This course was accompanied by a Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir.

All in all, we had a very good night. The food was mostly excellent, the wine was fantastic and the setting was great. As the night was billed as a ‘club’ we were expecting a bit more interaction with other diners who we didn’t actually meet. I can understand that it would have been difficult as the restaurant was also open to diners who weren’t involved in the club but I think that more could be done to make it feel more ‘club like’. We could have had an area to mingle and have a drink together before the meal or we could have been seated on larger tables so it felt more exclusive and inclusive.

I also felt that as the evenings are arranged largely round the drink of the night, in this case Cloudy Bay, it might be better to market the nights as wine tasting events with food rather than the other way around. I love Cloudy Bay so I would have been just as excited to attend a wine tasting event with a meal as to accompany it as a supper club with wine.

The Park Plaza have told us that they have taken our comments on board and as this is the first Supper Club event, I think it went very well and there is still time to make a few tweaks to make it perfect. I would certainly go again and I am really looking forward to having a meal at the Park Plaza from the A La Carte menu too and offering a review with a spoon rating!

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