Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Tag Archives: Puccini

Puccini- Candlelit Supper With Lots of Choice

Review by Mrs. J

When a fabulous friend offered to look after Baby J for the evening it meant that Mr J and I could take the opportunity to try out Puccini’s. I’d never been there before but from the outside it looked quite small and cosy. When you get inside you soon realise it is a bit of an Aladdin’s cave. There is seating at the front consisting of big leather sofas, wooden tables and chairs, then they have the bar and kitchen area. Once you pass the bar area you then take a bit of a left and soon see there is more tables and chairs at the back.

We chose a table at the front as it had more of a cosy feel. Puccini is painted in a warm terracotta colour with plenty of art on the walls and flowers and candles on each table. The back area has brighter lights and seemed to be where the larger groups were dining.

The menu is quite varied, you can choose a selection of tapas (these can also be a starter) or go for a bigger main meal such as pasta, meat or fish. The prices are pretty reasonable I think the most expensive thing on the menu was just under £15.  To start we chose the Peppered Mushrooms and Zaatar Bread. I’d never heard of zaatar bread before but was glad I picked it. The photo doesn’t do it justice as it looks a bit dark. Zaatar bread is a flat herby bread with sesame seeds on the top.  It was a perfect accompaniment to the peppered mushrooms. I usually stay away from creamy dishes as I find they can often be quite sickly. Luckily this wasn’t at all. There was plenty of mushrooms, sliced red and yellow peppers and plenty of sauce to dunk the bread into!

For main I chose the Lamb Brochette and Mr J went for the Catalan Chicken. When ordering Mr J asked the waiter what the chicken came with as it didn’t say on the menu. The waiter said it came with sauté potatoes but he suggested that he could swap it for rice if he’d prefer. The waiter was really friendly and chatty – I like it when staff make recommendations as they know the menu better than anyone else. I tried some of Mr J’s Catalan Chicken. The meat was lovely and tender and it had a tomato and sweet pepper sauce. It was perhaps a little on the salty side but that’s just a personal opinion.

My dish was the bigger of the two. It came with rice, salad and a dish of hot sweet chilli dipping sauce. I’m glad the sauce was separate as although it was very tasty and went well with the lamb it did have quite a kick to it. If the meat had been smothered in the sauce it would have been too spicy for me. The lamb was lovely and tender but again seemed a little bit salty.

There is no dessert menu in Puccini but they direct you to their tall display cabinet and the waitress goes through it all with you. The night we went they had apple pie, carrot cake, baklava, Arabic sweets and tiramisu. Although the Arabic sweets looked really unusual they would have gone well with coffee. I still had quite a bit of wine left which I didn’t want to leave so I went for the tiramisu. I have a sweet tooth so this was my favourite part of the meal. I’m the type of person to happily skip on the starter to make sure I leave room for afters! The tiramisu was delicious, it was lovely and creamy and there was quite a bit of alcohol in it too. Although it was chosen to share I’m afraid Mr J only managed to sneak two mouthfuls of it, I scoffed the rest!

My Last Mouthful was : Tiramisu

Service –

Atmosphere and decor-

Quality of food-

Diversity of menu-

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Overall rating – 

Puccini- Transport yourself to the Mediterranean!

Last weekend, my fiance and I were invited to eat at Puccini in Roath. Chances are you haven’t found this place yet. Hidden amongst the shops on Albany Road, you would be forgiven for walking past Puccini but next time pay attention because this is a real hidden gem and somewhere you definitely need to try if you like tapas and mediterranean food.

From the outside, Puccini looks quite modest but also warm and inviting with it’s big windows and gorgeous coat stand in the window. When you get inside it has a real homely feel with quirky furniture and big comfy sofas. The decor is completely to my taste with bright colours, mis-matching furniture and lots of pictures adorning the walls. We took a seat at a small table near the front of the restaurant. On a previous visit, I sat at the back of the restaurant in a room joining the main room. I love it out the back, you are immediately transported to the mediterranean, with the tiled floor, terracotta colours and a gorgeous mural covering one of the walls. The old furniture and red paper table cloths really add to the effect for me, it feels very authentic.

The atmosphere was great when we arrived with lots of people eating and chatting and a guest pianist playing. ‘The Dr,’ as the pianist was called, was fantastic. When I heard that he was playing I wasn’t sure what to expect, I thought it might be a bit over powering when we were trying to eat and talk but it really made the evening for me. The music was the perfect volume and the music choices were in keeping with the tone of the restaurant.

Our waitress was very helpful. She showed us to our table and was happy to recommend dishes to us when we asked. She was very natural and friendly which I like. I really don’t like it when we can’t relax in a restaurant because the staff are so unnatural and stiff.  This certainly wasn’t the case here.

To start we had Saffron Mussels (recommended by the waitress) and Stuffed Pepper. Both were from the tapas menu which was extensive and varied. I have eaten tapas at Puccini before and can recommend the stuffed Jalapeno Peppers and the Whitebait with Devilled Sauce along with the mussels we had this time. Prices are reasonable at between £3.50 and £5.50 and very well presented. The mussels were an especially good deal as we had loads and they were perfectly cooked. I would also suggest you try the Zataar Bread.

For our main, I had Beef Medallions with Blue Cheese Sauce and Marinated Potatoes and my fiance had the Kofta Bruchettes. Both dishes were very nice. I asked for my beef rare and it was so I was impressed as I usually get medium rare when I ask for rare.  However, my blue cheese sauce was slightly lacking in blue cheese but this was only a minor thing in an otherwise delicious meal. The main courses are an average of about £12. The star of the meal though was the desert! I chose Baklava which was lovely but my fiance had Mediterranean Cheesecake which was like nothing I have ever tasted (unfortunately for him he was falsed to share it with me). It was made from mozzarella, semolina and golden syrup. It sounds like a strange combination but it really worked!

I would definitely suggest paying Puccini a visit. They are actually planning a renovation and I am intrigued because I love it as it is and I’m very interested in how they are going to improve the look of something that I already rate so highly.

Have a look at Puccini’s menu:

http://www.puccinicardiff.com/resources/Puccini+Main+Menu+X.pdf

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