Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Tag Archives: tapas

A new tapas menu for The Promised Land

The Promised Land is a popular after work drinking spot and it’s always busy and buzzing. I’ve eaten there on a few occasions and had a lovely meal but it can get quite busy and a bit lively for a sit down meal some evenings so when I heard about the Promised Land’s new tapas menu, it seemed like the perfect solution. Along with a small group of people, I was invited along to a preview night to taste some of the dishes and give our opinions.

Promised Land owner Nick, explained that when people meet up with friends for a drink, they don’t always want a big sit down meal and something to pick at is often more appropriate with a nice bottle of wine. Lots of places in Cardiff offer tapas but the Promised Land have arrived at an excellent price for theirs at just £7.50 for 3 dishes and they were keen to stress that they are not compromising on quality either. Much of the produce is sourced from Nick’s other business Deli A Go Go and they are striving for quality as well as value for money.

The dishes arrived in stages and we all tucked in. We started with Tomato Bruschetta, Patatas Bravas and Spanish Baked Prawns. The potatas Bravas were very nice in a paprika and tomato sauce and the prawns were deliciously juicy, cooked just right with a subtle flavour of sherry and chilli.

Tomato Bruschetta, Patatas Bravas and Spanish Baked Prawns

Next on the agenda was the Chicken Croquettes, red wine soaked chorizo and bacon wrapped stuffed dates. The dates were delicious with a generous helping of almond which gave them a nice bite against the soft cheese and bacon. One of my favourites.

Staff introducing the dishes got rather excited about the Chicken Croquettes and built them up to be something quite spectacular. Whilst tasty, they didn’t really do it for me and probably wouldn’t be something I would go out of my way to order, although they were perfectly nice.

However, the show stopper was the Chorizo in Red Wine. Such a simple dish turned out to be absolutely delicious and is definitely something I will be trying to recreate at home and ordering on my next visit.

The dishes continued to arrive and all were very nice. The Cinnamon Chicken skewers stood out for me too as it was quite an unusual flavour to use but very effective. The chicken was cooked well, in fact everything was cooked very well. Tapas dishes like these can sometimes be dry and slightly over cooked but these were as they should be.

Cinnamon Chicken Skewers

Overall we had a very enjoyable experience and as we visited for a preview evening, these dishes will be perfected again before being released on the public so I am sure everything will be just right. I think this will be a very successful venture and certainly one I will be taking advantage off.

The Promised Land’s tapas menu is available now so make sure you order yourself and nice bottle of wine and try out some of these.

My last mouthful was: The Red Wine Soaked Chorizo.

Please click here to read my  review of The Promised Land.

The Promised Land is a green spoon business and featured in our green spoon directory. Please click here to see their page.

Wine Tasting and Tapas at Pretence Bar!

Don’t know the difference between your Pinot Grigio and your Pinot Noir? Would you like to!? Or just fancy trying something different?

On Friday 13 May, Pretence Bar on Whitchurch Road are holding a wine tasting evening. You can try any glass of wine from their wine list for just £1 each! You can try as many as you like!  Book in advance and get two glasses and any large tapas dish for just £5!

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=164860520240928

You get more than a meal at Mezza Luna!

On Friday night, we were invited to eat at Mezza Luna on City Road. Let me tell you, this isn’t your average dining experience, we had an amazing night and I will definitely be going back.

City Road looked pretty empty and miserable as we walked along but that’s probably because most people were inside Mezza Luna which was a total contrast to the dreary grey streets with its bright lights, dramatic interior and hoards of chatting diners. We were greeted and shown to our table which was pretty much the only one left at 8pm on a Friday.

We were looked after very well by the manager who after leaving us to browse the menu for a few minutes offered to bring us a selection of tapas so that we were able to try a few different things. He emerged with a huge platter of cold tapas and some dishes of warm tapas and added it to the olives and flat bread that diners are presented with on arrival.

We worked our way through the delicious tapas sampling a bit of everything. I loved the Tabbouleh which was really fresh and the Warak Inab (vine leaves stuffed with rice, tomato and parsley) were particularly nice. Our favourite though was the Batata Harra (spicy potatoes) which were just lovely. After we’d worked our way through the tapas we were presented with a main course of Meshawi (a mixed grill of lamb, chicken and lamb kafta) with rice and salad with a side of herby potatoes which were especially nice.

The decor in Mezza Luna is very unusual and fun. The walls are made to look like an authentic tavern with faux carvings and fire torch lamps. Lights on the walls subtly change colour creating a fun and warm ambiance. There were tables set for a range of sizes from tables for two too much larger groups. There was a birthday party going on while we were there and the restaurant had gone to a great effort providing balloons and even a birthday cake. We all had to sing happy birthday which I thought was a nice touch.

After our main, we had cocktails just in time for the arrival of the belly dancer who makes an appearance on Friday and Saturday nights. I had heard about the belly dancer and thought it was just a gimmicky thing that I probably wouldn’t enjoy but she was absolutely outstanding. She was genuinely talented and really made the evening for us. She appeared  intermittently so that food and drinks could still be served and so that diners could still chat until the music become louder to announce her arrival.

The atmosphere was fantastic. We sipped our cocktails and mint tea while the belly dancer performed and it wasn’t long before she had managed to get people out of their seats to join her, starting with the birthday party. By the end of the night at least half the restaurant had had a dance, including the chef!

After the dancing we were presented with a plate of deserts (of which the baklava was the best) before people started asking for bills and departing. We ended up staying a lot longer than we would have in most restaurants and we didn’t feel rushed. Mezza Luna is definitely somewhere to go for entertainment value with the load music and belly dancing. The entertainment is the main focus so it’s a good choice if you are looking for something that little bit different.  The staff were extremely welcoming and friendly and it’s the perfect place for a fun night out.

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

Pretence Cardiff- This place should be full!

One of my fairly recent discoveries and somewhere I’m enjoying at the moment for a coffee or a bite to eat is Pretence in Cardiff.

My fiance and I first went for some food in Pretence a few months ago. It’s a lovely little cafe/bar/restaurant on Whitchurch Road. We used to live just down the road and used to pop in sometimes when it was just a coffee shop but since it has developed into what it is now, we havn’t been as we have moved to the other side of town.

However, we found a deal on Groupon for a tapas meal and bottle of wine for two for just £12.50 instead of £32. At an excellent price like this, we thought we’d go along. Since our last visit it had changed so much! I love the decor, it’s so stylish and quirky. Each table has two or three chairs all slightly different and everything is so colourful. There are comfy chairs, dining chairs, sofa chairs, so you can choose your seat depending on whether you fancy a cosy coffee, a nice meal or a beer.

When we went in, staff were so friendly and inviting. They brought us nachos and a bottle of wine and explained the menu and what we were allowed with our Groupon deal.  Sometimes, when you have vouchers, I find that you can be treated a bit different and a bit ‘second class’ however, the staff in Pretence could not have been more lovely.

We chose our tapas and it was delicious! Even for the full price without the Groupon deal it was very reasonable and there was a good range of choices. The food came very well presented too and it just made it such a lovely evening. I cannot recommend the dates wrapped in bacon with marmalade enough!

After the tapas we also got a coffee and cake of our choice included in the price. The cakes are very good, as are the coffees and again, there is quite an extensive choice.

The best thing about Pretence is the lovely staff and owners who make you feel so welcome. The atmosphere is so relaxed it’s like a cross between going to dinner at a friend’s house and going out for a meal. Since our first visit, we have been back for lunch, some more tapas and I have been there for lunch with a friend. This place is wonderful!

%d bloggers like this: