May Instagram highlights

(Top row L-R) Delicious salad from Milgi Market / wild garlic on the Taff Trail / admiring the Lego inspired artwork at Bricks at Home

(Middle row L-R) Manning my marshalling spot at Cardiff Parkrun / pretty cocktails at the Revolution Bar reopening / barriers everywhere for the Champions League in Cardiff

(Bottom row L-R) Getting very sweaty at hot pod yoga / enjoying the sun at Barry Island (aka Barrybados) / delicious birthday meal at Cafe Citta 

Follow me on Instagram @CardiffGirlBlog 

Review – Cafe Citta, Cardiff

Cafe Citta doesn’t look like much, it’s a tiny restaurant seating around 30 people located on Church Street, next to the old Berlins nightclub (remember the drinks roulette? More Barcardi Breezers than you could shake a stick at!). 

I’ve eaten there a couple of times but G never has. I expect he was sick of hearing me go on about it, so we booked a table for my birthday meal last Saturday. 

For starters we shared the Polenta Con Dolcelatte (£5) – slabs of corn maize topped with melted dolcelatte cheese.

Polenta and dolcelatte at Cafe Citta, Cardiff

For the main course I went for my favourite Linguine alla puttanesca with prawns (which I think was around £11) while G had the ricotta pizza (Again it was around the £10 mark) made fresh in their wood fired pizza at the open kitchen at the back of the restaurant. 

Linguine Puttanesca and ricotta pizza at Cafe Citta, Cardiff

It would’ve been a travesty not to go for dessert; a Tiramisu for me and an Affogato for G.  

Tiramisu and affogato at Cafe Citta, Cardiff

Cafe Citta is a proper family-run Italian. Don’t expect any airs or graces; staff are lovely and friendly, food absolutely delicious, decor cluttered and if you want to use the loo, you’ve got to go outside to the office next door! But this all adds to its charm. 

For three courses each, a large glass of wine and a beer the bill was still only £45. Bargain. 

cafecitta.com

We paid in full for our meals and drinks at Cafe Citta and the restaurant was not aware I would be blogging about them. 

Breakfast at Porro, Wellfield Road

I remember the first time I had pizza for breakfast. It was in Disney World, Florida. The thought of eating pizza! For breakfast! So decadent. Also on the breakfast menu that day was ice cream and M&Ms, which gives you an idea of the audience they were catering to. 

I’ve eaten pizza for breakfast since then, of course. Cold pizza that’s been curling in the box overnight probably isn’t the best hangover cure but it certainly saw me through a few Sunday mornings in my twenties. 

It’s never been something I really wanted to eat for breakfast though. Until now. Now I’ve tried the breakfast calzone at Porro, Wellfield Road. It’s opened up a whole new world of dough and cheese before midday. 

Americano at Porro, Wellfield Road, Cardiff
 

We both started with a very good strong Americano, and I ordered the vegetarian calzone (£6.95) with extra avocado, because who doesn’t love avo on their breakfast these days?! 

Breakfast calzone at Porro, Wellfield Road

G had eggs royale, with smoked salmon instead of the usual eggs benedict ham, (£6.95) and ordered extra avocado too.

Eggs Royale at Porro, Cardiff
The calzone was epic, absolutely huge and chock full of spinach, mozzarella, tomatoes and leeks. They also do a meaty version with Italian sausage. 

It was huge, but so delicious that I cleared my plate completely.


I really enjoyed having something a bit different for breakfast. G said his more traditional brunch dish of eggs royale was lovely too, and no sign of that cloying rubbery hollandaise you get in some places. 

Porro is well worth a visit.

We were invited for a free breakfast at Porro, in exchange for an honest review. 

www.porrocardiff.com 

If breakfast is your favourite meal of the day as well, you might also enjoy my other reviews here and here

Celebrating our anniversary…..part one

I’ve briefly mentioned that last month was our wedding anniversary. Ten years we’ve been married. That makes me sound quite old…..But we were only 16 when we got married. (Not really).

Anyway, ten years seems like a good reason to celebrate and my Mum kindly offered to take the kids so we could have a night away. Hurrah! 

After a bit of searching we found a great deal at the Celtic Manor; £180 for bed, breakfast, a three-course meal for two in any of the resorts four restaurants and use of the gym, spa and pool. 

After a delicious brunch at the Early Bird, we took the short trip down the M4, arriving at the Celtic Manor late morning. 

We spent a few hours in the gym, pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi etc, before heading up to our room. We were staying in the Manor House, the original part of the resort, where Cen restaurant is located – where we’d booked a table for dinner. 

The room was modern and spacious with fluffy dressing gowns and slippers (the sign of a good hotel in my book) and the perfect place to chill-out before heading down to dinner.

Salt and Chilli Calamari at Cen, Celtic Manor
Cen is the Celtic Manor’s Asian restaurant, headed up by Larkin Cen, MasterChef finalist and previous owner of the much-missed Hokkei Box. 

The food was absolutely wonderful and staff were so attentive. 

I started with delicious Salt and Chilli Squid (£9) before moving on to the Miso Cured Black Cod (£26), which was the flakiest, most delicately flavoured cod I’d ever had. 

Miso cured black cod

For dessert I went for Coffee and Coconut (£7) – coconut ice cream, almond dacquoise, coffee gel and Thai basil. Yum

Dessert at Cen, coffee and coconut
The staff generously gave us a couple of complimentary glasses of bubbles as they knew it was our anniversary, which was a really lovely way to round off a delicious meal. 

Anniversary bubbles!
The final bill came to almost £100 but, because the food was included in our hotel stay, we only had to pay for our drinks. It really was a fantastic deal. 

I would definitely recommend Cen for a special occasion, the food was fantastic and staff wonderful. Thanks for a lovely night! 

We paid in full for our stay at the Celtic Manor and the hotel and Cen restaurant were not aware I’d be blogging about them. 

February Instagram highlights 

Lots of food and not much else last month……


Greek dips at the Hellenic Eatery / Hulk Smash! at the Early Bird / Anniversary meal at Cen at the Celtic Manor / Vanilla Pannacotta at our anniversary lunch at Porro, Llandaff / A couple of locally-produced beers from Pipes and the Roath Brewery and / Blas y Mor pizza at Dusty Knuckle / nurturing yoga at the hot pod / Lightning on a grey day in Cardiff / Veggie Hula burger at The Grazing Shed

Follow me on Instagram @cardiffgirlblog

Brunch at the Early Bird

G and I each had a cheeky day off work last Friday, as it was our wedding anniversary (more on that later!). We decided to start the day off with a leisurely brunch at the Early Bird in Cathays.

Does anyone else love breakfast as much as me? It’s the best meal of the day. Eggs, toast, coffee, pastries……sometimes alcohol….what’s not to like?! 

I’d seen a few people tweeting about the Early Bird, a new bakery/cafe in the heart of studentville on Woodville Road, so that’s where we headed.

The brunch menu at The Early Bird, Cardiff

The cafe itself is rustic; exposed brick and woodwork, an open kitchen, mismatched crockery and very cool staff mean it’s a hipsters paradise. G and I were definitely the oldest – and least cool – people there. 

We both went for the Hulk Smash (what a name!); toasted sourdough topped with smashed avocado, a perfect poached egg and lashings of chipotle sauce. (Loads of sauce. Seriously, don’t order this if you’re not into spicy food. Luckily, I like it).

Hulk Smash!

The breakfast was accompanied by a very strong black Americano, just how I like it. 

As we left we couldn’t resist the amazing-looking pastries, so took a cinnamon swirl and a brownie to go. 

The picture below was after a trip down the M4 and does not do justice to the swirl, which was rather squashed by the time I ate it. But it still tasted absolutely lush. Yum yum yum. 

Squished cinnamon swirl from The Early Bird, Cardiff
We paid in full for our food and drinks at The Early Bird and the cafe was not aware I’d be blogging about them. 

www.earlybirdbakery.co.uk

Greek dining at the Hellenic Eatery

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen that I went for a delicious Greek feast at the Hellenic Eatery last week. 

My lovely friends Kath and Nikki and I are always up for trying new places to eat in Cardiff. We’d seen a few other bloggers posting about Hellenic and it looked yummy, so we decided it would be our next catch-up destination.

We booked a table, even though we weren’t sure we would need to, being a cold Thursday night on Crwys Road, but it was a good job we did – the place was packed! They were actually turning people away. 

The restaurant is extremely casual, it’s a no-frills place and other diners ranged from couples, families with young children and groups of friends. It had a really nice neighbourhood vibe. The glass front of the restaurant opens right onto the street though, so it was a little chilly. Serves me right for wearing a short-sleeved top on a chilly February evening. 


We started off with a couple of dishes to share. The mixed dips with pitta bread ‘Tzatzikohoumotyrokafteri’ (£6.50) was my favourite dish of the night, a solid tzatziki and delicious authentic hummus was joined by kafteri – a dip of feta and peppers. I’d never tried kafteri before and it was really good, I’m definitely going to try recreating this at home. We had to ask for extra pitta bread to mop it all up. 

We also shared some Kolokithia – fried courgettes served with more tzatziki (£4.30).


On to mains and I went for The Cypriot salad (£7.00). Spinach, grilled peppers and tomatoes, grilled halloumi with sesame seeds and a honey dressing. Delicious. Kath and Nikki both went for the pitta wraps, which they said were yummy, but possibly a bit of a bread overload, considering the extra pittas we’d eaten with our starter. In hindsight, we should’ve just gone for a load of sharing plates and created our own mezze. Next time…..

I’m also keen to head back with the kids. I know five-year-old J would love the pitta wraps stuffed with meat and chips! 

We paid in full for our meals plus tip at the Hellenic Eatery and the restaurant wasn’t aware I’d be blogging about them. 

www.thehelleniceatery.co.uk