Review – Street Food Warehouse, Cardiff

Street Food is one of the biggest trends on the food scene at the moment. Basically a posh way of saying ‘burger vans’ street food is ready-to-eat fast-food sold from vans, stalls and carts. It’s seen huge growth in places like LA where their regular food markets have some of the best vendors arriving in one place for a weekly street food festival. But places like LA have warm weather and glorious sunshine 12 months of the year; it’s not so much fun if you’re shivering in the rain with a soggy burrito. But spring is here and Cardiff’s street food scene has well and truly kicked off with the Street Food Warehouse.

Drinks at Street Food Warehouse
Drinks at Street Food Warehouse, Cardiff

Open on weekend evenings throughout the spring and summer, Street Food Warehouse takes place under the eves of the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Arms Park. It’s a rustic and funky set up with a huge communal covered seated area with fairy lights and laid back tunes being played by a live DJ, who’s tucked away behind and fruit and veg stall. We visited during opening weekend, over the Easter Bank holiday. It was £2 to get in, which I do think is a bit weird; paying to go and buy food, but really, it’s nominal. The tickets also said £1 for children, but our four-year-old was welcomed for free and given some Easter chocolate treats on the way in.

The seating area at Street Food Warehouse, Cardiff
The seating area at Street Food Warehouse, Cardiff

We’d been reading the menu while we waited to enter and were looking forward to trying pizza from the Dough Boys. But when we got inside we were disappointed to see they weren’t there. We asked a member of staff who said they hadn’t shown up – gutted. Still, there was plenty to whet our appetites. The toddler and I shared a delicious pulled pork roll with coleslaw and a box of Mac n cheese from Passion & Soul BBQ. The pork was perfect – slow cooked in their ‘Big Betty’ smoker, the meat was tender and juicy with a tangy BBQ sauce and crunchy home made coleslaw, all served in a brioche bun. The toddler and I were fighting over the last bite! The Mac was creamy with a good hint of mustard, also very moreish.

Pulled Pork with Coleslaw and Mac n Cheese - yum!
Pulled Pork with Coleslaw and Mac n Cheese – yum!

Gavin went for one of the veggie options on offer, a chickpea burger with halloumi from Rad Burgers, accompanied by Rosemary chips. He enjoyed the burger and we all polished off the chips. To finish we went for churros from South Wales-based Mr Churros. Freshly fried in front of us, dusted with sugar, cinnamon and accompanied by a warm chocolate sauce, they were yummy and were gobbled up in seconds.

Churros from Mr Churro
Churros from Mr Churro

The drinks were a selection of Celt Beers and Cocktails, which were served in a quirky take-away container. I went for the mocktail which, at £3 was a bit ‘style over substance’. It was tasty but I would’ve liked a few more non-alcoholic options, especially something a bit more child-friendly.

Mocktail at Street Food Warehouse Cardiff
Mocktail at Street Food Warehouse Cardiff

We were at the 5pm sitting, which had a good family atmosphere, there were loads of kids enjoying the music and we were lucky the weather was pretty good. But I can imagine as the sun goes down and the nights get warmer, its the perfect place to enjoy a laid back cocktail with friends.

Overall I enjoyed Street Food Warehouse, but it’s struck me since that I would’ve liked the food on offer to be a little more local. For example Passion & Soul are from Surrey and Rad Burgers from Kent. That’s not to say their food wasn’t lovely but I know there are Cardiff-based vendors doing food that’s just as good.

You can find Street Food Warehouse on Twitter .

We paid in full for entry and all food and drink at Street Food Warehouse. 

Review – Wahaca arrives in Cardiff

If you live in Cardiff and you’re at all interested in the food scene, the arrival of Wahaca can’t have escaped your notice. Before its grand unveiling the Wahaca food truck on the Hayes had queues around the block (great marketing idea) and when it finally opened, local businesses were given the opportunity to try the place for free, leading to a glut of excited Twitterers and Facebookers recommending the Brussels sprouts (more on those later).

The interior of Wahaca, Cardiff
The interior of Wahaca, Cardiff

Last week was the official opening and I was invited along to try Wahaca Cardiff for myself.

For those that don’t know, Wahaca is the brainchild of 2005 Masterchef winner Thomasina (Tommi) Miers. The first Wahaca opened in London in 2007, focusing on Mexican Street food, serving dishes with real Mexican tastes and spices – rather than the Tex Mex Americanised versions we’ve been used to seeing. (You won’t find nacho crisps coated in melted Monterey Jack here…)

My two excited friends, Niki and Kath and I were welcomed by our fantastic waiter Bruno, who was funny, attentive (but not overly so) and recommended we try the pure classic margarita cocktail, which he explained was a traditional strong margarita (not made with a sugary mix as so many often are) and one for die hard tequila fans. He was right and as the night wore on a few more definitely graced our table.

Bruno recommended some nachos with guacamole while we perused the menu (£3.95). The nachos were authentic deep fried tortillas and the guac was rustic and delicious.

The main menu is split into small street food dishes (sort of a Mexican tapas, where diners are recommended to order 2-3 dishes each) or larger plates.

The girls and I love trying a bit of everything so we ordered two street food dishes and a side dish each, and shared them all. Wow, they were all wonderful. Personal favourites included the slow-cooked pork pil bil tacos (£4.10), plantain tacos (£3.95), smoky sweet potato wedges (£3.10) and the roasted sprouts mole with almonds and feta. We were lucky enough to meet Tommi herself on the night, who told us the sprouts, with their chocolatey sauce and crumbly feta (believe me, it works) are the dish of the moment.

Street food at Wahaca, Cardiff
Street food at Wahaca, Cardiff

Desserts were also delicious. We shared the churros with chocolate sauce (£3.95) and the plantain fritters with ice cream and candied peanuts (£4.50). I say ‘shared’ but I definitely ate the bulk of the fritters!

Plantain fritters at Wahaca, Cardiff
Plantain fritters at Wahaca, Cardiff

The atmosphere was great as well, the place is really family friendly, we’ve eaten in a branch in London with our son who loved the food and the hustle and bustle. The night we are in the Cardiff branch, there was a friendly party atmosphere. There’s also a bar up on the third floor, if you want to continue the night.

If you’re looking for a fun night out with good food and excellent drinks – Wahaca is the place!

Wahaca Cardiff
51-53 The Hayes
St David’s

Cardiff CF10 1GA

029 2167 0414
Our meal at Wahaca was complimentary