April 9, 2013

Cafe Des Amis Penarth: Restaurant Review

Recently I went to Cafe Des Amis to celebrate a friend's birthday.  We decided to head out of Cardiff and see what Penarth had to offer - though Penarth is so close I'de never been there before except to cycle through it!  Penarth is adorable and I'll surely be returning.  By the end of the night I decided I wanted to move there, but when I saw the house prices I decided I'd rather stay in Cardiff.

We arrived at 8pm and the restaurant was fairly empty, we were greeted by a lovely hostess who showed us our seats and the specials board.
The restaurant is family run and uniquely decorated, there were loads of art and quirky pieces on the walls and it had a definite bistro feel.
The mains were £15-£18, the starters were £4–£8.  It was a bit on the pricey side but we decided it would be a nice treat for a birthday:
L and I ordered a starter off  the specials menu - crispy squid with sweet chili sauce (£6.50):
The squid was very well done - not chewy at all, it tasted fresh and delicious.  The portion size was fairly big as well, and L and I both had our fill. It was not overcooked nor too chewy - certainly the best squid I've had in Cardiff!

For my main I ordered the tagliatelle pasta with field mushrooms, asparagus, garlic cream and parmesan (£9.75)
The pasta was creamy and cheesy - I don't normally order pasta at restaurants but I was craving something savory.  The dish was very good - though I would have liked more asparagus as it seemed a bit sparse.  All dishes made with pasta and butter and cheese will be delicious, and this was no exception.  Very creamy sauce, very good pasta, nice presentation.  A great dish.

L ordered the Chargrilled butterfly breast of chicken with lemon herb dressing, chargrilled asparagus, and garlic potatoes (£13.75):
My photo is not the greatest but the chicken was perfectly cooked, tasty and moist.  The mixed veg and potatoes made for a mouthwatering and filling base, and the asparagus was perfectly grilled.  I did have a bit of dish envy - her plate looked so good!

We enjoyed our mains with a bottle of wine
We were given ample time to enjoy our mains and our wine, and the restaurant filled up as the evening went on.  All the seats in the front were full by 8:30 and the back started to fill up too.  The ambiance was pleasant and everyone's dishes looked great as they came out.  At one point the table behind us was served cod and chips, but the cod was fried after the guest ordered it steamed.  The owner apologized profusely and brought him a new dish quickly - both dishes looked amazing and her service was very professional.

We decided to try one of the deserts and chose a chocolate brownie with ice cream.
The chocolate brownie was very rich and chocolaty.  It was served warm, though it was microwaved in plain view which can sometimes put people off.  My only disappointment of the evening was the ice cream - it was served from what was clearly a Tescos value tub.  Deserts are fairly cheap to make, and it's a shame to use poor ingredients - especially for ice cream which keeps for ages.  A good quality ice cream - especially a Welsh brand like Joes or Mon ar Lwy or Cadwaladers - would have made the desert much better.

All in all it was a lovely evening - at the end we were brought 2 complimentary cosmos (they heard it was L's birthday!) which really topped off our night.  

Cafe Des Amis was a lovely and unique resturant in Penarth.  We had a great evening, the owner and her family were very friendly and accommodating made ever effort to welcome us and make sure we enjoyed our food and our time in the bistro.  It was a bit on the expensive side - but so is Penarth - and I would definitely return for a birthday meal or a special occasion!  The total came to £50 for the 2 of us, which was very decent for the quantity and quality of food we enjoyed!

4 Washington Buildings
Stanwell Road
CF64 2AD
02920 709600

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