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La Boheme: Avoid at all costs!
I have just had the misfortune of visiting this restaurant with 13 of my work colleagues. I booked the table about a month in advance and was impressed by the choice of meals on the lunchtime menu, I had also received glowing reports from people who have eaten here before. A few days before the date of our meal I received an e-mail from the restaurant stating that the menu had changed. The choice on the lunchtime menu was diabolical compared to the previous menu, just four choices of starter and four main courses to choose from. There was also an a la carte menu which was ultra expensive. On arrival at the restaurant, the waiting staff seemed to be running here there and everywhere apart from near our table with our food, eventually after about 45 minutes the starters arrived. Even though I had e-mailed through the menu choices, they were one dish short - this was only the beginning! I had the fishcakes which were nice but the Bruschetta served to a friend was a joke, the bread looked like a small crust cut off the end of a loaf, covered with tomatoes. After another lengthy interlude lasting roughly half an hour we had to ask if our food was going to arrive soon as we had been waiting far too long. Alas when the food finally arrived it was of extremely poor standard. The Lasagne ordered off the a la carte menu was watery and the 'dough balls' (one cut in half) were as hard as rock. This was returned to the kitchen pronto, a replacement was offered but looking at the state of the other meals this was declined. The spaghetti meatballs were barely in a sauce and looked anaemic. The seafood risotto was edible but was rather tasteless and the king prawn was overdone and tough. The Chicken Piri Piri was not spicy at all as would be expected. Overall we were extremely disappointed with the service, the food and the attitude towards us. Time and time again when we complained about the food we were told that they have just had a new chef - time to advertise for another one me thinks!
Beware, the menu on the website is not the one currently being served.
Favorite Dish: Nothing!
- Food and Dining
Jamie's Italian: Great!
The first Jamie’s Italian opened on George Street in Oxford in 2008 when after touring Italy in jamies Italian Escape and declaring that he “should have been Italian”, the now-famous Jamie Oliver decided he wanted to share everything that he had learnt about Italian food and eating with the rest of the world and so with his old friend and trusted mentor Gennaro Contaldo (of Two Greedy Italians fame) He opened a restaurant to reflect the passionate, humble and great sociable attitude of Italians towards food.
More Restaurants soon followed and in November 2009 Jamie’s Italian Cardiff opened boasting a most incredible chandelier and it's very own red dragon sweeping up the side of the staircase to the 1st floor which overlooks the ground floor restaurant space.
As well as the normal menu they offer a Lunch Time Special (12:00 to 18:00) which is Two courses for £12 from a selection of 2 starters and 3 mains with an option for Tiramisu to finish for an extra £3.
We opted for the lunchtime special, I had Roasted Squash & Ricotta Bruschetta followed by Tagliatelle Bolognese which was really nice although the Bruschetta was fantastic, lovely flavours, i could have had a few more of them and that would have done, Vicki had the Bruschetta and then Mussel Linguine which i tried and was very nice, plenty of mussels and cooked with chilli, garlic, parsley, white wine & olive oil. I will be having that next time!
All in all a very lovely meal in a great place, I really love all the salami and hams hanging up around the kitchens etc, all real and all adding to the whole atmosphere of the Restaurant.
Monday - Saturday 12 noon - 11.00pm
Sunday 12 noon - 10.30pm
Favorite Dish: All seem to be really nice but up to now the Turkey Milanese is the best!
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Food and Dining
Giovanni's: Italiano / famiglia gallese
I recently had the pleasure of dining at Giovanni's new Restaurant at Park Place in Cardiff, being near Christmas we picked from the Christmas Menu which offered a great choice of dishes offering quite a variety of flavours. For starters I had Rigatoni Napolitana which was very nice, the Pasta was cooked perfectly and the tomato sauce was nice and tasty, Mains I had Pollo alla Cacciatore This was very nice with a large piece of chicken in a lovely tomato sauce with black olives and mushrooms, It came with potatoes and veg on the side, the potatoes were the only thing that let it down really, they were nice but just pieces of potato deep fried like chips, some nice small potatoes roasted would have made it perfect. Dessert was a choice between Tiramisu or Cheesecake I opted for the cheese cake and it was lovely with a nice thick biscuit base and topped with a nice strawberry sauce..
Vicki had Cocktail Di Gamberetti for starters (Norwegian prawns with Marie Rose Sauce) which looked very nice, for Mains and Dessert she had the same as me.
I certainly want to eat here again.
Wales has a lot of Italian family's and I really liked the way that people would call in have a quick espresso and a chat to the staff at the bar and then leave, something you see while your in Italy or the med but not often in UK restaurants.
Here is some info from the website:
Born in Reggio Calabria, Italy and brought up in Grangetown, Cardiff – Giovanni is a true Welsh Italian. His career began by going to America and working on luxury cruise liners travelling the world. Today sees him running a collection of successful businesses, with Giovanni's Restaurants at the forefront. From humble beginnings in 1983, Giovanni's Italian Restaurant on the Hayes attracted a loyal customer base including celebrities such as Shirley Bassey, Luciano Pavarotti and Tom Jones, all of whom testify to the delicious home cooked Italian food the venue provides. This year sees the restaurant celebrating its 30th anniversary of a family tradition, and the launch of a second city center restaurant Giovanni's in Park Place. This, alongside the launch of Giovanni's highly anticipated cookery school has meant for an exceptionally busy, but exciting year and we look forward to seeing you at one of our venues soon.
Favorite Dish: Im hoping to be able to say what my favorite is when i have been a few more times!
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Food and Dining
Carluccio's in Cardiff has a Fantastic Deli with loads of fresh stuff like cheese, Rice Balls, Salad, Olives, Frittata, Cured Hams, Salami, as well as cakes etc, and of course Pasta, Olive Oils, biscuits and loads of other stuff.
W"e called in for something to eat on a lovely sunny day, we ate inside then finished our drinks outside in the sun, it was really nice.
The service was really good and the food was lovely! I had Garlic Bread followed by Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with a couple of Bottles of Peroni.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Food and Dining
Giovannis: Best lasagne ever!
Giovanni's is a long-established, traditional Italian restaurant. We came across it quite by chance, and saw that they had a £9.99 set lunch menu, so thought we would give it a try.
Minestrone soup and grilled sardines as starters were fine, but it was in the main course that we struck gold.
Favorite Dish: My husband ordered the lasagne - described on the menu simply as 'homemade meat lasagne'. What arrived was a very generous portion of the tastiest, most delicious ever. I tried a bit, so I know.
My pasta with salmon was also very good, but the lasagne was the star, setting the standard for all other lasagne to live up to. We may never be able to order lasagne anywhere else again.
- Food and Dining
- Family Travel
Jamie Olivers: My favourite at moment
This is quite a new restaraunt to Cardiff opened November 2010 and so popular you have to queue to get a table. The food in my opinion is wonderful and staff are so attentive its really nice place to go for a meal. I advise you to phone and book a table.
Villa Napoli: Unbeatable Atmosphere
This wonderfully atmospheric Italian eatery is located in a prime position in the upmarket Cardiff suburb of Penarth.
Perhaps best known for the part it plays as a principal location in the hugely popular TV comedy "Gavin and Stacy", this home of great food deserves a place in the stars for so many reasons.
From the moment you walk through the doors you feel you have been transported straight to Naples. The furnishings are very non-posh, wooden, and lots of red check tablecloths abound. Waiters are Italian and greet you with a smiling "Buongiorno".
Specials of the day are displayed on blacbboards around the premises and on slates on the walls. I knew I was going to love the place as soon as I started reading the specials and saw lots of fishy delights.
We were first shown to a table for drinks and there we examined the vast menu of starters, pastas, pizzas, and main courses. Drinks arrived quickly and our food orders were taken. It wasn't lomg before we were shown to our table. It's very atmospheric here, complete with candles and dim lighting. The music was a selection of '70's and '80's hits, which suited me perfectly. I could have sat here for hours.
Favorite Dish: I started with one of the blackboard specials - prawns, smoked salmon, and crayfish with avocado and a marie rose sauce. It was very nice but I found the crayfish a little tasteless. In spite of that, the portions were generous and the platter was beautifully presented. I rather wished I had tried one of the many alternatives from the specials board. I'm sure I had crayfish before, but I never recall it being so bland.
I followed this with a very delicious dish consisting of mussels and prawns in a cream and wine sauce, served with rice.
I had no room for dessert although I did take a peek at the menu. The one thing I found was that while the menu for starters and mains was really vast, the dessert choice was miniscule.
Be sure to read the menu through - parts of it are very humorous.
The restaurant is very very busy and I wouldn't dream of showing up without a reservation.
Bella Italia: Great Ambience and food
Bella Italia is situated within the Red Dragon Complex at Cardiff Bay. It is one of the UK wide chain of restaurants which serve wholesome Italian Food.
You have the choice of an outside seating area, which is ideal for watching passers by as they mull around the complex. Alternatively you can sit inside the cosy restaurant which has been lavishly decorated with mediterranean colours, velour drapes and rustic shelves to make your Italian experience more real.
The food is great and the service is excellent. I have been here several times and have not been disappointed once. There is a friendly atmosphere here and the staff do their utmost to make sure you are satified with your meal. They also have a Childrens menu available so a meal here can be combined with a trip to the cinema or bowling.
Favorite Dish: The Penne Marco Polo was very nice, it's Sliced Duck with spring onions in a delicious plum sauce served with Penne pasta.
Positano: Rip Off Italian
I went there recently and the food was extremely bad. They like trays-I am talking about trays that go in the microwave. The "roasted" potatoes and vegetables with every main meal are done in this way and they are soggy and have no flavour. The scallops with broad beans and bacon were also done in the microwave(!), in the same tray. The scallops tasted like rubber. The king prawns were very bad-tasteless and very small, with no flavour at all. This place leaves a lot to be desired, it is massively overpriced for the quality of food. If you want fresh fish, go to Bayside Brasserie and if you want proper italian food with fresh ingredients and flavour, without the microwave trays, go somewhere else.
Positano: Positano gets a negatore!
I had eaten here three years ago and so delighted was I with it at the time that I insisted on dragging my little group there for Saturday lunch.
We arrived shortly after 12.30pm and the place was already crowded, forcing us to queue at the door to get in. We were second in the fast moving queue so we didn't mind.
However, one of our group was in a wheelchair and we quickly discovered that this rendered us invisible to some of the staff. There were four in our little group and as we stood there queueing one of the waiters beckoned to a group standing behind us and asked how many were in their group. "Four", they answered, and were beckoned ahead. I objected and the offending waiter looked at me as if seeing me for the first time, asking how many were in my group. I responded "Four" and was tempted to add "unless you are counting the wheelchair as an extra person" but I didn't. Quickly he passed on the responsibility for us to a colleague of his and we were seated.
The service was almost intolerably slow - probably something to do with the new cut price menu. I saw people get up and leave without ordering.
I imagine it would be far nicer at night as the food is indeed good - see below.
Favorite Dish: There is a special menu on offer at about 7 pounds for a main course and just under 10 for starter and main. There's a pretty good choice for this.
I order from another menu, a fish menu, which was more expensive but was good being hake served with a tarragon sauce. However the carrots on my vegetable side dish were withered and dried up.
My companions all ordered the chicken with mushroom sauce and this was pronounced enjoyable but nothing special.
Overall I was satisfied, but not even nearly as happy as I was three years ago. Next time I'm in Cardiff I'll be looking for a new lunch venu. There are two other Italian restaurants almost directly across the road and both offer special lunch menus at lower prices! Positano would want to watch its back I think. It's easy to lose a great clientele by trying to compete at the lower end of the market!
ASK: Great Italian
We had dinner at ASK on a very snowy visit to Cardiff in december.
I had a lovely meal, Brouchetta to start followed by a lovely Pasta dish (the name of which i can't remember) and then Profeteroles.
The food was lovely and i would love to go again.
Zizzi's: A great restuarant
Zizzi's is a great Italian restaurant which forms part of a UK wide chain of restaurants. Zizzi's in Cardiff is is situated smack bang in the City Centre, very close to the Castle. It occupies the former Cardiff Guildhall evident by the great stonework on the exterior and very, very high ceilings inside.
I have eaten here a few times and have not been disappointed once. The food and service are great and the restaurant has a lovely spacious feel to it.
Ask: Great food & atmosphere
Ask is a lovely Italian Restaurant which is part of a wider chain of Restauants located throughout the UK. Ask in Cardiff is ideally situated on Mill Lane right in the Centre of the City. The restaurant has a light and airy feel to it with picture windows looking out onto Mill Lane and the adjacent Wyndham Arcade. We were seated downstairs near to the open plan kitchen so could keep an eye on the chef!! The service here was impeccable and the food really delicious. We shared a bruschtta to start, I had a seafood ravioli dish for my main course and tiramisu for desert. Gareth had a spicy meatball dish for main course and profiteroles for desert. We were both really satisfied with our meals and will definitely be eating at Ask again. The best thing about eating here is that i got a big discount off the bill by using my Sainsbury's Nectar card points.
Favorite Dish: All of them!!
Demiro's SteakHouse Cardiff Bay: Awesome food, pricey, but nice
Rarely, very rarely I will pay top dollar for a unique dining experience, this is such an occasion, it is more expensive than some other choices in the bay, but you really get what you pay for,, usually, they will pay on live music and have a waiter singing.
The decor inside the restaurant is truly lovely, and a great quality of service..
I ordered lamb shank with roast potatoes, a dish I personally enjoy and has to be cooked to a certain standard otherwise I am in a bad mood.. Suffice to say, this was a pleasure to eat and a good portion size, so unfortunately no dessert for me, but very satisfied by the whole experience..
Favorite Dish: Lamb Shank, the only dish i've tried..
Bella Italia Cardiff Bay: Nice surrounding, shame about service
I will start by saying i've been to italy to sample the food, and give a good amount of leniency to UK restaurants when they try to re-make their dishes.. especially franchises like this one..
I ordered a pasta carbonara, which was a reasonable portion, nice flavour and brought to table in around 12 mins,
There is a good decor about the place, however, service was not good, we were generally left for around 20 mins after the course was finished, and when we did order a dessert, the waitress disappeared for another 20 mins, and then stated the dessert wasn't available, and presented the bill, without asking if we wanted anything else or apologies for the mixup,, Very Very Strange
Favorite Dish: It was a standard carbonara, alright...
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