Summer Tapas at Cosy Club

Anyone who knows me well, knows there is only one place in Cardiff I continually return to time and time again and that’s the hidden gem that is Cosy Club.

A discreet hideaway, it’s perfectly positioned in a central location with a great view across the main shopping street in the city.

Cosy Club is like a grown-ups’ social playground…Whether you’re grabbing brunch with a friend, booking one of their wine tasting sessions or curling up on the sofas for an intimate date it’s the perfect setting.

I recently went there for dinner with my friend Jack and we might have spoilt ourselves just a little bit.

We opted for a starter each… I had the mushroom bruschetta & Jack went for the Goats cheese pearls with sun-blushed tomatoes and black olive tapenade… These were just so scrummy!

Cosy Starter

We decided that we simply couldn’t choose which tapas dishes to go for…so we went for all of them! The only 2 we didn’t try were the ham hock and the herring as they had run out.

Mini Cumberland sausages with a sticky, wholegrain mustard & cider sauce– 10/10 WE LOVED! If I had my own Last Supper, this is what I would serve.

Crispy potatoes with pesto mayonnaise-9/10 Lush flavours, crunchy texture, creamy mayo!

Honey glazed shredded 5- spice pork– 9/10 A party in your mouth with each soft, gooey piece

Watermelon & crumbled feta with black olives, mint & extra virgin olive oil– 9/10 The naughtiest salad you’ll ever have… Going to make this at home!

Chorizo braised in cider– 8/10 Mouth watering texture, scrummy sauce, could’ve eaten a whole bowl of this

Mushroom rarebit made with their guest ale and mature cheddar– 8/10 Just like mumma makes it!

Home cured raspberry salmon with a raspberry vinegarette– 6/10 Lush salmon, bit too much fruit…

Grilled courgettes, red peppers & roasted vine tomatoes with a walnut & parsley pistou– 6/10 Superb flavours but this dish deserves to be served warm!

Mini fish fingers with tartare suace– 8/10 Always a winner for me… Gotta love anything mini

Houmous topped with spiced sultanas and chickpeas– 10/10 Made us feel very festive, I want to smother this on top of everything I eat at home.

Sweet potato and basil falafels with cumin & coriander yoghurt– 6/10 We are not falafel people, but we tried them and loved the aromas that came from within.

Pulled chicken poached in buttermilk and ginger with fennel & apple coleslaw– 7/10 Bit too much slaw, not enough chicken but blimey the chicken was good!

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Okay…we were so full by this point we contemplated stopping but then we remembered… there’s always room for dessert…hehe!

I went for the Peach Melba Cheesecake which arrived in the cutest jar and tasted phenomenal… nom nom nom!!

Cosy Dessert

Jack chose the Rhubarb, stem ginger and custard fool… It looked outstanding and the heavenly noises Jack made whilst eating it only made it seem even better.

After feeling suitably stuffed we made our way home, but not before saying goodbye to the evening’s host Nathan who always gives you a warm welcome and makes sure you’ve had a great time.

The whole team at Cosy Club always make you feel like one in a million and it’s for this reason that I will continue to keep going back!

If you’re looking for a great deal then head to Cosy Club on Tapas Tuesday and you can get 3 tapas dishes and a glass of wine for £11.50!!!!

http://www.thecosyclub.co.uk/cardiff

 

   

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Hang about… it’s Hang Fire Smokehouse!

Today I had the joy of going along to the penultimate pop-up BBQ at Porter’s Bar, hosted by Hang Fire Smokehouse owners Shauna & Sam. When we arrived, the smoking area come picnic park was empty, seats were ours for the picking…Just what we like!

Over the course of the next half an hour more and more people poured in, finding seats, cushions, ledges to perch on, waiting for that all important moment. Luckily for us, we had bonded with Shauna prior to everyone else turning up, she gave us the nod and we made a run for it just in time for ‘service’ to begin. Well…the line was out the door in a matter of seconds and it took nearly 2 hours before there was any let up for the poor girls. Fair play to them though, they keep customers moving pretty quickly but I guess you have to expect a wait for food this good.

I wanted to try a few things so I ordered the pork, beef brisket and lamb. The pork was so good and exactly what I expected… soft and succulent and full of flavour . I would definitely recommend this dish! The brisket was okay but a tad tough and seemed to lack that smokey flavour I was looking for. The lamb was exquisite, tender but with just enough chew you could really sink your teeth into large strips.

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On the side I had Texas ‘Slaw which was out of this world. It wasn’t completely soaked in any sauce and the texture was a mix of soft and crunchy, it made the perfect accompaniment to the whole dish. I also had Mac ‘n’ Cheese, which unfortunately I was a little disappointed with… I had heard so much about this amazing side so I guess I had high expectations but It tasted like regular macaroni cheese to me. Now on to the sauces, the girls make these by hand and they are divine. My favourite sauce was the Kansas BBQ sauce, a classic, traditional barbecue sauce with a deep smokey flavour but just a hint of heat that kept you licking your lips. On the subject of dips, it would have been good to have a small empty pot on the tray to put sauce in. There’s always that worry that you’ll cover your food in it and then not like it…and dipping is so much more fun anyway.

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For everything I had I only had to part with £15, which in my eye was exceedingly good value for how much food I had!

I would have loved it if Porter’s had got in on the act a little bit more, maybe having a Southern-inspired drinks menu…a thought for next time I suppose.

The BBQ was a success and we were glad to have had the chance to experience this landmark pop-up event before it leaves. If you haven’t yet been then Sunday 29th September is their last one. They start serving at Porter’s Bar 1.30pm and once it’s gone it’s gone so get yourselves down there early!

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It’ll be all-White on the night!

As a blogger in residence, I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch party for The White Company opening its first Welsh store in St David’s Shopping Centre.

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You couldn’t miss this store if you tried! The entrance is striking to say the least,  a crisp all-white front framing the windows, elegant lighting…and of course for the evening we were there, giant black bows adorned the windows.

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Once we were in we were given a glass of champagne and started making our way around, familiarising ourselves with the home fragrances and getting acquainted with the canapés all provided by Jamie’s Italian.

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Shortly after arriving the CEO, Will Kernan, came and introduced himself to us, gave us a bit of a background to the company, including how the candles are made and we even had a little gossip about upcoming events and the White Company pre-Christmas event.

I was also lucky enough to steal a few moments with the ultimately popular Store Manager, Justin, who wanted to know what I thought of the store and the evening as a whole. No one could fault this evening for a launch event. The food was fantastic and a string quartet were there for the evening, although at times it felt a bit ‘Titanic’, I feel a simple mix of Ludovico Einaudi songs would have set the tone perfectly instead.

The store is, naturally, all white, but not in a cold, uninviting kind of way. It’s more crisp, clean and mineral and the way everything is positioned gives a real ease of flow throughout the store, even when it was packed full of fellow bloggers and press.

Naturally I had to take full advantage of my 20% on-the-night discount and purchased a heart-shaped chopping board, which I’m going to use as a mezze platter instead and top with plenty of cured meats, cheese and olives…okay, now I’m hungry!

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This store has everything you could hope for… Homeware, fragrances, fashion and absolutely stunning bed linen…The only downside…You’re going to need to be earning some serious cheddar if you want to splash out on a few purchases in here… but it’s definitely worth it!

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We all went home with a goody bag which included a voucher for our next visit, a sachet of darjeeling earl grey from Teapigs and The White Company’s very own ‘Seychelles’ mini candle.

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A great evening all around, all that’s left to say to The White Company is… “Welcome to Wales and good luck!!” 

Dinner at La Tasca

So I was invited to La Tasca in the Brewery Quarter a few weeks ago to sample some of their delights…I know, hard job, but someone’s got to do it!

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I always visit La Tasca since I started attending salsa classes here and the food here is always cooked beautifully and the restaurant itself is very homely.

There is always such a selection with the Tapas that you can’t go wrong, whatever you are into and whoever you are with. The environment here is much more authentic Spanish than most tapas bars in Cardiff and you do feel very comfortable from the moment you arrive… it’s a great atmosphere and very reasonable for the price. The staff are always very attentive too and will go out of their way to be as helpful as possible.

We shared 6 tapas dishes which were;

Pescado Blanco Frito (Malaga) which is deep-fried white fish, in their special-recipe San Miguel batter, served with homemade paprika & roasted garlic mayonnaise and lemon.

Patatas Bravas (Espana) which is fried potato, with spicy tomato sauce. We also added cheese to ours.

A Festival of Mushrooms ( Rioja) which is chestnut and button mushrooms, sautéed in garlic butter and white wine.

Pork Belly (Segovia) which is slow-cooked pork belly, served with rosemary herb-scented beans.

Croquetas de Pollo (Madrid); Hand-crumbed with chicken breast and served with roasted garlic mayonnaise.

Pollo Marbella (Malaga). Chicken breast, cooked with smoked paprika, chorizo, mixed peppers, onion and a white wine & cream sauce.

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This was more than enough for the two of us, we were rather full so skipped dessert. We’d also washed all this down with a bottle of the house red wine between us… Hic!

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We agreed that our favourite dish was definitely the deep fried white fish with its succulent, flaky texture and exceptionally well-flavoured batter, it was not going to be beaten.

The mushroom dish and the Pollo Marbella were close contenders…full of flavoured herbs, both of these dishes ticked all of our boxes. Again both of these were cooked exceptionally well and stayed sizzling long enough for us to dig in to each aspect of the meal without any of it getting cold.

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We were a little let down by the pork belly, stringy and tough and just pretty bland we only managed half of it between us before admitting defeat.

We were a little bewildered as well, as everything tasted rather salty. Having eaten at La Tasca plenty of times before this was a surprise as normally you can add salt to taste but the patatas bravas were almost ruined by the amount of salt on them…A girl can only handle so much sodium in her life!

Overall this was a great meal, as is expected from such a experienced restaurant, they currently have a great selection of seasonal tapas dishes too which are only around for a short space of time. I have no hesitations in sending you all in the direction of La Tasca in Cardiff. Make sure you try out their salsa classes too…just have a sangria or five first if you’re nervous!

Disclosures:

Invited by PR company- Yes

Staff knew I was a food blogger- Yes

Compensated for meal- Yes