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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Summer Has Arrived at Marks & Spencer

Last week, Marks & Spencer sent me some goodies from their new Summer Range and oh my, they didn’t disappoint.

I indulged in the tapas selection in one sitting… Spanish Meatballs, Chorizo & Cheese empanadas and Garlic Mushrooms.

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*Spoiler* All of the Summer Tapas range is 3 for £6 until the 20th May

My only mistake was not checking the packaging first, both the mushrooms and meatballs can be quickly heated up the microwave in a minute each, however the empanadas needed 12 minutes in the oven, not a very long wait but next time I would just do the oven ones first so it’s all ready at once.

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The mushrooms were fairly salty but that’s kind of how I like them, with huge chunks of roasted garlic all over them I was in a sort of mushroom-heaven. The meatballs had a gorgeous tomato sauce on them and their texture was soft, but they didn’t fall apart when you put your fork into them. The empanadas were the real highlight… oozing soft, gooey cheese and then you get the salty, spicy chorizo which works really well with the buttery pastry.

Next up…Dessert!

I was lucky enough to be given two different ones to try… A Coconut Milk dessert with a Pineapple & Chilli salsa and also a Milk Chocolate & Salted Caramel Dulce de Leche dessert

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I LOVED the Coconut dessert! It was soft, creamy and mixed with the pineapple beautifully. I can’t begin to describe how utterly delicious this was, it was like eating a fluffy cloud and then adding a layer of citrusy gold to it. The chilli salsa was great for flavour but the texture of it really was like salsa and the chunks were just too big for a dessert that small, in my opinion.

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The milk chocolate & dulce de leche was a weird texture. It was kind of like a sponge cake, but a really wet sponge cake, like a moist, chocolatey sponge cake…but not a sponge cake! It had a crunchy salted caramel layer running through it too which I could have quite easily eaten on its own. It was rather rich though, and like an idiot I ate both so as you can imagine I was going into dessert-overload at this point.

Overall, I’d give this Summer Range a 9 out of 10!

Get yourself down to Marks & Spencer in St David’s Shopping Centre and grab some ready for the Bank Holiday!

Club Platinum at La Tasca

This week Team Awesome headed to La Tasca for the launch of Club Platinum, their new and exclusive corporate loyalty card.

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We were greeted with Jäger Mojitos when we arrived which were absolutely AMAZING! They were quite sweet but had an incredibly citrusy tang that kept it from being undrinkable.

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Then we moved onto Posh Sangria made using Cava and an Orange Liqueur…

…at this point my head was beginning to spin.

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Bring on the food!

A mixture of continental meats, traditional Spanish omelette and olives kept us all from acting like a pack of ravenous dogs… for a while, but we caved and bought more ourselves in attempt t absorb some of the alcohol.

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The benefits of a Platinum Card are:

–          25% off food and drink

–          Exclusive booking line for members

–          Free rental space for meetings or party

–          Personalised service to organise your company dinner or special event

If you work in Cardiff, be sure to get in touch with the guys at Fiesta Nights by emailing enquiries@fiesta-nights.com

Fancy A Spanish?

I’m quite lucky that I’ve been on a first-name basis with the staff at La Tasca in Cardiff for quite some time anyway, so when I was asked to attend their re-launch after their refurbishment I jumped at the chance!

A vibrant and authentic tapas restaurant, La Tasca brings a real taste of Spain to the table. Refuel during shopping (or unwind afterwards) with tasty tapas, paellas to share and a range of other Spanish delicacies. Situated at the main entrance to The Brewery Quarter, Cardiff’s La Tasca boasts outside seating and an upstairs balcony, perfect to enjoy a sangría pitcher during the summer months. The balcony is perfect for a bit of al fresco dining all year round! If you’re planning a special event or party, La Tasca is just the place – and with a children’s menu available, it’s a great spot to bring the family too.

On arrival we were greeted by General Manager Carl and Area Manager David. Both absolutely charming, they offered us a glass of traditional Sangria and we began chatting about the new decor. Bright and colourful, it’s a huge change from the dark and dare I say ‘dingy’ feel it used to have. It used to be filled with a deep, dark coloured wood and a similar colour scheme on the walls. Now, when you walk in you are greeted with bright oranges and yellows!

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Me with fellow blogger SJ (Cowbiscuits)

 We started with a few nibbles including a snapshot from the Tabla Española… traditional Spanish cured meat with Manchego cheese. There were also segments of Tortilla Española on offer… which is Traditional Spanish omelette.

Image We well and truly filled our boots!

 At this point our host for the evening, Area Sales Executive Liz, joined us and began leading the cocktail masterclass. Informative and fun, Liz allowed us all the chance to come up and make a cocktail of our choice from the new drinks menu. In case any of you didn’t know, Cardiff La Tasca is home to the Chupitos Cocktail Bar… the only one in the La Tasca family!

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I was lucky enough to make the Manzanilla… the only man I’ll ever need!

This was a cocktail filled with Manzanilla Sherry, Sugar Syrup & Sprite… Cue girly squeal!

 Later on in the evening we were lucky enough to have a Salsa class with the wonderful Shahid from Salsa Beuna who put us all through our paces, which wasn’t too difficult after the amount of alcohol we’d now consumed. The salsa classes are normally hosted by the gracious Sabina on a Tuesday & Thursday evening… (She was away during this event).

Image We took 10 minutes to recuperate and then headed over to the giant beast of paella that was waiting for us… We all had a few servings of this! The flavours were exquisite, all of the ingredients were really fresh and the rice was incredibly moist.

Image As you can imagine by the end of the evening we were all suitably full and rather inebriated! It was a great night though and we met some wonderful people.

An amazing night! I will definitely be returning!

Let’s Get Cosy!

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 started with the Vegetarian & Cheese sharing platter, this included all of our favourites such as baked brie, olives and pâté. 

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We also had some cheesy garlic bread on the side which is the best I’ve ever tasted.

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We opted for tapas for our mains, both going for the crispy, cheese-coated potatoes and the pan-fried mushrooms in a fiery peppercorn sauce.

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My third plate was the red wine infused chorizo and Jack had the mini fish fingers with freshly made tartar sauce.

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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 chose the lemon posset which came with crystallized lemon and a lemon curd shortbread…nom nom nom!!

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 Jack chose the raspberry crème brulée, stunning to look at with the glass-like topping and once broken into there was the surprise of Chambord-soaked raspberries inside.

After feeling suitably stuffed we made our way home, but not before saying goodbye to the evening’s host Amy 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!

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