Under the radar cuisine

Sometimes it’s the quieter places that can occasionally provide the big surprises. Take Whitchurch in Cardiff… as a teenager I would frequently be saying, yes, just take it; but then I escaped only to re-visit over many years to find that it has a quaintly interesting aura about it.

Never a place to appear in any gastronomic lists, but somewhere that domestic pets needn’t live in the fear of abduction with designs on being turned into heavily disguised nouvelle cuisine! It seems that one quiet little corner is bucking the trend of many years, as The Brook Bistro has had many failed previous incarnations but now seems to be thriving…

Brook Bistro

Well, thriving may not be what comes to mind on entry, but we were visiting very early evening and it was a fully booked little establishment later that same evening…

Restaurant

But, then again, unlike some of the bigger more ferocious members of the cat family, we weren’t here to eat the locals. When it comes to what’s on the plate, this place served up some delightful surprises; with a mushrooms, chorizo and stilton starter leading the tastebud assault…

Mushrooms Chorizo and Stilton

Then it was time for the main event, and a combination of Slow Roasted Rack of Lamb and a Grilled Tuna Steak Salad were delightful sights and mouth-watering tastes…

Slow Roasted Rack of Lamb and Grilled Tuna Steak Salad mains

Until we speak again, discerning cats are currently licking their lips over tasty Argentinian Malbecs!

A glimpse of future past

In the words of Juno, the ‘resident smart arse’ is trying to be too clever with the language again… “Say what you mean and mean what you say, but make sure the culinary treats are directed to a deserving cat.” IMAG1550

With a friend in town the opportunity opens up for a visit to a relatively new city centre eatery. The buzz of excitement of a swanky meal is matched by the buzz of pedestrian traffic through town. But as the destination opens up the memory meanders back to another century, or as Juno used to say “my personal ‘old git’ is busy reminiscing again”. It might look to the newcomer like a fortified bank vault, and to the younger locals it is Habitat. However, to the wise elders of Cardiff this is ‘the leckie’, the old electricity board building from when South Wales Electricity Board (SWEB) shone a ray of light into the grim darkness otherwise known as the 1970’s…

IMAG1551

In 2014 it reopened on The Hayes as a branch of theIMAG1552 Miller & Carter’s Steakhouse with big promises for the connoisseur of the cow! ‘For the love of steak’ is their strap-line, with claims to already be one of Cardiff’s best steakhouses, and this cat is arriving with expectations to match.

The decor is an inviting mix of the old and new, giving the place a soup├žon of gravitas, but will the food match?

Miller and Carter [2]

Who needs a proper starter when you can share succulent olives with artisan bread, all served up on a piece of Welsh slate? And the wine was tasty too…

Miller and Carter [3]

‘Curiosity killed the cat’, or so one of Juno’s least favourite sayings goes… but the less well known rejoinder ‘satisfaction brought it back’ would surely fulfil the mounting expectations of a vegetarian’s worst nightmare! With a great drum roll the main attraction takes centre stage…

Miller and Carter [4]

… and as for the verdict, it can best be described as not disappointing, but possibly mildly underwhelming. The texture and appearance of the fillet steak was just how I would assume GM beef would come served… an Electric Daisy Edible Plastics production; but it tasted ok. As for the chips, what’s with the attempted competition with McDonalds? Who wants ‘fries with that’ when your meal needs a proper top quality crispy & fluffy combo!

Juno faceUntil we speak again this cat recommends that you keep Miller & Carter’s in mind as a good option if you are focused on price, as for a good fillet steak you are paying nearly a tenner less here than some of the local places that have a better claim to be one of Cardiff’s best steakhouses.