As most of my readers will know, we love eating out. Too regularly if truth be told, especially judging by my waistline. But we haven’t tried anywhere different for a while. So it was really nice to try out the newly opened Nook. John, from Ember (and former owner of Arbennig) and Phil from Dusty Knuckle have joined forces to creat Nook; a quaint little restaurant opposite Victoria Park. Nook has joined the likes of Pettigrew Bakeries and Bwydiful making Victoria Park a bit of a haven for foodies. Here’s our review of Nook, Cardiff.
The restaurant itself, is as it’s name suggests, is a small and cosy restaurant. It has a relaxed vibe with old church chairs, light wood tables and an open kitchen where you can see the chefs busy at work.
But it is the little touches which really make a difference. Like the live moss wall where plants grow, the gorgeous earthy crockery, and a wall with natural wines on tap.
The attraction of natural wines is that there is nothing added and nothing taken away, they are essentially organic fermented grape juice. We sampled the rose which was a delicate and crisp wine, ideal as an aperitif. We then moved on to the full bodied earthy Grenache to accompany our meal. The wines are supplied by artisan suppliers which is one thing John and Phil are keen to support. They are all about using local independent suppliers.
As for the food, Nook serves up a selection of delicious small plates. It’s your choice as to whether you order to make more of a one-dish type meal or order to share tapas style.
We ordered our own main dishes and got a couple of dishes between us too. This worked well as we were with friends and we could then sample more.
Everything on the menu is seasonal and it is locally sourced from independent suppliers. John told us that the menu would be changed regularly, mainly on a weekly basis. This is because it will be driven by the local produce available.
To start we shared a small plate of cured meat with a delicious refreshing side of carrot and greens pickle. We paired this with the house bread and olives.
As my main dish I tucked into the 40 day aged Longhorn beef blade steak. This was cooked to tender perfection topped with cavalo nero and creamed and chopped hazelnuts. My husband sampled the toasted treacle loaf topped with creamy crab while friends raved about the ox liver which was served up with beetroot and horseradish.
For sides we tucked into delicious crispy stacked potatoes, roasted carrots, a refreshing courgette and lemon salad and a scrummy yummy aubergine ragu. Everything we tried was spot on, and each dish was packed with flavour. They tasted really fresh and the quality of the produce shone through.
The other thing I liked about the menu was that there were both vegetarian and vegan options. Ideal for me as I have a dairy intolerance. I also need to give a shout out to the waiting staff as you’d never have guessed that it was opening night. Everything just ran super smoothly.
Not surprisingly, after all that food, I was too full for dessert, but reportedly the Pavlova was very satisfying and a nice end to the meal.
Our Verdict of Nook Cardiff:
We loved it! Loved the concept of building your own dishes. Loved the fact that you can opt to share dishes, and of course we loved the natural wines.
Additional Information – Nook Cardiff:
Address: 587 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff, CF5 1BE
Oh, one thing worth mentioning is that you can’t book ahead. You just have to pop in and hope for a table. Although there is an area where you can wait with your drink until a table becomes available.