It’s rare for me to blog about the same place twice, especially so soon after my first review, but our second visit to Cardiff’s The Meating Place last night deserves a special mention.
We really enjoyed our last visit (my first and Mr W’s second) where we tried their speciality hanging meat skewers, and decided to go again. This time, we sampled a starter of wild mushrooms, poached egg, hollandaise and sourdough toast, followed by a sirloin steak (me) and one of the specials, rack of lamb with cassoulet (Mr W). Sadly no photos, as at this stage I wasn’t planning to blog about the visit, but suffice to say the food was excellent, particularly my steak, which came with divine thick cut chips and deliciously sweet, crispy onion rings. Chunky chips are a bugbear of mine as they are wonderful when done well, but so easy to get wrong – either soaked in grease, or crispy on the outside and raw in the middle. These, however, were pretty much perfect – and when I spoke to one of the waitresses about them she said that their secret is to triple cook the chips – first to steam them, then par boil, then finally roast. It’s obviously a recipe for successful chunky chips!
All the staff we experienced were excellent – attentive without being overly so (and the excessive wine top ups from our first visit seemed to have been eliminated since then too). They all seemed to genuinely care about whether we were enjoying our meals, and were keen to make sure we were well looked after.
As is often the case with us, we got chatting to one of the staff, Antoine, a Frenchman who has been in Cardiff for six years. Along with his colleagues, he looked after us fantastically well during the course of the evening, and on learning of our particular interest in all things food-related, he showed us a copy of their lunch menu that they have recently launched. This is definitely worth a try – an innovative mix of light dishes, open sandwiches, and reasonably priced versions of their steak and burger mains, with nothing costing more than around £8. It was a pleasant change from the usual “Two courses for £.9.95” that seems to be almost a staple when it comes to restaurants trying to get people in for lunch – and doesn’t always fit the bill if you just want something light and tasty.
A further treat came at the end of the meal when Antoine brought out the chef to introduce him to us. David Wigley, has an impressive CV, having worked with Marco Pierre White at the Criterion and Michel Roux Jr at Le Gavroche. The quality of the food we had is such that it didn’t surprise me to learn that the chef had trained with Michelin starred colleagues. We had a lovely chat with David, who explained his goals for the restaurant: producing good, innovative food, different from the norm, at reasonable prices. Both times I’ve been to the Meating Place, I’ve been blown away by how reasonably priced the meals are for what they are (my sirloin steak with all the trimmings was £14.50, and even desserts come in at £3.95 – less than many pub prices), and it’s refreshing to know that this is a conscious effort and that the prices won’t be creeping up once the place becomes popular (it seems it already has as it’s been packed whenever we’ve visited).
My last review of The Meating Place was very positive, but I really wanted to blog about it again after our recent visit as despite always being very busy, I don’t think it’s currently talked about as much as some venues in Cardiff, but in my opinion it’s one of the best, and I think it deserves a visit!
The Meating Place, 41 St. Mary’s Street, Cardiff CF10 1AD