Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The Cookshop Cardiff Review

Today I am talking about one of those hidden gems, a local business that deserves more recognition for its tasty food.

The Cookshop Cardiff, is a delicatessen based in Pontcanna, Cardiff. Opened by Julia Hallinan in 1982 the business went from strength to strength until Julia closed it in 1996 to go into a career in education. Last year Julia reopened the shop and one of the new ventures she has gone into is gourmet ready meals, with a strong focus on quality and flavour. She loves to support local producers and all the food is locally sourced not far from her home.

Every week a new menu is lovingly devised and cooked. You can buy the dishes separately or buy the dinner party in a box, this is priced at £19.95 for 2 starters, 2 mains, 2 sides and 2 desserts. You can place your order in store or via email or phone. All the ingredients are listed on the back of the packaging and there is nothing artificial added only simple good quality ingredients.





 A sample menu

This is my honest opinion of the food I was given to sample.


Starter - Leek and Cheese Tartlet



leek and cheese tartlet

The leek and cheese tartlet was very tasty. The pastry was light and crumbly and the filling soft and favourful. It didn't taste over powering of cheese either. It tasted delicious and refined like a upmarket quiche. You can eat this tart hot or cold, I ate it hot. 


Main Course -Lamb Moussaka and Spinach and Butternut Squash Lasagne


lamb moussaka



spinach and butternut squash lasagne

Both dishes were very generous portions. The moussaka tasted authentic with a delicious meat filling. The white sauce was smooth and the aubergines soft and yielding. There was an abundance of gravy so I have used an image of it in the cooking container, as the other photo does not do it justice.

The spinach and butternut squash lasagne was topped with a creamy bechamel sauce and a touch of cheese - my husband rated it highly. The tomato sauce in the lasagne tasted fresh and the dish was packed full of vegetables. A really excellent vegetarian dish.

Side dishes - Roasted Vegetables with Thyme and Honey and Peas with Pancetta

I could not fault the flavour of both dishes. A pleasant hint of roast garlic livened up the roasted vegetables with sweetness added by the honey and the peas with pancetta were delicious, you could really taste the slight smokiness of the pancetta. The only thing I would say is that the side dishes were smaller than I imagined as the main courses were extremely generous in size.

Desserts - Raspberry Pannacotta and Pear and Almond Chocolate Tart


raspberry pannacotta


pear and almond chocolate tart

We were full after our two courses but our dessert was still waiting.

Onto the raspberry pannacotta. This had a light and creamy set vanilla custard base topped with a lovely raspberry sauce. There were specks of vanilla pod in the pannacotta and whole raspberries in the sauce. This dish was smooth, delicious and not too sweet.

The pear and almond tart had a slightly sweet crisp pastry case filled with a chocolately sponge centre and was topped with poached pears. I would think this would taste equally nice eaten hot or cold with cream or ice cream. I couldn't wait to tuck into this one, I think my husband was disappointed that he didn't get a taste. The chocolate sponge was slightly gooey, and combined with the sweetness of the pears I feel the tart was definitely the highlight of the meal.

The dishes we tried I could not really fault to be honest. Authentic locally produced food, with a touch of class, cooked with love by Julia and her team. Perfect if you do not feel like cooking, I'm definitely going to pop in when I'm in Cardiff next.

Recommended 4 1/2 stars

Email julia@cookshopcardiff.co.uk
Telephone (029) 2034 4107
Post 171 King's Road, Pontcanna, Cardiff, CF11 9DE


What do you think of the dishes? Do you live near Cardiff?
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20 comments

  1. Wishing I lived closer to Wales. This sounds great!

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    Replies
    1. Maybe there is a local place close to where you live?

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  2. oh quiche and lasagne my fave , thy all look lovely x, im currently making trifle and lasagne for our tea x

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  3. What a lovely idea, they need to deliver across the UK!

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    Replies
    1. Maybe they will look into it, now you have mentioned it!

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  4. Well I wish I did live near Cardiff so that I could go to this shop! It looks fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why don't you look out for a shop like this local to you.

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  5. What a lovely looking place! I love the Raspberry Pannacotta - it looks amazing!

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  6. What a different idea. We don't have anything like that near here that I know of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a shame. You never know someone may open something similar in the future.

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  7. we have one of these in Bristol and I've always been interested to know what they were like! x

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    Replies
    1. This is an independent shop, it would be great id there was something similar in Bristol though.

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  8. This is actually very good price - 8 dishes for £19.95
    If I was anywhere closer I would give it a try

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    Replies
    1. Yes especially for the quality of food you get.

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  9. These all sound delicious and is certainly making me hungry! x

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  10. Mmmm, looks good! The price is incredible too - I live in one of the most expensive places in the UK so 8 dishes for £19.95 is my idea of heaven! Will have to come visit you and go out for dinner ;)

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