29 Park Place, Cardiff. 029 2023 1252 / www.bacchuscardiff.com
Although by no means perfect, I was certainly one of the many mourning the loss of Cardiff Arts Institute in September last year; particularly upon its return as another identikit gastro-pub with little to excite or challenge convention.
It was, however, a welcome surprise to hear that Brains have once again re-launched and revamped 29 Park Place with a sharp, contemporary and bright new design. Now Bacchus, I was intrigued to see what had changed and improved.
In terms of its menu, comparisons can easily be drawn to various bars in the city centre offering a mixture of tapas, burgers, salads and sharing platters for friends and colleagues to enjoy as an early evening meal. Bacchus may not be able to shake off the maligned gastro-pub label; however, it delivers on good value for money and healthy portion sizes to greet hungry bellys.
Opting for tapas to share as a starter, we sampled a relatively mediocre selection of spicy meatballs, patas bravas and parmesan wrapped in prosciutto. Some excellent lamb koftas in mini flatbreads with mint yoghurt (at the kind suggestion of our waitress) were the real stars of the tapas starter.
Mains came in the form of a fairly tame Welsh cheese and bacon burger topped with ‘fiery’ roquito peppers, and a nicely cooked sirloin steak with an accompanying apricot chutney and stilton cheese – the sweet apricot working well with the succulent meat. Healthy portion sizes were washed down with a glass or two of crisp white wine before we tempted ourselves with an Eton mess cheesecake and a seductive slice of lemon tart.
Although the menu doesn’t rewrite the rule book, the food certainly delivers on a filling and flavoursome three-course meal. GARETH LUDKIN