* This is a corrected copy of the review in the May edition of Buzz which accidentally awards 5 stars and spells palate wrong. Whoopsie!*
LA GALLERIA ****
147 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff. 029 2022 7700
Over recent years, the Canton area of Cardiff has developed a reputation as the place to dine for those with an international palate. With any number of exciting restaurants, dishes and cuisines to try; from west Africa to Vietnam, Canton’s latest Italian addition was an intriguing prospect. Once again attempting to debunk the spectre of chain Italian restaurants, La Galleria sets its stall out on “Italian food as it’s supposed to be”.
Although the restaurant’s interior design was not to my taste, I was there to sample the food, and glancing over the menu threw up plenty of tough decisions. Although slightly unclear in places, the menu is largely very classic with a few interesting twists to challenge and excite the tastebuds.
My dining partner opted for pan-fried button mushrooms in a white wine garlic sauce to start; while I opted for Focaccia La Galleria (£4.50) – warm focaccia topped with Italian sausage, spinach and chilli – which I soon found is intended for sharing! Both were flavoursome and the Focaccia and Italian sausage proved frustratingly moreish. With a little space saved for the main, we moved on to seabass with a lemon, garlic and chilli sauce (£13.95) and Vitello Saltimbocca – escalope of veal wrapped in parma ham and cooked in a white wine and sage sauce – for an incredibly reasonable £10.95. While the menu didn’t make it clear, the mains also came with sides of veg and sautéed potatoes.
Both mains were nicely presented, and the smooth sauces in each really made for a full and delicious flavour. The veal was thin and succulent and the seabass fresh, very reasonably priced and packed with flavours of the sea. Unfortunately, the sides really felt at odds with the main dishes as the sautéed potatoes and veg lacked in any real panache. Simple green beans and fresh new potatoes would have really been the perfect way to round off the dishes rather than the lacklustre veg and potatoes. A fantastic tiramisu and beautiful profiteroles completed an overall delicious meal. GARETH LUDKIN