Maldron Hotel, St Mary Street, Cardiff.
029 2066 8866 / www.maldronhotelcardiffcity.com
Located on the same site that the Central Hotel once occupied, with close proximity to Central Station, the Maldron has a prime city centre location. Despite a hotel restaurant not always being an obvious option for dinner and drinks, on an incredibly wet July evening my husband and I arrived at the Stir Bar & Restaurant with soggy feet and in desperate need of wine; thankfully, a large glass of Cabernet Sauvignon (£5.95) helped. Our table within the modern restaurant overlooked the top end of St Mary Street towards Mill Lane, and even on a miserable evening it was nice to dine with a view over the city.
To start we had the Oriental sharing platter with king prawn rolls, vegetable spring rolls, chicken satay skewers and a portion of hoisin sauce to dip (£6.50). The food was very nicely presented and acted as a perfectly adequate sharing dish, but sadly lacked any big flavours.
Presentation skills were once again demonstrated with our main courses of pan-cooked chicken baked with halloumi (£12) and Oriental style crispy pork belly served with baby crushed potatoes, garlic-tossed spinach and a red wine sauce (£11.95). However, as soon my plate was set before me I noticed something was wrong: instead of being served a wild mushroom compote with my chicken, I was presented with a soggy roast potato. Our helpful waiter was extremely apologetic about the mix-up – apparently, the chef had simply forgotten. Despite this, our food (apart from the roast potato) was delicious.
To finish we shared a chocolate truffle with clotted cream ice cream (£4.95), which was possibly the highlight of the meal. It’s just a shame that the forgotten compote put a dampener on what would’ve been a lovely evening. ANGHARAD BROWN