St Mary Street, Cardiff. 029 2022 4757
By the not enormously radical standards of Cardiff dining, The Meating Place started life with a few locally unique attributes. When the restaurant opened a few months ago, its two main hooks – pun, if you’ll be patient, intended – were serving weekend breakfast between midnight and 5am, and hanging various kinds of grilled animal on skewers over your table. Both these things are still the case when Buzz attends its menu relaunch, but the menu is now less explicitly pitched at, well, the sort of people who’d go along to a restaurant called ‘The Meating Place’.
Usefully, there’s enough of us to collectively have a crack at nearly everything. Two rock oysters (assigned to this reviewer) are big lads tasting full of marine life. Other people speak fondly of their barbecued mackerel, salt and pepper squid, and lamb ribs with quinoa; Anglesey eggs are reportedly a bit epic for a starter. Regarding main courses, editor Gareth gets to tackle a signature hanging skewer – lamb leg in this case – and speaks warmly of its flame-licked quality. My roast cod with chorizo and clams is bold and innovative, for a cod dish at least. Salmon fillet with peas and bacon seems to be enjoyed, likewise rolled pork belly. Oh, and I stole one (one) chip from a sirloin steak plate which was, seriously, the best chip I’ve ever had.
Starters come in between £4.50 and £5.75; our mains were around the £11-£13 mark, with the steak and skewer a few quid above. Desserts, deemed decent but overly expensive by all in attendance – £7 for a toffee pudding – appear to have since dropped in price (£5.25 for the aforementioned). Either way, The Meating Place has a lot more going for it than a date with dead stuff. NOEL GARDNER