LONGA | FOOD REVIEW
180 Whitchurch Road, Cardiff, CF14 3NB. 029 2063 2082 / www.longacafe.co.uk
Reviewing the Brass Beetle back in 2017, I made mention of “the fundamental principle that anything can be instantly improved with the addition of chorizo”. Four years on and I find myself back on Whitchurch Road, a few doors further up, noting that the same is true of sucuk. Those who run Turkish café Longa clearly know as much: the spicy, beefy (in both senses) equivalent of the Spanish staple – essentially a Peperami for grown-ups – is available as an optional bonus with pretty much everything on the menu.
Sucuk comes as standard in my bun bomb – so called, I would imagine, because it packs sufficient power to immediately obliterate any hangover. The inspired combination of chunks of sausage, a thick layer of hummus, melted cheddar, chilli butter and a fried egg make this monstrous sandwich by some distance the dirtiest item on the menu. The garnish – while adding a hint of zingy freshness – is as token a bit of greenery as you’ll find.
Elsewhere on the table is an Anatolian, a spectacular two-person breakfast tapas platter that’s about as far from the fatty bacon and watery tinned tomatoes of your bog-standard full English as it’s possible to get. There are thumbs up for the menemen (fried eggs swamped in a spicy tomato and pepper sauce) and especially the honey and clotted cream; thumbs down for the rose jam; a mild grumble that there’s not enough bread and some delicate negotiations between old friends as regards divvying up the contents of each little pot equally. Meanwhile, the fourth member of our party plumps for a mashed avocado, feta and tomato simit sandwich, which is equally visually arresting – an edible architectural wonder – though arguably a little light on filling.
Factor in Hard Lines coffee, swift service and a window table at which to enjoy the midday sunshine and you’ve got the final ingredients for a café lunch that’s a little out of the ordinary.
words and photos BEN WOOLHEAD