If, like me, you are trying to cling on to what remains of your New Years plans to become healthier, I seriously recommend paying a visit to Citi Kitchen. Craving something hot and tasty for lunch yet not wanting to ‘cheat’ on my calorie-counting diet, I decided to give it a go.
Situated in the heart of Cardiff’s City Centre on Charles Street, Citi Kitchen claims to offer something different to your average sandwich shop or fast-food outlet in the form of ,“real food, real fresh.” This translates into freshly-prepared, non-processed food, handmade using locally sourced ingredients. If any food is leftover at the end of each day Citi Kitchen offer it to local charities rather than waste it, earning them extra Brownie points.
There is little room to move inside the contemporary cafe/coffee shop, with a few tables and chairs placed near the windows and a large serving and food preparation area in the centre. There are seats available inside, and basic outdoor seating is also provided, but I imagine it gets quite busy at times.
The menu offers customisable salads and jacket potatoes, along with ‘house’ options for both, in addition to soup with shop-baked bread, healthy breakfast choices and a daily selection of cakes. However, one thing you won’t find in Citi Kitchen is a sandwich. Click here to see the full menu.
I am served almost immediately by a friendly assistant with a good knowledge of the food on offer, helping me to figure out what to order. I go for the Mexican house jacket potato which is served with chilli con carne, cheddar cheese and sour cream (£5). I also get to choose as much salad as I like from a range of options so I order iceberg lettuce, mixed bean salad, home-made coleslaw, gherkins, red onions and jalapeños, dressed with balsamic vinegar. The meal is served in a recyclable tray with the jacket potato in one compartment, and the salad in a small side compartment.
Although I could probably get a jacket potato slightly cheaper elsewhere, I am happy to pay £5 considering it is freshly-prepared and served with a choice of side salad. Had I been feeling particularly hungry, I could opt to pay £1.10 extra to include a soft drinks can, bottle of water or a coffee, and a cookie, apple of banana. As it is, I think I’ve racked up enough calories with the sour cream and cheddar! Still, I feel like I’ve had a reasonably healthy (not to mention delicious) hot lunch – proof that fast-food doesn’t have to mean hitting the nearest burger chain!
11 Charles Street
(02920) 233 166