Coffee shop/cafe review: Stag Coffee – Cathays, Cardiff

Stag Coffee on Crwys Road, Cardiff

Decked out with stag print wallpaper, stag lamp shades, stag lamp bases, stag head wall hangings and a chandelier made from stag antlers, Stag Coffee really lives up to its name. Although as owner Dave reveals, the whole ‘stag’ idea came about when he took a fancy to the logo used by nearby barber shop, Groom for Men. He asked if they’d mind him using it as inspiration for his new coffee shop, they kindly agreed, and there you have it, Stag Coffee was born – about two months ago, to be precise.

Antler chandelier
Stag lampshade
Stag wallpaper

As former manager of popular local pub, The Woodville, Dave already knows a thing or two about food and drink. Although primarily set up as a coffee shop, Stag Coffee has gradually adopted more of a focus on food because, as Dave explains, that often seems to be what people come to the coffee shop for.

With a menu like this, I don’t blame them. Where hot drinks are concerned, Stag Coffee sell a variety of teas (they use Teapigs), coffees and hot chocolate. If you prefer a cold drink, you can order from a selection of soft drinks, fruit juices and milkshakes (I can’t wait to try out the hazelnut one!)

The food menu includes full breakfasts using meat sourced from local butcher, Prings. Lighter breakfast options include scotch pancakes with eggs, bacon and maple syrup, and scrambled eggs on toast with either salmon or chorizo. At just £4.95 each this is breakfast on a budget, although if you fork out an extra two quid you can enjoy a large full breakfast, aptly named ‘The Stag’.

Dave tells us that the menu is changing almost daily at the moment, with tweaks being made here and there as customers pass on their feedback. 

Moving on to main courses, you can choose from several comfort food classics like Glamorgan sausages and sausages and mash (both £5.95), in addition to a range of salads, sandwiches, jacket potatoes and burgers. For those with a sweet tooth, Stag Coffee can tempt you with several homemade cakes, including carrot cake and chocolate fudge cake, pictured below (£1.50 each). 

Carrot cake and chocolate fudge cake

As we browse the menu I order a mocha (£2.75), which is served in a vintage-style enamel/tin mug, topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with chocolate powder. It tastes delicious; the balance of chocolate is just right and the whipped cream makes for an indulgent finishing touch. 

Mocha 
 

My guest opts for a regular americano (£1.95), served in a large cup on a saucer, teamed with the most adorable milk jug I have ever seen in my life – in the style of a milk carton!

Americano 

 

To eat, I choose the falafel baguette with guacamole and sweet chilli sauce (£4.25), with a mug of seasoned fries (£1.25). Served whole on a wooden plank, stuffed with three big falafels, the baguette is very impressive to look at. After carefully considering how best to go about eating it, I decide to just pick the whole thing up and go for it. I can tell the falafels are homemade because I can really taste the different spices in them and they have a delicious crispy coating. The sweet chilli sauce is a good match, but I can’t really taste the guacamole. Sitting in a tin mug next to the baguette, the fries are crispy and the seasoning perfectly balanced – by far, the best fries I’ve tasted in a while.This is a great lunchtime dish, and kept me feeling full for hours afterwards, although with hindsight I would suggest serving the baguette cut in half.  

 
Falafel baguette with seasoned fries

My guest goes for the beef chilli jacket potato (£3.95). The potato is served on an oval plate in a small tin dish, smothered in spicy chilli and finished with a dollop of sour cream, accompanied by a dressed mixed leaf salad. This is a relatively healthy dish but Stag Coffee still manage to make it look very appealing, and my guest doesn’t have any complaints. Both of our dishes offer great value for money, giving consideration to both the quality of the food and the portion sizes.

Beef chilli jacket potato with mixed salad

We’re too full for dessert after our meals, but the homemade cakes are practically begging us to eat them. Luckily Stag Coffee has this dilemma catered for as it serves cake to takeaway, so we both leave with a slice of red velvet cake (£1.50 each).

Dark red in colour, the sponge has a moist, smooth texture. The thickly-spread cream cheese frosting is sinfully sweet and tastes great, but it gets a bit sickly after a few mouthfuls, so Stag Coffee could probably get away with using slightly less sugar in the recipe. This is still a fantastic cake, though.

Red velvet cake

In my opinion, Stag Coffee is a welcome addition to the many coffee shops that line Cardiff’s Crwys Road. With its weird yet wonderful ‘stag’ theme, the coffee shop/cafe definitely has something unique to offer its guests. The menu is interesting and varied, the food is delicious and the coffee is lovely. It’s also good to know that Stag Coffee were recently awarded a food hygiene rating of 5, meaning ‘very good’. I’ll certainly be returning and, as two of my friends live on Crwys Road and cannot seem to keep away from the place, I won’t have difficulty finding company!

Stag Coffee
83 Crwys Road
Cathays
Cardiff
CF24 4NF
http://www.facebook.com/stagcoffee

Opening hours
Monday to Saturday: 9.30am – 6.00pm
Sunday: 10.00am – 4.00pm

I was invited to Stag Coffee as a guest and our food and drinks were complimentary. 

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