When I was in university, I had a Saturday job at Soho Coffee, Cardiff for a few months. Whilst working there, I became very fond of the food on offer. I was particularly partial to a bacon and brie panini, washed down with a sweet caramel latte.
With 30 outlets across the UK as well as branches in Portugal, Spain and Qatar airports, Soho Coffee prides itself upon serving organic, Fairtrade coffee and tasty artisan food ranges (handmade in their own kitchens; never factory-produced); in addition to unique, personalised customer service and distinctively designed outlets.
Up until recently, Soho Coffee had two branches in Cardiff city centre – one in Capitol Shopping Centre and one in St David’s Shopping Centre. However, the coffee shop has now opened a shiny new store in St David’s Shopping Centre, opposite Holland and Barrett, just in time to launch a mouth-watering new Spring menu to match.
The new Cardiff store has been styled by manager, Kath Fenton and her team.
Everything that you can see in the store, from the elaborate ‘Soho’ lighting display to the bright yellow daffodils sitting on the tables, has been carefully chosen by the team to create a unique finishing touch.
I was invited along to Cardiff’s new Soho Coffee store for a taster of the Spring menu, along with some other local bloggers.
We began by sampling the Supercharged Drinks – a collection of drinks made using freshly blended fruits and vegetables including The Great Defender (passion fruit, peach, mango, pineapple & orange), Upbeet and Berry Nice (beetroot, ginger, blueberries, peach & apple juice) and Supergreen (green matcha & apple juice). Each drink is priced at £3.45, although the actual portion size is bigger than the sample bottles pictured below.
My favourite was the Supergreen juice, which had a delicate, aromatic flavour, although I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed Upbeet and Berry Nice; I don’t usually enjoy the earthy taste of beetroot in juices, but the fresh ginger and fruit introduced exciting new flavours to the mix.
The Best Breakfast Sandwiches
Soho Coffee’s new Spring menu features several breakfast options, including the Best Breakfast Sandwiches range, made using all the elements of the perfect breakfast sandwich including lightly-griddled, hand-cut white Tiger bread, thick back bacon rashers, fresh field mushrooms and free-range eggs.
Pictured below are the Best Big Breakfast Sandwich (£5.50) and the Best Field Mushroom and Egg Sandwich (£2.99) – both of which are well worth getting out of bed for!
Best Big Breakfast Sandwich
Best Field Mushroom and Egg Sandwich
Moving on from breakfast to lunch, a number of salads are available on Soho Coffee’s new Spring menu.
Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Quinoa Salad
We tried the butternut squash and pomegranate quinoa salad (£2.99; eat-in £3.60), packed with fresh greens, almonds and chunks of butternut squash and jewelled with ruby-red pomegranate seeds. This was bursting with flavour and would probably make for a fairly filling lunch. It was also slightly cheaper than salads sold by some of the bigger coffee shop chains, like Starbucks and Costa.
Falafel and Houmous Salad
The falafel and houmous salad (£3.99; eat-in £4.80) definitely appealed to me more than the average salad. I love falafels and these were freshly made and tasted great, accompanied by refreshing tzatziki, pillow-soft Greek flatbread, leafy greens and juicy tomatoes.
If you’re craving something hot and tasty for lunch, Soho Coffee’s melts are made with you in mind – fresh ciabatta generously filled with a variety of cheeses and ingredients, grilled in store while you wait. Priced from £4.40, they’ll set you back a little more than your average panini or toasted sandwich, but they’re totally worth it. Go on, treat yourself!
Mozzarella and Sun-blushed Tomato Melt
Oozing with creamy mozzarella, tangy sun-blushed tomatoes and fresh basil, this melt was incredibly more-ish.
Chorizo and Chimicurri Melt
The Chorizo and Chimicurri Melt (£4.50) was definitely my favourite – not only of the melts we tasted, but of all the dishes I sampled during my visit to Soho Coffee. Stuffed with smoky chorizo sausage, mature cheddar and fragrant chimichurri sauce, it was simply delectable.
Chimmichurri sauce seems to be the next big thing on the food scene at the moment, which is perfectly fine by me as I’ve always been very fond of the stuff. Originally from Argentina, chimmichurri is a blend of parsley, garlic, oregano, white vinegar and vegetable oil that is commonly used to flavour grilled chicken or meat. It was the ideal companion for the spicy chorizo and the melted cheese in this melt.
Fancying a sweet treat? Choose from a drool-inducing array of cakes, bakes, pastries and puddings. Pictured below are freshly baked chocolate brownies (£1.70; eat-in £2.05) with whipped cream (+£0.55), toffee pecan cinnamon bun (£2.50l eat-in £2.99), apple crumble brioche (£2.25; eat-in £2.70), strawberry triple layer cake (£2.50; eat-in £2.99) and a white and dark chocolate pot (£1.65; eat-in £1.99). My favourites were:
Strawberry triple layer cake
Consisting of three layers of moist sponge filled with thick layers of buttercream icing and strawberry jam, this cake was simple yet scrumptious.
These were the best chocolate brownies I’ve tasted in a long time. Served warm with whipped cream on the side, they were intensely chocolate-y with the perfect balance of gooey-ness.
Soho Coffee serves a decent cuppa – it’s in the name, after all! The coffee is 100% Organic Arabica Fairtrade – a blend of Central American beans grown at high altitude to develop the flavour of the bean, before being roasted locally in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. Besides coffee, the menu features a range of organic teas from leading ethical tea brand, Pukka.
I sipped on a hot milky latte, brewed to perfection with a rich, intense flavour.
If you’d prefer a cold beverage, Soho Coffee serves a range of soft drinks, juices, smoothies and frappes. The new Spring menu sees the introduction of Fruity Sparklers (£2.55 each), made using natural fruit cordials, sparkling spring water and wedges of orange, lemon and lime. Three different flavours are available including lemon and lime, raspberry and lemon, and elderflower and raspberry.
Raspberry and Lemon Fruit Sparkler
Pictured below, the raspberry and lemon sparkler was light, bubbly and fruity – the perfect thing to quench your thirst on a hot, sunny day.
After my visit to Soho Coffee, it’s great to see that the food is just as good – if not better – than it was some five or so years ago when I was in university. The new Cardiff outlet is greatly improved and I’ll definitely be popping in now and then on my lunch breaks to grab a chorizo and chimmichurri melt!
St David’s Shopping Centre
(029) 2022 5169
I was invited to Soho Coffee as a guest and my food and drink was provided complimentary; however, I was not obliged to write a positive review.
What do you think of Soho Coffee’s new Spring menu? I love reading your comments – I respond to every single one! 🙂