Lately, it seems like wherever you go in Cardiff, the sourdough pizza trend has taken over. From Locke and Remedy and The Stable (both in the city centre) to pizza pop-up recently turned permanent restaurant, Dusty Knuckle Pizza Co (based in Canton), sourdough pizza has taken the Welsh capital by storm.
Base and Barley opened back in March on the former site of coffee shop and wine bar, Artigiano opposite Capitol Shopping Centre on Queen Street, Cardiff. With a focus on casual dining, the restaurant is owned by managing director and founder, Joe Hill, who also owns Artigiano, a sister store of which can still be found on Working Street in Cardiff.
The decision to re-brand the Queen Street branch of Artigiano as Base and Barley was informed by customer feedback which indicated that guests wanted to to enjoy a laid-back lunch or dinner whilst enjoying a cup of tea , coffee, or something stronger.
Specialising in sourdough pizza, gourmet burgers and craft beer, the restaurant menu is straight-forward and reasonably priced. None of the pizzas have any fancy names – instead, they are simply numbered 1-8 – and they are all priced at £7.95 or under (although you’ll pay more to ‘build your own’).
Alongside sourdough pizza and burgers, the menu features a range of salads and stone-baked dishes like maple salmon and piri-piri chicken, not to mention a breakfast menu worth getting out of bed for.
To start, we shared a vibrant salad of juicy heirloom tomatoes and creamy mozzarella, drizzled with pesto and topped with fresh basil (£4.95). This was delicious and refreshing – just the thing to indulge in on a hot, sunny day like the ones we’ve been having lately (touch wood!) However, it could’ve done with a touch more mozzarella and a glug of olive oil.
For my main course, I built my own pizza from a range of toppings including chicken, prosciutto ham, salami, sweet roquito peppers, spinach, mozzarella, ricotta and rocket. Thin and crispy but with doughy bite, the sourdough base was divine. However, I would’ve preferred it if it had been cut into slices before being brought to the table; I was given a knife to cut it with, upon request, but this was a bit of a faff. It was a delicious pizza, although I did go a little overboard on the toppings. They could definitely have gone a little easier on the rocket, though.
Meanwhile, my guest tucked into one of Base and Barley’s artisan burgers. The Fully Loaded burger (£7.95) consisted of a thick, meaty beef patty flavoured with spicy sweet roquito pppers and topped with crispy bacon, emmental cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomato, red oion and house relish in a brioche bun, served with homemade coleslaw. Fries are served as an extra to the burger, with a choice of skin-on (£2.95) or sweet potato fries (£3.50). Pictured below, the sweet potato fries were cooked to perfection, with a slightly crunchy coating and a fluffy interior.
After polishing off our main courses, we were feeling fit to burst and so decided to give dessert a miss, as tempting as the menu looked, with tantalising choices like creme brulee, chocolate fondant and vanilla pannacotta.
We had a great time at Base and Barley and I’ll definitely be returning in future; the food is top notch and you can’t fault the prices either. At the moment, you can get 50% off food if you visit Base and Barley on Monday – so, that’s dinner tomorrow night sorted! 😉
Base and Barley
115 Queen Street
(029) 2034 3081
I was invited to Base and Barley as a guest and our food and drinks were provided complimentary; however, I was not obliged to write a positive review.