Restaurant review: Base & Barley – Queen Street, Cardiff

Base and Barley, Cardiff
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.

Heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad
We also tucked into a portion of garlic and rosemary pizza dough (£4.95). Served hot, this had a soft, cushiony texture with a subtle hint of garlic and rosemary. 

Garlic and Rosemary Pizza Dough
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.

Sourdough pizza with toppings
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.

Burger and sweet potato fries
Burger cross-section
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
Cardiff
CF10 2BH
(029) 2034 3081
www.baseandbarley.com

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.

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24 Comments

  1. May 11, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    What a delicious sounding place to pop into – I totally fancy trying the garlic and rosemary bread that sounds so good! x

  2. May 11, 2016 / 8:29 pm

    It sounds lovely in there. I visited cardiff a few years ago and i really enjoyed it.

    • May 17, 2016 / 2:50 pm

      Cardiff is a lovely city and there are lots of decent restaurants here 😀

  3. May 11, 2016 / 8:44 pm

    The food looks amazing, I always hate reading your reviews (meant in the nicest possible way), as you live so far away from me I don’t think I will ever be able to visit these restaurants x

  4. May 11, 2016 / 10:01 pm

    Ooh, I think I’d like this place a lot. I would definitely have to go with a personalized pizza!

    • May 17, 2016 / 2:52 pm

      It was nice to be able to choose what I wanted to have on my pizza 🙂

  5. May 11, 2016 / 10:23 pm

    Now that burger looks absolutely amazing. Whenever we try a new restaurant, burgers are always the first thing I want to try x

    • May 17, 2016 / 2:50 pm

      I love a good burger… has to be done properly though – this one was great!

  6. May 11, 2016 / 11:26 pm

    I think I remember passing this last time I was in Cardiff, so wish we had eaten there. The dough bread, pizza and burgers all look amazing. Making me so hungry now x

  7. May 12, 2016 / 1:09 am

    I love how fresh and tasty the food looks. I could do with one of those burgers right about now! xxx

    • May 17, 2016 / 2:30 pm

      The burger looked so meaty and juicy. I think I could do with one right now too 😀

  8. May 12, 2016 / 10:20 am

    The food sounds so amazing and the pizza you created sounds like one I definitely would have made myself, although after seeing the burger I would have definitely been jealous that I didn’t order that! xx

    • May 17, 2016 / 2:29 pm

      I must admit, I did get a slight case of food envy when I caught sight of my friend’s burger. I know what to order next time I visit Base and Barley!

  9. May 12, 2016 / 2:34 pm

    Ooh that certainly does look tasty! I’m not surprised you didn’t get dessert, that looks like a very filling meal!

    • May 17, 2016 / 2:29 pm

      It was lovely, although I am keen to go back and try out their dessert menu. Any excuse to return 🙂

  10. May 12, 2016 / 10:37 pm

    I really want to try sourbread pizza dough, not sure where they have it but it must be everywhere here in London.

    • May 17, 2016 / 2:27 pm

      Oh, it’s bound to be everywhere in London as there’s a few places in Cardiff serving it now. It’s worth hunting down – tasty stuff!

  11. May 13, 2016 / 4:51 pm

    Oh my gosh, I don’t know what looks better – the pizza or the burger! Even the salad looks delicious! x

    • May 17, 2016 / 2:26 pm

      It was all so good. I’m looking forward to trying out one of the burgers for myself next time I visit 🙂

  12. May 13, 2016 / 9:19 pm

    Now that’s what I call a burger! Cardiff has so many fantastic eating places. We were their last year to watch the Wales/Italy rugby friendly and indulged in quite a few delicious restaurants

    • May 17, 2016 / 2:25 pm

      Oh lovely, where did you go? Cardiff is definitely blessed with plenty of great places to dine out 🙂

  13. May 14, 2016 / 3:41 pm

    I’ve not tried (or heard of) sour dough pizza bases before. I’ll keep an eye out for it. That burger though, looks perfect.

    • May 17, 2016 / 2:25 pm

      Oh wow, it’s everywhere in Cardiff lately! Which is fine by me, as it tastes bloody amazing 😀

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