Just over a month ago, Cardiff got its very own Bavarian bar in the form of Bierkeller, situated in Stadium Plaza, Cardiff city centre (next to the Millennium Stadium). The bar became instantly popular for its German beers served in Steins, carried to your table (or bench, rather) by waitresses wearing traditional Bavarian dress, with the added bonus of a live Oompah band at the weekends.
Besides the Bavarian bar, Bierkeller also features an Around the World Bar and the Shooters Bar and Grill; a stereotypical American sports bar complete with pool tables and gaming machines.
I popped along to Bierkeller last week with my house mate, James to try out their extensive food menu. Each of the three bars serves a different type of food, as follows:
- The Shooters Bar and Grill (American sports bar): serves American classics like burgers, nachos and chicken wings.
- The Around the World Bar: offers exotic global dishes such as Springbok tagine, Louisiana Gumbo and Caribbean red snapper curry.
- The Bierkeller: serves traditional Bavarian dishes such as currywurst, German sausage and ‘U-boat’ baguettes.
However, for the purpose of our visit we were able to sit in any bar of our choice and order from any menu that we liked (the perks of being a food blogger!)
We sat in the Around the World bar, which has sofa-style seating both in booths and at tables, a patterned carpet and a warm, cosy atmosphere – a bit like a hotel lounge or cabaret club. The 80s music videos playing on wall-mounted TVs in the background helped to create a casual dining experience.
The Around the World bar stocks no less than 80 different beers from around the globe. Unfortunately I’m not a fan of beer, so I ordered a pint of Rekoerdelig strawberry and lime which was on tap; something I have never seen before, while James ordered a white Belgian beer, although we cannot for the life of us remember what it was called!
Our food arrived within around ten minutes of us ordering it. To start, we shared the Shooters Platter for two (£10.95); a calorific combination of lightly spiced Buffalo chicken wings, nachos, crispy homemade onion rings, mozzarella cheese fingers in breadcrumbs, potato wedges and BBQ and sweet chilli dips.
We both enjoyed every food on the platter, but my favourites were the mozzarella fingers and the Buffalo chicken wings. I wasn’t very keen on the nachos; they tasted bland and there wasn’t much cheese on them – I would recommend serving them with a dollop of salsa, soured cream and guacamole, with a touch more cheese.
For my main course, I ordered the chicken and chorizo pasta, served with garlic bread (£7.95). The menu didn’t include a description for this dish but for some reason I just assumed that it would be served in a creamy sauce, so I was quite surprised to discover that it was actually served with a tomato-based sauce flavoured with basil.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t very impressed by this dish and I wouldn’t order it again. The pasta was overcooked, there was too much of it and the sauce was boring and predictable; it tasted like something you could get out of a jar and it was quite rich, so it didn’t pair well with the salty chorizo. Despite the disappointment of the sauce and the pasta, however the chicken was chargrilled and had a delicious, smoky taste, while the garlic bread was soft, flavoursome and not too greasy.
As he is very fond of German cuisine, James opted for the Bavarian currywurst; an imported authentic German Bratwurst served sliced in a tomato-based, curry sauce, with crispy golden fries (£5.95). I tasted a mouthful and it was delicious; not too spicy or overly flavoured with tomato, and James said it tasted like the currywurst he has tasted before in Germany.
We were offered dessert, but we were feeling really full after our main courses and so decided to give it a miss. The dessert menu is fairly minimal, consisting of raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake, sharp lemon tart, chocolate brownie and apple strudel (£2.95 each of which can be served with ice cream for £2 extra.
James and I enjoyed visiting Bierkeller and we were very pleased with our starter and James’ main course, even if I was let down by my pasta dish. I think this is a great venue to go to watch a sporting game like the Rugby World Cup 2015, perhaps with some bar-style food thrown into the mix; the prices are reasonable, the menu is varied, the atmosphere is great and there are three bars to choose from, which surely must reduce potential queuing time! However, if I was dining out in Cardiff and I wanted to enjoy some top quality food, Bierkeller just wouldn’t cut it for me.
UPDATE: Bierkeller has now closed down.
I was invited to Bierkeller as a guest and our food and drinks were provided complimentary; however, I was not obliged to write a positive review.