Perfect For Cocktails – Restaurant Review: The Slug and Lettuce, Cardiff

After covering last month’s launch of The Slug and Lettuce on my blog, I was delighted to be invited back to the restaurant for an evening meal with a friend. Click here to see my earlier post on The Slug and Lettuce.

We arrived at around 6pm on a week night evening and the restaurant already had several guests, but we were seated almost immediately and given some time to browse the menus.

Having already tasted some of The Slug and Lettuce’s cocktails for myself, I was very keen to sample another! All of The Slug and Lettuce’s cocktails are 2-for-1 from 4pm on Sunday to Thursday, making it the perfect place for a drink on a week night evening.

After browsing the sleek cocktail menu, featuring quirky sketches illustrating each different cocktail, I eventually settled for the Peanut Butter and Jelly Martini (£8.45). This was a concoction of Absolut Raspberry, Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur and Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur, milk and cream, shaken with peanut butter and finished with caramel popcorn.

The Peanut Butter and Jelly Martini had quite an unusual taste. I could definitely taste the raspberry and hazelnut liqueurs, as I could the peanut butter and the cream – but combined, these different flavours become a little overpowering. With the milk and cream considered, it was quite a heavy cocktail; I don’t think I’d be able to drink more than one without feeling sick.

My friend stuck to what he knew with a traditional Pina Colada (£8.45), consisting of Malibu coconut rum, pineapple juice, coconut syrup and cream. His play-it-safe approach certainly paid off, as this tasted better than any Pina Colada I’ve ever tasted – even in Jamaica! I know what cocktail I’ll be ordering next time…

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Slug and Lettuce serves mainly classic British dishes like Beef and Chorizo Puff Pie (£10.25), Baked Macaroni Cheese (£8.25) and Fish and Chips (£10.25). However, the menu also boasts several Mexican, Italian, Spanish and even Lebanese dishes.

The starters are a little on the pricey side, but most main courses cost around £10, although expect to pay more for seafood and steak, naturally.

For starters, you can either choose a dish for one from the ‘nibbles’ section or order something from the sharing menu. I went for the Severn and Wye Oak Smoked Salmon (£6.75), garnished with parsley and served with a buttered slice of seeded bread cut into triangles, alongside a pot of fresh tartare sauce and a wedge of lemon.

The salmon was incredibly fresh and had a delicious smoky flavour, and there was plenty of it. Meanwhile, the tartare sauce tasted home made and was a tasty companion for the salmon. However, I would have preferred to have this served with a crisp, green side salad as opposed to the buttered bread – some fresh, peppery rocket would really give the dish an added kick.

Once again, my friend did well in the ordering stakes. He opted for the Southern Fried Chicken (£5.15), served as four tender strips of chicken breast in a tasty southern fried batter, served with a sticky BBQ dip.

For our main courses we both fancied steak, and The Slug and Lettuce serves either an 8oz 35-Day Matured Rump Steak (£13.75), or a 10oz 35-Day Matured Ribeye Steak (£16.95). Feeling particularly peckish, we both ordered the 10oz ribeye steak, adding béarnaise sauce for £1.25 extra.

Served on a patterned plate with golden brown crispy fries, fried button mushrooms and roasted vine tomatoes, this was a quality cut of steak and it was cooked medium-rare to our likinh. Personally, however, I thought it lacked flavour and although I enjoy the taste of chargrilled food, at times all I could taste was chargrilled steak, which became a bit overpowering.

The béarnaise sauce came in a small jug for self-pouring and I could definitely taste the egg yolks and tarragon in it. I even thought I got a hint of lemon at some point, although I’m not completely sure. Either way it was lovely, and the fries tasted delicious dipped into the sauce.

To accompany our main courses we ordered a portion of Beer-Battered Onion Rings (£2.75) between us. Freshly made, these were fairly large and the batter was crispy and moreish – a great companion for steak and fries!

Having polished off our main courses, we were feeling so full that we actually decided to skip dessert (believe me, I don’t do this often!) I guess we should’ve gone for the 8oz rump steaks instead! The dessert menu looked lovely though, with five tempting options including Warm Waffles with fresh fruit and ice cream (£3.95) or ice cream and caramel syrup (£3.75), and Warm Salted Caramel and Chocolate Fondue for sharing (£9.15).

We both enjoyed our first meal at The Slug and Lettuce, and as the restaurant is so near to my work place I will definitely be returning in future on Mondays, when all food is half price! Although I probably wouldn’t order the steak again, I’m looking forward to trying out a gourmet flatbread or sandwich for lunch. You can find another South Wales branch of The Slug and Lettuce in Swansea.

The Slug and Lettuce
The Friary Centre
The Friary
Cardiff
CF10 3FA
(029) 2066 7096
www.slugandlettuce.co.uk/search/?Location=cardiff/

I was invited to The Slug and Lettuce 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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