Perched on the corner between Flora Street and Cathays Terrace, The Flora has been at the heart of Cardiff’s student community, Cathays, for many years. It’s the kind of pub where I’d expect to find a mix of undergrads taking advantage of the cheap booze (possibly in fancy dress), and old men hunched over the bar, drinking pints and reading newspapers. It’s not somewhere I would expect to find elegantly presented, freshly cooked food that I just can’t wait to tell everyone all about. Not up until now, anyway.
Back last year, Ten Mill Lane cocktail bar and S.A. Brain teamed up to breathe new life into The Flora, transforming it from a traditional, cosy pub into a contemporary, eclectic meeting place for the local student community.
The bar is fashioned from intricately patterned tiles and rustic wooden doors – there’s even a letterbox at the centre – while funky abstract artwork hangs on the wooden panelled/partly-exposed brick walls.
Chef, Gareth Davies has been with The Flora for around three months and you can see more of his culinary creations over at his Instagram page, @garysfoodadventures. Gareth is assisted by another Chef by the name of Hudson, who has been with The Flora for around six months.
Throughout the week, the menu offers pub classics like fish and chips, chilli con carne, Hunter’s chicken, burgers and fries, and curry and rice, alongside more gourmet options like mussels, scallops and roasted cod with chorizo and cockle ragout.
The Sunday lunch menu offers a choice of beef, lamb or turkey; each priced at £9.95. Meanwhile, starters and desserts cost around £3-4 each.
Visiting The Flora for Sunday lunch, we kicked things off with the cod and chorizo fishcake (£3.95). Only too often, fishcakes can be boring and tasteless, but this couldn’t have been further from the truth as far as this fishcake was concerned. Mashed potato mixed with chunks of cod and chorizo lay encased in crunchy breadcrumbs, sitting atop thick butternut squash sauce and dressed with fresh greens, red amaranth, coriander, and finished with a piqant herb, chilli and tomato olive oil garnish.
For my main course, I tucked into medium-rare, juicy roast beef with tenderstem broccoli, roast parsnips, carrots, pickled red cabbage, roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese and a golden brown Yorkshire pudding.
Meanwhile, my guest got stuck into peppered roast lamb, cooked until pink and so tender, the knife slid through it with ease; this was teamed with the same tasty sides mentioned above, minus the Yorkshire pudding (that’s what also steers me towards ordering beef instead of lamb – love a decent Yorkshire pud!)
I enjoyed the Sunday lunch at The Flora so much, it would be one of the first places I’d think of going the next time I fancy a decent roast dinner in Cardiff. I still associate it with students – even more so now since its trendy refurb – but now, when I think of The Flora, I think of creative, fresh, gastro-pub style food. I fully intend to work my way through the regular weekday menu and roll on two months or so time, when the pub will be launching yet another new menu; I can’t wait to find out what else Gareth and Hudson have got up their sleeves!
136 Cathays Terrace
029 2115 1016
Where’s your favourite place to go for Sunday lunch?