In the last few weeks, I’ve heard nothing but positive things about the recently opened Barley & Rye on Greyfriars Rd, Cardiff. I’ve been desperate to visit and I recently got the chance as my mum and I were going to see a show in the theatre right across the road, so it seemed like a great opportunity.
When we first walked through the door, my first thought was that I absolutely loved the decor of the restaurant and the initial ambience of the venue. The dimmed lighting and the warming brown wooden furniture seemed to be the perfect vibe for a cosy winter evening without feeling like your typical bar. Also, one of the main things I liked about the venue was that the tables were quite spaced out unlike some other Cardiff restaurants, so you never felt like you were squished up next to your neighbour.
As we had pre-booked through Bookatable, our table was reserved for us with no problem at all and when our waitress came to take our drink order, she told us that drinks were 2-for-1 at the time we visited. This meant that we had two small glasses of wine each for almost the same price that a medium sized glass would have been – brilliant.
The menu was full of winter warming goodness, serving Welsh dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. There were so many great options to choose from that I actually found it pretty difficult! But I ended up landing on Cwrw Braf Braised Featherblade of Beef with chive mash, roasted carrots, cwrw braf jus and roasted shallots.
First of all, the dish looked too good to eat. It was presented very well, I was just disappointed it came on a dark plate as it would have looked so much better for pictures on a white one- but never mind, that’s just me wanting to get a good photo. The beef was cooked to perfection, it was so soft it pretty much fell apart. The cwrw braf jus and vegetables were also so tasty and full of flavour. The mashed potatoes were slightly overdone for me personally but because of the flavouring, they still tasted pretty damn good.
My mum on the other hand ordered the Herb-Crusted Cannon of Lamb with crispy lamb skin, smoked aubergine puree, goats cheese & honey croquette, sweet potato, roasted shallots and lamb jus. My mother is a lover of really great food and she hasn’t stopped talking about this dish for days so I’m pretty sure she enjoyed it.
Barley & Rye is a fantastic addition to the food scene in Cardiff. It offers brilliantly flavoured dishes without the ridiculous costs that you would usually associate with these kinds of meals. It has a great atmosphere that would attract customers of any age, very attentive staff, great food and a brilliant location. I will definitely be revisiting and I’m happy to give this place my official recommendation.