Despite its popularity and rave reviews from other food bloggers in Cardiff, I will hold my hands up in shame to admit that I had not visited Porro Cardiff until last week. Despite my clear love for Italian food and restaurants alike, Porro has been one of those restaurants that has eluded me and I’d somehow never managed to book a table. But last week, I was invited to come along to their Wellfield Road branch to try some of the food and sample some wine with some fellow Cardiff bloggers.
When we visited, we were lucky that Cardiff had graced us with some sunshine and warm weather, for a change. So this meant that we were able to sit in the garden area outside, basking in the sun while we sipped on our wine. I adore venues that have an outside area as I feel as though they’re so much more relaxed and sociable. Despite our summers being unreliable and sometimes lacking, it’s always lovely to have the option there.
After initially walking through the door, we were greeted with wine and water while we waited for the rest of the guests to arrive. Throughout the evening, the staff brought out a selection of their dishes for us to sample. Let’s start with my favourite, the pappardelle with braised Welsh Ox cheek & Parmesan. I love pasta and would happily eat it every day if I could! Usually, I prefer my pasta to be al dente as that’s just my personal preference as I like the firmer texture but this was slightly more cooked, leaving it a little softer than what I’m used to. But that being said, it was still a very enjoyable dish, as it was packed full of flavour and the meat was cooked perfectly. I will most definitely be ordering this when I visit again and I will be ordering the big version!
Next up, the pizza – it’s not an Italian meal without a pizza. For the pizza option, we had the chance to try the PORRO pizza which had braised leeks, rosemary and parmesan. The base was great as it was thin and cooked perfectly, a lightly browned crust without making it overly crunchy. There wasn’t an incredible amount of cheese on the pizza which was fantastic for me as a dairy intolerant person but it was very tasty so I didn’t think it needed to be drowned in cheese like some other Italian restaurants seem to do. After this, I would love to try more of their pizzas on another visit.
Then we got to try a mix of lightly battered calamari and whitebait- better known in Porro as, Fritto Misto which was served with aioli and lemon. When I visit a restaurant, calamari is usually on my list of go-to starters and for good reason. If cooked properly, it tastes delicious and the Porro version was definitely a winner for me. The batter wasn’t too heavy and the calamari was cooked to a lovely golden brown colour. The whitebait, on the other hand, wasn’t my favourite. I’ve never really been all that keen on any strong tasting fish and although this wasn’t incredibly overpowering, it was slightly too much for me – but again, this is just personal preference.
And, to finish off I thought I would round up with another one of my favourites from the evening- Monmouthshire lamb & Herefordshire pork meatball with sourdough toast and a yoghurt dressing. Lamb has never really been one of my most liked or consumed meats, but when it’s in a meatball it instantly becomes more appealing for me. Paired with the sourdough toast and red peppers, these lamb and pork meatballs were an absolute winner for me and I could have eaten them all to myself but luckily I restrained myself and only ate three. I was still raving about these when I got home and absolutely cannot wait to have them again.
Overall, I had a lovely evening socialising, drinking and sampling some really delicious food, so I was very grateful to get an invite. I think Porro is a great addition to the Cardiff food scene and we’re lucky to have independents like these set up in our city. This is one of the reasons I’m looking forward to returning so that I can support a local business, try more things on the menu and of course, drink some more of their lovely wine – it is an Italian after all so it would almost be a crime not to.