Since it opened earlier this year, Asador 44 has been the restaurant on everyone’s lips when it comes to talking about quality food, particularly that of the Spanish kind. As the latest addition to the ’44’ family that we already have in Cardiff, the restaurant offers grilled meat, fish and vegetables with an authentic Spanish feel. After visiting its sister restaurants, Bar 44 in all locations, Cardiff, Penarth and Cowbridge, I was more than a little excited to try out Asador 44 to see what it had to offer.
I visited with my boyfriend as a treat for our monthly ‘date night’, where we try a new venue and go all out with food and drinks whilst getting dressed up to do so. As you can probably guess, this is easily my favourite night of the month and tests how much I can consume at any time but look *relatively* presentable whilst doing so.
We were early to arrive so had our choice of several tables and of course, I chose to sit right next to the window for the natural lighting that I crave when taking my photos. Looking around the restaurant, it wasn’t hard to notice the warm and cosy feel of the venue, whilst also reminding me of a restaurant that I might expect to experience when stumbling along the streets of Spain.
To start, we decided to order some wine and ‘picky’ food due to my high level of hunger. We chose a bottle of La Fea red wine with olives and house made breads, jamón butter, rama 44 olive oil. Olives are a slight obsession of mine, and these were wonderfully juicy and flavoured with the herbs, making me crave more as I went along. I was also a big fan of the jamón butter and its sweet flavouring paired with the olive oil and warm bread. I could have sat here all night with these goodies and my wine. But alas, I was hungry and very keen to try food from the main menu.
For our main meal, we decided to order a sharer dish. We opted for the 700g roast leg of lamb which was priced at £42, served on the bone. This was served with patatas a lo pobre and a choice of two sides. For these, we ordered, heritage tomatoes, rama 44 oil, sherry vinegar and purple sprouting broccoli, charred courgette, lemon. This is not a meal for the faint hearted as it’s quite a large portion of savoury food. I was more than happy to tackle this challenge, with lamb being something that I wouldn’t usually order but as I was feeling brave, I thought ‘let’s have a change’. It hasn’t always been a favourite meat of mine but I swear that when I took my first bite of this, I fell a little bit in love and was reluctant to share with my poor boyfriend. The meat was so soft that it fell off the bone as soon as I stuck my fork in and I knew that I was in for some delightful eating.
The potatoes were also delicious, with a soft and fluffy texture with a slightly crisp exterior. If a restaurant can cook its potatoes and chips correctly, I am one happy girl. It’s such a basic thing to get right and I think it’s so important to the meal and me as the carb lover that I’m proud to be. Under or overcooked potatoes are not even worth thinking about.
I was also very impressed with the sides that we had ordered. They are completely different to other options that we would find on the menu elsewhere, providing a little variety and alternative option to our meal whilst also getting those delicious veggies onto our plates. The green tomatoes surprised me very much, reminding me more of apples rather than tomatoes in terms of taste and texture but they went onto my plate regardless. Every part of the meal was flavoured perfectly, with nothing being overpowering or underwhelming and I honestly could have ordered another one of these meals because it was so delicious but self restraint and my full belly told me not to.
And of course, for our massive blow out evening, we had to order a dessert, it’s the rules of our relationship pretty much. We ordered an almond and lemon cake, a refreshing and light cake that was perfect after our filling dinner. I don’t get to order cakes very often as most contain a significant amount of lactose which can make me feel quite poorly, but this was such a nice change. I did have to share, so, unfortunately, I didn’t get it all to myself.
Overall, Asador is a foodie haven, offering up food that has me salivating when I just think about this meal and I’m already plotting my return to try more options from the menu. The meal was above and beyond many other restaurant experiences that I’ve had in Cardiff, prioritising quality food and top service all evening all within a relaxing environment. Although it may be more on the expensive side for many, this restaurant really is a treat that’s worth having and they even offer express lunchtime deals if you were looking to try the meals at a reduced rate. I just can’t stop raving about Asador – go pay them a visit and thank me later.