Based on Penarth Marina, Pier 64 is a wine bar and steakhouse, in what can only be described as a location nothing short of picture-perfect. It’s a restaurant which has certainly built up a positive reputation in Cardiff and South Wales, especially since it was taken over by Craig Bellamy and has been featured on the Michelin Guide list several times. So after quite a build up, I was very excited for my first visit as part of a family meal recently.
With wide-open windows that provide a beautiful view of the marina that I could stare at all day, you can already see why so many diners choose Pier 64 as their ultimate dinner date venue. Of course, as we were visiting on a Saturday night, we had booked ahead for a table of eight, which required a £10 deposit per person. When we arrived, we were seated in a cosy booth, which made it much easier for the conversation to flow. Servers were quick to bring us the drinks list and as I knew that I would be ordering red meat for my main dish, my boyfriend and I decided to split a bottle of the Spanish Don Placero Rioja Tinto red wine. Priced at £18.95, I was more than happy with our choice as it had a soft oak but fruity taste thanks to the plum and raspberry flavours, and had a delicious hint of vanilla – it was absolutely delicious and I would definitely choose to order this again.
For my main, I chose the rack of Welsh lamb with garlic mashed potatoes, ratatouille and a red wine jus. Priced at £22.95, this plate was beautifully presented when it arrived at our table and I couldn’t wait to tuck in. I requested for the lamb to be cooked to medium, so it was still pink and had a tender taste. Alongside the lovely savoury taste of the potatoes mixed with garlic, the ratatouille brought a sweet element to the dish, meaning that all the flavours worked together very well. I enjoyed these pairings but probably would have liked the serving to be a little bigger. Greedy, perhaps but I was still a bit hungry after finishing my meal.
But I suppose that this did leave me room for a dessert! There sadly didn’t seem to be an option that was lactose intolerant-friendly on the menu, although I’ll admit, I didn’t think to ask for alternatives as it simply didn’t cross my mind. Instead, I decided that if I couldn’t have a full dessert, I could at least have a taste of one. So, I decided to split the Ferrero Rocher Sundae with my boyfriend. Priced at £6.95, this was a tall dessert with about three of the chocolate treats stuffed in. But it was also served with Ferrero Rocher ice-cream, toasted hazelnuts, chocolate wafer and hazelnut sauce. This was tasty, but I felt a little cheated that we didn’t get more chocolates – a whole box would be great for me, thanks.
All-in-all, we had a relaxed evening in a restaurant that felt perfect for family birthday celebrations, or any special occasion for that matter. The views were beautiful, the decor felt warm yet modern and there was a whole host of wine on offer, just waiting to be drunk. But on the other hand, those who know me will know that I am a firm believer in that you get what you pay for. Yet, on this occasion, I thought the food was a little overpriced for the standard that was delivered to the table. I understand that the restaurant has made the Michelin guide list and although it was tasty and would certainly fall under the category of ‘nice’, I don’t think I would be shouting about this meal for weeks to come. But I’m all for trying things more than once, especially as this restaurant has been raved about by others, so I’ll be looking to return to try the set lunch menu quite soon.