Although a relatively small city, I believe that we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out in Cardiff. It’s undeniable that the food and drink industry is filled with uncertainty UK-wide right now, especially with the news of Jamie’s Italian going into administration very recently. However, I feel as though our city is remaining *somewhat* resilient, with the Cardiff food scene being home to some unique finds, one of which includes the Pot Bistro. Describing itself as a small, independent cafe serving tasty homemade food, the Pot has been on my list for quite some time but I always seem to be a little off with my timings – too early and they’re closed, too late and it’s full. But I recently had the chance to visit and I couldn’t pass up the chance to share my experience.
Visiting independents midweek tends to be my favourite. It’s a quieter experience and *usually*, you’re more likely to secure yourself a table. I visited on a Thursday for my boyfriend’s birthday, which also meant that we were able to order from the A La Carte set menu – two courses and a glass of wine for just £20? You can’t really go wrong, particularly when mains alone here average at around £15. We nabbed our seat by the front window, making sure we could safely observe our food being cooked (I’m a nosy diner), whilst also watching the world go by.
Based on Whitchurch Road, it’s a relatively small venue which means you’d definitely need to book ahead for those busy weekend slots. But thanks to the size and the layout of the restaurant, I think you get a very quaint dining experience, keeping things casual but also very Instagram-friendly.
Despite being tempted by the ‘Specials’ option of French Onion Soup, which my boyfriend opted for, I started with a Mini Charcuterie plate filled with Cured meats, sun-dried tomatoes, Harlech cheese, olives, bread and chutney. I wanted something a little lighter to get started and this definitely filled that spot with good cuts of meat and a generous serving of cheese. Alongside the sweet chutney, this was a definite win for me.
For mains, I decided to be a little bit braver and opt for something I wouldn’t usually order – pork loin. Served with caramelised apple, parmentier potatoes and port jus, this was something slightly out of my comfort zone, particularly as I tend to find pork quite dry, chewy and unsatisfying. However, this wasn’t the case here. The Pot has certainly helped to transform something I’d usually find quite dull into a meat that melted on my tongue and paired incredibly well with the sweet apple. But as lovely as this was, the potatoes stole the show for me – I really do love any restaurant that can get their potatoes or chips spot on. My boyfriend on the other hand opted for the Ox Cheek bourguignon which also earned rave reviews and was promptly demolished.
Alas, after these two dishes, there really wasn’t room for dessert so I cannot report on the sweet treat experience here. But what I will say is that I do think it has a diverse range of options for diners and food lovers looking to try something a little different without straying from their hearty, warming meal preferences. And the menu changes seasonally, so you’ll always have something new to look forward to.
The Pot Bistro A La Carte menu is available Tuesday – Friday 5pm – 9pm.