Unexpected Lunch: Côte Brasserie, Cardiff Bay

Cote Brasserie

Not so long ago I paid a trip to Wagamama in Cardiff. Well, I’ve been a little naughty and took a trip into Cardiff with Ryan to celebrate his birthday. We primarily took the trip to unleash our inner children at Techniquest but after a long morning we decided to stop for lunch. After a lot of indecision we settled on Côte Brasserie – a lush French Brasserie with an appealing menu.

Atmosphere

It was a pretty miserable day but considering there was a food festival going on in the Bay we were glad to see it wasn’t too busy and so we were seated quickly. The restaurant has a very relaxed feel about. We were given the choice of where to sit and chose a quiet corner where the table for two was accompanied by the usual chair but also a sofa. The place gave off a very comfort filled vibe and after a long morning I really appreciated that.

Food

The menu had been the thing that drew us to the place. It isn’t extensive but offers a range of light bites as well as heavier meals. As well as the standard à la carte menu we were also given the July specials menu – much smaller and containing things not found on the main menu.

garlic bread

We opted to share fougasse (£4.95) as a starter. A leaf shaped garlic bread with parsley and sea salt that tasted delicious. It was pretty large and I’m glad we shared it although if I’m honest my love affair with garlic bread would have happily seen me polish off the entire thing.

I chose my main course from the à la carte menu whilst Ryan decided to go with the specials menu. I had the half chargrilled ‘Breton’ chicken (£11.50) with wild mushroom sauce (£2.35) served with chips. I’m always cautious to order chicken because the last thing you want is a piece of dry meat on the plate but I’m glad to report that this was by no means dry. Beautifully cooked I probably would have been fine without the sauce. However, let me tell you something, if they bottled that sauce I would be in heaven. Made with wild mushrooms, crème fraîche and thyme, there was just enough to cover the chicken and leave me wanting more. The fries were nice and crispy and salted so I felt there wasn’t a need to add anything to it.

chicken and mushroom

Ryan ordered duck confit with salardaise potatoes (£13.50) which sounds super fancy but was essentially duck with sautéed potatoes and a veal and thyme jus. I’m not going to lie, I pinched a little bit from his plate and admit that he chose the better option. The skin of the duck was crispy whilst the actual meat fell off the bone. The potatoes soaked up the sauce leaving them soft and I did question whether it would be rude to ask to swap dishes.

duck confit

Service

I couldn’t fault the service at all. From the moment we were shown to our table we were looked after very well. At one point our waiter asked us how our food was and then seeing we hadn’t yet tried it (thanks to my little photography session) apologised and said he would come back in a bit. Polite and efficient, just for the service I would go there again. They did add a 12.5% optional gratuity charge to the bill which I wasn’t keen on. I prefer to tip what I feel the service deserved and although we did tip the amount suggested I’d rather have done it off my own back.

Overall I’d say Côte Brasserie was a lovely experience and worth the money we spent there. If you’re after comfortable surroundings and delicious food I would pay a visit.

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