The Potted Pig in Cardiff city centre is said to be one of the city’s best restaurants. Set in the vaults of an old bank building on High Street it is somewhat surprising to find a restaurant amongst the city’s arcades, joke shops and fancy dress outlets.
The restaurant, which opened in 2011, prides itself on serving classic English dishes with a French touch and a distinct nod to the New York grill style of food.
The first thing you encounter as you descend the wooden stairs from the High St is a bespoke gin bar, serving 30 different types of gin.
Floral, spicy, aromatic even, you’ll be amazed there are so many different types. You will never have an ordinary gin and tonic again!
There is an almost equally impressive selection of tonic water to accompany these creative gins. In some cases, the tonic water is the same price as the gin at £3 a bottle!
One option is the “Josephine” named after Napoleon’s other half. One wonders if the old Emperor had sampled a few of these aromatic gins the course of European history might have changed and it would be very much a case of “Yes tonight, Josephine” forever after.
The restaurant offers a two course lunch every weekday for £12 and it is very good value. The Jerusalem artichoke and celeriac soup was creamy and rich and the combination of the strong tasting celeriac, a most underrated vegetable, was complimented by the more mild mannered artichoke.
The two flavours worked well, and the soup had an unusual flavour, not overpowered by the cream. Despite the name of the restaurant pork does not feature highly on the menu and although there was a choice of Welsh lamb burger or Welsh beef burger, the pan fried haddock seemed favourite as a lunchtime restorative.
And it was delicious. Served on a bed of sliced, buttered, sautéed fennel with capers and perfectly cooked new potatoes, the haddock was cooked well and the skin was as crispy as a cold Welsh morning.
The ambience in The Potted Pig is good. On Thursday lunchtime it was fairly busy but not full, but the restaurant gets busy at night and early booking is recommended. Service was slow but pleasant and for £12 it is really good value. Don’t forget to try at least one of the gins!
The Potted Pig : 27 High Street (underneath Zizzi), Cardiff, CF10 1PU.
Tel: 029 2022 4817