Sunday, 13 May 2012

O'Sullivans Llantrisant

Ok so here we go. My scoring system, which is completely arbitary is 1-5 T's. T being Tonfoodie. 1 Tired - dont bother, 2 Trying - not bad but would need a gap between visits, 3 Tasty - an average score, 4 Tidy - the Wenglish for Good, 5 Terrific - do not miss this place.

This is my first go at reviewing any eatery. I am a food lover who lives with my beautiful wife Jill in the South Wales village of Tonyrefail.

Can I say that from the outset these reviews will be only my opinion and you are free to agree or disagree with jibberish I manage to come up with.

My first visit to O'Sullivans in Old Llantrisant will undoutably not be my last. As you approach the restuarant you could be forgiven for thinking you were about to knock the door of a private residence. The small frontage gives way to an equally cozy dining room. I counted four tables of eight and a small 4 person table in the corner so compact would be a suitable description.

A standard bistro style menu is augmented with balckboard specials which are introduced to diners by head chef Tony. He goes through the specials explaining sauces and how the various dishes are prepared, which is an excellent introduction to some equally interesting dishes.

Starters are all priced at a reasonable £5.95 and range from a fairly uninspiring prawn cocktail (which was nice without being outstanding) to something described as 'exotic meats'. This was sublime, a homage of boar, buffalo, crocodile (I know more of this later) and bison all slow braised in a divine sauce and served on half a ciabatta. I loved this and would recomend it though for my taste it would have been better without the croc! Speaking of which for those who may not have tried it crocodile is a cross between chicken and pork with a hint of fish. Trust me it tastes better than it sounds. A friend had the scallops and tiger prawn in garlic butter, again delicious and if I hadn't chosen the meats I would have happily dispatched this.

Mains range in price from £13.95 to £21.95 and although a little pricey are still value for money. I had the rose veal in a wild mushroom and white wine sauce. The veal was cooked to perfection and the sauce just the right balance of mushroom, cream and wine. Another of the more unusual dishes was fillet of Zebra. How to describe the flavour. I suppose it's like a very fine fillet of beef with a stronger game flavour. Don't be fooled this is not one of those places that serve 'steak' by other names. It was cooked to perfection and the flavour was outstanding. Rump of lamb with a mint sauce was again well cooked. For the fish lovers among you the whole filleted sea bass with king prawns was beautifully cooked. The chef is clearly a man who knows his way around the kitchen and is not frightened to show off his undenigable talent.

If you are the type who likes their food au natural the kitchen is happy to deliver simply grilled chicken which Jill enjoyed immensly.

The only thing that let the whole evening down was the desert. Now it may be that I just did't choose well because the apple strudle did sound lovely but i plumped for the lemon meriagne pie which was good but a bit of a damp squib after the first two courses.

Over all a great example of bistro style cookery only twenty minutes from the centre of Cardiff. Score 4T's.

Happy eating

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