Sunday, 3 March 2013

Bella Italia Cardiff

Well dear foodie after months of nothing we come to our second post in two weeks.

I have to say that when friends invited the beautiful Mrs Tonfoodie and myself to dinner at Bella Itialia in the Red Dragon Centre near Cardiff Bay I did not think I would be adding another venue to my search for the best steak in Cardiff.

Six of us arrived for a booking at 7.30pm and from the outside this venue looked very pleasant. As we entered the restaurant there was a beautifully laid table just inside the door. Very nice I thought, sadly not ours. We were shown to the back of the room where two tables had been pushed together to accomodate us, unfortunately wobbly legs (on the tables ensued).

Anyway, not being a great pizza lover and noticing that they served both rump and sirloins I decided I would give it a go. As with the previous post on steak and for the sake of objectivity I decided to go for the rump.

Rump Steak
As you can see from the photograph sadly the garnishes were a little light with the exception of the rocket which seemed to be in abundance.

Before we get onto that let me say this chef knew how to cook a steak. I asked for it medium rare and got exactly that. It was cooked to perfection and tasted delicious.

At this juncture I would also draw your attention to the red pepper and tomato salsa, this was really tasty and served as an excellent accompanyment to the steak. For me it could have been improved if it had been served warmed, but hey ho each to their own.

The button mushrooms were again a good addition to the plate though a few more would not have gone amiss.

We now get to the down side of the dish. Those of you who have read any of my previouse posts will know of my dislike of frozen fries. Well at Bella Italia we not only had to put up with the frozen variety yet again but to make matters worse there were not very many of them.

Now I am well aware that you may be thinking that if I am not keen on the frozen chipped potato a lack of them on my plate may not have been such a bad thing. Ordinarily I would have to agree with you but this took small portions to a whole new level.

In my opinion a very well cooked steak was spoilt by the poor accompanyments. Again sadly this was not the only shortcoming we found.

The pizza Mrs Tonfoodie ordered was supposed to have chicken on it. It is possible that the chicken was so fresh that it was still alive and managed to get up and run off before the bread hit the oven but somehow I think not.

Once again rocket seemed to be the main ingredient on the pizza ad rather than ask if she would like oil as a dressing it was delivered to the table already swimming in it. This was a disappointment as she doesn't like oil!

Although our dining experience was leaving something to be desired, in the interest of fairness I must say that two of our friends ordered a burger and a chicken stew which they thrououghly enjoyed. Being a glutton though using my favourite excuse of research I did try the stew and it was very nice.

Burger Appreciation.
There was one very amusing moment when one of our friends ordered Lasagne al forno and what came to table appeared to be missing one fundamental ingredient, the beef ragou. Apparently this did not distract from the pasta and bechemel sauce being very good. The funny bit those was that said diner was was having a good moan to the rest of us about the meal when our waiter arrived to ask if everything was alright, cue a very British 'Oh yes delicious thankyou' from our friend.

As you may have gathered this has not been my greatest dining experience and as we move on to desert I am sorry to report that this is where things really did go downhill. Now to be fair one of the puds we ordered was described as 'mini', however I don't think any of use were expecting it to be quite so mini.

Mini Lemon Tart
I have added the photograph to allow you to make up your own mind as to whether you would pay £1.95 for this.

We decided to put the knife and fork in the picture to give it some perspective. They are not belonging to some giant they are standard pieces of cutlery.

Two courses with drinks came to just over £100 for six which is very reasonable and to finish on a positive note the service was of a perfectly good standard.

Price and service pushed the rating up but unfortunately I have still only felt able to give this 2.5 T's.

Atlantic Wharf Leisure Park
Hemingway Rd, Cardiff, South Glamorgan
029 2047 2009