Thursday, 14 August 2014

Urban Taphouse, Cardiff

Yet another gem lying on Westgate Street is Urban Tap House. Directly opposite gates 2 & 3 of the Millennium Stadium, you can't miss this big red building.

Inside, this place is huge. Full of random rooms to get lost in, bare brick walls covered in old gig posters and exposed ceilings, it ticks all the hipster boxes. Except it's really hard to not feel so comfortable at the Tap House. It's the type of place to just sit back, chill out, and make it your home for the rest of the day.

In my search for great Cardiff food, this name has popped up more than once. I'd been for a drink before, but as yet hadn't tried out anything from the kitchen. Saturday was the day after my littlest brother Ryan's 19th birthday, so after a day of spending his birthday money, this was the perfect place for him, my mum and I to plonk ourselves down and refresh.

The Urban Tap House is run by the Newport based Tiny Rebel Brewery, so it stocks a plethora of great craft beers and ciders. Expect to be stood at the bar for ages like me while deciding what to go for. (For the record, I recommend the Boho).

The menu is pretty small and simple, which I like. They know what they do well and stick with it. 8 burgers, including a veggie and a fish option, and a handful of exciting sides to go with.

My mum and I went for The Big Welsh, and Ryan went for The Plain. The Big Welsh consisted of a beef patty topped with crispy bacon, welsh cheddar and pan fried leeks. All burgers came with a side of red coleslaw and fries, all falling between the £7 - £8 mark, which is great value.

Especially when you see the size of them.

The burger really was excellent. The beef patty was thick and juicy, and had that lovely charcoal grilled taste without being too overpowering. The toppings were just the right size, enough leeks to add to the juiciness and two slices of crispy, smoky bacon to add some crunch.

Let's get to the real winner of the meal though, the sides. I upgraded my fries to...*drum roll please* pizza fries.

Just look at them. I'm completely unashamed as to how much I love these. Home cooked skin on chips, covered in a tomato sauce, topped with gooey melted cheese and a few slices of pepperoni.  Next time, I could totally skip the burger and just eat these. As it was, I couldn't finish them all on top of the burger. Rest assured, I gave it a good go though.

Ryan ordered the stand out side dish, the onion rings. I managed to sneak one from him and they were incredible. Chunky slices of white onion encased in a Tiny Rebel beer batter. The batter was so light and sweet, it reminded us of the little Dunkin' Donuts that you get at the fair.

The menu has a range of other exciting sides, mostly all covered in this fairy light beer batter, including gherkins and chillies. The best way to enjoy the food here definitely seems to be on a lazy afternoon, working your way through the incredible craft beers from their own brewery, supplemented by the sides and bar nibbles available.

I mean, candied bacon anyone? I've got to try that with my next pint...

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