Sunday, 16 November 2014

Miller & Carter, The Hayes, Cardiff

Last Sunday, the husband and I struck up a bargain. He'd buy me lunch if I hung around with him at Cardiff Comic Con for a few hours. Pretty sure I got the better end of that deal, seeing as wandering around the Comic Con ogling cosplayers and spotting minor celebs is always a bit of fun.

Once we'd had our geek fill over at the Motorpoint Arena, we made a beeline for Miller & Carter in the Hayes, Cardiff. This restaurant has been open for a few months, but this was the first chance we'd had to dine here, and my first visit to any Miller & Carter establishment. Taking over the old Habitat unit, it's a huge open space, and in prime position on The Hayes.

Two things were clear from all my friends recommendations, big fat steaks and the onion loaf were the order of the day.

3pm on a Sunday afternoon, the restaurant was not even half full, however we were told we had a twenty minute wait. Not a problem, we went to the bar to get a drink. Five minutes later, we were in the middle of being served when our table became ready. Rather than take us to our table and then bring us our drinks, the waitress stood with us for ten minutes while the barman made our drinks, and then had to remake them because they were incorrect. Slightly awkward.

We were led upstairs to the mezzanine level, and chose a table overlooking the open kitchen area. After seeing the size of the meals being brought through, we decided to skip the starter and go straight for the main event. I ordered the 14oz T-Bone (may as well go all out...) and Mr P had the 12oz sirloin.

The prices on the outset might seem a bit expensive for steak and chips, the T-Bone at £21.95 and the sirloin £21.75, but you really do get an enormous amount of food. This includes the steak, chips, a sauce, a slice of the onion loaf and a wedge salad. We were so full after our meal, that dessert was definitely out of the question.

The steak was faultless, cooked to order (medium rare of course) and perfectly tender. The parmesan and garlic wedge salad was a really nice cooling crunchy side touch, and a decent size portion of chips on the side. Our salad arrived with our main, but it seemed other diners received theirs as a starter. Not entirely sure which, if any, was the correct way of serving, but no choice was offered to us.

I've got to be completely honest, I'm not at all sure about what the fuss over the onion loaf was all about. I was actually expecting a slice of a bread loaf, but it seemed to be just a big greasy mass of onion. More like an onion bhaji instead of a bread loaf, except soggier. Not the biggest fan of that.

I'd definitely recommend the beef dripping sauce though, a potent and beefy stock like sauce, it was just right to enhance the steak. the bearnaise however, was just too overpowering and buttery for us both.

I've got to give M & C credit for their range of 'mocktails' too. As I was driving, this time I was stuck with a virgin mojito, but it was prepared with the same love given to a normal mojito, and at £2.50, a nice change from the obligatory driver diet coke.

All in all, we had a lovely meal. It completely filled us up on a cold Sunday afternoon, for a reasonable price. The steak is what they're all about, and the steak is what they do well. A few little tweaks around the outside and it'd be wonderful. I'm not sure if it's somewhere I'd go for a romantic night out, as the food is too heavy and it's not a very private layout. The entire building is one big room, with a mezzanine level, but there didn't feel very much space between us and our neighbours.

However, for a little escape from the hustle and bustle of Cardiff and to provide some serious sustenance for a day out shopping, it's just the ticket. I'm sure we'll be giving it another go over the Christmas period.

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