For the few of you left that don't know yet, Oscars of Cardiff occupies the old site of Le Gallois in Romilly Cresent. A location I've always liked as the restaurant itself is light and airy due to the glass frontage and I can always find somewhere to park.
But that was then and this is now, so what of Oscars itself? We’ll I’ve been a few times before and always left happy. The menu is eclectic, ‘our chefs are not afraid to experiment’ they say, catering well for both the traditional diner and the ‘nibbler’. I’ve also found it an excellent spot when someone in the party is a vegetarian.
Based on past experience it was a no-brainer when I was asked if I’d like to sample to new, improved Sunday lunch menu. In fact there are two menus. The first a prix fixe traditional style lunch menu offering two courses for £16 and three for £19. The second, billed as the Lazy Sunday Menu, more contemporary with burgers, lobster wraps, sandwiches and soups all individually and reasonably priced.
To start we both chose the Chicken and roast garlic pate with toast & balsamic jelly. It was an excellent pate, smooth and with a great depth of flavour. I was especially pleased that it was served with a decent portion of toast. For me there is nothing worse than being supplied a decent pate with hardly any bread to spread it on. The balsamic jelly was a great idea, but not quite as sharp as I would have liked, although it did a pretty good job of cutting through the richness of the pate. MrsA agreed but also thought it was too hard, more rubbery than jelly like.
For main course I opted for the traditional Oscars Sunday roast with herb roast vegetables, greens and gravy whilst MrsA opted for the lighter option of Fillet of line caught hake, potato tartar, asparagus and air dried tomato salsa to which she added a Garden Salad from the Lazy Sunday Menu.
The beef was served slightly past medium, but was nevertheless very tender with a good flavour. Extra gravy came in a bottle marked Jim’s Beef (no I have no idea who Jim is either) and was liberally poured over the accompanying roast potatoes, vegetables and green beans. A nice light and crispy Yorkshire Pudding finished the whole thing off.
MrsA’s fish was very nicely prepared and well complemented by asparagus with just the right amount of crunch. The tomato salsa was very tasty and she would have liked to see a lot more of it on the plate. Although the potato tartar tasted good it didn’t deliver textually having an almost granular consistency, we wondered if this came from using a floury potato variety rather than a waxy one. The salad was nice balance of freshness and flavour with a decent house vinaigrette.
I alone chose to indulge in a dessert and the choice was easy, Oscars strawberry mess, vanilla cream, rose meringues and candy! This was a sugary delight and I have to say if Chef John Cook makes his own candy floss (or cotton candy as MrsA insists on calling it) and he’s looking for a side line, he’d clean up on a Bank Holiday Weekend at Barry Island! With all that sugar and cream this was a dish that could have easily become a sickly sweet disaster, but instead was one of the nicest desserts I’ve eaten so far this year. Top notch!
Whilst I sipped my coffee and MrsA her fresh mint tea we discussed our lunch and Oscars overall. With good food, friendly service, a varied menu and being family friendly to boot there is no doubt that Oscars is a great neighbourhood restaurant. We also think that it offers really good value for money. The fact that it has just won a place in the Good Food Guide 2013 means that others seem to think so too. Keep an eye out too for Oscars Wednesdays where you can find a variety of special menus such as ‘Fish Supper Night’, ‘Very Vegetarian Nights’ and other specials.
I started this review by saying that I had been to Oscars a few times before and although we’ve highlighted a few very minor quibbles here, overall Oscars is a great place to eat and I know that we’ll be going back there again. I wish we had an Oscars in my neighbourhood. Recommended.
6-10 Romilly Crescent
T: 029 2034 1264
Disclosure: I was invited to review Sunday Lunch at Oscars by Cake Communications and as such my meal was complimentary. MrsA attended as my guest and I paid for her meal in full.