I don’t seem to get into Cardiff too often these days, so it was great to get an invitation to Steak of the Art, that interesting combination of restaurant and art gallery on Churchill Way.
Since the restaurant opened in February 2015 it has seen some stiff competition from other city centre openings so I was interested to see how it’s stood up to the challenge.
We arrived at 6.45pm on a cold October Thursday and are grateful to find the bright and quirky interior is warm and inviting. As well as having a separate art gallery the inside of the restaurant is a work of art in its own right. Featuring several booths, each with its own theme, the interior certainly offers plenty to keep the eyes interested during dinner.
Seated in the Roald Dahl inspired Willy Wonka booth, carved out of a single tree trunk we got ready to find out if the food would be as interesting to the palate as the décor to the eyes.
I was immediately impressed with our server, Molly, who obviously had great knowledge of the menu and could answer our questions with ease. It is so important that restaurants invest in their staff training and not only ensure that the front of house team know what is in the dishes and how they are prepared but also get to taste them too!
I decided to start with the Smoked Sausage, Chorizo and Ciabatta (£5) while MrsA went for the Garlic and Chilli Tiger Prawns (£6).
My starter was generously proportioned with plenty of sausage and chorizo. Unfortunately, it was served covered with some kind of smokey BBQ sauce that only served to overpower the flavours, a shame as the meat itself was up to being the star of the show.
MrsA’s starter was also a little lacklustre, the ginger and chilli sauce struggling to lift the rather bland prawns.
Whilst Steak of the Art serves fish, salads and vegetarian options for us the clue is in the name and so we both decide that for mains it’s meat all the way
Although traditionally fillet is the steak of choice for most and I appreciate the tenderness of a good fillet, I’m mostly to be found revelling in the flavour of a piece of skirt, bavette or flank.
This time I picked another flavourful cut, the Rump with Hand Cut Chips (£14) and a side of Broccoli and Flaked Almonds.
MrsA chose the Flat Iron Steak (£12), served with a Rocket, Tomato and Parmesan Salad with Onion Rings on the side.
It’s really important with these cuts that they are cooked properly. Overcook them and you end up with tasteless shoe leather. Both mains more than made up for any prior disappointment. Both steaks were juicy, full of flavour and cooked exactly as ordered (rare). Delightfully the sauces, Béarnaise with my rump and Porcini Mushroom & Tarragon with the flat iron, were excellent, fresh, well balanced and with bags of flavour. If you’re looking for a perfectly cooked steak and sauce combo, in Cardiff, you should head to Steak of the Art.
The sides (all £3) were very well prepared. The broccoli served slightly al dente as opposed to the overcooked mush so often delivered. The onion rings, made on the premises not out of a packet, served in a light crispy batter with a satisfying crunch.
Having polished off the mains we were offered the dessert menu. Well, it would have been rude not to!
I was taken by a Lemon Posset with a Passion Fruit Coulis (£5.50). Nice and tart, the sharpness of the lemon nicely offset by the passion fruit this was delightfully creamy.
MrsA chose the Chocolate Mousse on Peanut Biscuit Base with Praline and a Dollop of Ice-cream (£5.50). As Molly said, it’s not as light as you might think of something called a mousse, but it is packed with flavour. Sheer indulgence!
Starters aside I was impressed by Steak of the Art. The mains and dessert were excellent and I think they have got the price point right in comparison with the other offerings in the city. The fixed price lunch menu at £11.95 for 2 courses and £13.95 for 3, along with the afternoon only Menu Rapide (Steak and chips for £7.50 anyone?) offer fantastic value for money if you are around in the daytime.
The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic and you can even support a local artist after your meal. One thing is for sure if I’m in Cardiff and I fancy I steak you are far more likely to find me walking along Churchill Way than through The Hayes.
Steak of The Art
T: 029 2039 7284
We were invited to Steak Of The Art and as such all food was complimentary.