It’s full steam ahead with the success of Junction 28….
The Cardiff food scene has exploded in the last few years. After a decade of steady growth, the city recorded an 82% increase in food and drink events last year. Pop-ups and street food events are filling every corner, while new restaurants serving up delicious cuisine from across the globe are opened each month. This vibrant growth in the sector points to a surging interest in eating out across the country.
Beyond the capital, Wales has many niche restaurants that stand out from the crowd. Situated in the quiet village of Bassaleg, Junction 28 is one such venue. Following a spectacular renovation, there is nothing conventional, overdone or whimsical about Junction 28. The restaurant occupies a spot under an old railway bridge, and draws on locomotive history as a form of inspiration. The inside space is modelled on the Orient Express, replicating the elaborate architecture and characterful décor of the celebrated luxury passenger train. This makes for an impressive restaurant space, truly unlike any other.
Despite its opulence, Junction 28 feels approachable and accessible. The menu is a celebration of European and British dishes, distinguished by extra special touches and ingredients. New for this summer, an exquisite menu of light bites offers a range of dishes for grazing upon during hot hazy days.
Ordering just a couple of light bites proves difficult. The Junction 28 platter is a medley of succulent chicken goujons accompanied by a delicious black pepper and lemon dip, deep-fried crispy calamari with tartare sauce, hake and prawn fishcakes with a touch of Cajun spice, plus juicy olives, sundried tomatoes, homemade bread and balsamic dip. Elsewhere, the smoked duck breast salad comes delicately dressed with orange segments, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, croutons and fresh French beans. The tenderloin and chorizo kebab is made from free-range pork and served with a sweet roast pepper relish, mixed leaves and sautéed Ratte potatoes. For seafood enthusiasts, the summer salad of poached salmon served with white crab meat, avocado, grapefruit segments with lemon and dill mayonnaise is wonderfully refreshing.
The kitchen has also taken heed of a hunger for grilled cuisine. Alongside the usual à la carte, the team has crafted a new menu of à la carte grill dishes. The fillet and rib-eye steaks, made from Welsh beef aged for 25 days to ensure a credibly succulent, are popular. As with the Scottish sirloin, steaks are cooked to order exactly as the guest prefers. Prawns, served in a moreish garlic sauce, can be added as a refreshing side, and every dish is served with a choice of pepper, Diane or béarnaise sauce. Locally sourced fresh fish can also be cooked on the grill, giving the delicate cuts of fish a deeper, smoky flavour.
With more summer months stretched before us, it’s high-time that adventurous foodies head out of the city and into the suburbs. Junction 28 is the perfect place, and with the Ebbw River and a historic railway line in close proximity, it feels miles away from the bright lights of Newport.
Read more about dining in the area in our Cardiff Food & Drink Guide. Request your free copy here or read online: