Besides its rugby, Cardiff is renowned for its shopping. From picturesque Victorian arcades to the ultra-modern St David’s shopping centre, and from charity shops to designer outlets, there’s something for everyone’s taste and budget.
I enjoy shopping as much as the next person, but what always strikes me is that it’s tiring work. After half a day spent shopping, I crave relaxation and sustenance – and what better place for both than at Laguna Kitchen & Bar in the Park Plaza hotel? It’s in a wonderfully central location just behind City Hall and yet is a haven of tranquility thanks to its riverside setting and parkland surroundings.
Laguna Kitchen & Bar was previously crowned Restaurant of the Year in the South Wales Echo Food & Drink Awards and offers luxurious lunches at reasonable prices. The Monday to Saturday lunch menu is available from noon to 2.30pm and is perfect for a spot of pre- or post-shopping indulgence, a business lunch with clients or a lunchtime office party.
Wind down with a drink from the gleaming black bar before taking your seat in the stylish contemporary restaurant or on the leafy outdoor terrace. You might begin with superfood salad, including the exciting addition of samphire, or a delicious Scotch quail’s egg, still slightly runny in the middle and served with grilled black pudding and Parma ham. The mains offer choices that are both local and international, with the likes of rack of Welsh lamb with spring onion mash, green beans and rosemary jus, roast Cornish cod with Welsh rarebit crust, and Singapore pancake with Thai dipping sauce, Oriental vegetables and tempura tofu. The desserts are also sublime, with creations such as Turkish delight with Jersey cream crème brûlée and shortbread, Jaffa Cake torte with orange sorbet, and tonka bean panna cotta with Kir Royal blackberries.
For a luxurious family outing or special occasion, why not visit on Sunday and enjoy the three-course lunch menu? It’s available well beyond lunchtime, being served from noon to 9pm, and offers a great deal more than traditional Sunday roast. Besides roast sirloin of Welsh beef, roast loin of Usk Valley pork and roast bacon-wrapped chicken, there are tantalising fish dishes such as eggs Benedict with smoked halibut and LKB fish grill, and delicious vegetarian options such as caramelised shallot and wild mushroom Wellington, and Usk Valley courgette and pea linguine – not to mention the choice of sophisticated starters, such as Pant-Ysgawn organic goats’ cheese and truffle honey served with red-wine-poached damsons and a salad of river bank herbs and seasonal leaves. Puddings are just as good as the Monday to Saturday offerings, with delights such as sticky toffee pudding, Baileys crème brûlée with all-butter shortbread, and New-York-style raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake with raspberry ripple ice cream.
The portions are generous, the dishes elegantly presented, and the service faultless, making lunch at Laguna a joy, whatever the occasion.
Read our review of Laguna here, or you can view our latest Cardiff Food & Drink Guide below: