De Courcey's

De Courcey's

British

0.5 miles
Tyla Morris Avenue, Pentyrch, Cardiff, CF15 9QN
X

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Thu, 08/04/2016 - 15:08 -- Administrator
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It is said that either you know De Courcey's or you don't. Those of us who do are privy to one of Cardiff's best-kept secrets; however its word-of-mouth reputation ensures full-capacity dining nearly every night.

The location (just off the M4) seems at first slightly incongruous to the first-class dining experience one receives, but do not be deterred - I was pleasantly surprised by the privacy and solitude of the surroundings. De Courcey's is located in an impressive building that, as we were to learn from our host Jan Meek, has a unique history.

It was built on the site of a magnificent wooden Swedish hunting lodge, a building that was a real labour of love for the imaginative Mr. Hamilton De Courcey, who had it shipped from Sweden in 1890 to placate his young, homesick bride. When this testament to love burnt down in 1992, the present building was designed and built with vision and a commitment to elite dining. The service here is impeccable. One is greeted immediately on arrival and coats and bags are taken to the cloakroom (I must also note here that this restaurant has a strict no jeans and no trainers policy).

After enjoying an aperitif and a small mushroom and spinach risotto appetiser in the Japanese-style bar, we were shown to our table, where every dining instrument had been placed with noted precision. This attention to detail is the hallmark of everything they do here - with a licence to hold civil ceremonies for up to 100 guests you can let De Courcey's take care of your special day. They also have excellent conference and private dining facilities.

Our food was brought promptly and presented beautifully with acute attention to detail. The bouillabaisse Parisienne, seared escalope of foie gras de canard and foie gras ravioli were perfect introductions to what was an elegant evening's presentation of French cuisine. The accompaniment of freshly-baked apricot bread was one of the evening's highlights, and I couldn't help wishing that there had been more.

However, my disappointment swiftly dispersed with the arrival of our main courses. The elegance and subtle manipulation of flavours tantalised the tastebuds. I must praise the noisette of seared venison, which was elegant and tender and contrasted beautifully with the sharp redcurrant jelly. The pheasant on red cabbage with a chestnut and Armagnac jus was also deeply satisfying.

Nothing, though, could have prepared us for the selection of made-to-order desserts that topped off this decadent culinary experience. The black forest soufflé was timed to perfection and quite literally melted in the mouth, while the chef's treacle tart with mascarpone cream will remain in my thoughts far longer than it did on the plate. By the time we had finished coffee and chocolates, neither of us could believe the time (midnight) or our waistlines, but we didn't care. It was one of the best meals I have ever had, and there's one thing for sure - De Courcey's makes the M4 a better place.
+4De Courcey's
Open: Wed-Sat 7pm-9.30pm; Sun noon-2.30pm