With winter here I love getting cosy and warm in restaurants, having amazing food and drink with friends, or going on date nights with my husband. I would recommend booking in advance for most restaurants, especially if you’re booking in a busy month like December. OpenTable have over 350 restaurants in South Wales and you can easily see what restaurants have bookings when you search for a date and time – it’s way better than going to loads of different websites and having to try multiple places to find a table. It’s also a fun way to find and explore new places!
In Cardiff my top four picks – all with very different food would be – Bill’s, The Ivy, Pho, and Yakitori1. I might be able to add a fifth recommendation to this list, as I’m heading to Courts for a festive Christmas meal shortly, check back towards the end of the month for that review! Check out the restaurants you can book in Cardiff.
This time I wanted to celebrate with friends at Bill’s, Cardiff Bay. I’ve been to Bill’s quite a few times in the past, in fact it was one of the first restaurants I ate at with William when he was a baby! The menu changes frequently, but there’s always something delicious available. As you might know if you follow my food posts, I’m gluten free due to an autoimmune condition. Bill’s has an “avoiding gluten” menu separate to the main menu, make sure you ask for it when you get to the restaurant. The food comes out allergy flagged and there were loads of options. Additional allergy scanning was available through a QR code.
We may have gone a bit overboard with the food we ordered, but that means we have even more to share with you! If you’re not hungry now, you will be after this…
For starters we went a bit crazy and ordered a total of 7 dishes from the “For the Table” and “Starters” sections and shared them between us.
The Truffle Cheese Fondue was the most popular, a massive loaf of bread filled with a thick truffle forward fondue. I couldn’t try it myself because of the gluten, but everyone said it was amazing!
This next dish was my personal favourite – I loved the Sticky Duck Salad which come disassembled, with a spicy BBQ sauce and small chunks of watermelon. I liked the texture of the watermelon mixed in. and there was way more duck than I’d been expecting.
My friend and I both had the ‘Nduja & Barrata meatballs served with fried potatoes and a garlic and basil aioli (GF). The texture of the meatballs was a bit strange, very processed and moist, more like a falafel in texture than what I expected. The fried potatoes were what I would consider to be breakfast potatoes. To be honest I think this would have been better served on pasta and the meatballs being smaller and a bit firmer. I do love Nduja though and will eat anything with it in and I enjoyed the taste, but I wouldn’t order this dish again.
The other mains our table ordered included the Santa’s Stack Burger – which has the addition of a thick wedge of Stilton in the burger – and the Seafood Linguine.
We splurged on some sides including macaroni cheese, sweet potato fries (GF) and charred stem broccoli (GF) with chilli, garlic and lemon. It was a lot of food! We managed to finish everything except the meatballs, but we were feeling very very full by this point. Still, it’s rude to eat out without dessert, right?
For desserts we had a mini salted caramel brownie pot (GF), black forest cherry & chocolate pot, white chocolate & baileys snowball, and the Bill’s Flower pot, which looks (and tastes!) amazing – it’s all edible! I do wish there’d been more options for gluten free desserts, but on the other hand, a lot of places only have ice cream so I’m grateful there was something light and sweet I could finish off the night with.
The food came out quickly, even though we ordered a lot of it and we had a very enjoyable few hours. Great food and amazing company. Drinks were served promptly and we had a variety of soft drinks and cocktails. I particularly enjoyed the Christmas special cocktail, “Let It Snow”, whilst other cocktails we tried included a Bloody Mary, Gingerbread Espresso Martini, Strawberry Margarita and a Banana Colada. I finished off the night with a golden latte, which was good, but the best golden latte award for Cardiff still goes to The Secret Garden in Bute Park.
I hope this has made you hungry, whether you fancy eating at Bill’s Restaurant Cardiff Bay or want to try a different cuisine, booking with Open Table will make finding the perfect place easy. What are you waiting for, get booking!