My mum offered to have the baby overnight on the evening of my birthday, giving us an opportunity to go out. It’s been a long time since we went out much in the evening, with such a difficult pregnancy and then a newborn. Although I’ve talked before about how you can definitely eat out with a newborn, it does limit the options and certainly means no drinking! Therefore I seized the opportunity to have a me focused evening out with a birthday dinner at Miller & Carter.
We chose Miller & Carter as we both love a good steak and rarely cook them at home. Miller & Carter has three branches in Cardiff and we chose Cardiff Bay. We’d never been here before and in fact, I had no idea it was there! It’s tucked away behind the Red Dragon Centre. It has it’s own car park and was very easy to find. I was a bit worried we’d be under dressed as the website says “dress to impress if you fancy”, but most people were smart casual (leaning more towards the casual side to be honest). I wore a pair of black pants and a black blouse with a red necklace and simple diamante bracelet. Ben wore black jeans and a blue shirt and wasn’t under dressed at all.
We felt very welcomed immediately by the Miller & Carter server, who led us to a quiet corner booth – perfect. We were served by Lidia, who was helpful, attentive and friendly. There was lovely low lighting and red and black decor, but unfortunately that meant my phone didn’t really take great pictures and I’m not the type to use flash in a restaurant where people are eating! We had a table booking for 6:30pm which honestly was a little early, but since the baby we’ve been eating very early and I wanted to keep on schedule. There were only a couple of people eating when we got there, which is no real surprise, since it’s a restaurant tucked away out of view and it was early on a Monday evening. Since I don’t like busy places that was actually perfect for us.
I suspect the experience is quite different on a Friday or Saturday night!
We started the evening off with drinks. I opted for The Pink Lady although grimaced a bit at the price (£8), whilst my husband had a pint of Cornish cider which was on tap. We also ordered table water, which came promptly with ice and lemon.
We decided our theme for the evening would be “sharing”, but neither of the starter sharing platters appealed to us. In the end we went for the baked cheddar mushrooms, and the hand cut nachos. The mushrooms were a generous portion of button mushrooms in a very cheesy sauce and just both had some of each. It came with buttery garlic ciabatta which was crunchy and full of flavour. The nachos were fantastic, fresh and very tasty with a few different types. The toppings were a little sparse and could have done with more cheese and the salsa was extremely mild. Despite that, quite delicious!
For the main event we of course chose steak. Since this was a special occasion we went for something we certainly don’t have at home – the 16oz Chateaubriand (pronounced “sha-toe-bree-ahn”). This is a center cut from filet tenderloin and is very tender, juicy and full of flavour. It’s a sharing platter for two and costs £49. You get two choices of potato sides, sauces and lettuce wedges with it.
For dessert we shared the Miller & Carter tasting plate, which was a selection of rich chocolate brownie, raspberry crème brûlée, glazed passion fruit tart with mint and fresh berries. Served with vanilla bean ice cream and home baked biscuits to share – and I had a hot chocolate too. There were a lot of strong flavours in the dessert, so although they were only small portions it was very tasty. A little more vanilla ice cream to counteract the strong flavours would have been nice though. The hot chocolate was the perfect way to end the meal for me, since I don’t personally drink caffeine that late.
Overall it was extremely enjoyable. The bill came to £81 not including the tip, which we thought was reasonable for three courses and drinks for a special occasion although a little pricey to make it a regular visit. If you’ve got a birthday coming up (Christmas, anniversary, mother’s day, father’s day, whatever, find an excuse!) then I’d highly recommend this menu.
Although I didn’t have the baby with me, you can take kids and the Miller & Carter Young Guests menu looks pretty decent – two courses for £8 or three for £10. Whilst that is expensive for kids, it includes options like calamari and steak! There were high chairs available and a very nice baby changing room which was separate to all the toilets. I really like when somewhere gives a baby changing room that much space and attention but I’m not entire sure what would be suitable to eat for a toddler. There were some sides like vegetables and mac and cheese you could probably work with. The aisles were wide and there would have been space for a stroller. It’s something I’d consider for a lunch maybe with older children, but I don’t think I would take an infant or toddler there personally.
We spent just over 2 hours at dinner, headed home and chilled out with some video games. Even without the baby we’re not exactly the partying types. It was heavenly to get an early night and an uninterrupted nights sleep. Who knew sleep was the best birthday gift of all!