We started off the May bank holiday weekend with a three course lunch at The Nine Giants in Llanishen, Cardiff. It’s off Thornhill road, and is easily accessible from all of Cardiff, but it’s also only 15 minutes from Caerphilly – in fact, it’s only a 10 minute drive from Caerphilly Castle which is an excellent family day out. The Nine Giants is part of the Sizzling Pubs chain and offers a varied menu of British favourites.
I’d never been to The Nine Giants before, despite it only being a 15 minute drive from my home. First impressions were good, with a spacious car park and the front garden being very impressive. As we have a toddler, having a bit of outside space to run around in is pretty important (got to burn off that energy!) and it’s fenced off from the road too. Although Thornhill Road is a very busy road, the garden area felt very quiet and an ideal place to have a drink or snack on a warm day.
We were dining at 12pm, an early lunch as the toddler still has an afternoon nap and I was surprised (pleasantly!) at how bustling the dining room already was. This is a popular restaurant with the locals which is always a good sign. It was a week day so it was mostly a mix of families with young children like ours, and retiree’s enjoying a lunch out. They do take bookings both on their website and over the phone, and a few tables were reserved, so I’d definitely recommend booking ahead at busy periods so you’re not disappointed.
For starters we shared the house-fried corn nachos, with BBQ pulled pork (£7.29) and all three hands were reaching in. Good flavour, not too spicy and plenty of toppings, but we didn’t let the toddler have any jalapenos!
For our mains we both went with a sizzling platter, which are literally brought out on an iron skillet still sizzling. My husband had the sizzling fajitas, served with 5oz of rump steak (£8.49). It was presented on a bed of onions and peppers in a serve yourself style with wraps and pots of guacamole, sour cream, salsa, jalapenos and cheese. He declared it simple but spot on. He’s not a man of many words but there was certainly nothing left on his plate.
I went with a massive plate of food that proved quite challenging – the Eastern Trio (£11.29). This was a staggering amount of food and something quite different to what I’d usually order from a pub restaurant. It came with a tandoori seared chicken breast which was smoky and quite spicy, a buttermilk fried chicken breast and a pile of battered sweet chilli beef. Two jugs gave me a choice of curries, a hot and spicy Madras, and a mild yet tangy Katsu. Served with a side – I chose chips over rice and once again presented on a bed of sizzling onions. It was topped with giant prawn crackers, perfect for dipping. My only criticism, definitely too much food for lunch for me as it’s a massive plate, but I did my best with it!
I was tempted by a lot of other things on the menu, my second choice would have been the messy mexican chicken (£7.99) and I was also considering the slow-cooked peppered beef (£8.99). Most meals were between £6 – £10 with a selection where two meals came to £9.50. Plenty to come back for anyway.
The kids meal deals were excellent value and I went for the mini all-day breakfast (£3.99) which served up a sausage, egg, beans, hash brown and toast. Of course he also sampled everything off our plates, and I think ate more nachos than me! I felt there was a good selection of options for kids, whatever their age. Not the world’s best picture but try getting a two year old to pose… not happening. I wanted to take a photo of his meal but he was so keen to get stuck in I had no chance!
I always use writing a review as an excuse to indulge in a dessert and my eye was immediately taken by the pink gin bar (£4.29). This was gin infused (18+ only) mousse with a summer berry compote and crumble topping. The gin flavour was extremely subtle but noticeable. I liked the texture change between the crunchy topping and the creamy mousse. My husband being boring (and also incredibly full) ordered the simple vanilla ice cream (£1.49).
We also ordered a dessert for my son and he had the kids build your own sundae (£1.29) which was a lot bigger than we’d expected! It came with vanilla ice cream and then separate pots of chocolate buttons, fresh strawberries and chocolate sauce for assembly. He was suitably impressed with this rare treat… although I bravely ate most of the chocolate on his behalf since he’s still a bit young for that much sugar.
From manager Josh to the serving staff and bar staff, everyone was friendly and professional, with speedy service both at the bar and for the table.
Tasty food, classic meals with some different options for those looking for a bit of spice, great value and an excellent setting. We will be returning!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal at The Nine Giants and was invited to share my honest experience.