Italian food in Cardiff

After a few stressful weeks, I welcomed a weekend in Cardiff, to stay with the boy’s family.

I do love a weekend away from London now and again, it just gives me a chance to relax, get away from the hustle and bustle and try new places to eat.

However, I wanted to find out what Cardiff had to offer in terms of Italian food destinations.
The boys’ Ma recommended Cafe Citta (Cafe Citta, 4 Church street, Cardiff City Centre, CF10 1BG) based in central Cardiff. I checked out Trip advisor and it was numbered #7 place to eat in Cardiff. The bar was set high at this point. After reading the reviews on the first page, everything appeared very positive, apart from someone claiming that they were disappointed with their visit as they did not think the restaurant offered ‘authentic’ Italian food. I was curious what they meant.

We had table booked for 1pm, and I had made sure that I had a mega appetite on our arrival.
Cafe Citta

The first thing I noticed as soon as I arrived, was that the restaurant was tiny! It probably sits around thirty people, with the open kitchen set up at the back. However, they did have plenty of staff on to cater to all the guests needs which I liked.

Cafe Citta Cardiff

The menu was concise, with a selection of antipasti, Pasta, Pizza’s, a handful of other mains and desserts. Everything on the menu is what you would expect to find on a typical anglo/italian menu; melanzane alla parmigiana, traditional lasagna, seafood linguine, pesto pasta and great selection of pizzas. All the classics at average prices

However, it was the specials that caught my eye.

We started with ‘Bruschetta fave’ which was bruschetta with broad beans, pancetta in a creamy sauce’

Cafe Citts Cardiff-Broad bean bruschetta

Followed by Gnocchi with dolcelatte & spinach (from the main menu) and Pasta con Spezzatino (from specials board) Fresh tagliatelle with slow cooked Beef & peas in a tomato sauce.

Cafe Citta Cardiff-Gnocchi with dolcelatte & spinach-Tagliatelle with slow cooked beef

Straight away I noticed that these guys were not stingy with their portions, big hearty dishes just like your Nonna would serve up on a Sunday. Minimal presentation skills but thats not what this place is about. Even my glass of Prosecco was served up right to the top of the brim!
As mentioned, Cafe Citta offers classic dishes and the same could be said for the cooking. Everything tasted good, well seasoned and comforting. It felt like you had walked into someones home and served up home made comfort food.
When that reviewer on Tripadvisor said that they did not offer authentic Italian food, I feel like that was mean. At the end of the day, what is real authentic Italian food when Italy has a vast amount of regional dishes to offer. Its no michelin star Italian but there was defiantly heart in their cooking.
If you come in expecting just that, then you won’t walk away feeling disappointed. You pay for what you order; satisfaction without burning a hole in your pocket.
What I can be sure is that this place is popular, with people being turned away constantly as there was no availability. Therefore, if you do decide to visit, I recommend to book.
After, lunch at Cafe Citta, we went for a wander to burn off some calories.
We stumbled across a fantastic delicatessen food shop called Wallys Delicateseen (Wallys deli, Cardiff, 38-46 Royal Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 1AE).
Wally’s specialises in bringing in fine food from the UK, Europe and the World. However, i thought that the food store had a great selection of both fresh and dry Italian foods.
Great selection of antipasti, charcuterie and cheeses, pasta and due to the time of year loads of panettones. I felt like a kid in a sweet shop, or should I say an Italian in a pasta shop!

Wallys deli

I bought some Welsh black bomber cheese, which is an award winning mature cheddar. It was so smooth, creamy & seriously moorish. Dangerous stuff :-).
From the charcuterie section, I asked for Golfetta salami (from the Golferra range, link) which is made from prosciutto crudo and apparently has 40% less fat then most salamis.
I can be quite snobbish when it comes to delis in regards to how the meat is sliced. Rest assured, the guys at Wallys have the correct skills (and machinery). My golfetta was sliced perfectly.

Wallys deli-Black bomber & Golfetta salami
The pasta selction is not huge but substantial and was nice to see that there was not a huge range from De Cecco or Rummo which I seem to find at most new delis in London.
They offered ‘Granoro’ and ‘Pezzulo’ which are othr brands I find in supermarkets in Italy. I liked that!
There were many other italian goods as olive oils, vinegars, jarred vegetables etc,
I could have spent a lot more money but was aware that I had a journey back to London but rest assured on my next visit I will be making space in my case for all those amazing products!


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