Getting Cheesy in Cardiff: Madame Fromage

by - 12:53

If you know me or you have read any of my previous blogs, you would know that I am really trying to restrict myself to helping local businesses and not eat at any food chains (despite my Nandos yesterday, oops). I just think that chains always serve the same average meal just with an extra side of crappy customer service. My parents often visit this cute, boutique little cheese shop at the end of Castle Arcade called Madame Fromage. They've recommended it to a few of their friends and each and every one of them have returned their verdict to my parents saying they fully enjoyed it. This made me think that it was my turn to try it whilst I was home on the weekend!

We walked towards the shop and there were no seats available for quite a while - this is always a good indication of how nice a place is. We waited a few minutes and noticed the staff were incredibly busy, but despite being rushed off their feet they still managed to apologise and say hello. My mum spotted a group of boys leaving so shouted "GET THAT TABLE!!" in a similar tone she would shout "GET THE WASHING IN!!" when there is a slight bit of rain. I ran to the table and sat down with a tray of Camembert that had been dug into by the boys there previous. Even the Camembert that was half eaten and cold looked amazing, it literally made my mouth drool. From this point, my mind was set on that Camembert, I had sat down and fully decided that I was going to get it without even having looked at the menu.

At first, the food menu does look quite expensive. The Camembert (I know I keep talking about the Camembert and you know what, I didn’t even order it) was £13.50 I believe, which I thought was quite a lot. But when you think about it, there is no way that a Camembert the size that it was could be for one person, it was definitely for about 2/3 people and the salad garnish and the bread definitely made up the price. However, we ordered a bottle of wine despite my mum saying, "I can't drink anymore Emma-Leigh, I have been off sick for months" blah blah blah. The wine was only £15 which was quite reasonable considering most pubs that I have worked in usually start their wine list from about £18.

I would strongly rate the customer service a good 9/10 because they smiled and actually looked like they enjoyed their job. The only reason I lack on that last point is because we sat ourselves down but that was only because it was near impossible to get a table otherwise as it would have been swept up pretty much straight away. As my mum was inside letting the staff know that we had sat down, I saw her mouthing to me, "LOOK!" and pointing at the woman coming out with a tapas board. Oh my, oh my. Let's just say it made the Camembert look a bit lonely and boring. The board, as you can see in the below photograph was full of meats, tasty olives and a stack of cheese. A massive stack of cheese, mmm my favourite. So yes, that is what we ordered and we were definitely not disappointed.

The main issue with this board? The fact that me and my mum didn't speak to each other for a good ten minutes whilst we dug in - don't even think we touched our wine for a little while because we were too stuck into the food. Again, at first the price looks daunting; £18.50 for a sharing platter which seems a bit much for a little bit of tapas in town. Again, what you need to remember is that it is to share with up to 4 people and the amount of cheese alone would have been that much so it is 100% worth it. The olives are full of flavour, the brown and white bread is fresh and warm which is always the best bit, chutney which we asked to top-up and the staff did it without hesitation and a delicious mix of ham and cheeses.

I was going to write a paragraph about my low-points, so that cheese-lovers and chain-banners know exactly what to expect when they visit, but I can’t really think of anything that bothered me throughout our sitting. Perhaps the food took a little longer to come out than normal, but perhaps because we were sitting in jealousy watching everyone else’s food come out before ours which made time go a lot slower. Overall, I would highly recommend this place and I can understand why it has 4.8 stars on TripAdvisor. A hidden gem, but when you find it, you’ll love it.

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