Our Valentine's Meal at Laguna Kitchen & Bar

by - 00:35

God, I haven't updated my blog in over a week, which is quite rare for me. I haven't updated it in so long that I haven't even posted about my late Valentine's Day experience at Laguna Kitchen and Bar located in Cardiff's Park Plaza.

A lot of places that I wanted to try out were fully booked, thanks to me and bae (Adam) surprisingly trying to book a meal at very last minute. I was very shocked to check out Laguna Kitchen and Bar's website to see nearly every time available. Infact, I think every time was literally available, so I thought the system was broken. The menu sounded great, with definitely multiple options that I would go ahead and choose; duck, burgers, steaks etc. We chose a 7pm sitting so that we would have time to chill afterwards and head out for a few drinks after, good idea from both of us.

P.S guys what a HANDSOME young man!!!!!
I really liked the vibe of the restaurant, great for couples with cosy armchair seats, red tea lights on each table and the tables were well spaced out so we didn't feel like anyone else was up in our grill. Plus, there was music in the background but it was subtle, definitely not overpowering.

We were asked if we wanted any drinks, as to which I obviously jumped at the chance for a "large Pinot with a dash of lemonade please" and were handed our menus. The service throughout the entire meal was excellent, and it all started from this point. Both gentlemen that served us were conversational, happy, smartly dressed- everything that makes great service great.

I had already pre-planned what I was having to be fair; the chorizo scotch egg and the duck for main with parsnip puree, fondant potato and savoy cabbage. Adam opted for the salmon to start and the slow cooked belly of Usk Valley pork with calamari - weird mix but goes surprisingly well.

Not the best photo, soz, but this is my scotch egg starter and Adam's salmon starter
One annoying thing that I will point out about this lovely little place, is that when we asked for water for the table, we weren't given the option between bottled and tap, and of course, to make a little more money, we were instantly given bottled. Perhaps this is our own fault for not stating, and at the end of the day it was probably only £2, but I don't really taste the difference most of the time so it would've been just as nice to have free tap water.

The starters arrived and they were both delicious, I'd say mine was nicer than the main course. I have heard a lot of hype around their scotch eggs before so how could I possibly not have chosen it? To be honest, I was expecting a little more chorizo than just a piece slit through the middle, perhaps chunks or blended with the egg? I am not entirely sure but I certainly wasn't expecting just a slice down the middle, even though it was yum. Adam's salmon, oh my god, it was so fresh. I probably ate a good half of his starter as well as my own because it was just so delicious- the salmon, the fresh bread, everything, a good order from Adam.

The mains arrived shortly after this and it was delicious, I definitely didn't leave starving. My potatoes were perfectly done and all of the little bits and bobs on the plate accompanied each other perfectly well. It wasn't the most tender duck that I have ever ordered, but I didn't leave any at the end, so I can't complain too much. As for Adam's pork, damn, it literally crumbled on his fork. Adam went to feed me a bite and it was near impossible to pick up with his fork - great suppliers/chefs!

Rolled Slow Cooked Belly of Usk Valley Pork, Crackling and Crisp Calamari

Seared Breast of Barbary Duck

As we were enjoying a couple of drinks post-meal however, the sound of the manager (I assume?) was kind of overpowering our area which was pretty annoying. I have worked in hospitality before and it was never ok to talk down to people or boss people about too much in front of customers, it never gives off a good vibe. This is exactly what was happening right behind us and it was so uncomfortable that me and the lady behind gave each other the eyes as if to say "well this is awkward". They were doing such a great job anyway that I really didn't think there was any need for this lady, who was evidently stressed or wound up about something going on, to go in at the waiters who were trying their hardest. When I worked in silver service hospitality, we would often have briefings too, and if anything negative needed to be said, it would always be done in the kitchen.

Everything really was great, the staff - other than of course the manager, the food was yum and the vibe was lovely. We spent an hour or so in the bar after wards too which was also great for drinks with large boots and comfy seats. I would visit here again definitely- while their duck wasn't the nicest duck that I have ever had, I would give anywhere a second chance. Oh, and plus, their Gentleman's Afternoon Tea is meant to be an absolute must, so hopefully I will give that a shot soon!

** The only reason the atmosphere is so low is because of the member of staff that talked down to her colleagues in front of the guests. I just thought it was very unprofessional. The vibe was actually lovely and without the above circumstance, I would have given it an 8.

I more recently visited The Real Italian Pizza Company for a hangover recovery. Take a look at my review here!

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