As a Cardiff foodie, of course I have my favourite restaurants that I will return to again and again. But I also love trying new places on the Cardiff food scene and this weekend, I visited the recently opened Hashery on St Mary’s street.
Just a few short steps away from Cardiff castle, the Hashery is a restaurant which boasts its burgers, mussels and cocktails to entice foodies like myself to enter. I’ve visited a few times previously to take full advantage of the 2-4-1 offer on cocktails priced at £6.95, which is especially on Saturday evenings when cocktails elsewhere can prove very expensive. If I had to describe the overall atmosphere of the restaurant it would be friendly and quirky, but not overly quirky in a way that could seem offputting – it’s just the right balance. But after having such a positive experience when I’ve visited for drinks, I promised myself that I would book to have food here and this weekend I finally got the chance.
I visited on a sunny Saturday evening and anyone who frequents Cardiff on the weekends will know that if it’s sunny, tables seem to be taken up a whole lot faster wherever you look to visit. So it’s a good job I booked a table in advance. I visited with my best friend, Laurie, and we took our seats at an early sitting around 6pm although it really wasn’t long before tables started to fill up, fast.
Of course, given that the Hashery is known for them, we had to start our evening with cocktails. My recent favourite has been expresso martinis and this is a drink which I have frequently ordered here, so this seemed like the very obvious choice when our waitress came around to take our drinks order. Although there was a slight issue with my drink initially, this was quickly replaced by the staff proving the high quality of customer service.
The martini itself had a sweet taste with the coffee bean remaining a subtle ingredient that helped to pack the drink full of flavour. I always find that they’re very easy to drink and are one of the cocktails that wakes me up to give me a buzz of energy, obviously because I just love caffeine.
For my main meal, I decided to order the mussels. Mussels are one of my favourite foods and I was very excited to see if the reputation of this particular restaurant’s mussels held up. I chose the Hashery mussels as they’re cooked in white wine, garlic and cream – otherwise known as a few of my favourite things (even if cream isn’t my friend). Priced at £7.95, I thought these mussels were good value for money and I would usually expect to pay a significant amount more for this particular dish elsewhere. However, they are only served with two slices of bread and although this bread is moist and incredibly tasty, I think you do need a side to go with this meal. So of course, I ordered fries. And they only cost £2.95 which I thought was pretty reasonable.
The mussels were cooked absolutely perfectly. If cooked too much, I think they’re quite chewy and tasteless but these were very soft and packed full of flavour, mostly garlic which was ideal for me. I also thought that they were a reasonable size and were much larger than mussel dishes I’ve had in other establishments. All-in-all, I thought they were absolutely delicious.
My best friend on the other hand ordered a minute steak. Priced at £7.95, this steak came with a side salad and was cooked medium rare. Although I didn’t get to try any of the dish, Laurie seemed to enjoy her food thoroughly.
On this occasion, we didn’t get around to ordering desserts but we will definitely have to next time. There were so many lovely options on the menu and I was really eyeing up the churros. But overall, I enjoyed our visit. The food was delicious and both the cocktails and food were good value for money. In my opinion, the Hashery is a welcome addition to our Cardiff food scene and I will be visiting frequently.