The girls in work and I have very recently made it a tradition to go for a long lunch whenever we have a birthday celebration. Last month was of course my birthday (as if I haven’t mentioned it in every blog post!) and the girls treated me to a lunch at The Ivy in Cardiff.
The table was booked and some of you may know that The Ivy is renowned for being a bit more upmarket than your usual places so we dressed a little less casual than we normally would for work.
We were greeted at the door by the host who offered to check in our coats and then took us to our table. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with gorgeous wall papers and lots of plants. A quick note while we’re on decor, pop to the toilets upstairs. It is absolutely gorgeous up there and the ceiling is covered in flowers. It’s perfect for Instagramming!
We ordered cocktails while we perused the menu.
The cocktails were great. They did your usual classic cocktails like a Singapore Sling as well as signature cocktails which are a bit more interesting.
Shortly after, we ordered food. There isn’t much on the menu for vegans, but there are a few options which is better than nothing. I ordered the Keralan Curry which came with rice. I also ordered a side of thick cut chips, mostly because I just wanted to try them, and also it’s the classic Welsh staple.
I was delightfully surprised by the curry. It was delicious and full of so much flavour. It was filled with fresh vegetables including sweet potato and tenderstem broccoli. It was actually an excellent vegan option and I was not disappointed!
We didn’t get any dessert, but again, there wasn’t much in the way of vegan options for desserts. Sorbet and a plate of fruit… Not the most inspiring!
Overall, it was a pleasant experience. I really enjoyed my curry and the service was fantastic. I was lucky enough to have the girls treat me as a birthday gift, but the menu is a bit pricey. It’s a great location for a nice meal and an excuse to dress up a bit!
In early December, I posted an exclusive first look blog post about Got No Beef before they opened their doors to the public. Since then, they have opened for the rest of the world and I cannot stop visiting! I am obsessed!
I’ve ordered something new each time and every visit the food is incredible. It is of such great quality and tastes amazing. The family work so hard and are so friendly. It’s a lovely experience!
The full menu is so extensive and I urge you to take a look. You can find the full menu on their Facebook page which is linked here and on their website.
The first visit was a quick lunch visit the day after they opened. I ordered the GNB Chick’n Burger. All their mains come with fries so there’s no need to order separately which is SUCH a nice change from every other restaurant you go to.
The chick’n has fast become my favourite dish on the menu. The texture is incredible and the flavours are so good. I highly recommend it, especially those who are going to try out Veganuary! It’ll really hit the mock meat spot.
The second time, I went with my brother for an early dinner and ordered SO MUCH FOOD! We shared it all so that we could try as much as possible and, again, it did not disappoint.
We ordered the Original Sharing Platter which consists of Shrimp, Potato Skins and Cauliflower Wings.
For our mains, we ordered the Loaded Mac Dog and the Freedom Burger, and we even upgraded to loaded fries for one of our mains to get the full food experience.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… This is the most Instagrammable food you will ever see. But not only this, it is the most delicious vegan food you will ever taste. Everything is bursting with flavour and really hits the spot.
Some of you meat-eaters out there might ask why vegan want to eat things that look like meat… The simple answer is that some of us want to eat meat and enjoy the flavours but we don’t want to contribute to the cruelty and murder of animals for it.
I forgot to take a picture of the inside of the Freedom Burger but it was glorious. The smokey flavour and texture of the burger was delicious. I still truly believe that Got No Beef burgers are the best vegan burgers around.
The sharing platter had a bit of everything on it. The shrimp had an incredible texture, the cauliflower wings had a nice subtle kick to it and the potato skins were delicious.
The hot dog was great too. I love the idea of loading it with mac and cheese and it wasn’t too much, the perfect ratio. It was really filling with the texture of the hot dog being quite heavy. It wasn’t my favourite thing on the menu but it was still fantastic.
A few days later, my friends and I had our Christmas catch up so we went to Got No Beef as they hadn’t tried it yet and I had been raving about it.
GNB has a great drinks menu which includes cocktails and mylkshakes. 2 of us ordered Singapore Slings and then the other ordered a mint oreo mylkshake.
Her 1 year old daughter absolutely LOVED the mylkshake. There was some serious mess made with fingers and straws all over the face. I think she only managed a few sips herself and the rest ended up down her daughter’s dress.
The cocktail was lovely and didn’t taste too strong, which could be considered a downfall for some but it meant that I was able to enjoy it without feeling like I was drinking a strong alcoholic drink!
We all ordered Chick’n burgers, but mine was the hot one, and we ordered the cauliflower wings to share but I specified to have hot sauce on the side instead of a mayo or ranch sauce.
We finished the meal with a caramel cheesecake and churros. I forgot to take a picture of the cheesecake but it was a big hit! The churros weren’t bad either! Lots of chocolate and whipped cream, so who can say no to that?!
Everyone loved their food. They were amazed by the chick’n and were so surprised but how good it was and how much like chicken it was. All round, a fantastic review from the omnivores!
My addiction to Got No Beef has well and truly started by this point. I work a very short walk from Cardiff City Centre and it’s only 10 minutes for me to get to the restaurant.
I ordered a take out lunch of 2 chick’n strip and fries with a drink for £7. There was a bit of a wait at lunch time as the restaurant was full of customers but it’s to be expected when you’re ordering from a restaurant, not a take away.
My colleague didn’t want to get GNB, so she made the trip to Grazing Shed at the other end of Barrack Lane. I must have only waited around 10 – 15 minutes for my lunch, whereas she waited 30 minutes for hers!
I took my lunch back to the office and showed it off to everyone! They all looked impressed and I thoroughly enjoyed my food.
They have recently started offering a collection service via online orders! This will be so handy for those who don’t have much time for lunch so I recommend checking it out. It will save you on having to wait in the restaurant too as it will be a quick grab and go!
I’m going to finish this blog post on my fifth, and most certainly not my last, visit to Got No Beef.
I did a lone trip and ordered myself the GNB Hot Chick’n Burger again and an Oreo mylkshake.
As I continue to state, the chick’n items are my favourite dishes on the menu. The Oreo mylkshake was delicious and made a great American diner style dinner of a burger and a shake! Truly delicious and never a disappointment.
For those of you trying out Veganuary next month, this is the perfect food spot for you in Cardiff. After trying all the dishes on the menu, you won’t get that hankering for a meat fix ever again!
A few weekends ago, I visited The Alchemist in Cardiff for my not quite sister-in-law’s hen party!
I’ve heard many good things about The Alchemist. They’re renowned for producing interesting cocktails, with the full works, smoke and all!
We came for dinner and cocktails (booked at 7:15pm) and were sat in the restaurant area of the bar. I have a few criticisms of this area.
The tables were very close together which didn’t make it easy to get in and out when it was full. Especially with one of the party being over 6 months pregnant!
The music was incredibly loud, even though it was a separate and designated area away from the bar. I think they would benefit from lowering the volume to allow groups to hold a conversation without shouting.
They started dimming the lights half way through our dinner which I thought was really unusual. I understand wanting an atmosphere but sitting and squinting wasn’t what I was expecting.
Cocktails were actually quite a challenge to order. There was so many options and they don’t label things vegan here. There is one specific cocktail that was labelled ‘The Vegan One’ which made me wonder whether all the other cocktails were specifically non-vegan.
Generally, most spirits are vegan. It may be something you’ll have to research before hand if you plan on visiting because we were a little blind sided. The waitress, although lovely, seemed to be a little bit clueless on what was vegan or not. She advised that she thought most cocktails that didn’t have cream in them were likely to be ok.
I chanced it (which probably wasn’t the right thing to do) and I ordered a Lightbulb Moment which contained: TANQUERAY GIN, PIMMS, GINGER BEER, RASPBERRY, LEMON, MINT. It was served in a spherical flask with smoke pouring out of it.
We were a party of 10 and the service was great. They were very patient with us the entire time, especially at the end when we were paying the bill!
So let’s get started on the food. There were a few vegan options available here which was quite nice to see. For the mains, this included:
Moving Mountains Burger
Cauliflower Katsu Curry
Seitan in a Basket
Not all of us were vegan, but between us, we managed to order the chickpea curry, poke bowl and seitan in a basket.
I ordered the Seitan in a Basket and was pleasantly surprised at the quality of food. The seitan was very good and delicious. At first, I thought it was chicken and was concerned that I’d been given the wrong dish. I chose a larger piece and cut it open and it was clear it was definitely seitan. The fries were great and the coleslaw was lovely too.
Again, to be critical, they served the dish in one of those chicken shaped wiry egg baskets… Why? Why would you serve a vegan dish inside a chicken shaped basket? Even more sadistically, the actual chicken in a basket was also served inside the chicken shaped basket. I’m not sure which was worse to be honest.
Overall, the food was much better than I expected. I was really full afterwards from all the fried food, but it was worth it.
They had a very small pudding selection which included a poached pineapple and 2 flavours of gelato. I ordered 1 single scoop of mango gelato as I was too full for 3 scoops, but it was lovely.
For all 10 of us, the total bill came to £176.80. The £45 deposit that we paid was deducted from this, but a £20 service charge was added which we weren’t expecting. We weren’t the kind of group to kick up a fuss so covered it between us and the service we got did deserve a tip so it wasn’t so bad.
If you plan on taking a visit to The Alchemist, I recommend planning well in advanced and deciding your cocktails prior to your visit so you can try to accurately gage which ones are vegan. Everyone raved about their food so that shouldn’t be a worry for anyone!