Cardiff Market is, slowly but surely, transforming itself into somewhere that seriously caters for Cardiff’s lunch time needs.
The newest kids on the block are the Cheese Pantry, Holy Yolks and Hard Lines Coffee. All three are more in the sophisticated than cheap and cheerful camp, which allows for a nice pricing balance to be achieved.
The Cheese Pantry
A very superior cheesemonger, which sells almost exclusively British cheese (I have noticed a mozzarella sneaking into the display recently), this place (after a bit of seemingly totally unnecessary to-ing and fro-ing with Cardiff Council) has started to sell that most comforting of comfort food – the toasted cheese sarnie.
A short and sweet selection is high on quality ingredients, with cheeses like Ogleshield, Hafod and Perl Wen
I like that they highlight the fact that certain cheese (made using animal rennet) are not veggie friendly. Good to highlight this so veggies don’t inadvertently fall off the veggie wagon.
I went (on my first visit) for the Perl Wen number
Very nice sourdough bread which had not been over toasted. This meant it had a nice crust to it, but retained that trademark chew. There was the requirely gooeyness to the melted cheese and the jalapeno jam and pickled celery added a nice counterpoint of heat and sour to the richness of the cheese (help by the addition of a couple of cornichons – I do love a cornichon, so was very happy to find them unexpectedly in the box with my toastie).
A second visit elicited an ogleshield, ham and caramelized onion number
which was just as good.
The sarnies take 5+ minutes to cook, which gives you the opportunity to do a bit of shopping in the market.
This is my go to place for cheese,
with British cheeses being fabulously diverse and the staff here are always able to give expert advice as to a British alternative to your favourite fromage. I am hopelessly addicted to Rollright at the moment
The fact I can now also pick up a cheese toastie at the same time as my hunks of cheese makes me rather happy.
Instagram: @cheese pantry _cardiffmkt
Holy Yolks (closed – Feb 19)
Scotch eggs are one of those quintessential British dishes (they were invented, it seems, by Fortnum and Mason way back in 1738).
An inspired idea, when done properly, it has over the years suffered for gawd awful examples coming out of the supermarkets (where the meat and eggs in those examples comes from is not something you want to dwell on if you eat supermarket scotch eggs).
Holy Yolks takes the humble scotch egg to the next level with five variations on the theme (all £3.50 each or 3 for a £10).
which are cooked to order (takes about 5 mins so allows for time, as with the Cheese Pantry, to pick up supplies in market with it always good to shop local).
They come piping hot (and retain their heat – still hot after the 10 minute walk back to my office) and are a lovely golden brown.
Being a total pig (rather apt) I ordered a “Karate Pig” (with soy, cayenne pepper, ginger, spring onions and garlic added to the mix) and a “Chorizo Royale” (with smoked bacon, smoked and sweet paprika, cayenne pepper, chilli powder and a splash of red wine).
Both were absolutely lovely, achieving the holy grail of a firm white and a gloriously runny yolk to the egg. Top notch stuff.
Hard Lines Coffee
The growth of specialist coffee places in Cardiff has been phenomenal in the last few years and we are now blessed with a multitude of excellent options. One such option is Hard Lines Coffee in Cardiff Market.
A lovely selection of coffees, including my personal favourite a cortado.
and very good it is too.
If you are feeling a bit alternative, you can have one of their rather alarming looking beetroot based drinks, in the form of the Barbara or the Dirty Barb.
I am told (not tried one) that, whilst the brain (due to the garish colour) expects it to be sweet, the beetroot brings an earthy quality to the mix.
Provenance is a key feature here with details on the board of the house blend and guest coffees (add 20p to the price for the later)
Not sure my taste buds could single out sweet tangerines in the house blend, but I certainly thought my coffee was a fruity number with distinct citrus note. A very enjoyable coffee.
Whilst coffee is clearly their main focus they do offer food,
with both veggie and vegan friendly stuff.
Their peanut flapjack (£1.50) are seriously addictive.
Website: Click here
Three very good additions to the food and drink offering in Cardiff’s central market, all offering top quality products to liven up your lunch time.
Would I go back? Absolutely. I already shop in the market and it is lovely to see these places offering stuff that is sure to entice more people in.