On the day of rest, why not take out one of Cardiff’s best? Heaney’s “order out” Sunday lunch

I have been a big fan of Heaney’s  ever since it opened back in 2018. I have had many a lovely meal there and along with the Heathcock it is probably my favourite place (sadly now Paysan seems to be no more – at least at Bloc 😭) out West (Cardiff) for a quality feed.

I love the fact you can go small, with the small plates concept, or big based on the tasting menu. There is also the guest chefs, fixed price lunch and more recently wine dinners, as well as the delights of Uisce.

With a very acceptable wine list (courtesy of Berkmann Wine Cellars) it ticks an awful lot of my boxes.

It is not the sort of set up that you would think of in the context of a “takeaway”, but as with many a fleet of foot indie (in this crisis) they have stepped up to the plate, adapted and now offer what looks like a very high end takeaway offering.

This covers a sort of al a carte offering on Fridays and Saturdays

and a fine looking Sunday lunch menu. 

It was the latter than we opted for. If you are going to treat yourself to the closest thing to eating out you have gotta go big, with a three course affair, at least to my mind.

Menus are published in the week on their Twitter and Instagram feeds (usually on Thursday mornings), with orders taken over the phone from 2pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (or until they run out). Payment is taken and at the same time a pick up (no delivery, collection only) time agreed/allocated.

I rang on a Thursday and it was an easy process (the line was busy the first couple of attempts, but I persevered). Order made, payment taken and 2pm pick up sorted – all easy peasy.

The pick up itself was also very easy, with good social distancing protocols observed and the nicely packaged food swiftly taken away by me.

Unpackaging the goodies was all rather exciting, with some very alluring aroma emanating from the various recepticals.

For starters, I went for the nice sounding pork and black pudding fritter and Mrs. SF the smoked salmon number (both a fiver each).

The fritter was nicely crisp (not adversely affected by the boxing up)

and the ensemble all looked very appertising.

Resisting the temptation to dive in (we decided we were going to do lunch properly), I decanted it from the box, plated up and poured some wine. Only then did we tuck in.

Inside the crisp,thin, shell was a lovely rich filling (the black pudding really took it up a notch).

Great porky flavour to this and a punchy celeriac remoulade operated as a nice counterpoint to the richness of the fritter.

I also really enjoyed the miso mayo that came with this, which brought a good hit of umami to proceedings.

Mrs. SF’s salmon dish (£5) was equally good, if not better.

Pretty as a picture, it did not stint on either the flavour front or portion size. A generous mix of hot and cold smoked salmon (can’t go wrong with Wye Valley salmon) was nicely complimented by horseradish and pickled veg. A really fresh and perky dish this.

Both were an excellent start to proceedings and good value to boot.  This all boded very well for the main event.

This all looked very nice in its various cartons,

with my only qualms being the cauliflower cheese was a bit anemic in appearance and the lamb a touch over for Mrs. SF’s tastes (my beef was nicely pink) On opening it all up, everything was hot enough (gravy was still steaming) to go straight on the plate if you don’t have the starters. As we did, we popped plates and the various containers into a warm oven whilst we polished off the starters.

In hindsight this may have been the opportunity to whack the cauli. cheese under a hot grill to brown it off (hindsight is a wonderful thing).

Once all plated up it looked mightily impressive and was a very generous portion of both the meat and the sides.

On the individual elements, the slices of ribeye beef were nicely pink and beautiful tender. Loads of flavour in there, which only comes from quality dry aged beef.

Good as the ribeye was, the star (at least to my mind) was the chunk of brisket.Caramelised on the outide, it yielded to the softest prod of a fork and was jammed packed with favour. Beefiness to the max – love a bit of brisket and this was a very good bit of brisket.

My yorkie was a monster, but nicely light.

Lovely texture to it and it was good to see it survived the collection process very well.

On to Mrs. SF’s lamb, this had a really good flavour to it and there was plenty of it.

I would say is it was a touch over for mine and Mrs.  SF’s blood thirsty taste (suspect it would be fine for the majority, I just prefer my lamb a blushing pink)

The crispy lamb breast (refuse to call it belly), whilst nicely crisp on the outside,

was a tad chewy on the inside. It still had good flavour to it.

It came with a really good, intense, mint jelly.  Nice blend of sweet and sour, with a real freshness to it.

On the sides front, the duck fat roasties were beautifully crisp, with plenty of gnarly bit and uber crispy scraps.

The mashed root veg  was also excellent, with a nice texture (with a roast I don’t want the veg. pureed) and seasoning.

I have mentioned earlier, that the cauli. cheese was a bit anemic, which didn’t make it much of a looker. It was, however, very good with an intensely cheesey sauce and the cauliflower retaining a bit of bite (I hate overcooked mushy cauliflower).

The final element of the mains was an absolutely killer gravy.

Really intense stuff, with just a hint of sweetness in the background (touch of Madeira in the mix?). Not too thick, not too thin and with bags of flavour – this was the Goldilock of gravies.

On to the puds (both £7 serving for 2) , out of the two choices we went for the sticky toffee pudding.

Lovely light sponge with a decedently rich, but not overly sweet, toffee sauceWe added double cream and I have to say it was absolutely fabulous.

I was worried with the size of the mains (and having starters) that s sticky toffee pudding would be too much/too rich, but it kept fine in a warm oven for half an hour or so (to let our mains go down) and the sponge was so light. We both wolfed it down.

On the wine pairing front, Mrs. SF finished off a bottle of dry furmint (purchased from Mumble Fine Wines – cracking offer currently on delivery to Cardiff) with her salmon dish.

The nice hit of citrus, crisp apples and minerailty from this wine made it an excellent pairing (if I say so myself) with the salmon dish.

With my pork starters and the main, we had a bottle from South Africa in the from of a Boschenal 1685 S&M (Shiraz and Mourvedre, you smutty lot).

This was lovely with the mains, with lots of dark fruit, pepper and a pleasing smokiness. It was a gift, but think it retails at around the £14 mark here. Good value at that price I would say.

If you are looking to pick up wine for your Heaney’s meal you could do a lot worse than looking at their list both on the main restaurant site and that of Uisce.

Uisce’s list is above to give you an idea, but not 100% sure how up to date this one is.

Bottles and the (discounted) price list are on display in the restaurant.

All wines on their lists are being offered for sale at 50% of the list price and I was sorely tempted by a fair few items on the list. I have enough wine currently, though, to sink a battleship and couldn’t really justify buying more (at least that week).

The verdict

Both Mrs.  SF and I really enjoyed our Heaney’s Sunday lunch. Top notch on the quality front, I was amazed how well it worked in the takeaway format. Takes some skill to do that.

We paid £43 all in for 3 courses and for the quality and quantity of what we got, as well as taking away the faff factor of sourcing (especially in the current situation) the ingredients and then cooking it all, I thought that was excellent value for money.

Would we order again? Absolutely – my advice is treat yourself to a Heaney’s  Sunday dinner or weekend meal during lockdown – you won’t regret it.

The meal gave me a taste of what I have been missing during lockdown. Rather bitter sweet as it made me miss it all the more

I am now coverting various dishes on menus. The beef cheek, the fried chicken, the fish and chips and oh dear lord the lobster (apparently they sold out of this in minutes on Thursday) on it are top of the hit list.


Al a carte menu is available Friday and Saturday, with orders over the phone from 2pm on Thusrday, Friday and Saturday.

Pick ups are between  18.00 and 20.30 on Friday and Saturday.

Sunday lunch is the same in terms of call times, with pick ups between 12.00 and 15.00 (obvs. on Sunday).

Tel. No:  02920 341264.



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