In knead of a spot of lunch? How about friends in knead, Castle Arcade, Cardiff.

I love a play on words and often bring tortuously poor ones into play for blog post titles.

friends in knead” is a rather good play on words and far better than my poultry (😉) food based efforts. It is the name of a well loved bakery, which kept many a Cardiffian well stock during lockdown via their online presence, that has recently expanded into Cardiff’s city centre (a brave, but welcome, move with the currently “work from home if you can” edict from the powers that be here in Wales).

Enticing window display

with bread

and drinks also on offer.

As I understand it (from earwigging) they are in the Castle Arcade until early December as a minimum, but are likely to extend this to a potentially permanent presence as business is brisk. Good news if that is the case.

On top of their rather fine baked goods,

they do a mean doughnut, the city centre outlet (in the rather lovely Castle Arcade) is also geared up to meet the needs of returning city centre workers (such as me) with a selection of sarnies (at £4.50 a pop)

As the sandwiches are made to order, don’t be put off if your sarnie of choice is not on the tray. Just ask and they will make one up for you.

Whilst the ham and cheese rolls looked well filled and rather enticing, with quality cheese and ham of the non placcy variety,  the focaccia filled with pesto, mozzarella and tomato (behind it) rather took my fancy.

You can’t go to friends in knead and pass on the doughnuts so I, of course, added one from the rather fine looking selection to my order.

Takeaway only, it all came nicely packed up in a box

for easy transportation back to the office.

The focaccia sarnie was huge

with the above a mere half of the behemoth.

Good chew to the focaccia, which had a robust crust and base and a light airey interior. It sandwiched a generous portion of good quality pesto (fruity and fresh), proper tasty tomato and creamy mozzarella.

The pesto had soaked nicely into the bread, but gratifying the mozzarella had  been properly dried off so the bread wasn’t soggy from watery mozzarella whey.

Cracking sarnie this, with half enough for lunch. I ate the rest in the evening whilst still stuck at my desk in work.

The choice of doughnuts included a capaccino one and a s’more one, but I am definitely a jam man when it comes to a filled doughnut so went for the fruity sounding bramble.

Good dusting of sugar, nice bronzed colour and oozing tongue of berry fruit and almost crumble.

The interior had a very good proportion of  doughnut to filling (can’t abide stinginess when it comes to a doughnut filling),

with the filling gloriously fruity. Sweet, without being cloying at all, with a touch of sour red berry to temper the sugar. Ticked all the boxes for a top tier doughnut this.

Drink, on top of coffees, look a cut above your conglomerate sodas

A second visit brought a well filled chicken caesar on forcaccia,

which hit the spot nicely with plenty of chicken and parmesan, as well as a tangy dressing (not over drenched in it), good crisp lettuce and croutons. I think in hindsight I may have preferred this in a bun, as per the cheese and ham, rather than the focaccia.

I also bought a bevy of baked goods,

taking advantage of their 4 for £10 offer. Lovely crisp pastry, with had a good hit of almonds (as it should be) to the bakewell tarts and good lamination

on what I think were Cruffins.

The verdict

Great addition to the more informal lunch time (take back to the office) scene in the city centre.

It isn’t the cheapest, but if cheap means a mass produced, sad sack, supermarket sarnie than I’ll pass

Would I go back? Yep, quality sarnies, good cakes and the bonus of picking up your daily bread. What’s not to like?

The details

Address: 37 Castle Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 1BW.

Website: https://friends-in-knead.myshopify.com/

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