Whilst in the States places dedicated to the art of the grilled cheese sandwich (a toastie to me) abound, they are much less prevalent in the UK. Here in Cardiff, up until now, I can only think of the rather fine Mr. Croquewich.
This to me is a shame as I love a proper grilled cheese sarnies and I am not talking about the abominations you get in Costa, Starbucks et al
or the stuff from your common or garden Breville toasted cheese maker.
The inside of the latter is the third hottest substance in the Universe – bested only by the heat at the instance of the Big Bang and, of course, the very hottest in the form of the interior of a McDonalds’ apple pie (which at the point you bite into it is over 2000 trillion degrees celsius). Why this phenomena hasn’t been harnessed to meet our energy needs I’ll never know – a heat apple sauce pump.
With my love of a good toastie, I was rather pleased to see Ffloc opening up in Cardiff burb of Canton, with the offer of some rather interesting sounding grilled cheese sarnies.
Nice looking space,
with both takeaway and eat in options. We decided to eat in.
The menu has lots to appeal on it,
despite the fact that on the day of my visit the bulgogi was off (typically this would have been my first choice), including a Christmas special.
Thinking keeping it simple (in the absence of the bulgogi) would be the best way to test the mettle of the place, I decided on the classic cheese and ham sarnie.
It was nice to see it cooking away on the flat top
as we waited and I was rather impressed as my gaze alighted on jar upon jar of homemade pickles.
Could have scoffed the lot of them – I do love a good pickle.
When it arrived my ham and cheese toastie (£6.95) was a mightly fine looking beast,
with a good crust on the exterior of the bread
and a oozing gooey cheese interior.
Good quality ham (of the non plastic variety) worked well with the oozing house blend cheese mix. Assuming cheddar and mozzeralla in the blend in terms of the cheese element, but definitely something else in there. Couldn’t tell you what, as the blend is a secret apparently. Whatever it was it gives the cheese a lovely viscoscity, akin to molten lava,
as well as a great flavour. It was, however, very rich with a little going a long way and these sarnies ain’t little!! I was stuffed after eating it and required very little dinner that evening.
My only slight quibble was the marinara sauce that came with my sarnie. Looked good, but to me it was a touch on the bland side lacking a bit of seasoning (crack of black pepper, bigger hit of garlic, smidgen of chilli and a bit of oregano/basil required for my tastes) and acidity.
As the sarnie was pretty rich, to me the best foil for it would have been something acidic that would cut that richness. The lovely pickle worked very well in that role, but I question what the marinara sauce brought to the party.
Personally I think a mustard (natural affinity to ham and cheese) based dipping sauce would work better here or maybe just more of the lovely pickle.
Mrs. SF went for the tuna melt (£7.25), which I think was even more fully loaded than my ham and cheese number.
Loads of good quality tuna in the mix, as well as that molten house blend of cheese.
This came with sharp capers and a separate tartare dipping sauce, with both acting as the required acidic foil.
They also do subs and salads, which look promising and reasonably priced I thought.
The cake offering also looked very promising
and if you can eat one of them after one of their toasties then you are a better man than I!!
On the drink front, they seem to have their own brand of coffee (on sale retail in packs too) and use it to make a decent selection of coffees.
We both had a pretty good flat white (£3), which passed the Mrs. SF test of being hot enough and having a good flavour.
They also have a retail operation,
which includes some interesting stuff from Curado/Ultracomida and Halen Mon condiments and sauces (amongst other things).
Really enjoyed the toasties/grilled cheese sarnies at Ffloc. Excellent product and a great new addition to the ever interesting Cowbridge Road East. It is becoming quite the food highway these days. Decent pub somwhere along it would still be nice, but can’t have everything I suppose.
Definitely be visiting this place again with working from home on the cards for the foreseeable (seems with my work it will be the case, in part, for ever more) and it being a short hop away from my gaff in the car (free parking at bottom of Glamorgan Street too for a hour, which should be more than enough time to stuff your face here)!
Address: 327 Cowbridge Road East, Canton, Cardiff, CF5 1JD.
Website: Can’t find one, but they are on Instagram @ffloc.cymru and twitter @ffloc_canton.
Opening hours: Tues – Sat: 08.00 – 17.00; Sun – Mon: closed.