I was rather sad when Bubs in Cardiff City Centre closed. It offered decent food and a great selection of beers that allowed me to indulge in my passion for sours (plus, due to me contributing to their crowd fund, I has a 10% off card for as long as they were open – alas no more on that front).
I don’t blame the new occupant of the old site, in the form of Fat Hippo Burgers. It was not them but the landlord that turfed Bubs out and as I have said before any ire should be directed in that direction.
To somewhat temper my sadness at the loss of Bubs, the people behind Bub’s have re-establishing themselves in city centre. They now have, a stone’s throw from the old Bubs unit, a fresh new offering based on beer and coffee (as well as a smattering of food).
It is a decent sized place, with a rather two tone interior
and the option to seat outside (great as summer is upon us, athough now whenever we have a sunny day the joy of said sunny day always seems to be somewhat tinged by “We’re all gonna die” forebodings).
The focus here is very much on the drinks,
with the food offering seemingly (at least to my mind) acting as an adjunct to the booze.
On the booze front, the real interest for me was the beers,
but they also have cocktails (who doesn’t and which, if am honest, don’t really interest me).
Whilst tempted and intrigued by the Vault City (always one of my favourite brewers) beer on the board (banana split sour), the 8° abv was a little rich for my blood. Also I have a bit of a love hate relationship with nanas, with artifical nana taste bringing back rather unpleasant memories of the taste of the numbing spray used prior to an endoscope being rammed down my throat (despite its rather slender diameter, it felt like it was the size of the Yamal pipeline).
After much deliberation I decided on the Wylam Lush, a pale ale.
Very gluggable session beer this, with a rather nice citrussy (grapefruit and lemon) notes to the fore. Lovely stuff on a warm day this.
On the food front whilst tempted by the “mains”,
we decided to go for the small plates/nibbles option.
Based on the 3 for £6 and there being two of us we thought we may as well order the lot. Alas we were advised that the garlic flat breads (which sounded rather fine) would not be ready for at least 20 mins (which presumably would have put pay to any mains order, in any event, as both of them had flat breads as a component part) so we double up on the patatas bravas.
Decent brava sauce with a pleasing bit of piquancy and chunks of chorizo. Personally I prefer my brava sauce a bit looser and the potatoes a bit crisper.
Whilst not on a par with Bar 44’s
or Curado Bar’s
bravas, these were nice enough as a beer nibble.
Next up was a bowl of olives. I generally prefer stone in olives (notwithstanding the tooth shattering risk), as to me they often have more flavour and freshness as against the destoned ones (some of which can get a bit leathery with age – don’t we all)
Again these where nice enough as a nibble, but I would have preferred them to have a touch more pizazz. Maybe with then being stuffed (anchovy perhaps) or subject to a more robust marinade to add a bit more interest.
Hummus (of which there is an incoming shortage – oh the horror, the shit just got real Jacintha), with the chips being of the tortilla variety was pretty good.
Nice hit of garlic and I liked the fact that the texture wasn’t too (baby food) smooth.
Gaucamole was also of the tres chunky variety,
which is no bad thing in my view. Enjoyed this, with it being nicely refreshing. Good citrus hit, as well as punchy garlic and red onion on top of the creaminess of the advocado. Enough to keep any self respecting Mexican drug cartel kingpin happy, I would certainly order this again to go with a beer or a glass of vino here.
The last of the dishes we ordered was halloumi.
Nice crisp exterior and a salty, squeaky interior to these, but they could have done with something to go with them. A salsa dip, with a bit of chilli heat, or a chilli jam as a counterpoint to its inherent saltiness, perhaps.
Despite me being, perhaps, a little bit picky in my comments on the various dishes, overall I enjoyed them with my beer and would happily munch away at them again with a beer or glass of wine here.
I think it is fair to say this is very much a bar that does mainly nibbles on the food front, with such nibbles being more an adjunct to the drinks offering (which is far more expansive) than the main event here. You come here for the drinks and may opt to supplement said drinks with some food rather than vice a versa.
The food is, I would say, still a bit of a work in progress and would perhaps benefit from a couple of tweaks.
There is promise here, however, as shown by this recently on their “Gram” feed
and I would happy sink a few beers in this place (with the small plates to suck up the booze a bit as I need to graze with booze in my old age else I tend to fall over).
To me it is certainly a good addition to the city centre and I have happily added it to my list of places to go in the city centre for a beer.
I am assuming (like Bubs and despite the cat theme) it is dog friendly.
Address: 16 Working Street Cardiff City Centre CF10 1GN.
Website: Not one as far as can see. Their instagram page (@ScaredyCatsCDF) seems to be best bet for the most up to date info.