A “cheep” t(h)rill or top of the “bill”? Eat the Bird, Cardiff City Centre.

After my Covid enforced absence (didn’t stop me working, self employed so little does when you don’t get sick pay, but social life was put on hold for a wee bit) last week (first non blog week I have had since I started the blog back in 2014 BC), I am back in the saddle.

So excruciatingly bad pun title – ✅; tpyos (😉) – ✅; bit of a moan (actually not so much) – ✅; and War and Peace is a mere pamphlet compared to this – ✅.

My first foray, post Covid, was intended to be to Fowl and Fury’s bricks and mortar place in Cathays, me having reasoned that, after the Covid induced taste and smell supresssion, a perk me up blast of heat would be no bad thing. Time, however, ran away from me (due to work issues) with a mate and I’s intended 13.40 train (F&F’s lunchtime service closes at 15.00) turning into the 15.40 train. As such plans were changed to another chicken place in the form of Eat the Bird, a relatively new (at least to me – don’t get into town much these days) kid on the block (having taken up residence in the old Grazing Shed unit on St Mary Street).

Inside it has a fairly stripped back look,

which (bar from the pun poster – I can hardly complain with my track record on that front, but I am going to anyway)

gives it quite an industrial (bit cold) feel.

Probably not helped by the fact that we were in there in the dead zone between 16.00 – 17.00, with not many punters about, and it being properly Baltic outside.

The pun theme continues with the menu. Some I get, although it is all a bit laboured even for me (yes I know pot calling kettle black or what), others not so much. I mean is “chicktator” meant to be a play on the word “dictator” and is that funny because it starts with “dic” or because it is a reference to Kim Jung – Un, with the Korean connection in the ingredients. If the latter, he may be many things but a jolly japester generally ain’t regarded as one of them.

I mean what next the Pol Pot noodle, Stalingoonberry sauce, Mussolinguine, Mugabeans on toast (my fav one that), Vladimir Poutine (well they beat me to the punch on that one) or perhaps Sir would like an Idi Aminute steak (always done very bloody)? I could go on and on, as worrying I have only scratched the Sulla-face dictator wise!!

Anyhow, I digress (you can probably tell I have had an extra week to put this post together) so back to the food

I went for the Furlough (£12.75), thinking they would pay me to eat it on the sofa in my pants, watching Netflix, with everybody (not just me) then paying dearly for it two years later (alas the bill came to me all too soon).

Despite the odd name, this was an impressive looking beast, with both the lid on

and off.

Properly filthy was my initial view and this was very much backed up by the taste. Lovely crisp coating (nicely seasoned and full on crispness achieved by double deep frying in a pressure cooker apparently, which sounds absolutely lethal to me) to the brined, tender and juicy, chicken breast (personally more a thigh man, but this was pretty darn good for breast) – suitably buxom it was too. The cheese (Swiss) was copious and properly oozey, with a touch of funkiness to it, and the bacon and onions were agreeably crisp (without having been nuked  – hate both flabby and well overdone bacon, when it goes bitter and powdery, in a sarnie). A good tangy burger sauce (tad too heavily applied perhaps) and dill pickles (one of mankind’s greatest inventions) added nicely to the mix.

The bun held it structural integrity until the very end, which was an impressive feat bearing in mind the load it was supporting. All in all a rather fine fried chicken sarnie I thought.

Whilst standard fries come included in the price, which I like, I am a big fan of poutine (no, not him). I find the combination of squeaky cheese curds, piping hot (rich and meaty) gravy and still crisp fries quite irresistible (if done well), as such I paid the extra £3.50 (if ordered with a sarnie, a hefty £5.50 – if ordered solo).

Not entirely convinced by these if am honest.

Whilst the cheese curds had the requisite squeak, the gravy was a bit too gloopy (flour overdone) for my tastes and could have been warmer. It also lacked flavour and I am not surprise to hear that the “gravy” is apparently vegan. Why I have no idea, as gravy is by definition a sauce made from the juices of cooked meat, as from the flavour (or lack of it) a meaty hit was exactly what it lacked and, in my book, sorely needed. I am actually mildly surprised it wasn’t called grazey (trade mark pending 😁).

My mate had the beefy boy (£11.50) beef burger, which caused me to raise both my weighty eyebrows, it being Eat the Bird, not Eat the Cow. I know we have had livestock eating livestock in a not good “BSE” way, in the past, but pretty sure that is not the intended link here (seems some are intend on not learning from the mistakes of the past, mind).

I thought it quite unassuming looking, compared to my more flamboyant looking chicken number,

but he said he rather enjoyed it.

Good quality meat, with a loose (non ice hockey puck) texture and a nice flavour. Its simplicity worked in its favour, less is often more in my burger world, with the beef (as it should be) the star of the show.

No cooking preference was given or asked and it was resolutely medium well, with no hint of pink. Personally I prefer beef (slap its arse and show it the oven only) rarer, but if the beef is good I am happy enough and my mate said it was a good burger.

He upgraded (£2.50) to the Cheese Louisiana fries

and was of like mind to me in terms of questioning whether the upgrade from the included standard fries was worth it. His view was the cheese and sauce were nice enough, but it all made the fries soggy.

Pricing seem to me to be a bit odd here also,

Brave to put Poutine and Kyiv on the same page!

as the Cheese Louisiana is £2.50 as an upgrade and £5.50 solo, whereas the Poutine is £3.50 as an upgrade and the same £5.50 solo. Personally the “Poutine premium” for just the upgrade makes no sense at all to me.

On the drinks front they have a decent selection of both soft drinks and booze.

The wine list is short,

but the Gran Cerdo tinto is a decent drop (the price of £25 is not hideous when it retails at around the £11 or so mark) and it is always good to see a picpoul de pinet on a list, although the latter may struggle against some of the more elaborate and robustly flavoured sarnies here (personally I like to see a Gruner Veltliner and/ or a riesling on any wine list in a fried chicken dominated place). Notwithstanding (or actually due to) its brevity my only real complaint regarding the wine list here is, why not have all of the wines by the glass?

We both opted for beer (we went large at Curado Bar later on on the wine front, so were saving ourselves).

My mate had the Wing Fingers (a Fly- PA not an IPA apparently, nope no idea either – £6.50), which he enjoyed, and I had one of the guest beer (a festbier – £6)

which was pleasantly malty.

Both worked well with the food and were pleasant to drink sans the food.

The verdict

I quite enjoyed my meal at Eat the Bird, with a good quality fried chicken place (which this is) being a welcome addition to the city centre.

It ain’t cheap,

but for the quality I think it is fair value (especially if you keep to the all in the price fries). What we had certainly prepared us very well for the post covid blow out session in Curado Bar that followed.

I forgot to take a photo of the bottle of Pepe Mendoza Casa Agricola that preceded these

Service was very good, with our server being very jovial (in a non-annoying way – she seemed genuinely happy to be there rather than having the rictus smile you sometimes get), efficient and helpful.

There is a Christmas menu, but as it isn’t Christmas until the 24th (technically the 12 days of Christmas starts on Christmas Day, but I will give you Christmas Eve) we passed. Can’t say anything on it really appealed and the “Mistletofu” positively offended.

As an aside, if you are a veggie you can substitute your chicken for chick’n. Have to say I hate these contrived meat(less) labels. I mean, a least, be a bit more inventive. How about “super processed alternative to meat” (could shorten it to SPAM – actually one of the few meat products that could turn me veggie)

The details

Address: 37 St. Mary Street, Cardiff, CF10 1AD.

Website: https://www.eatthebird.co.uk/

You get a week off again next week, as not even I am ODC/sad enough to blog on Christmas Day.



  1. Always entertaining and interesting blogs that get the digestive juices going!
    Re. The decor, it seems more and more places going for the bar “industrial look”. I wonder if that’s in part because it’s expensive to decorate and put in suspended ceilings etc and in the current climate you never know how long these places will exist for, so maybe they’re just trying to keep their initial outlays down in case it all goes horribly wrong?


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