We are lucky to live near Wellfield road in Penylan, Cardiff. There are more and more independents to choose from when looking for lunch or a local dinner. It’s nice to turn up somewhere and not know exactly what’s going to be on the menu. I love a surprise and I find the menus of the newer generation of stand-alones are less likely let you down when looking for something seasonal and different.
Café Du Chat Noir has recently opened in Wellfield Court. It’s run by Dorothee Henry and Stuart Bolter-Shone, who greeted us with genuine smiles and enthusiasm. French cuisine is the raison d’etre of this place and it certainly delivers. You can pop in just to partake of the extensive tea collection with some patisserie – the tea, incidentally was knowledgeably explained to a customer whilst we were perusing the menu. It’s so great to eat somewhere where the produce and ingredients are the centre of the experience . Check out the Facebook page, there are regular specials which are quintessentially French and not just poor imitations, I’m talking the real deal! Coq au vin, beouf bourginion, quiche Camarguaise, poulet basquaise, baked brie – the list goes on.
It was tough to choose but having a deep rooted love of toasted cheese sandwiches, in the end there was no real choice, it was preordained; Croque Monsieur. Silky bechamel, cheese galore, French ham. If you’re looking for a proper Croque, this is it. Also, no small thing- the salad is crisp and fresh and, wait for it, dressed. Yes a dressed salad that’s not just an after thought…
We also sampled the French onion soup with croutons. Kate who was lucky enough to spend many a youthful vacance in France (the Uncles had a little house in Normandy for years and Uncle David has an ongoing love affair with St Remy de Provence) smiled with her first slurp, which is always a good sign.
We couldn’t resist the Quiche Lorraine despite having enough to eat. It arrived surrounded by different salads, each well executed and tasty in their own right. The pastry, the light but creamy and savoury filling…the best Quiche I’ve had in years. The quiche with all its great accompaniments comes with a price tag of £5.95 – you can’t buy a coffee and muffin in most coffee chains for less than that. Amazing lunch for such an accessible price.
We took home macarons and a tarte au citron which had pastry that crumbled then melted in your mouth. Literally, what more could you want?
I’m really very happy that this little place exists. The food seems to be made with love. Please pay it a visit, I want to be able to go back there for years.