15 Jul, 2011
Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival 2011
Posted by: Wen Ching In: United Kingdom
The Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival is held every year in Cardiff Bay. It provides an avenue for local food producers to showcase their goods and hot cooked food of various types are sold as well, all using local Welsh produce. It was held on 8 – 10th July this year and we were sure not to miss it!
The whole festival was divided into three main parts; the Producers Fayre where local produce were showcased and sold, the Food Piazza where hot food was served and the Farmers Market where an assortment of ready-to-eat and not-so-ready-to-eat food were sold. Live bands entertained the crowd near the Producers Fayre and Food Piazza throughout the day. The atmosphere that day was spectacular. We could not have hoped for more than the lively crowd, good music and of course, good food.
First up, we have a very friendly looking man from the Welsh Venison Centre stall. The stall sold venison steaks, burgers and sausages. What’s that in his hands, you ask? That’s our food of course!
We had a venison burger for £4.50. It came with sautéed onions and we could help ourselves to an assortment of sauces. The burger was an excellent way to start off our day. The meat was lean, yet tender and juicy. Truly a great alternative to the beef-dominated burgers around.
Next, we had visited the Taste of Persia stall which dealt mainly in various kebabs and also Persian sweets. The charcoal grill in the picture above was right in front of the stall and produced a tantalising aroma that simply attracted our attention.
We ordered a small chicken fillet kebab for £4.50. It came along with a portion of fresh vegetables and grilled vegetables on pita bread. The chicken was very flavourful due to its marinade. We enjoyed it very much as the chicken was grilled perfectly and retained its moisture which made it soft and juicy. We overheard that Taste of Persia are looking to open a shop in Cardiff within the coming months. We won’t be around by then, but maybe others can look out for them and give it a try. Write back to us if you do!
Next we sampled sausages from The Parsons Nose. What really caught our attention was the sight of the onions being sautéed along with the sausages in a huge greasy pan.
Next we tried something Asian by way of Samosaco. This stall sold curries and other Indian snacks such as samosas, bhajees and pakoras. Coincidentally, the stall was run by a Malaysian couple who had moved to Wales.
We ordered a chicken curry with rice for £4.50. We decided to order this because we observed a man eating it nearby and it simply looked good! We were not disappointed. The rice came with some chicken curry, dhal and a portion of salad. Both the curry and dhal were really flavourful and went well with the rice. The curry, while not spicy, was still nice and the chicken breast pieces in the curry were soft as well.
Here is something new to us which we were happy to have tried. Poffertjes are mini Dutch pancakes and it so happens that this next stall was called Poffertjes and it sold… mini Dutch pancakes (who would have guessed?). The above picture shows how the pancakes were made. The batter was released from a cone shaped container into small indentations in the hot pan below. But really, I’m sure most of you didn’t even notice anything to do with pancakes, did you?
We got a small portion of 8 pancakes with chocolate spread for £3.50. Powdered sugar was spread over the top of the pancakes as well. There was a wide range of toppings from fruits to whipped cream. It was a shame we could not try them all. The dark chocolate sauce complemented the sweetness of the sugar well and the pancakes had a spongey texture. They were an absolutely delicious snack!
We then made our way over to the Farmers Market where a wide display of produce and snacks were available. This display of hot sauces by Why Not Hot attracted our attention. We sampled the two right-most sauces in the picture. Definitely not one to be underestimated, these sauces were unbelievably HOT. They were so much hotter than anything one could find in Malaysia. We were tempted to purchase a bottle for £5, but decided against it as we would be moving back to Kuala Lumpur soon and it would not be practical for us to carry the bottle around.
We then tried a raspberry and elderflower sorbet from Mendip Moments. This was a sweet and very refreshing sorbet. It did a great job at soothing our mouths from the hot sauce earlier. This flavour was unlike any other we’ve tried before and it was very good!
All-in-all, it was a very enjoyable and fun day out at Cardiff Bay. The food was good and the atmosphere unmatched. Unfortunately we will not be around for next year’s festival, but anybody in or around Cardiff should pop over to give it a go. It will usually be held sometime in July each year and details can be found on the Cardiff Festival website. Do check it out and hopefully next year’s food will be as good as usual!