Date night X 2

Just to clarify, those aren’t real dates but actually just two different meals with two different friends.
I’ll still be partaking in these ‘date nights’ when I’m 50 and most likely still single.

Last week I revisited Bar 44, in Penarth, because in my eyes it is by FAR the best place (other than Spain) for tapas. My first visit there was at the beginning of the year and I completely fell in love with the whole place, more specifically the absolutely, ridiculously delicious food. We tried near enough everything on the menu and did receive a few odd looks from other visitors as to how much food we had on the table. The portion of patatas bravas was enormous, like, really, really big! I love chorizo a great deal so to have it served in one of my other true loves, red wine, was another winner in my eyes! We also tried their mini veal burgers which came with an aubergine mayo, I know it might not sound appealing to everyone but honestly…. They were some of the best burgers I’ve tasted and I’ve eaten A LOT of burgers.
The dessert I had first time I had last week too which was a chocolate mousse with a pumpkin ganache, chocolate crumble, olive oil and sea salt. This time around, I managed to take a picture before inhaling it.

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Last week we went for some of the specials to accompany our patatas bravas, chorizo in red wine and baked cheese and onion chutney. We chose the salmon fishcakes and also chorizo sausages which came with peppers, potato and a tomato based sauce. We were in our element completely and after a weekend of eating the Spanish way I was more than happy to carry on reliving Barcelona!

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Basically, I can’t rate Bar 44 enough. I think if you love tapas and you’ve not tried the food there you’re committing a crime!

Just last night I finally got around to ticking one of Cardiff’s best restaurants off my list. I had been dying to visit Fish at 85 for months but somewhere else always came up… However, it was so worth the wait. As soon as I stepped inside I could smell how fresh the fish was, it was like of just jumped in the ocean. I do love the smell of fresh fish but I did whether that would overpower our visit. The answer is no. In fact I just reminded me just how fresh my meal was going to be and I’m all about that. Now, I would suggest you being talked through the fish with the fishmonger as he really does know everything there is to know about fish! You won’t find a menu online as there’s no certainty as to what fish they’ll have on the day.

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We did have a printed menu with a few options on and as soon as I saw mussels I already knew I’d be opting for them. Had they not been on there I’m pretty certain I’d have gone for monkfish. My friend, Verity, was dead set on Sea bass before arriving and was a little disappointed they had already sold their last piece. When she told them how much she liked that fish she was told grey mullet was very similar and she would love that one just as much. So, with that in mind we ordered monkfish cheeks to start (to share), I went for mussels, Verity went for grey mullet with chunky chips and we ordered a side of bread… Well, just because.
The starter was beautiful, the fish was cooked to perfection (no surprise there) and the salsa verde it came with was so light and complemented the fish so well.

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Well, my mussels were divine and again, a huge portion. I find, no matter where I go, I always end up pulling the long straw on portion size. The vat of mussels came with skinny fries which again, I loved. I’m a huge chip girl so love nothing more than a good plate of nicely done chips.

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My friend’s grey mullet was so tasty and when she said she wanted two fillets because she was hungry, she really meant it. I blinked and she was one a half fillets down.
I’m definitely glad we decided to order bread as a side as it meant I could mop up the rest of the sauce from my mussels…. I don’t like wasting food if you’d not guessed.
When asked if we would like to see the dessert menu there was a casual “yes, we’ll take a look response even though deep down we knew full well we would both be ordering one!
So, I went Rolo panna cotta with butterscotch sauce and Verity went for the white chocolate and orange mousse with strawberries. They were both an absolute delight! Strangely, I’m not ALWAYS a dessert person, it depends what mood I’m in but anything butterscotch and I’m there with bells on.

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I will say, make sure you book as it is the tiniest place, make sure you love fish and don’t expect to go there for a cheap meal. If you’re going to have fresh fish it goes by weight so be prepared. We didn’t spend a huge amount but I can see that people could do it pretty easily. The food is definitely worth it and I will most definitely be going back again.

If you enjoy my London blog posts there will be a whole weekend for me to report on next week. It will consist of an afternoon tea with sliders and mini doughnuts, a theatre trip, more burgers, a night out, macarons and a food market.

Keep your eyes peeled.

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