Value at lunch, superb at dinner
- review added on Wed 16th Aug 2000
The lunch menu is a bargain at £12 for 3 courses - many of which are very classy indeed.Was a bit nervous about dining there in the evening when prices are more expensive - £27 for 3 courses. I had fish for my main course and it was the best dish I've had anywhere, except perhaps Da Foire in Venice (arguably Venice's best fish restaurant). My dining companions were equally convinced by their main dishes (we all insisted our own was the best).Wine list is expensive but very well chosen.
Recommended Dishes: Fish main courses
A real Gem
- review added on Tue 27th Nov 2001
This is one of my all time favorite restaurants in the UK. I've eaten in most of the highly rated restaurants in the UK over the past 5 years and I am still impressed when I go back to Padrigs cooking. Haute Cusine with a Welsh twist is how I normally describe it and, although this may raise eyebrows with some of you, you really should give it a go. A very well selected cellar with a delightful collection of wines from France and the New World. The menu is well constructed and you are never disappointed when the food arrives. Presentation is meticulous, without being pretentious, and flavours are masterfully combined to make this an all round gastronomic experience.
Recommended Dishes: Fish/shellfish
- review added on Mon 24th May 2004
My boyfriend took me here for a supposed romantic evening. When we arrived we were rushed to our table, where the waiting staff and management proceeded to look down their noses at us for the entire meal. I've yet to meet a more pompous bunch of people who seem to judge you based on what you are wearing and ordering from their menu rather than you as a person (and incidentally we are in the restaurant trade and are far from short of cash, not that that should have made any difference).Wear your best Armani suit and brush up your best accents or you'll most likely feel intimidated by the stares of the staff who want you to leave....
- review added on Thu 13th Jan 2005
Fine dining in Cardiff is a rare commodity, restricted to just a few eateries of note, but of all of them Le Gallois is known to be the best. In its short life, this family-run restaurant has gathered awards and acclaim for its modern interpretations of French cuisine; head chef Padrig Jones worked with the original enfant terrible of decent cooking, Marco Pierre-White, and has branched out independently to great effect.Modernity is a central point of this restaurant, with Charles Rennie-Machintosh-esque sculpted metal dividers, pristine marble tables and white light shooting upwards on the walls. Its wide plain windows open to Romilly Crescent in the better end of Canton, and while not the most aesthetically-pleasing environs for dinners – romantic or otherwise – it gives Le Gallois a sense of reality and prohibits the pretension of other temples to gastonomic excess.It’s time to leave your guilt at the door when it comes to the food – French food is heavy on richness, but Le Gallois did a good job at cutting through the fat. A Bombay gin and tonic in the relaxed bar area gave way to an appetiser of fried cockles with an aioli sauce and the delivery of a wine suited to the red meat planned for our main courses. At £38.50 a bottle of Grand Cru St Emilion (Chateau Lecours) isn’t cheap, but would prove rich and spicy enough to complement the meal. We chose St Emilion rather than a more basic Bordeaux to provide a more savoury flavour.My dining partner chose an hors d’oeuvre of wild mushroom and truffle. It was declared better than sex, which was something of a worry, but a small sample confirmed its delicate richness with delicious mushroom flavour. My own terrine of foie gras, wood pigeon and ham hock wasn’t too jellied and was delicious with the sweetness of pear chutney. For the main courses, my partner’s tornedos of venison with spiced cabbage, cauliflower purée, honey roast parsnips and carrots with bittersweet port and chocolate sauce appeared at first to risk a melée rather than a medley, but the strong smokiness of the venison was allowed to breathe through. My own Aberdeen Angus fillet, dauphinoise potatoes, spinach and wild mushrooms with Hermitage truffle sauce was something of a triumph. Cooked rare, the fluffy pink flesh yielded just a few drops of blood when pressed with a fork, and melted in the mouth like a well-prepared beef fillet should. By the end of the substantial course the sauce just about avoided becoming too strident for its own good.A lemony palate cleanser paved the way for the meal’s denouement: for me, assiette of creme brulée and for my partner a vanilla pannacotta with passion fruit and home-made ginger biscuits. Each of the five small pots of creme brulée crunched satisfyingly through to an assortment of flavours underneath, while the pannacotta was finely-balanced between overt creaminess and lightness.The service was polite, helpful, swift and, reassuringly, laid-back. There’s no feeling of condescension, which made dining at Le Gallois a very pleasant experience, and one worth repeating given a healthy bank balance and no plans to diet.
Recommended Dishes: wild mushroom and truffle risotto, aberdeen angus fillet
- review added on Thu 20th Mar 2008
I can only concur with Anonymous below... Why on earth would anyone want to eat whilst being sneered at by a snooty waiter. It really is very outmoded.I have eaten at many better restaurants without this kind snooty service. Despite the chef's beat efforts Le Gallois will remain an eatery of dubious quality until it sorts out it's front of house.