We like Côte Brasserie, “I’m not gonna lie,” as Nessa from Gavin and Stacey might say. For a chain, it’s usually excellent. We tend to go à la carte but, on this occasion, we thought we’d give the Prie Fixe menu a try. It’s reasonably priced at £16.95 for two courses and £20.95 for three (it was always going to be three).
We’ve eaten at the Cardiff Central restaurant before, several times over the years, and the one thing that stands out is the quality of service. The team at Côte are always welcoming. On this occasion it was just Jack and I (Jennifer headed off to the boutiques for a rail dance – she loves clothes). Just a quick heads up, the Prix Fixe is available Monday to Friday 12 noon until 7pm (except bank holidays).
As I mentioned we’ve been before and it’s a nice when people remember you – it just feels friendly. We ordered a couple of drinks which aren’t included but they are reasonably priced for a city centre restaurant.
We ordered some bread which was very good, and our starters soon arrived. For Jack, the Charcuterie Board: Bayonne ham, Coppa ham, cornichons, served with toasted sourdough baguette. I didn’t get a look in so It was widely accepted this was a hit. Put it this way, the board was clean. My Smoked Salmon Fish Cake was equally good. The mustard sauce and a parsley, shallot and caper garnish were perfectly balanced.
For our mains, I must confess I was tempted by the Seabass Rouge but opted for the Poulet Grillé: Chargrilled chicken breast, creamy mushroom and thyme sauce, served with rocket and frites. I haven’t eaten chicken in a while, and this was a flavoursome reminder of how really good it can be. I don’t think anyone does chicken like the French. Jack’s go-to is usually a burger but, this time, the Steak Frites was it transpired a mouth-watering alternate. Perfectly cooked minute steak, rocket, garlic butter, and fries (frites). For a fiver, you can upgrade to an 8oz Rib-Eye but, honestly, the minute steak is plenty.
At a mere four pounds each, we thought it would be remiss not to have dessert and we were glad we did. Jack’s Crepe Au Chocolat with its warm dark chocolate sauce and blackberries, topped with orange crème fraiche was very good (yes, I had to taste it), but the dessert winner had to be my Plum Clafoutis was sublime. Plums baked in an almond custard with warm berry coulis and vanilla ice cream. I wish I’d asked for a little more ice cream – perhaps next time. As Edith Piaf used to sing, “Non, je ne regrette rien”, and there were certainly none. This was a perfect ten in dessert terms.
Our verdict? Tres bon!
A three-course lunch in the centre of Cardiff for under fifty pounds? This is exceptionally good value. We would definitely return. The service is excellent, the food is full of French flavour and its location is perfect if you’re doing a little midweek shopping or planning a business meeting.
“Grand merci!” to David and Jasmine who looked after us and the Côte team. As I say, they are superb, and always make us feel welcome.
If you’re vegan, veggie or gluten free, there are options – tasty ones too! So, no need to worry that your preferences aren’t catered for. Côte does a great job in this respect.
Jusqu’à la prochaine fois mes amis!
10 – 11 Mill Lane
Cardiff CF10 1FL
029 2034 3810
Parking nearby in St David’s 2/John Lewis
Monday to Thursday 11:30am – 10pm
Friday & Saturday10am – 10pm
Sunday 10am – 9:30pm