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Laguna, Park Plaza Hotel
Greyfriars Road, Cardiff, CF10 3AL
Tel: 029 2011 1103
Park Plaza Cardiff Laguna Restaurant
We certainly put the Laguna to the test – on a busy Saturday night
the kitchen had already coped with 250 covers, including an 80strong wedding party, busy bar trade and a corporate function.
But then for the team of 10 chefs it was just another day at the office
in the calm and well-ordered open plan kitchen and the food
delivered to our table for two was done so with top notch service.
The menu is a crowd pleaser, everything from simple grills and
comfort food such as cottage pie to the more sophisticated but you
might want to pack your glasses to read the details as the lights in
the stylish dining room are turned down very low.
We began with some wonderfully fresh and flavoursome Thai fish
cakes with an authentic flavour and bouncy texture, interestingly
partnered by roasted pineapple, pomegranate, coriander and
coconut salsa with smoked chilli glaze. All the flavours worked well
together providing a real explosion of tastes.
Our other starter of pumpkin soup was sweet with a deep flavour
but was a little thick for our taste,, being more like a vegetable
By now the wedding party had moved downstairs to the nightclub,
the tables were quickly refilled with smaller parties and we watched
as trays laden with cones of chips disappeared to the function room.
Despite the varied demands on the kitchen, our main courses
arrived bang on time. A thick tranche of cod came with Veroniquestyle cream sauce with grapes giving a pleasant sweetness and
hazelnuts provided an interesting crunch. I couldn’t detect too much
of the advertised Cornish crab in the mash but it was certainly an
Pan fried Cornish sea bass fillets were perfectly cooked but the
delicate fish was rather overpowered by the rustic tomato-based
stew it was sitting on, packed with cannelloni beans, chorizo and
some well judged chilli squid.
The maitre d’ arrived with the baked alaska dessert, pouring a
generous shot of whisky around it before setting it ablaze and then
covering it with creme anglais. It made for a deliciously boozy
combination of hot and cold, crisp meringue and creamy ice cream
A warm chocolate fondant was decadent, topped with strawberries
and served with ice cream, although it tasted more like vanilla to me
than the advertised pistachio.
The Laguna is always impressive, polished and professional and is
that rare thing, a destination restaurant in a city centre hotel.