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HMP Cardiff, Knox Road
Forget all those clichés about prison grub, this enterprising eatery at HMP Cardiff offers “fabulous food in a unique environment with a socially conscious twist”. Like its siblings at other HMPs, it was set up by the Clink Charity as a training establishment for inmates and an ‘opportunity for rehabilitation’ – all supported by local businesses and members of the public. The dining room has a bright, clean-cut contemporary feel, while the food shows a strong European bias – from generous helpings of pan-fried trout with saffron potatoes, wilted rainbow chard and seaweed butter sauce to striploin and braised shin of beef with fondant potato, cauliflower purée, roasted shallots and bordelaise sauce. Start with a ballottine of guinea fowl and ham hock; finish with raspberry mille-feuille. Of course, no alcohol is allowed on the premises, but with “brilliant” food and service as standard, who cares. Note that all reservations are made through The Clink website, including ‘gourmet dinners’. It’s “nice to see an initiative giving something back”, concludes one fan.
Squaremeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2016 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in spring 2016. Thousands of readers and bloggers took part and the results were moderated by the Squaremeal editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The survey does not ask for or include any restaurants in London. Click here for a full list of Squaremeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
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HMP Cardiff, Knox Road
Cardiff Queen Street Station 251m
Cardiff Central Station 1km
H.M. Prison Cardiff 341m
Cardiff Millennium Stadium 976m
Mon-Sat 9am-11am 12N-3pm Sun 12N-3pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
from the time we walked through the door up until we left we were treated with great respect by all staff and not just the ones whom were waiting on you. The food was absolutely fantastic from start to finish. We had carrot soup with sourdough bread, my husband had the beef dinner and I had the veggie option which we enjoyed, we were both very full so waited awhile to let that go down as we really wanted desserts and oh boy are we glad we did. I will not say any more on this as you really do have to go there yourselves and indulge in all of the experience so hope that all of you that go will enjoy as much as we did, I do have one complaint though and that is there is way too much food lol enjoy
Cardiff has long been a disappointment for food lovers, so this restaurant is a welcome oasis in the desert. The food was exceptional: beautifully presented and cooked to perfection. My companion and I had venison and pheasant – each accompanied by a variety of decorative and tasty vegetables. All the staff we spoke to were helpful, friendly and responsive to our needs. Atmosphere was great – lighting and decor clean-cut and modern. It is worth mentioning that the prices are very reasonable for food of this standard – under £20 a head for 2 starters, 2 mains and 4 coffees.
It's hard to think of anything negative to say, but if I have one teeny concern, it is that the tables are quite closely packed. When full, the room could become a bit overwhelming. However, that is a minor quibble, as the food and service would overcome any other considerations.
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