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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.
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