Coming from a ‘foodie’ family, I am always keen to introduce restaurants that I have previously enjoyed dining at, to other members of the clan. Therefore, when I got the heads up that the choice for dining on Mothers Day was my shout this year, my thoughts returned to an amazing meal I had experienced a few years back in the Laguna Kitchen and Bar…job done and reservation made.
Located within the Park Plaza Hotel on Greyfriars Road in Cardiff, Laguna is a spacious, contemporary style restaurant offering Modern British Cuisine. The menus are varied including a Chef’s Table 6 course Tasting Menu with wine pairing (£49/£59 (weekends)) to lunch and afternoon tea. However, on this occasion we opted for the à la carte – ranging from £5 to £10 for a starter and £13.50 to £18.50 for a main course.
With a wide choice of dishes on offer, for some reason I somehow felt it necessary to order two courses with prawns as the main ingredient. This could have been down to one of three reasons;
1) the lighting in Laguna is a little low, and I had a moment of tunnel vision on the word ‘prawns’;
2) I was craving prawns or
3) I had consumed a large amount of cocktails beforehand (again impairing my vision so that every other ingredient except ‘prawns’ was a blur!) – ha ha…
Being completely honest, I do love seafood but I’m also a prime candidate to be featured in the next ‘should’ve gone to Specsavers’ ad!
Going briefly back to the lighting, the dining atmosphere in the Laguna restaurant is that of relaxed fine dining, but it is hotel fine dining, i.e. you do feel like you are eating out in a hotel rather than a restaurant. Therefore you do lose a little of the uniqueness and warmth you find with other independents. Views are limited and a bustling bar next to the restaurant, reminds you that there is an outside world rather than escaping from it for a few hours. However, it is certainly somewhere that would suit a range of occasions, from a romantic meal for two, to a night out with friends. The front of house team are polite and attentive, and while service was occasionally a little slow on this visit, I could not fault their professionalism throughout the meal.
LKB North Atlantic Prawn Cocktail | £6.95
Ok…back to those prawns…first up I went for the somewhat retro starter of LKB North Atlantic prawn cocktail with Bloody Mary sauce, lemon net and granary bread. It is difficult to fault a starter where you can’t, or shouldn’t, really go wrong – and while the advertised Bloody Mary sauce was more a Marie Rose sauce with paprika, the lettuce was fresh and I loved the lemon net.
Moving onto the main course, and I was presented with a large bowl of linguine with Cornish crab, King prawns, samphire, chilli and garlic butter and sun blushed cherry tomatoes. It was at this point I established that a dessert was off the cards. I have to say, the King prawns were plentiful and beautifully cooked, and while overall I did enjoy the dish I was a little disappointed as I didn’t expect my evening to end with a game of ‘Hunt the Crab’. Lack of crab meat aside, I was fairly impressed until I realised I had made the wrong choice for my main course…
Another dish on our table had caught my eye, I had missed the 24 hour slow cooked honey glazed pork belly with crackling stick, Jamaican ginger beer glaze, Japanese baby apples, pumpkin puree, gratin potato, black pudding and cider sauce. I have to say as dishes go it looked and tasted amazing. A large portion of pork belly was perfectly cooked and melted in the mouth. While the inspired addition of a ginger beer glaze, and the black pudding and potato brought the whole dish together in one spectacular “Food Envy? Should’ve gone to Specsavers” moment!
- Friendly and professional service in a relaxed dining atmosphere.
- Portion sizes for the à la carte menu are on the larger size, and I would consider it is very good value for money.
- The adjoining Laguna bar is perfect for that pre-dinner apéritif or post-dinner digestif.
- A shout out to the Twitter team, never under estimate how important it is to value your customer before they dine with you – a big thumbs up!
Would I go again?
This was my second visit to the Laguna Restaurant and it certainly won’t be my last. Not having experienced the Tasting Menu as yet, it will be a welcome addition on my dining to do list.
Would I recommend Laguna Kitchen and Bar?
As I mentioned the restaurant is perfect for a range of occasions, so I would recommend experiencing it if you haven’t been; or if you are lucky enough to be staying in the Park Plaza Hotel, I would certainly make a reservation on a night of your stay.
The à la carte menu is available from 5.30 pm to 9.30 pm (Mon-Thurs) and 5.30 pm to 10.00 pm (Fri to Sat).
Address | Park Plaza Hotel, Greyfriars Road, Cardiff, CF10 3AL