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Review: Thomas Restaurant at Future Inn Cardiff Bay


{Complimentary meal in return for honest review}

I've had more opportunities to try hotel restaurants this year and I’ve discovered there are a few where the standard of the food is amazing; I’ve recommended them to others and have gone back with friends or family. Thomas Restaurant is the newest one to add to this list.


Thomas Restaurant is located within the Future Inn hotel, which is just across from the Red Dragon centre in Cardiff Bay. I didnt know what to expect - I don't often go to this area of Cardiff, but when I walked up and saw the sparkling lights I was taken aback with how effective it was. The hotel instantly came across as warm and welcoming, with tasteful festive decorations up and friendly staff at reception. There's a bar area leading on to the restaurant, with modern hanging paintings adding a splash of vibrancy to the space.


Their menu has had a big revamp this month and the ‘Taste of Wales’ theme shines through with their traditional dishes with a Welsh twist (Welsh rarebit with rhubarb compote is one starter I need to go back for!). Having spoken to people who have worked on this menu, it's clear that they're passionate about changing people's perceptions of hotel restaurants as being stuffy, lifeless places that are only there for people on business trips. With the new menu, they're are establishing Thomas Restaurant as a standalone restaurant, which happens to be located within a hotel.

Starters

I went for the crispy squid. I can honestly say my dining partner (my mum!) and I agreed that this was the best calamari we’ve had in a long time. Tender on the inside with a light, super crispy coating, it was so more-ish, especially combined with that nice zing from the lemon and a kick from the spicy mayo.


My mum had the game terrine which came with celeriac slaw, and homemade sourdough bread. I was pleased to read that they use local produce throughout the menu, with everything made fresh on-site (even the bread is homemade, makes such a difference!). This plate was a delightful mix of textures and just tasted amazing, it was what I’d have if I go again. Perfect portion size too.


Mains

We both went for the same main course, I go through phases where I really crave a good steak with garlic butter so I couldn't resist. We got the rib eye, served with heirloom tomatoes, roast red onion, tasty fries and sides order of mushrooms to share (really recommend these!) as well as a small salad. We also had the peppercorn sauce which I don't usually like, but I tried a bit of hers and it wasn't too heavy or rich so I did use a bit of this. A really good, filling main course, you can swap chips for smoked cheese mash which was lovely.


Desserts

Feeling very full, I was still keen to try the homemade desserts. Raspberry & white chocolate cheesecake was served with a raspberry and basil sorbet, which I nearly swapped for regular vanilla ice cream because I wasn’t sure about the basil. We agreed that it did work really well and the basil was subtle. This was a super creamy, velvety, melt in the mouth cheesecake with that buttery base with a slight crunch.


We had half of the cheesecake each along with half of the ginger & lime sticking toffee pudding which was beautiful. You can really taste the ginger and a little hint of lime, it wasn’t too stodgy.


I really enjoyed my visit to the Thomas Restaurant and am hoping to go back on a Sunday to check out the Sunday lunch. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised if you haven't heard of them before but decide to pay them a visit after reading this blog!

View full details on their website at: https://www.futureinns.co.uk/cardiff/restaurant-bar/

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