By Ellie Philpotts
Now is as good a time as any to be a food writer (or eater) in Cardiff. Although I’ve only lived here for just over two years, it feels like the busiest the city’s ever been, in terms of new restaurants setting up, whether chains expanding, or brand new independents altogether.
In the case of Seafood Shack, it’s more of the latter. As the name suggests, seafood is the big business at the shack, which is suitably hopping across the sea from Ireland and launching in Cardiff in April. This’ll be one of its first British sites, with plans to expand to Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Bath and Bristol to name a few.
The new venture is setting up camp on 5a High Street, a perfectly-positioned spot for foodie fans far and wide – regardless of if you’re regularly found patrolling the main shops and tourist attractions, or are brand new to the city and figured the centre is the obvious first port of call. It’s a 7,000 square foot site, with two bars adjacent to the 200 seats of the restaurant.
Cardiff caters for a range of cuisines, meaning it’s easy to tour the world without needing a passport. Here, though, is a nice slice of all things nautical – and you don’t even need the sea views of Penarth or the Bay. A glamorous oyster bar (because students can splash out too (excuse the pun); chance to step back in time via a Victorian-themed fish and chip section; and plentiful options for other fresh seafood will well and truly whet your appetite, while you can also order meatier dishes like chicken, steak and burgers, courtesy of Seafood Shack’s resident craft butcher. If you’re vegetarian or gluten-free, you’re also in luck.
Drinks aren’t neglected either, with options from the contrasts of champagne and craft beer, stout or prosecco. And all this is complimented by a musical theme, including classical jazz, soul and blues – the colour of the ocean… (First to admit we may be clutching at straws here.)
Cardiff’s most exciting new venture is the brainchild of Darryl Kavanagh, whose catering career started over our entire lifetime ago, in 1994 in Ireland. Ahead of the move from Waterford to Wales, Darryl commented, ‘The challenge is creating an opulent but traditional atmosphere. Everyone will be treated as a VIP, receiving the ultimate customer experience. We’re so excited to come to the UK and are seeing an overwhelming response already.’
This is one new venue alert we’re sure will create an impression in the Diff – good luck to the team and remember to try Seafood Shack out for yourself. Their website is also offering the chance to win a limo ride, champagne and meal for two…
PS: I’m just really proud I made it through this thing without resorting to that annoying quote ‘I’m on a seafood diet. I see food and eat it.’ Oh wait.
All image credit: twitter.com/SeafoodShackCDF