Buffalo Bar is renowned for being one of Cardiff’s leading bars – its cocktails and nights cannot be upstaged by another – but when we Food and Drink editors were invited to try out their Sunday roast, we really didn’t know what to expect. We were surprised to see the place so empty. I’ve never actually been there on a Sunday before, and it was different being there without the crowds of revellers filling every space and having to weave myself in and out of the way for a drink or cigarette.
There’s a certain charm to Buffalo that works in many different circumstances. On one hand it’s a great place to hold a night: it’s fun, unique and well, cool. But on the other, its smooth, classy elegance makes it a great establishment for a restaurant, and I felt comfortable in the atmosphere it provided.
The roast was a fairly priced £6.95, with the choice of chicken, beef or vegetarian Glamorgan sausage as the staple. The waitress was helpful, eager even, to ensure that we were comfortable and we had everything we needed. There’s nothing better than starting a meal with a smile, although it’s even better if you finish with one.
The food arrived promptly, I can’t actually remember having to wait long at all, and our first thoughts were that the dishes looked great. They came in wide square plates with accompanying vegetables on a separate tray. We both loved the way it looked – tradition presented in a chic, desirable manner, reflecting Buffalo’s interior and the whole feel that belongs to the old favourite.
The food tasted nice, although the beef was a little tough. The vegetables were pretty standard: roast potatoes; honey roasted parsnips; carrots; broccoli; mashed swede; braised red and savoy cabbage and a homemade Yorkshire pud. There was definitely enough of everything as well – the meat lasted until the end and I had vegetables to spare. The dish didn’t try to be something that it wasn’t and so didn’t exceed any expectations that I had, but I must note that the parsnips and red cabbage did stand out, and added a sticky-sweet feel to the entire dish. The gravy was flavoursome, thick and warm, but we questioned whether its warmth really held up the plate, which arrived a little too much on the cold side for our liking. Although that wasn’t detrimental to the entire experience, it did mean that the food was completely cold by the end.
The meal was enjoyable, and left us full and satisfied – for £6.95 you really can’t go wrong. Good flavours, good portions and good vibes from the establishment resulted in a meal that I’d go back for again, especially as a student (it stood out over roasts that I’ve had for the same price, and for that reason I can’t complain).
With their new menu on the way, Buffalo definitely fills a gap, and I assure you – you’ll leave with a smile.