Corfu by Night is a new, up and coming restaurant and cocktail bar, bringing the distinct flavours of Corfu to the Cardiff community. They describe Corfu as a ‘bridge to our Italian neighbours’ that for centuries has traded with other surrounding peninsulas, making its identity unique and its food inspired by other diverse and fruitful cultures.
The setting replicates a classic Greek taverna with white walls and arches, the quintessential cyan blue of the tiny details made me feel transported back to the shores of the Ionian Sea, which I have been lucky enough to visit. If you told me I could experience the smells and sensations of Greece from the heart of Cathays, Cardiff – I wouldn’t have believed you.
Cathays is not short of Greek food; it is undeniably one of my favourite cuisines and a halloumi gyro is one of my go-to options when scanning Uber Eats. However, Cardiff has been missing a true vision of Greek culture encapsulated by Corfu by Night. Not only providing authenticity of flavours, but a more refined and unique showcase of Corfu specifically; creating a dining experience rather than simply somewhere to eat.
First, we enjoyed some coffees at the bar. I went for a simple latte and my fellow Quench colleague Maja decided to try a Greek Coffee. Picture an espresso but made with a much finer powder and delivering a punchy taste, both more rich and bitter but somehow lighter and sweeter than your typical coffee shot.
Next up was cocktails. Keeping her caffeine hit going, Maja opted for an espresso martini whilst I chose the French 75. It stood out to me as a cocktail I have never tried before (a rare opportunity). The gin, lime and prosecco concoction in a champagne flute was the perfect, refreshing palate cleanser. The surprise sugar cube at the bottom of the glass a yummy touch of sweetness to cut through the citrusy bubbles.
For our first course we chose the Padron peppers and calamari. Whilst they would seem more at home on a Spanish tapas menu, the Padron peppers show how Corfu’s menu is influenced by other cuisines. These were a hit and as good as ones I have had in Spain, if not better. They were perfectly salted, and the feta and yogurt dip brought in those undeniably Greek notes that lifted them to another level. The calamari, textbook Mediterranean; soft meat and a light, crispy batter – you can’t go wrong.
As two veggies, we were more limited by our choices for mains – ending up with the veggie wrap and the veggie souvlaki – served with skinny chips, salad, tzatziki and a red pepper dip. You can also get these with chicken or pork, or plump for the loukaniko – a Greek style village sausage, or the soup of the day. The pita was soft and well-seasoned, the grilled vegetables and halloumi were substantial and the tzatziki an exemplary, fresh compliment to the richness of the meal. This garlicky, minty, zingy sauce is enough to make me go back over and over.
Finally, dessert. With a selection of ice creams and sorbet, Maja picked out the Mango sorbet – but I wanted to try something different and the portokolpita was calling my name. This orange flavoured semolina sponge cake was the ideal way to finish off the meal, drenched in orange syrup it was so moist and decadent yet fresh with hits of orange rind and cinnamon. The sweet and fruity sponge was a treat to top off the wonderful dining experience and left me wanting more.
Our three courses all came from the all-new lunch menu, with two courses for £9.90, or three for £13.30. This is an amazing price point for us budget-conscious students, especially with the quality of the dishes. Why not treat yourself for surviving exam season, or book in for lunch and cocktails with your housemates just because!
I’d like to thank Colin and Corfu by Night for having us – we look forward to our next visit which I’m sure will be soon!