Milkwood Cardiff in a nutshell
Neighbourhood dining reaches new heights in Pontcanna as the chefs behind The Potted Pig trade in its city centre bank vault for a more suburban location. Dealing in clean and contemporary dishes crafted using the best of the South Wales larder, Milkwood is right at home with the area’s restaurants, bars and artisan shops.
Milkwood Cardiff restaurant review
Chefs Gwyn Myring and Tom Furlong return to their roots at this notable new addition to Cardiff’s independent dining scene. Going back to the kitchen where they first met 13 years ago, the duo sold their interests in The Potted Pig and Porro restaurants to transform what was Cibo Italian into a 26-cover ‘modern Welsh bistro’.
High ceilings, forest green banquettes and a classic corner bar create a desirable mise en scène for Milkwood’s refined menu, while double-kissed greetings and property tips from the maitre d’ add up to a genuine neighbourly charm that most out-of-town bistros can only dream of.
Dishes are simple but striking, pairing Wales’ homegrown haul with flavours from afar. Blushed duck breast with heady chicory and toasted hazelnuts was only outshone by its partnering tortellini stuffed with indulgently rich duck ragu. A second main course of golden turbot crowning brown shrimps, ribboned leeks and blackened Little Gem with pickled cucumbers further demonstrated the chefs’ skills for making masterpieces from modest ingredients.
Blushed duck with tortellini
The pared-back offering (four starters, five mains and two desserts) leaves those looking for sweet relief with limited inspiration, though we had no quarrels with the buttermilk junket with stewed rhubarb and fennel granite or the dark chocolate and sea salt ganache, milk chocolate mousse and cherry combination that we devoured on our visit.
In line with the menu, the wine list is short but noteworthy and the attentive staff keen to share their recommendations. With a glass in hand and the last of the hazy summer sunshine streaming through the windows, you may also want to quiz the waiter about those Pontcanna property prices.
Menu must-orders at Milkwood Cardiff
A starter of meaty smoked eel paired with punchy horseradish, green apple matchsticks and nasturtium leaves was an inspired introduction to the often overlooked fish, while a lick-your-lips-salty charred bavette steak served carpaccio style with truffle and oyster mayo set the bar high for the evening ahead.
Misfires at Milkwood Cardiff
Fennel seeds made multiple appearances throughout our meal. Although delicious slathered in butter and packed with flax and caraway seeds in the homemade rye bread, the aniseed addition to the crackers served with the cheese course was overbearing and overpowered the award-winning characteristics of the cheeses on offer.
Use of locally sourced and seasonal produce warrants the £8 benchmark for starters and £20 figure for main courses – a good glass of wine comes in at around £6. Perhaps steeper than the going rate in Cardiff, this is good value for visitors crossing the border from Bristol or Bath.
Milkwood Cardiff, 83 Pontcanna Strett, Cardiff CF11 9HS
Words | Kathryn Lewis, August 2017
Photogrpahy | Milkwood Cardiff