Thanks to Honest Burgers Cardiff for providing us with a family meal in exchange for this review
Honest Burgers is one of those restaurants where the mantra seems to be do one thing and do it really well. The menu is limited, with just a few varieties of burgers, chips and sides on offer and, unusually, no desserts – but what they do, they do brilliantly.
The mini-chain’s first and so far only restaurant in Wales opened in the city centre in September. It’s located on Church Street, which is fast-becoming a mini culinary hot spot, with neighbours including Indian restaurant Mowgli and Vietnamese noddle bar Pho.
We visited on the Friday of half term for a family dining experience, sandwiched in between a trip to the cinema and picking up a few essentials in the shops. Pretty much every table was full, a mixture of families, office workers and those who’d been out early watching Wales’s final rugby World Cup game.
Yet despite it being busy, the vibe is relaxed and casual, with wooden tables and booths, quirky signs on the walls, and a visible kitchen area. The serving staff were helpful and friendly, especially Layla who was looking after our table, and we didn’t have to wait too long for the freshly-prepared food to come out.
Read on to see what we thought, plus there’s also the chance to win your own family dining experience in the giveaway below.
The children’s menu
As soon as we sat down, my children were given paper and crayons to colour with – always a winner – and a copy each of the children’s menu. Children’s meals cost £5.50 for a burger, chips and a drink, which we thought was reasonable. Youngsters can choose from a beef burger, chicken burger or vegetarian sweetcorn and cauliflower fritter, all accompanied by chips, and a drink of either homemade lemonade or fruit juice. All three of my children opted for a beef burger, and the kitchen happily accommodated their various requests for burger toppings. The three of them also all chose the homemade lemonade – and loved it! More on the lemonade later; it’s amazing!
On first glance the burgers and mini buns looked a little on the small side, but the patties were quite thick, and with a generous serving of chips too the meals were definitely ample for my nine, eight and five year olds.
Meat choices include a chicken burger and five different beef options. Each Honest Burgers branch has its own speciality, utilising local suppliers and embracing local delicacies. My husband opted for the Cardiff Burger (£12.50) which consists of a beef pattie, candied bacon, Hafod organic cheddar, leeks braised in Tiny Rebel Cwtch ale (which he said was delicious and could happily have eaten a lot more of), mustard mayo, lamb’s lettuce and pickles.
He was persuaded to double up, although the food was so filling he probably didn’t need to. Likewise with the side of onion rings, which are some of the biggest I have ever seen.
All beef burgers for grown ups are cooked pink, unless you otherwise ask.
I’d heard good things about Honest Burger’s vegan burger (£13.50) so was keen to try it for myself. It’s a plant-based burger, with a meaty-look (rather than a vegetable burger) and is served with vegan Gouda, chipotle mayo, onion, pickles, mustard and lettuce, as well as the rosemary salted chips (see below).
I really enjoyed the combination of flavours. I declined the option to double up – and one was plenty filling. An accompanying side salad would have been nice as the burger and chips did look a little plain, but I ordered the little gem, rocket, fennel and radish salad (£3.50) from the menu anyway. This was served with a (vegan) dressing made from mustard and lemon juice along other ingredients and was really lovely.
They also do gluten-free options, so do ask the serving staff as they are very knowledgeable about dietary requirements.
The rosemary salted chips
So good they deserve their own section! The rosemary salted chips were incredible – chipped potatoes with the skins on and full of so much flavour. I honestly couldn’t get enough of this. Children’s meals come with plain unsalted chips (unless you ask otherwise) and these were delicious too.
I’ve already mentioned the homemade lemonade above – this really was delicious, sweet, zingy and refreshing. The same lemons are also used in the rosemary salted chips, ensuring nothing goes to waste. There’s also a mint lemonade too, which in hindsight I wish I’d tried as based on the regular lemonade, I bet it was lovely.
This wasn’t the only drink that impressed us though. My husband ordered a Karma Cola, a company which works with suppliers in Sierra Leone to pay them fairly and to support projects with develop infrastructure and education. As Karma Cola’s website says, “After a ten-year civil war they needed to rehabilitate their rainforest farms, rebuild their villages, and earn an income. We set up the Karma Cola Foundation to make sure that if we grow, they grow too. This isn’t aid, it’s a straightforward trade. We believe the best form of support and economic independence is an equitable commercial relationship and mutual respect.”
If you’re looking for something stronger, then opt for a beers from local craft brewers Tiny Rebel, including Church Street Pale (£5.10 a pint), which they have created exclusively for Honest Burgers.
And gin lovers can sample the Benjamin Hall strawberry gin, made at the Hensol Castle Distillery and flavoured with fresh Monmouthshire strawberries (£6.50).
Ethical and sustainable choices
I liked all these sustainable and ethical choices running through the business. Layla told us it was really important to the company. In fact, she’d just been on a butchery skills course, which probably wasn’t the best thing for a vegan to hear, but as it’s all done in-house it means that those who do eat meat can be sure of where it’s come from.
Honest Burgers, 10 Church St, Cardiff, CF10 1BG. Visit the Honest Burgers website here.
Win a family meal at Honest Burgers Cardiff
Fancy trying out Honest Burgers for yourself? One lucky Cardiff Mummy Says reader will be able to treat their family to a complimentary meal, thanks for this brilliant giveaway.
The prize includes burgers, fries and a drink for a family of four (two adults and two children or one adult and three children) at the Cardiff restaurant.
For a chance to win, answer this simple question.
Q. On which Cardiff street will you find Honest Burgers?
Closing date for entries is Sunday 10 November, 11.59pm.
Terms and conditions:
- There is one prize, consisting of one family meal for up to four people (two adults and two children or one adult and three children) at Honest Burgers, Cardiff. The prize consists of one burger, one portion of fries and one drink per person.
- The winner will have up to six months from the date of issue to use their prize.
- The meal must be booked in advance and cannot be used on days when there are events at the Principality Stadium.
- There is no alternative prize and no cash alternative.
- Closing date for entries is Sunday 10 November 2019, 11.59pm.
- Entrants must be 18 years or over.
- To enter, leave your answer to the above question in the comments section of the Honest Burgers giveaway post on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page.
- The winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries submitted before the closing date. The winner will be informed with a reply to their Facebook comment and a direct Facebook message letting them know they have won. All reasonable attempts will be made to contact the winner. If the winner cannot be contacted within 72 hours the prize will be forfeited and offered to another eligible entrant.
- Cardiff Mummy Says reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions at any time. Any new terms and conditions will be published here.
- Cardiff Mummy Says reserves the right to end this promotion at any time and without notice.
- Cardiff Mummy Says cannot be held responsible for the failure of third party organisations to provide the prize, or for loss, damage or non-arrival of the prizes.
- Relatives of Cathryn Scott, author of Cardiff Mummy Says, may not enter the giveaway.
- Employees and their relatives of Honest Burgers may not enter the giveaway.
- This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.