*in association with The Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay
I’m writing this review with a belly stuffed full of fries and shake after a lovely lunch at Five Guys at The Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff Bay. Seriously, it’s been three hours since we ate and the top button of my jeans is still undone and everything!
This is definitely not a place to visit if you are on a healthy eating mission – but if you’re looking for a treat, then the red and white 50s style American burger bar is such a great choice, with filling burgers, freshly-made fries and wonderfully indulgent thick shakes, all made to order and quickly at that.
We visited today as part of our role as blogger ambassadors for The Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff Bay.
Before our meal, we got to the Bay early and headed along the barrage so the kids could whizz around the skate park on their scooters. This one of their requests of things they wanted to do in the Easter holidays; they love it there!
I’ve written about the barrage previously in more detail, but it’s really easy to navigate with buggies, bikes and scooters etc. There’s plenty to do along the way for little ones, including a skate park and playground, and tit’s a great place to visit for a blast of fresh air. If you have younger children wanting to use the skate park, it’s best to arrive early while the teens who frequent it later in the day are all still in bed!
From there, it’s just a short drive on to The Red Dragon Centre, with on-site parking free for customers subject to minimum spend and ticket validation.
Before our meal, we took part in the free Easter arts and crafts in the main foyer of the centre. Hosted by Makendo, my children helped to decorate a giant Easter card to be displayed on the stall and then had the choice of a flower, Easter egg, bunny mask, bumble bee or chick hatching from an egg to decorate and take home. Little Miss E made this lovely purple and glitter bunny, Little Man made a mask, and Toddler, being a toddler, refused to join in, instead chasing his Daddy around the foyer.
Mr and Mrs Bunny were visiting at intervals throughout the day, posing for photos and handing out mini chocolate eggs. Toddler is scared of any kind of mascot at the moment, but his big brother and sister enjoyed meeting them and hopping like bunnies in order to get their chocolate egg.
The bunnies were there for one day only…. but Easter Monday 17th April will see Peppa Pig making appearances between 12pm and 4pm, to celebrate the release of Peppa Pig: My First Cinema Experience. (If you ask for a family ticket, adults pay kids prices at the Odeon at the centre.)
I’ve visited Five Guys before, last July, with a group of blogging mummy friends, but this was the first time for Cardiff Daddy, Little Miss E, 7, Little Man O, 5½, and Toddler Boy I, recently turned 3.
Both my boys ordered burgers with cheese – size small (£5.75), although the small does not mean child’s portion, but one patty rather than two. Cardiff Daddy had a bacon burger (double patty, £8.45). You can choose as many toppings as you like from a list including lettuce, tomatoes, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, jalapeno peppers, relish and various sauces at no extra cost. Miss E had the grilled cheese (basically a toasted cheese sandwich, £3.75) while I had the veggie sandwich with cheese (£4.50). There’s no actual veggie burger, which is a bit disappointing, but this was a decent alternative, filled to bursting with grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, green peppers, lettuce and tomato.
We accompanied our meal with fries. These come in two flavours, regular and Cajun, and three sizes – little (£2.95), regular (£4) and large £5. Large serves 4-5 and was more than enough for us. In fact, all the portions were very generous. They are cooked in peanut oil, so not great for people with allergies.
We asked the staff to wait until the kids had finished their food before they brought the shakes over, as otherwise they would never have eaten their meals! Little Man ordered Oreo and strawberry, Miss E had vanilla, I had salted caramel, and Toddler and Cardiff Daddy had chocolate, all £4.95 each. You can combine as many flavours as you like, and if you’re feeling daring you can even have added bacon (none of us did, although last time I visited my pregnant friend did and she loved it!). I tried a little of all of the shakes we ordered (in the name of blogging research, obviously!) and can confirm they were all delicious.
The casual dining atmosphere at Five Guys works really well for families, because you don’t feel the pressure to have perfectly-behaved kids, as in a more formal restaurant. You order at the counter, burgers come wrapped in foil, fries in a cup, and everything served in a brown paper bag.
Our food came out really quickly, in less than 10 minutes despite it being a busy lunch time, and while we were waiting, the children were given paper and pencils to create a drawing to stick on the restaurant’s notice board. We could see from the big bags of potatoes that the fries are made freshly on site, while all burgers are made from fresh beef, and not frozen.
We were really impressed with our meals. Like I said though, shakes and burgers all round is definitely a treat, both financially and healthy eating wise!