When Steinbeck and Shaw invited a group of local parent bloggers, including me, to put their new food and drink menus to the test, of course we said yes!
Sharing platters of food and cocktails plus a chance to catch up with some lovely friends? We were there like a shot.
Situated on Greyfriars Road, if you’re as old as me you’ll remember it as being Brannigans, but most recently it was Jongleurs, before Steinbeck and Shaw took over in July. The pub/restaurant/club is one of three owned by the chain, with the others being in Bristol and Canterbury.
With graffiti on the walls, old vinyl LP covers acting as menu covers, and quirky tables including an old fairground waltzer cart, and a carousel horse hovering over another table, the whole place was intriguing.
It was nicely busy despite it being mid-week.
We were there to sample the new menu and were treated to cocktails (£8 each or £4 during happy hour) plus sharing platters of food (£20 or £16 during happy hour). Happy hour is every night from 5pm-10pm, with 50% off drinks and certain food items also discounted.
As you can see from the photos, the food on the sharing platters came in mini metal buckets, served on wooden motor oil box trays. It looked fantastic. The platter includes onion rings, corn on the cobs, chips and sweet potato fries (my personal favourite), as well as chicken wings, chicken strips, cod goujons and mini sausages cooked in honey and mustard for the meat eaters.
Alina and I are both vegetarians so we were also given a falafel and spinach burger. Served in a brioche bun, it would have benefited from a bit of salad inside, but was tasty nonetheless.
We also shared two dishes of nachos between us, one regular classic nachos (£5), suitable for vegetarians, with the meat eaters enjoying the nachos topped with pulled pork (£7.95). These seemed to go down especially well.
Elsewhere on the menu, you can order a range of hot dogs and burgers, as well as buckets of chicken wings and various side dishes.
The food was classic burger bar food – never going to win any awards for haute cuisine, but hits the right spot when you want something comforting and easy to eat, especially if you are out in a group.
While we waited for our food, we were treated to some cocktails. This is where I need to confess that a husband late home from work, and overtired emotional children, meant leaving the house was a nightmare, so I made a last minute decision to drive in to town. Jo, who lives in Merthyr, was also driving, so we only had the tiniest sips of everything, but the other ladies certainly enjoyed their drinks.
The Caipirinha was strong and the Disaronno Sour divided opinion between those who loved it and those who weren’t convinced. The favourite of the night was the Coco Bongo (Captain Morgan white, coconut schnapps, grenadine, passion fruit puree and pineapple juice) which we thought tasted like a sunny holiday in a cup; closely followed by the Zombie (a concoction of rum, Cointreau and fruit juice. I loved that the cocktail were all served in different style cups and glasses.
I’m a real fan of the creamy cocktails so Passion Wagon (milk and cream plus melon liquor, passion fruit liquor, and passion fruit syrup) would have gone down well if I hadn’t been driving – although I was in the minority with this one.
Jo and I also shared a strawberry milkshake and a fruity mocktail of passion fruit puree, orange and pineapple juice. This one was a great substitute for the Coco Bongo, with a vibrant fruity taste.
At weekends, there’s more of a nightclub feel to the venue, with tickets available to purchase on the website. I’m not quite sure if that’s my scene these days, but as a mid-week night out with some mum friends, this was a good, central choice.
Thanks to Steinbeck and Shaw for hosting us.
Steinbeck and Shaw, Greyfriars Road, Cardiff, CF10 3DP