Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Tag Archives: Filini

In the kitchen at The Filini

Being a food blogger certainly has its perks. Lately I have been invited to lots of events and I consider myself very lucky. However, a recent invite to spend the evening in the Filini Restaurant Kitchen got my very excited indeed. I often get to eat lots of lovely food at events but I rarely have the opportunity to see how it is made so I jumped at the chance.

The Filini is based in the Radisson Blu in Cardiff and is run by head chef Mattias Wenngren. I have eaten in the Filini before and the food was very good so I was very keen to meet Mattias and find out more about his menu and how the dishes were made. I love cooking so I thought this would be a great place to pick up some tips.

Joined by fellow food bloggers Fastingfoodie and Cardiffbites and a journalist from the Western Mail, we were greeted and shown into the kitchen where our first task was to sample a generous display of anti pasta and a glass of Prosecco. The delicious range of cured meats, cheeses, breads, olives and sun-dried tomatoes were a taste of the quality to come. The whole evening was very laid back with some instruction on how to make dishes but mostly tasters of the menu and some of the chef’s own creations.

First up was a very quick demonstration of how to make Pannacotta which were to be devoured at the end of the evening. After this we moved onto a courgette salad which was so tasty and so wonderfully simplistic that we all vowed we would be making it for our lunch that week. How many of us stuck to that I wonder?

Following this we had a go at making a squid salad and while we tucked in, Mattias knocked up a very quick sauce-less pizza with Rosemary oil, honey, prosciutto and parmesan which was also very enjoyable. These dishes were followed by rack of lamb cooked beautifully with a medley of mushrooms, a strawberry risotto and a crab pasta. The crab pasta was so simple and so wonderful that I went straight to the supermarket to buy the ingredients to make it the next day. It’s since become our favourite ‘quick dinner’.

Faces were pulled at the suggestion of strawberry risotto and Mattais admitted that it wasn’t something that he would be able to put on the menu at the Filini but personally I loved it and would love to see a restaurant in Cardiff offering adventurous dishes like this. The flavours worked well together and although strawberries were a key ingredient, it was still a savoury dish. I think Mattias is a bit of a Heston in the making and I would love to try more of his unusual flavour combinations.

We finished the evening where we started, with dessert, and feeling full and content we headed off into the night. I think this was a great idea and I would welcome the invitation to do something like this again. Being in a restaurant kitchen was a great experience and very different to how I imagined it would be. Mattias is a talented chef and the Filini have a great menu which I can now try at home!

Filini at The Radisson Blu- A great hotel restaurant.

This week, we were lucky enough to be invited to review the Filini Restaurant at the Radisson Blu in Cardiff City Centre. I was recently invited to The Radisson Blu’s 2nd birthday event where we had some beautifully presented canapes so I was looking forward to trying the menu.

When we arrived, we found the restaurant on the first floor next to the bar. The bar and restaurant were separated by a giant drinks cabinet which was a very nice touch as although the floor was open plan, the restaurant was very much a separate affair. It had a calm and relaxed ambiance with clean-cut contemporary decor. Large square tables were nicely laid and the staff keep it all immaculately clean.

We sat down and ordered some wine while we browsed the menu. The Filini is an Italian restaurant and sold the standard dishes that you see on most Italian menus but some different ones too. For our starters, we chose the carpaccio of beef and a dish of asparagus with a poached egg, shallots and capers. Both were very nice. My egg was cooked perfectly as I like it runny and it oozed out and covered the rest of my dish when I cut into it- lovely!

Our starters

For our mains, I chose Sea Bass fillet with potato cake, sautéed spinach and mussel juice and Ben had a rack of lamb with rosemary and black olive crust. Both were very well presented as were all of the dishes.

Ben’s lamb was cooked exactly as he asked and the herb crust was tasty and complemented the lamb. My Sea Bass was also very nice but I think it was a bit under seasoned and the mussel juice was a little too subtle. I would have maybe been less critical if it wasn’t for the excellent presentation.  I love well presented food, it’s like art but when the standard of presentation is so good, the food really needs to deliver, it raises your expectations.

Deserts were lovely and again came beautifully presented with phyllasis’ adorning the plates. I chose sorbet because I was full from the generous sized meal and it was very nice, especially the blackcurrant one. Ben had tiramisu which came in a glass. It was very good but the coffee flavour was a bit subtle.

Staff were very attentive and polite. It was a Sir and Madam affair. The restaurant seemed to be very much catered for business people which is to be expected in a hotel restaurant. The service was perhaps a little over attentive for my liking but it maybe what a business executive is looking for and this seems to be the market the Filini is aiming at.

Overall, this is a very nice hotel restaurant. If you were staying at the Radisson Blu, you wouldn’t need to venture into town to find good food which would be a real bonus if you were on business or on your own. Even for a Tuesday, the restaurant was quite busy and I assumed most of the people there were guests. Some people were dining alone and they looked perfectly comfortable and relaxed. Dishes varied in price so whatever your budget, you could find something to suit you. Wine was quite expensive but it was good quality. overall, a very good hotel restaurant.

Sea Bass with potato cake, sauteed spinach and mussel juice

 
My last mouthful was: Rack of lamb with rosemary and black olive crust
 
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