Ever since I first came across Nant and the good reviews associated with it on Trip Advisor, I have been trying to visit. But given its limited hours, especially in the evenings (was twice a week, now only once), it was almost impossible to sort out a booking due to work commitments. Now that I’m back working on this side of the bridge, it was a case of finding a Thursday evening that worked for us (and was available). So, after booking a table almost 2 months prior, we were finally seated at a table at Coleg y Cymoedd’s Nant Restaurant.
The restaurant staff is almost entirely made of students studying at the college. Under the supervision of a chef, aspiring student chefs are responsible for all the dishes served on the menu that changes weekly. The place is simple and almost resembles a standard college or hotel mini seminar room, with all the focus on the food offering.
Keeping things simple, the set menu has about four starters and mains each, and two desserts with allergies and special requirements catered for. A glass of Bramble (£3.95) was fairly strong but refreshing with fresh blackberries and just the right amount of crushed ice.
Duck spring rolls opened things on the food front with a bang. This was nothing like the puny spring rolls that one comes across most Oriental restaurants in the country.
Faggots in a pea and mint gravy was tender and meaty but had a bit too strong (pate like) taste for my liking, although that’s also because I’m not a fan of pate and offal. H had no issues in polishing it off.
A mound of slowly braised beef was tender and fell apart for most of it except for some parts that were a bit on the dry side. I think this was also because there was very little of the bacon sauce to moisten it. Creamy mash was spot on with not a lump in sight. A side plate of cooked veg was done perfectly; none of the overcooked mush that one sometimes comes across at restaurants.
We finished things off with an apple tarte tatin each. The sticky caramelized apples and pastry base combined beautifully with the cinnamon crème and ice cream.
Service was friendly and attentive, with the students showing no signs of nerves. At the end of the evening, the student chefs went around each table and explained who was responsible for different parts of the menu and discussed feedback with the diners.
Now for the best part; this delicious and well presented 3 course meal offered astounding value at £13.50. You’d struggle to find a main course for this price in a lot of places in the city.
We enjoyed our meal at Nant. Food of this taste and quality (those spring rolls topping the charts) at the price point is rare. Go ahead and get your booking in; evening slots do fill in quickly so I wouldn’t wait if I were you.
Address: Heol y Coleg, Nantgarw CF15 7QY
Hours: Lunch – Tue, Thu, Fri: 12pm – 1 30pm
Dinner – Thu: 5 45pm – 8 30pm
Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org / 01443 663050