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Review: Bunch of Grapes, Pontypridd

(June 01, 2012)

Bunch of Grapes, Pontypridd

 

The Bunch of Grapes, in the once thriving market down of Pontypridd, prides itself on serving excellent quality Beer and Ales. They also offer tasty, honest and locally influenced dishes, winning them a number of accolades, such as Opentable.com's 2011 Diner's Choice, and consistently excellent reviews on the influential Trip Advisor.

 

Bunch of Grapes, Pontypridd

 

We visited on a Friday lunchtime, having arrived half an hour earlier than our booking (made on-line). We ordered drinks at the bar, sat on a battered old oxblood-red chesterfield in front of a lovely fireplace, as the bar gradually became busier. We perused the menu while enjoying our drinks, and were shown into the dining room as our booking time approached.

Bunch of Grapes, PontypriddThe comfortable lounge bar

 

The dining room is in stark contrast to the rather lived-in appearance (perhaps characterful would be a better word) of the bar. The 'specials' boards - black boards dotted around the modern dining room on which the specials were handwritten - were a nice touch, together with the drinking cabinet stocked with a excellent selection of quality brandy.

Bunch of Grapes, Pontypriddcaption 3

Bunch of Grapes, PontypriddRestaurant

 

To start, we ordered moule marinières (fresh mussels in a onion, cream and white wine sauce), and golden beetroot and pesto soup. Served in a generous, deep bowl, the mussels were delicious, with a very tasty sauce - as evidenced by my partners request to borrow my soup spoon once I had finished my soup! The golden beetroot soup was good, delicately flavoured and the pesto worked well.

 

Bunch of Grapes - moule marinières Bunch of Grapes - moule marinières

Moule marinières
 

Bunch of Grapes - golden beetroot and pesto soup Bunch of Grapes - golden beetroot and pesto soup

 Golden beetroot and pesto soup

We followed with gammon, home made chips and a fried duck egg, and with fish and chips. We also chose a side-dish of roasted organic vegetables. The gammon was seared beautifully, the duck egg cooked to perfection (perfect soft, dipping consistency) and the chips were also excellent, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. My partner enjoyed his beer-battered pollock, but felt it was let down a little by the fact the skin remained on the fillet (although this could just be a matter of taste, rather than a criticism) and was disappointed with the number of bones remaining. He agreed that the chips were excellent. I have to say that when it arrived it looked spectacular - the batter golden and very crispy - sat on a tower of the aforementioned excellent chips. To accompany the mains we had a selection of organic vegetables which were superb. The drinks were excellent and the service friendly and attentive, so much so, we've agreed to return to the Bunch of Grapes for a forthcoming family celebration.

 

Bunch of Grapes - beer-battered pollock Bunch of Grapes - beer-battered pollock

Beer-battered pollock

 

Bunch of Grapes - gammon and chips Bunch of Grapes - gammon and chips

Gammon, duck-egg and chips

 

Claire Meredith, 1 June 2011

Also by Claire Meredith:
     3 Pen Cei, Aberaeron; June 2012
     Escape 5* B&B, Llandudno; June 2012
     Photographic study of Myddfai; February 2011
     The Crown at Whitebrook; February 2011
     The New White Lion, Llandovery; February 2011
     Ty Mawr Mansion Country House, Cilcennin, Lampeter; December 2009
     George Thomas Hospice 'Style In the City' event; May 2009

All images: © Claire Meredith

 

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