Since moving to Penarth last year, I've tended to frequent the same few places to eat; the new Pier 64 in the Marina, the tiny Japanese San Kai which I constantly rave about, La Marina at the Custom House, and Ocho Lounge in the town centre.
However, Penarth is teaming with other places to visit so in the interests of research, I'm going to make a more concerted effort to try some new places and report on their foodie offerings.
So far, I've amassed the following. Do let me know if there's anywhere brilliant you think that I should try.
* The Fig Tree - I've heard mixed reviews but am intruiged by their chef's evenings and vegetarian Mondays. I'm also a sucker for places with sea views so their spot, on Penarth Esplanade, is enough to tempt me in.
* Cafe des Amis - Only noticed this place nestled next to the Washington Gallery a few weeks ago. Tea and cakes by day, candlelight and some tasty-sounding dishes by night mean that this is probably number one on my list.
* North Meets South cafe - Located at the top of Windsor Arcade this offers a range of interesting burgers and dishes from various cuisines and South African theming. Intruiging.
* Villa Napoli at the Glendale Hotel - The website promises an award-winning Italian experience whilst the menu offers a comprehensive range of dishes and a well-priced set menu.
* Neale's Restaturant at Holm House Hotel - A confession: I've looked for this hotel on Marine Parade a few times and never been able to find it. But once I do I'll be raring to try their Welsh inspired menu including dishes like Wild Sewin, or Welsh Pork Filler with Gwnt Y Draig cider, Carmarthen ham and mushrooms.Grady Atkins was their Head Chef before his recent move to the Park House in Central Cardiff.
* Jaflon - A Bangladeshi restaurant on Albert Road that was recommended in a Wales Online survey of best Indians in the area. They say "The lamb tikka starter is beautifully sweet and crispy on the outside and tender all the way through. The side salads are perfectly presented, the main course curries all haveconspicuously different, and interesting flavours and the service is polite and friendly". And that's good enough for me.
* Last but not least, The Olive Tree on Glebe Street. Recommended in the 2011 Michelin Guide and with a Head Chef trained by a chef from Le Gavroche, it's certainly on my do-to list asap. There are the usual A La Carte menus, an epic looking Sunday Lunch, and an early-bird option of 2 Courses £13.50 and 3 Course £17.50 before 7pm or 2 Courses £18.50 3 Courses £22.50 after 7pm.
If you've never ventured to Penarth to eat before, I recommend it. There's a range of choice and cuisine on offer as well as some great places to drink. That, however, is for another post...