72-74 Whitchurch Road
Phone: 02920 345114
Open Tues-Sat 6-10pm
After a successful holiday to Zante a few years ago, my partner and I have developed a bit of a taste for Greek cuisine. We were, therefore, delighted when Groupon offered a recent deal of a two course dinner and a glass of wine for two people for a reasonable price of £16(total value of £40).
The Aegean restaurant on Whitchurch Road is a long walk or a short bus ride from the city centre (depending on your laziness) but we found it well worth the effort to trek out a little further.
The place looks authentic, with plain white walls, tiles and some Greek music for atmosphere. It has an open kitchen, which I always like, and the staff were plesant and attentive throughout the evening.
We kicked off with some calimari for me and saganaki cheese (Kefalotyri cheese fried with honey) for the mister. Without the Groupon deal these would set you back £4.80 and £4.50 respectively. My calimari wasn't the best I've ever eaten but it was piping hot, plentiful and just the right side of chewy and certainly better than some I've had in other Cardiff places. The cheese and honey, however, was delicious, both sweet and dry and the portion was very generous. It was divine with a squeeze of lemon. We also ordered some houmous with pitta (£3.90) which was clearly home-made and full of chunky chickpea. Our only issue was that the starters took quite a while to arrive - almost 30 minutes which was a little too long. However, the dishes were worth the wait and the main courses suffered from no such time delay.
When in Zante I had become addicted to Kleftiko, a dish of lamb, vegetables and cheese. The Aegean version was different to what I'd had in Greece but was delicious, offering diced leg of lamb, cooked with in the oven in greaseproof paper with carrot, potato thyme and garlic, topped with melted mature cheese (£13.50). Opening the greaseproof paper to reveal the dish inside was a nice moment of anticipation and the lamb and potatoes were perfectly cooked, moist and tender with a good amount of flavour from the herbs and garlic. It took me back to balmy evenings on the Greek island, as did the dry Greek wine we ordered with the meal. The Mister opted for Lamb Souvlaki, which came served with pitta bread, salad, and a healthy dollop of tzaziki, and was equally well cooked.
Although full I couldn't resist the dessert of champagne and raspberry torte (£4.50), which was full of creamy mousse, sponge and raspberried. Not too sweet but with a kick of champagne, it was a good end to the evening.
Overall, aside from the slightly disappointing calimari and the longer-than-average wait for the starters, the Aegean was a good experience. The food reminded us of the dishes we'd tried in Greece, suggesting a good level of authenticity, and the cheese and honey starter and my Kleftiko were particularly tasty. We'll definitely be back for another visit to try some of the other Greek dishes or the mezze.