On a dank and drizzly recent Saturday it felt like winter had come early to Cardiff. So what better time to while away a cold November day than lunch at a local gastro-pub? The Long House at The Tumble near Culverhouse Cross - formerly known as The Traherne Arms - was a welcoming beacon of warmth; close enough to the city, with unsurpassed views and a menu to put the ‘awe’ back in autumn.
Chef-proprietor Andy Aston – formerly of Wood’s Brasserie, but most recently to be found at Pentyrch’s Kings Arms - fulfils all comfort-food needs with a light, unpretentious touch. The menu is a mix of perennial pub favourites - fresh meat pie, fish and chips - and enticing Welsh seasonal fare.
I could easily have chosen all dishes on offer, but plumped for the duck to begin; as wild and as local as a bird can be, it was brought in by the local shoot. Perfectly presented and moreishly moist, with roast butternut and fennel-infused jus. My partner’s crispy pig with apple and black pudding was immediately hailed as a hit. Polished off with some crackling and a soft boiled egg; such stuff a glutton’s dreams are made of.
Having ravished both our starters, I decided to stick with the Raglan pork, as the Welsh tenderloin is one of the Chef ’s specialities. The flavours, delicately balanced - which included sage and apple kale - were offset with the juicy, briny burst of a plump king scallop. My partner’s rump of lamb, in comparison, brought the flavours of the Middle East to the table; placed on a bed of roasted aubergine, with cumin and coriander crust, it was a hearty and delicious dish.
‘Contractually obliged’ to pick a pudding, or two, the classic sticky toffee pudding was impossible to resist. The treacle-toffee flavoured treat was topped off with vanilla ice cream, and although a towering sight to behold, it was polished off with glee. But the star of the dessert show was the Snickers fondant, paired with a dolche de leche parfait, pannacotta and a crunchy peanut brittle-style praline. A gorgeous grand finale to a lovely leisurely lunch, in a cosy historical country inn with a fabulous future ahead.