Catering for the Cardiff Devils, professional boxers, and offering a successful home-delivery meal plan option, Pure Kitchen – currently under the creative reins of experienced chef Christopher Lewis – is rapidly rising in notoriety amongst the healthier citizens of Cardiff for delivering fresh, tasty food without the added calories.
I must admit, when I first heard the words ‘healthy living’, I wasn’t filled with enthusiasm. Still, if there’s food involved, I’m there, so off we head to Cardiff Bay to test Pure Kitchen’s Christmas specials – it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.
Walking through the doors, you’re met with a welcoming atmosphere. Fairy lights make for a cosy environment and the staff couldn’t be friendlier, without hovering. In keeping with its healthy living mantra, there is a walk-in salad and juice bar on the ground floor, with several window-facing bar stools providing a perfect space to sit and people-watch.
On arrival, we are ushered up to the restaurant on the first floor. Climbing the winding staircase, you’re accompanied by a stunning angle of the Wales Millennium Centre. The view doesn’t go away as you enter the wide space, filled with huge windows to let in the natural light.
Once we’re sat, our waitress brings over two glasses of the ‘Christmas Cooler’. Managing to be both festive and fresh, this drink is a tasty burst of freshly squeezed orange juice, with a dash of cranberry and topped up with prosecco.
One sip and you can taste the freshness of the ingredients. The flavour expands inside your mouth, a citrusy tang fading away to showcase the perfect amount of prosecco – subtle, but enough to leave a slight tingle behind.
Beautifully presented in a polished prosecco glass with a garnished mint leaf, this crisp Christmas delight is excellent to enjoy with a group of friends or during a cosy lunch with a partner.
Our Christmas Cooler is followed by a smoked salmon salad. Served on a bed of crisp salad leaves (no iceberg lettuce in sight), mixed with chopped fresh tomato, red onion and sprinkled with crunchy walnuts and peppers, the dish is drizzled with a delicious vinaigrette and topped with thickly cut, generous (huge, actually) whirls of smoked salmon.
My immediate impression is how fresh everything is – you can immediately tell that these ingredients were chosen that morning (and, on, asking, I’m proudly informed that all ingredients come from local suppliers too). The overall dish is a big helping, and at just £6.99, I would highly recommend.
Our second course is a sandwich. This isn’t just a turkey sandwich though – this is a carved turkey sandwich, served in two halves of a hollowed out freshly-baked warm cheese loaf, layered with herby stuffing, sausage meat and salty smoked bacon, with rocket closely packing any gaps. This is served on a large dark wooden chopping board – no ordinary plate will do for this marvel.
However, the sandwich itself isn’t even the best part – this masterpiece is served alongside glazed, cranberry-infused gravy which pours over your sandwich and turns it into something closely resembling the best Christmas dinner ever. If you’re not keen on the bread, PK also offer lettuce wraps as a healthy alternative. With either option, you won’t be left hungry.
Hands down, this was the most interesting, inventive and just plain tasty sandwich I have ever eaten, and as a lunchtime Christmas special, I couldn’t recommend any better. The two halves are more than enough to split between two, and at £7.99, I was very close to ordering another to take home and have for tea. Melt-in-the-mouth but still leaves a good feeling
Pure Kitchen is wholly committed to catering for those of us devoted to a healthy lifestyle, without sacrificing flavour. Every dietary requirement will happily be catered for, and the menu changes regularly to allow for new ingredients coming into season. Chris Lewis has designed an excellent menu which appeals to all while still using healthy techniques.
With the Christmas specials running throughout December, you’ve still got time to head down to Pure Kitchen for a festive lunch – I’ll probably see you there.
Words By : Hannah Claffey