Arriving around 2pm one Thursday during the Festive season, the place was buzzing – family and friends, couples, ladies who lunch and business colleagues all enjoying a leisurely lunch. At this time of day there is a well priced menu available all afternoon until Pre Theatre supper, offering two courses for under £ 15.
All the usual seafood suspects are here – Shellfish bisque, Mussels, Prawns, Haddock & Chips, with one option each for meat eaters and vegetarians.
For the ideal appetiser, nothing tastes more like the sea than fresh Oysters. Specialising in Scottish shellfish since 1995, Cumbrae farm their Pacific rock oysters in the Sound of Cumbrae, North Ayrshire. Sample a couple or half a dozen, as you wish, with either Vinagre de Jerez and shallots, or a chilli, ginger and coriander dressing. The perfect accompaniment of course is ice cold Fizz, with Laurent Perrier champagne (£10.25 a coupe) or Cava (£6.95)
As the culinary theme of Cadiz is “Seafood & Cocktails”, the bar tenders have concocted innovative tipples such as Pink Sea (vodka, cointreau, grapefruit), Bloody Gin with a dash of sherry and red wine, and Cadiz Mojito (Bacardi, Fino sherry, mint, lime and Cava). I’m sure Hemingway (who created a big game fishing contest in Cuba and was partial to a Mojito), would have relished this.!
From the wine list, there are seven white and four red house wines, mainly from Spain and France and a zingy and crisp Chenin Blanc from South Africa, which we sampled; Rose wines and choice of Sherry to add an authentic taste of Spain.
As one of my favourite finger licking good starers, I selected Calamares Fritos, served here with a spicy breadcrumb coating and smoked paprika alioli. Unfortunately, this was a plate of rather dry, deep fried tentacles, instead of tender, juicy squid rings. Across the table, my partner Ken had Grilled Asparagus with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. A curious dish for the winter as British asparagus is only in season during Spring and therefore this was probably imported from Peru.
For main course I selected Spanish Tortilla, a classic Tapas dish, featuring potato, onion and red peppers. The latter however amounted to just two very tiny cubes hardly perceptible in this large mountain of an omelette, served with a green leaf salad. Ken meanwhile was digging into his Baked Seafood, a hearty fish pie stuffed with Salmon, Cod, Mussel topped with Saffron potatoes and Manchego cheese crust.
We were also stuffed after these two courses, so declined Dessert – such as Crème Catalan, Chocolate Brownie, Cheese. We sipped our wine and finished with a double espresso instead. For dinner, the A la Carte menu has a more extensive range of seafood, including Crab Cakes, Scallops, Lemon Sole and Lobster, as well as Scottish ribeye and fillet steaks for the carnivore.
This is very much a Bar and Restaurant, where drinkers are welcome to call in and take a high stool at the Bar for Champagne, Wine, Spirits or one of their speciality Cocktails along with perhaps a sharing plate of six or a dozen oysters.
If you are planning a special birthday party or celebratory meal, the private dining section seats ten to fifteen guests.
Having opened in the summer 2016, Cadiz has quickly attracted a great fan base, going by Trip Advisor reviews. With its prime location on this smart shopping street, it's stylishly designed to create a casually sophisticated place to eat and drink day and night.