Tag Archives: Food and Drink

Review, Coppa Club, The Cardiff Townhouse by James Ellis

 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Cardiff is seeing many fine eateries and places to be seen over the past few years. What recently caught my eye was the Coppa Club in their first flutter into Wales. It was all very exciting, a part of the timeless David Morgan building would be brought back to life.

I know the space well, my brother worked at the Moss Bros which was the past proprietor. Arriving to the club you could detect the faint whiff of new furnishings and new renovation smell (this was their tenth day of trading), though I’m sure that will go with time. I had little time to take in the space downstairs, which appears to just be for drinks and nibbles, the soft, autumnal colour scheme and cosy seats looked promising.

It’s wonderful to see the old glass dome upstairs still be in the space, this is where the Gatsby like bar now resides. I was served a delectably smooth espresso martini, I rarely fall into vodka though I’m thrilled I did here. A perfect way to be welcomed in, I cant recall which vodka was offered though I did clock Grey Goose and amongst others. A grip with the bar is that the mountains like stools are extremely heavy and only swivel a certain amount if degrees. The layout of the bar is a clever use below the dome, though the golden, mushroom lamps block a large amount of space in the bar’s surface. I should also point out this is not a club per se, no membership required.

A highly amusing moment came when a customer asked me where the toilets were, I had chosen to dress up this night. A barman passed remark how smart I had come, which as always nice. I do remain a bit disheartened when people don’t dress up at a restaurant. The music was a little to dance heavy for dinner, though volume levels were graceful. Sat in the corner with a view of The Hayes, a slight sight of scaffolding couldn’t be helped as it was next door. Quite simply lit, the dining area we frequented felt right in mood, the seats comfy and the table standard for two. The folded paper art work had me intrigued, stylish if uninspired, the patterned prints were fairly more alluring.

The squid to start was a fine thing. Cooked well, tender and with a fitting sauce, the food was off to a great start. As my main, this might be the best steak I’ve ever had. Dry aged for 30 days, I couldn’t believe my luck. Cooked to perfection as medium rare, some fries were crunchy and a side salad was heavy on dressing, though a fine garnish. The Béarnaise sauce is not quite my flavour, but that’s on me. I should have done a classic peppercorn sauce. I’ll regret that thoroughly. My plus one had the yellow fin tuna, trying some it was pink on the middle as it should be, tender and juicy, some potatoes and olives added depth to the plate.

All desserts were veggie, but no chance for a vegan this time from what I could see. I was recommended the sticky toffee pudding, which I wouldn’t usually pick. It was the honeycomb crumbs which finished this pudding, the rest was finely balanced. Wine choices of red and rosé added colour to the meat and fish choices, I was thrilled to have a cappuccino with skimmed milk, something which not every place has.

The staff need a massive shoutout, as some of the friendliest and alert I’ve encountered in the dining world. Some personal stories thanks to my plus one opening up, lead to insights and advice. We even got some holidays tips and recommendations. We were looked after so much and the staff are really selling the place. It’s one of their strongest assets.

One question remained after I had left: where exactly was the kitchen in the club? I saw neither chefs nor kitchen setting. There was little chance of it being upstairs and I recall the ground not as not being huge either. Having said this, this was a wonderful night, filled with joy and generosity. The Coppa Club is becoming one of the places to go in Cardiff. We are going back for a birthday soon, I’d imagine.

The Coppa Club, The Cardiff Townhouse, is now open for reservations and drop ins.