T’is the season to treat yourself when dining and where better than the decadently decked out ETC in Penarth? Despite being extremely dubious of fish as a rule even my interest was piqued by their “over-reacting salmon” with gold leaf and “shaken but not stirred” King Prawn martini (any kind of James Bond pun will usually prick my ears up however!) and I wasn’t disappointed. The lavishly decorated Victorian building looks like it would be at home on a marina in Spain from the outside and inside is Sam Sparro’s dream with black and gold throughout. The menu itself is a delight to read and I made sure to try all three courses to confirm my assumption that we were in for a good feed!
Let’s start with the drinks menu. I usually veer clear of cocktails, especially when eating as these days more often than not they are over-priced, under muddled and contain very little alcohol, tasting like the sugar plum fairy has thrown up in paint stripper. Not at ETC they don’t, although were probably a little much to go with my food. All my own fault for being greedy, but the wine was equally delightful and I’d go with a bottle when eating again. You can of course sit by the bar for cocktails and make your way through the drinks menu without worrying if you’re leaving enough space for dessert.
On to food. We started with some Noise of the World whilst we waited for our third diner to arrive, which was essentially a jazzy chutney tray and just enough to get us started. I then opted for the shaken but not stirred, a martini glass with king prawns in a paprika sauce with separate rice with bread to dunk. These were prawns on steroids with big flavour to match, even the rice was tasty and the bread was welcomed for mop up at the end. One of my dining partners had the over reacting salmon which packed a punch and looked fantastic with flecks of gold leaf. The other opted for two dishes from the starter menu, both of which were delicious however if you’re hungry you should go with three, as she was left begging for the dessert menu. We finished off the meal with some “would you adam and eve it” which is basically a deconstructed apple crumble, complete with pistachio crumb. Despite probably tasting the same if it was served as a whole pie this was one of the few times I was pleased with overlooking the cheese board. Service was warm and friendly and the bill was very reasonable bearing in mind we trucked through both food and drinks menus between three of us! You’ll probably see me there in the new year as I’ve just spotted Camel burgers in the new menu!
If there is anywhere you’d like to see reviewed in the new year do let us know as we’re always looking out for new places to eat out!