Happy weekend, Cardiffians! I hope you are all enjoying the delicious sunshine that has emerged today – it really feels like summer is on its way, doesn’t it?
This post is all about the Riverside Market, which appears like magic every Sunday, just near the Millennium Stadium. Before moving to Cardiff, I’d already decided that one of the #mycardifflist items would be to visit all of the RCMA markets in Cardiff – that is, Riverside, Rhwibina, and Roath. Living in Cardiff Bay, the Riverside Market is only a short hop, skip and jump away – but until recently I’d never managed to make it there as we hadn’t been in Cardiff on a Sunday. Luckily, the glorious weather over Easter coincided with our first few weekends here, and both times I headed over to see what lovely things were on offer in the Market.
On my first visit to the market, we had made a lunch reservation at Porro (more info on their Sunday lunch here), so there wasn’t a lot of scope to stuff ourselves with street food. I was particularly gutted about this when I saw the Dusty Knuckle pizza van (still haven’t tried it yet – soon!) and again when I found the deliciousness that is Mr Croquewich! All good reasons to come back again though.
The market was a good size, with around thirty stalls offering an array of different delights; from fresh produce and eggs, spices, street food, cakes, coffee, charcuterie, crafts, bakery items, preserves and more. The place was packed with people wandering around the stalls and it just had a really nice casual atmosphere.
Even with the Sunday lunch reservation looming over me, I couldn’t leave without buying anything. With Easter on the way, we picked up an americano (or long black for you Aussies out there) from the ever-popular Coffee Am Byth, along with some lovely hot cross buns from Pettigrew Bakeries which would end up being dessert later on.
My second visit, on Easter Sunday, was rather more fruitful. Purposely not having eaten beforehand, I strolled down to the market ready for some lunch in whatever form the Market Gods were able to provide it for me. I was solo on this occasion, leaving the Returning Cardiffian (RC) at home in a darkened room after a slight over-indulgence at the CAM festival the night before. This left me free to wander and purchase basically everything I liked the sight of…
….including my first sandwich from Mr Croquewich. OH YES
Look at that magic right there!!
Say hello to the Glamorgan, filled with braised leeks, dijon mustard, bechamel and of course CHEESE. This has to be the best toasted cheese sandwich ever – and I have been to Kappacasein in Borough Markets on more than one occasion. Cooked to order, squished down with weights to properly grill to crispy perfection, Mr C has perfected his methodology. It’s making my mouth water as I type this and it’s only 9am…
In addition to the toasted cheese, whilst wandering around I picked up some other delights…
First up, (more) cured Italian sausages from Charcutier Limited – another pack of pork and fennel, and a new try of rose veal with lemon, thyme and black pepper. After my last attempt of cooking the pork and fennel sausages turned out to be an utter disaster (read: dried out mess), I also hit up The Charcutier for some advice on cooking techniques. Turns out that as these sausages are cured, they’re not really meant to be cooked like British sausages, and are better off as an ingredient (e.g. part of a pasta sauce), or braised with lentils or potatoes etc. I’m pleased to report that cooking attempt #2 was far more successful, using them in Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Jool’s Pregnant Pasta, which worked brilliantly. Score! I also then used the other sausages to make a pretty delicious potato-and-veal soup, speckled with a lemon-and-salt oil… I’d be feeling pretty smug about this one if only I remembered to remove the bay leaves before I pureed the whole thing….
I also picked up a bottle of smoky BBQ sauce, or should I say, Brybeque sauce. I’d seen Brybeque on Instagram and was really keen to try it, particularly once we got chatting and he made the suggestion was made about putting it on pulled pork and/or nachos and/or pulled pork nachos (oh how things can just come together). Just flicking through Huw’s Instgram is pretty awesome foodie inspiration, I particularly love the reposts on how people have used the sauce (for example, pulled jackfruit… what is this?! I have never heard of this but am going to have to hunt it down)…
Finally, I headed down the baked goods route for some lunch for RC and dessert for us both. Luckily, Pettigrew Bakeries still had some baked deliciousness left – I snapped up the last sausage roll (hickory smoked) and a Bombay bomb, filled with potato and spices. Pastry always makes a hangover better, right?
To finish off, I opted for even more baked deliciousness of the sweet variety from Dawn’s Pantry, another stall I’d seen on Instagram and was pretty excited about before even heading to the market. In particular, I was quite taken with her little Easter Malteaster bunny cakes but due to my late arrival at the market, they were all gone (!!). Instead I opted for a caramel and golden egg bar cake, alongside a creme Scotch egg – a creme egg wrapped in a chocolately, coconutty cake ball.
All in all, the Riverside Market has definitely been a hit for shopping and supporting local, and one I’ll definitely wander back to for delicious lunch and treats.
Until next time, Cardiffians!