Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Brunch at the Fino Lounge - Whitchurch, Cardiff

Ever since the Fino Lounge opened in Whitchurch six years ago it has been the place my friends and I meet. We love the Fino and yesterday we went for brunch/lunch for a catch up. I had a breakfast dish from the new menu and it was so good I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.

The Lounges are a chain of cafe/bars that have grown from the original Lounge which opened in Bristol in 2002. I love the idea behind them, there is something for everyone. They describe themselves as being  "informal, neighbourhood food led cafe/bars open all-day everyday where families, friends, and locals can come for a coffee, a drink, or something to eat in a relaxed comfortable environment". I find there are plenty of occasions where the Fino (or any other of the Lounges) would be a suitable place to go.

As I mentioned earlier this week, there are plenty of really nice places to go for a coffee in North Cardiff. The Fino is one of them. The interior is really cool (I feel a bit naff using that word, but that's what it is!). There's a mix of tables with benches and mismatched chairs and sofas. The walls are covered in vintage-style patterned wallpaper and a selection of interesting photos and mirrors. I love looking around at the walls whenever I'm there as there is always something I haven't noticed before. I've been to another couple of the Lounges and they are similarly decorated and all have a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Also they really feel like they have a character and personality, not just something created in an office that could exist anywhere like a lot of chain restaurants and cafes.

The Fino Lounge has a lovely, bright upstairs area with big windows that are opened in the summer. Its a great place to hang out. I don't want to say too much about it as no doubt it will feature quite a lot in future posts. I don't think I can understate how often I go there! Here's a link to their website if you want to find out a little more.

Yesterday I met up with some of my friends for lunch. We were going to meet in the morning and after having a little look at the menu several of the brunch dishes caught my eye. After we changed our meeting time to the afternoon I decided to take advantage of the fact that they serve brunch all day and ordered something new that has been added to the menu recently (they tend to change their menus several times throughout the year) called The Mexican.

Chorizo, peppers and chili in a tomato sauce with a toasted muffin topped with guacamole and two poached eggs. It was good. Really good. So good I can't stop thinking about it.

I don't really know what else to say about it apart from that it was one of the best breakfasts I've ever had (even though I ate at 2pm) and it will be really hard to ever try anything else from their menu. It was pretty hot so I would advise steering clear if you can't stand spicy food but I loved it. A beautiful balance of flavours and perfectly poached eggs. It was absolutely delicious.

My friends thought their food was delicious too. Two of them had a firm favourtie, Lounge Eggs (a toasted muffin with poached eggs, smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce) which they both enjoyed.

Another friend had the Halloumi and Muhammara Dip Panini (right) and the other one had the Twisted Chicken Club Sandwich (below). They both really liked their food and I can vouch that the chicken sandwich is good as I had it at the Arco Lounge last week. It was really flavoursome with a lot of different elements in it but not too complex that all the ingredients were lost (although when I had it there was very little guacamole which I was a tad disappointed about). Sometimes you can't beat a good old sandwich!

We all enjoyed our food and the new additions to the menu are very welcome (although we wish they would bring back the meatball panini!).

If you recommend anything from the new menu then please leave a comment below!

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