The Head of Steam Opening Night

rhidixonblog lifestyle blogger house of steam

Last Monday, my blogger wifey Liz from Things Liz thinks invited me to the grand opening of the new The Head of Steam pub/bar and restaurant which opened in Cardiff to the public last Tuesday. At the opening we got to sample some of their beers which they’re renowned for, as well their sweet cocktails and their delicious food!! There are 15 other Head of Steam pubs located across the UK such as in Nottingham, Liverpool, Hull and Birmingham.

The Look
Visually Head of Steam is stunning. It’s mostly wooden interior which gives it that warm, friendly vibe and it makes it feel soo welcoming. The bar is downstairs which had a carefree, laid-back feel to it and as I was looking around everyone was relaxed and enjoying themselves! There wasn’t much in terms of lighting downstairs, it was very dark and taking images proved to be sightly difficult. Upstairs where the eating area or the restaurant is it’s a different story all together – it’s a lot brighter, it’s a lot more intimate and it’s a lot more quieter than it is downstairs so if you want to eat your food in peace, just head straight upstairs. It’s the same interior as downstairs – wooden, warm autumnal colours but what caught my eye was what i’m calling the beer light!! It was amazing! Like a green, hippie version of a chandelier!! A lot of the decoration were beer logos and retro alcohol adverts ( which obviously fits since The Head of Steam have been vendors of great beer for the past 15 years) and even their taps were beautifully and uniquely decorated. Everything was well designed to the tiniest detail to make you feel welcome.

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The Drinks
With Gin and Juice providing us with every Gin in the world and The Alchemist giving us cocktails that take 20 minutes it makes perfect sense to have a bar specialising in beer amongst the clan. I’m not a beer drinker at all and I’m absolutely gutted since that they had beers called ‘Raging Bitch’ as well as ‘Doggie Style’, but unfortunately I’m a spirit girl. Luckily they also have a cocktails menu which I was dying to try out!! I had three cocktails all together and they were;

Peanut Butter Old Fashioned – Bulleit Bourbon mixed with Peanut Butter syrup and Angostura Bitters. Mine came with a slice of orange drowning in sugar and some fiery flame. I love peanut butter and I honestly couldn’t wait to taste it!! Verdict – Absolutely stunning!! It had such an after kick to it but it was divine!! You can taste the peanut butter but it’s not overpowering!!

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English (Welsh) Garden – Tanqueray Gin, elderflower and prosecco. Mine was garnished with strawberries, a cucumber slice and some mint. Verdict – Loved it!! Very sophisticated and you could really taste the prosecco too, soo strong!! If they want to want to turn it into a Welsh Garden they need to stick a big, massive daffodil in it.

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Steamy Martini – Absolut Vanilla, Passoa and sugar syrup, mixed with Orange Juice. Served with a side of Prosecco. Obviously there was piece of fruit swimming in my cocktail (I’ve forgotten the name of the fruit). It tasted like a classy Pornstar Martini but the syrup wasn’t thick, which you can get with a lot a sweet, syrup based cocktails.

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The Food
The food was absolutely delicious!! There is an excellent array of carnivorous, vegetarian and vegan dishes for everyone. It’s good that restaurants are making their menu vegetarian and vegan friendly. It’s nice to have variation in their menus. We decided on the tapas and some skin-on fries and sweet potato fries. It was 3 dishes each for £12 which is a good price for Tapas and each dish came with it’s recommended beer pairing. My three dishes were;

Pulled Pork Tortilla – Soft tortilla with shredded gem lettuce, sour cream and spicy pulled pork. Beer pairing = Belgian Dubbel. I despise sour cream with a passion but I absolutely loved it mixed with pulled pork. Have a napkin at the ready because it’ll get very very messy.

Chicken Skewers – Lemon and herb or maple and chilli with Tzatziki. Beer pairing = English Golden Ale. I was soooo good!!! I didn’t really attempt the sauce but the chicken was peng ting!!

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Japanese-Inspired Squid – With a salt and pepper coating and Teriyaki dip. Beer pairing = Weissbier. Honestly some of the biggest, thickest chunks of calamari I’ve ever had! They were absolutely mouthwatering!! The teriyaki sauce was a bit too sweet for my taste and it was really thick but it was tasty.

Special Mention Dish
I tried some of the other dishes on my table and I thoroughly enjoyed the sweet paprika chorizos in glazed honey with it’s beer pairing, IPA. It was soo sticky and succulent. Oh my days it tasted absolutely incredible!!

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The Head of Steam is officially open to the public. Great atmosphere, great beers and drinks, great food and staff who know their shit!! Visit their website here and pop in to your local!

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