Tuesday, 11 November 2008
21 Trinity Street, Cardiff [map]
Like a faux Irish phoenix rising from the ashes, the Trinity Street branch of O'Neill's is again open for business after it almost burned to the ground on 3 June (and threatened to take half of Cardiff with it in the process).
The blaze was caused by a pan fire that reached the kitchen's ducts, which were full of grease. That tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the catering here. The fire was fierce enough that the roof was destroyed.
The bar, which was originally known as the New Market Hotel, has had a general spruce up but it's hardly a radical redesign. It's what you could call middle-of-the-road chain pub chic.
We finally tried the new Guinness Red for the first time. It's sweeter and less heavy than proper Guinness. It's an enjoyable tipple although they might as well have named it Guinness For Girls.
As well as the extensive seating and various nooks downstairs, there's a separate upstairs bar, although the tables are a bit close together for our liking.
If you can cope with the cacophony of fiddle-based music that's endlessly piped in and the slightly fishy aroma (it's next door to the market), this is a decent spot for a couple of pints. But if you smell smoke coming from the kitchen, run.