Friday, 25 February 2011

Ha Ha Bar & Grill

The Friary, Cardiff [map]

Hmmm. A bar cunningly disguised as a multi-storey car park. Not a tactic we would have necessarily employed ourselves, but there you go.

We don't quite understand why they stock bottles of Peroni and Stella given that they already have them on tap.

And another thing: what's the point in having a bottle of beer at all if you can't stick a wedge of lime in it? (A word of advice - don't ever stick a wedge of lime in a bottle of Stella.)

This is one of those places that thinks it's a lot hipper than it actually is. Come on - exposed brickwork? How 20th century is that?

As the '& Grill' element of the name suggests, it's a set-up that caters as much for dining as it does for drinking.

Indeed, if you're looking to achieve maximal refreshment (as we inevitably are), this probably isn't the place for you.

If, on the other hand, you're in the market for a farm-assured chicken breast, topped with melted mozzarella and crispy serrano ham, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and rocket pesto, served on seasonal potatoes and green beans, in a rich cherry tomato sauce, then you've made a wise choice.

Rich cherry tomato sauce or otherwise, there's something peculiar going on in the toilets. There's no soap to speak of, yet there's an abundant supply of hand & body lotion.

It's the sort of hygiene-to-moisturising ratio that, frankly, alarms us.

Since our visit, Mitchells & Butlers have shut Ha Ha - it's currently being refurbished and is due to re-open as Browns Bar & Brasserie in late March. Let's hope they use it as an opportunity to sort out the soap situation in the men's loos, if nothing else.

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