Introducing the Milkwood Small Plates Menu by Chef Cornel Uys
We’re pleased to hear that Milkwood in Pontcanna has launched a new Friday & Saturday night small plates menu, designed to showcase the head chef’s signature style of cooking.
Established as one of the most popular brunch spots in Cardiff, Milkwood regularly packing in 140 covers a day and delights with dishes like homemade waffles with fried chicken and maple syrup; and the breakfast bhaji bun, with avocado, cucumber & mint, mango & chilli ketchup, and coconut yoghurt.
Now, a new Friday and Saturday night menu has been created by Head Chef Cornel Uys, giving him a chance to flex his creative muscles; the menu will change with the seasons and reflect what the kitchen is enjoying experimenting with at the time, leaning on modern British fine dining with nods to the East.
Milkwood co-owner Cerys Furlong said “We’ve handed the reins to Cornel and he has complete freedom to choose what goes on the evening menu, and to just get stuck into the type of cooking he loves.
For us it’s great, as it’s also an opportunity for the younger members of the kitchen team to put their own ideas into practice, giving the next generation of chefs a chance to develop.”
The evening menu features technically impressive dishes like miso marinated cod with cauliflower, lumpfish roe, pickled mushroom & chicken dashi; and the melt-in-the-mouth short rib of beef with onion, shitake, and pepper dulse.
And there’s still a playful nod to the daytime brunch offer for which Milkwood has become locally loved; like the homemade hash browns with rosemary and pecorino cheese, and the Mangalitza black pudding, with hen’s egg, lardo, and pickled walnuts.
Chef Cornel said “The beef short rib is my favourite dish to cook at the moment, it takes four days from start to finish, including a two-day brine and a slow braise – by the time it reaches the plate it just melts in the mouth.
This small plate menu is just a chance for me to have fun and do what I love doing most and hopefully, make people happy in the process. It’s not that I love cooking, I’m addicted to it!”
Originally from South Africa, Cornel never went back after his so-called gap year, instead honing his craft and feeding his new passion in prestigious Scottish country hotels. Over the next 11 years he worked his way up to Head Chef at Ardanaiseig Hotel, earning his first 3 AA Rosette in 2013.
After initially training as a Chartered Accountant, it only took Cornel Uys a couple of years to realise that numbers were never going to be his passion. When a ‘gap year’ hospitality job in the UK saw him pulled from the front-of-house into the kitchen one night, he found his true calling.
He moved to West Wales in 2015, and was awarded his second 3 AA Rosette in 2020 at the Castell Malgwyn Hotel, where his reputation for imaginative use of ingredients and flavours also secured them a spot in the Michelin Guide.
Then in March 2020, the lockdown hit. After a short stint in Belgium, Cornel returned to the UK and settled with his family in Cardiff – a place he says feels more like home than anywhere else he has lived.
Cornel joined the Milkwood team in 2021, heading up the kitchen to help owners Tom & Cerys Furlong and Gwyn Myring through a turbulent summer of COVID restrictions and erratic opening. In 2022, his cooking at Milkwood saw him named one of The Caterer’s ‘ones to watch in Wales’ as part of their feature on fine dining across the country.
To find out more, see the full menu & book a table at Milkwood, visit: https://milkwoodcardiff.com/menu.
By Jane Cook | Jane Chico Mendes