What makes Dinas Powys’ The Humble Onion special?
Because make no mistake- it is.
It’s the details, we think. It’s the way the food manages to be both unfussy and skilfully done.
It’s the warm service from a team obviously proud of what they do.
In the little village in the Vale of Glamorgan, chef Antonio Simone has made something quite (but quietly) lovely.
Things here are done with a light touch and a lack of show. But don’t let that fool you into thinking this is cooking you’ll forget in a hurry.
The dishes may often feature only a few things on the plate. But food this good only works when you use excellent produce, and have enough confidence in it (and yourself) to resist messing around with it too much.
So this is where you come if you enjoy food which delivers exactly what you want on each plate. Whether it’s fat, sweet, meaty prawns served simply in a nutty brown garlic butter, or baked sardines and a herby aioli, or a crisp-coated egg sitting on top of a tangle of spiced celeriac, until the soothing yolk breaks all over it. Perhaps you’re more interested in tenderstem broccoli tossed with sriracha and toasted hazelnuts, or exemplary chips with golden edges where the hot oil plays to make them snap and crunch. Perhaps you’re still thinking of the bread, crisp and light, that you dredged through herby oil and thick, sweet balsamic. Perhaps it’s hard to pick a favourite: we won’t judge.
Whether you eat meat or not, there’s plenty for you here. And you know it’ll be seasonal and skilful, because the house style is to let the food speak. That means avoiding over elaboration, to cook what’s in season and to give it some love, and having the confidence to serve prime ingredients in a way which lets them take centre stage.
This is the kind of place every village, every town deserves but not all of them get. It’s the sort of place which makes you wish you lived just around the corner, so you could drop in whenever the fancy took you. And it would.
The Humble Onion is humble in more than name, all delivered with real talent but no fanfare. So allow us to shout on their behalf: this is beautiful cooking, and should be on your ‘to visit list’ as a priority.