Food Review | Grady Atkins at Paysan, Bloc Cafe, Cardiff
Right now, you’re probably thinking, ‘I’ve heard so much about Paysan at Bloc Café. I’ve been told it’s all about French influences, about flavour and unpretentious execution… but this? You’ve chosen to highlight beef with carrot and mash? Really?’
So let us confirm that yes, you’ve heard right. That’s exactly what Paysan does. But (and this is the key bit) what you are served is- and we are struggling to think of a better way to put this- the carrotiest carrot, the beefiest beef, the mashiest mash.
Take them in order then: a roasted carrot (organically grown locally of course) is roasted with thyme and garlic. That telltale Paysan touch? It isn’t washed and peeled until the last minute, to keep it fresh, before it’s boiled in just enough salted water to cover then let dry naturally before being finished in the oven.
The onglet from butchers Oriel Jones- they raise the animals themselves on their West Wales farm, so you can be assured of impeccable provenance- and treated with such respect its look has more of the ruby red of venison than your pallid, insipid supermarket beef.
And the mash? It’s mash but mash as you rarely have it: the potatoes are baked, not boiled, and then get intimately acquainted with so much butter that it becomes something luxurious. The humble spud elevated to remarkable levels.
Nothing is wasted- the skins are dehydrated and used as a seasoning powder for Thursday’s steak-frites nights. And that’s Paysan in a nutshell: simple pleasures delivered in a way which demands thoughtful appreciation. The attention to detail? Anything but simple. That’s why we love what Grady Atkins is doing at Paysan, and why we think you will too.
There are now very limited tickets left for the April events (click on each date for availability)- on the 3rd and 17th– but if you can manage to wait until May, tickets are also available for the 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd. However, if waiting simply isn’t an option, steak-frites nights are walk-ins only from 6pm every Thursday. Enjoy!
Address | Bloc Cafe, Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff, CF5 1JN