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“Mums the word” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Puerto Restaurant

El Puerto Restaurant
Marina, Penarth CF64 1TT, Wales
+44 (0)29 2070 5551
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Ranked #27 of 51 restaurants in Penarth
Price range: $67 - $67
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Angouleme, France
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Mums the word”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

We arrived on a dull day to be shown to a nice table overlooking the Bay of Cardiff. Pleasant staff brought us the wine list and menu then ensured we understood the "system" we do. I didn't think one of the Grand Crus at up to £1,400-ish was quite what I was planning, so we had one of the House rose's, dry crisp and pleasant, house wines these days are usually very good (though still overpriced) so I drink the Grand Crus (occasionally) in the house and buy them in France! Now onto mothers birthday, Mama started orf by informing us that the elephant in the Kruger park was quite within its rights to turn over that car because "People wind down their windows and shout silly things at them" Yup its gonna be that kind of day, BUT I concur- what are we doing shooting elephants we invade and upset? But I digress, back to lunch. I had the Mackerel McGuire or something similarly named to start. Very nice too, served cold with a light salad and soft onion in olive oil, I loved it. Mind you it must have been easy to catch judging by all the fingerprints around the side of the plate. Should rename it Sherlock Shad- oopps mackerel. Why do most restaurants finger the plates so heavily ? Its sweat on the china and it wouldn't happen in my house! Moving on. Blondy had bacon wrapped in beans and said it was lovely. The starving artist and my Mother had vegetable soup which they said was very nice- even though the waiter dodged the question as the whether it was a Spanish recipe heh. For mains me and Mum had the Lamb with jackets, veg and mint sauce. I would have said it was well done when I like it a bit pink (they should have asked) but my mother described it as just right, well it was very nice so no complaints. Blondy had cod in batter- beautifully fresh and nicely cooked she said, Starving artist had Spanish lasagna! He loved it. This was the £10.95 for two courses lunch menu and very good value. Pub chains and trendy corporate themed ....cookeries charge as much for bog standard pre cooked mediocre.....stuff. The ladies had pudding, raspberry meringue and ice cream, said it was very nice- while we had more coffee and wine. Total £83 quids- plus a tip of course if the job is done well for four was good value. The table staff have improved in the Martinez chain, well done chaps it was emotional.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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172 reviews from our community

62% Recommend
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
wales
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“works xmas party”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

WE had our christmas party at this venue. Even though we were a table of 18 people the service was good. The restaurant was very full and we could not have expected more. The food was very good, however the vegetables accompanying the mains came to late. Other than this we all enjoyed a good evening

  • Visited December 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Cardiff, United Kingdom
1 review
“not welcome”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

I went with my family to El Puerto just before Christmas,as we had many times before-this time the guy behind the bar was too busy talking to a customer to serve us, he looked at us and carried on talking, even the customer he was talking to looked embarrassed.
We went to our table and the waiters couldn't wait to process us through, we ordered, we ate, two waiters tried to clear the table before my husband had finished eating.
The food was good but the evening was 'brief', impersonal and I doubt I would rush back
Not the same as it used to be!! The food may be ok but the service -awful

  • Visited December 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Barry, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Excuse Me?! ”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

Visited as a party of 4 - our twin daughters' 19th birthday treat and felt like we'd let them down badly. Reading the reviews on here I truly wondered if we were in the correct establishment?
Our visit began well enough, arriving early we were shown our table, I say shown but this was actually done by the placing of a wine list on a table, it being pointed at and told "you're table XY, go order your drinks at the bar". This should have given us the flavour of what was to come.
We sat at our table and after around 10 minutes a waiter came and removed the wine list, though I don't recall being asked if we wanted any wine?
After waiting some 20 minutes and no attention we called a waiter over who quite dismissively pointed us in the direction of the counter where our order would be taken (with the menus on chalkboards high on the ceiling) - very much like well known fast food chains! The similarity to those establishments continued with the disinterest shown by the chap behind the counter.
We ordered 2 starters and 3 steaks from the main menus in addition to a 2 course lunch special.
The starters arrived in reasonable time, one of two incidents of expected service levels were attained at this point in that our daughters' intention to share their king prawn starters was recognised and addressed. The quality and flavours of the starters was fine, not the standard expected, but at this point the bitter taste of disappointment had yet to spoil our meal entirely.
Then along came the main meals ... Oh. Cue sinking hearts, 2 of the steaks arrived on sizzlers; Hateful things spitting juices and fats all over the recipient of the meal. To add insult to this heinous act the steaks were accompanied by 2 leaves of iceberg lettuce and a quarter wedge of tomato - both cooked to sludge on the sizzlers. If there had been any indication of this at the point of order then there would have been a request to be given proper plates - our third steak was on a standard plate due to being submerged into a sauce better served on the side. The pork loin special was not as the menu indicated- rather was a piece of leftover pork leg - or rather pork fat from a Sunday lunch with a packet stuffing in the centre. Due to the disdainful disinterest of the staff member who took our order we all ended up with chips with our food, no additional vegetables! 2 metal dishes of chips were placed at the end if the table, which our daughters remarked were nice size portions and tucked in, a few minutes later with the failure of a waiter to arrive with what we assumed were our portions... The realisation that we were meant to share 2 portions amongst 4 was disappointing to say the least.
The steaks were fine, again, nothing spectacular - in fact have eaten better at steakhouse chains, and the pork fat with hard parsnips and packet stuffing mix was dire. Despite leaving one almost full plate there was no expected standard question asking if we were happy with our meals?
Despite the poor service to this point, and largely down to the paltry portions or was it the shock of being presented with menus listing dessert we did order 4 desserts. These were the highlight of the meal in that they were substantial portions of sweet delights.
During our entire experience we never encountered the same waiting staff more than once. After waiting more than was acceptable we had to summon a further waiter to request the bill, and for the first time ever outside of a fast food joint we did not leave a tip - an action we have never felt compelled to take. For 3 starters, 3 steaks a 2 course lunch special, 3 desserts, 3 soft drinks and a vodka and lemonade our total bill came to £136, had the service and standard met our expectations we would have considered this reasonable, as it was, we could have had a much better experience in a chain restaurant for less than half the cost.
Our overall impression was that this establishment assumed that we would be 'one time only customers' and in return this became a self fulfilling prophecy due to the disdainful manner in which we were treated. My husband is grateful to the staff in a small way for this, as had our expectations been met then we may have returned a number of times in the future as we like to use any occasion as an excuse to dine out.
To add insult to this, as we were preparing to leave (the empty tip tray not yet collected), as I was stood behind my seat and collecting my coat from the back of the chair (!!!) one waiter barged past me knocking me forward slightly without so much as an acknowledgement!! Well well well!! Excuse Me kind of sums it up really!
Never again, and will not recommend for any part.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Outstanding, attentive service with the warmest of welcomes!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013 via mobile

I can honestly this is one of the finest restaurants I have ever been to.
Having a passion for high quality food I was overwhelmed to see that all the food was sourced locally. The food was excellently displayed and treated with the care it deserved.
The atmosphere was fantastic and the vast wine collection (largest outside of London) ensured the evening was perfect.
The restauranteur personally visited our table to ensure we had enjoyed ourselves and the service was as required (it was exceptional).

I would very much recommend visiting El Peutro for any occasion as it simply is the best restaurant in South Wales.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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