Cwtch: St. Davids Michelin Restaurant

Address: 22 High St, St. Davids Wales SA62 6SD United Kingdom— Get directions
Website: cwtchrestaurant.co.uk
Telephone: +44 1437 720491
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 3

Pronounced “cutch” (as in crutch), and meaning “hug” in Welsh, this restaurant is considered the best in St. Davids. Cwtch has earned a Michelin Plate status for “good cooking.” TeamMago’s first impressions were less than stellar or even bib. Did the paper napkins and paltry pair of bread rolls compel the infamous inspectors to relegate Cwtch to the ignoble “simple standard” of a single crossed fork and spoon?

Things got better for MagoGuide (and presumably Michelin) with the starters.

Smoked haddock and laverbread fishcakes with tartare sauce

Smoked haddock and laverbread fishcakes with tartare sauce: were nicely fried,  the mixture of lightly smoked fish with minimal filler was improved  with very good bespoke tartar sauce.

Cwtch

Leak and potato soup with croutons and crème fraiche: The soup’s nice delicate flavor was supported by a judicious use of  crème fraiche, but it needed salt and a more robust stock base (a good dose of pig candy would have elevated the dish).

The appies paired nicely with a 2015 Cormoraine, Dud de Morny, Picpoul de Pinet that delivered nice apricot fruit, brassy notes, and a long finish.

Rolled shoulder of Welsh lamb with courgette and chorizo hash, green beans and carrot ribbons, red wine jus and salsa verde

Rolled shoulder of Welsh lamb with courgette and chorizo hash, green beans and carrot ribbons, red wine jus and salsa verde: a classic French approach, the shoulder was braised then crisped in a hot oven so that the lamb had a delicious mahogany crust yielding to a soft and unctuous inside. The dish came with two sauces. The reduced braising liquid was very good and correctly seasoned, while the salsa verde was thicker than a classic British mint sauce and way better for it. The sides were a mixed bag. The hash was great, sporting piggage plus decent heat (at least decent for Wales). The beans and carrot dish sucked, thrown together, undercooked/seasoned—what was the point? Just give me more of that hash, dude.

10oz Welsh ribeye steak with slow roast tomato, mushroom duxelles, balsamic shallot and beef dripping, and chips

10oz Welsh ribeye steak with slow roast tomato, mushroom duxelles, balsamic shallot and beef dripping, and chips: was correctly cooked to the requested medium rare. However, throughout our trip TeamMago never really liked the local Welsh beef. It lacked flavor (due to insufficient marbling) and was on the tough side. The meat was also under seasoned, making the sauce poive, which cost extra, a necessity. Balsamic leeks were nicely caramelized, a good effort. The tomatoes were under seasoned (as usual, gotta have salt on grilled maters dude). Decent chips that needed salt (again, again). The duxelles was quite good, classically made with fresh shrooms. The Michelin Plate designation would seem to derive from the kitchen’s competence in classic bourgeois French cuisine.

The proteins found a friend in the house Rioja, which sported decent cherry fruit, a touch of terroir, and a long finish.

Bottom Line: We enjoyed Cwtch, but it didn’t meet our expectations. Service was good but harried. Presentation was well above average but portions were huge, precluding the possibility of Cwtch’s nice looking desserts.



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Morgan Hart

MagoGuide.com was launched in 2011 as a website and virtual storefront to showcase Patti's software and Morgan's content. Dedicated to slow travel, culinary excess, and ripping good yarns, MagoGuide is the digital scriptoria for the Mago Scrolls, Morgan's historical fiction series about the Punic Wars in general and one Mago of Syracuse in particular. Although Morgan has written a great deal of non-fiction over the years in the form of specialized journal articles, book reviews, op-ed pieces, and (his personal favorite) the most unpopular coffee table book in the history of the planet, he always viewed himself as a happily frustrated novelist. Get more information about Morgan's novel and travel writing at our Products page.

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