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Can Zaman - A Great Lebanese Restaurant in Cardiff
How we ended up at Can Zaman
Me and my husband took a wander down City Road one night looking for somewhere different to eat. As there are new places popping up all the time we figured we would find somewhere. City Road is well known for being full of independantly run ethnic restaurants and take aways from all over the globe, it is a great place just to walk down if you don't know what you fancy eating, but want to try a new cuisine. I knew of Can Zaman but was a little worried the food would be too spicy for me as I can't eat anything too hot, but after reading the menu figured we would give it a go. It is Lebanese speciality food and it looked very nice.
It is situated more to the top end of City Road so is easily within walking distance of the City Centre. So if you are looking for somewhere a bit more interesting to eat than the usual chain restaurants you will mainly find in the city, this would be a great alternative for great food at a good price. Perfect for a pre-rugby meal or maybe a pre theater meal if you are going to see a show in the New Theatre.
Have you ever eaten Lebanese Food?
Mon-Thu, Sat-Sun 9:00 - 23:00
Fri 14:00 - 23:00
116 City Road
Cardiff CF24 3DQ
029 2048 2824
Where to find it
Just a few photos - to make you hungry!
Decor and Apperance
The outside isn't exactly that appealing, very plain, almost white washed walls, plain arched windows and the restaurant name in chunky wood. It is very rustic and typical of a traditional lebanese/moroccan building though, so I assume that is why they did it. The upstairs windows are all covered over with a criss cross fence type wood though that I find a little bit of a turn off - inside is very different though!
The decor on the inside on the other hand is lovely, very colourful and lots of intricate looking painted panels and really heavy dark wood tables. Mosaic areas and coloured glass lanterns give it an almost Moroccan feel. Seats are either chunky wooden chairs or benches covered in beautifully weaved fabric. They even have patio heaters and real plants to give it an outdoorsy feel. It is beautifully clean as well, which is a big point for me. Oh and the bathrooms are all tiled nicely too! I like to check out bathrooms, it says a lot about the rest of the place!
The kitchen is open plan onto the restaurant, which is nice to see, as you can see how clean it is. And you can watch them preparing different dishes which is always interesting. They use a number of ovens, hotplate hobs and even what looks a little like a traditional stone pizza oven to cook breads. It is nice to see the chefs at work as it adds a more authentic feeling to the meal, you can see it isn't all pre packaged and microwaved. It's nice to see a proper chef at work.
The Staff and the Service
We were seated as soon as we entered so no waiting around and were served by a lovely young gentlemen. I can't eat spicy food so had asked him how hot the food would be, he was very helpful and suggested we order the cucumber and yogurt salad to help cool if anything was too hot. But he said most of the menu was only very mildly spiced (he was right!)
The staff are very polite and attentive (but not in that overly pushy way some places are). The table was cleared promptly when we finished and drinks were replenished easily. It has always been faily quite there when we go, about half full so there is usually only 2-3 serving staff and 2 chefs.
The fruit juices and smoothies are all prepared by the serving staff on a special bar area, which again is open into the restaurant so you can watch your yummy drinks being blended up and see it is nearly all fresh fruit and very little juice or concentrates going in.
Overall the service is great, I wouldn't change it at all.
The first time we went it was just me and Jon. We ordered 2 fruit juices, the pineapple and the Mango which were beautiful (they only serve soft drinks - no alcohol). The starters are like Meze dishes so very small (so we were informed) so we ordered 2 portions of the lamb meatball and 2 cheese pastries (cant remember the real names sorry) which are £1.25 and £2 a portion respectively. We then both ordered the Mix Grill as I had read reviews saying it was good and we wanted to try a few things. At £11 each I figured it was reasonable - I now change that view to incredibly well priced as the portion size was huge! There was so much meat that we ended up taking half of it home for our housemates to try!
The Mix Grill consisted of 2 chicken wings, 1 large lamb Kofta (cut in 2 to fit on plate), 1 large chicken Kofta (cut in 2 as well) 1 lamb shish and 1 chicken shish. On a bed of rice (or chips or half and half as we did) and a salad of cucumber, tomato and onion. It was all delicious and cooked perfectly! I will say the Kofta's were a little spicy for me (it has chili flakes in) so I had to add the yogurt but the Shish were beautiful. I would probably have that next time we go.
The only little criticism I would give is that the wait between finishing our starters and getting our mains was a little long compared to other restaurants, but when I saw how much meat there was and how well it was actually cooked I forgave them.
We have been a few times since then as well, and have taken all our parents too, they love it just as much as us. So we have now tried a few of the other starters - all are really good. And my mum and sister tried 2 different meals when they came with us. The curry with a tomatoe base is amazing, only a little kick of spice but so arromatic - and a lamb and veggie pattie type thing which was beautiful too.
The Daisy Rating
So I would definitely give it a 4 star and advise anyone to try it if they like Lebanese or Greek food or fancy trying Lebanese. In total we had 4 starters, 2 mains, 1 yogurt side, 3 juice and 1 can Pepsi. which came to £38. Which I think was pretty good considering the quantity of food we had.
How I rate Can Zaman Restaurant
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