We sent award winning food blogger Kacie Morgan to review our favourite Cowbridge restaurant to sample the delights of head chef Matthew Eales.
Stepping into The Market Place restaurant in Cowbridge feels like taking a trip back in time to the 16th century, when the building was converted from a medieval home into a tavern.
The restaurant retains a homely, welcoming feel to this day, with oil paintings hanging on the rustic stone walls, low beams, warm lighting and a log fire to keep you warm as you relax in the comfy armchairs.
Created by talented Head Chef, Matthew Eales, the daily-changing seasonal menu offers a delicious range of meat, poultry, fish and vegetarian dishes, using locally sourced produce wherever possible.
A traditional starter of rich, smooth chicken liver parfait was accompanied by a tangy red onion marmalade and crunchy garlic bread (£6.95).
Following on from this, we tucked into a trio of plump, juicy scallops paired with creamy cauliflower puree scattered with chives, and delicately spiced black pudding (£9.95).
All the mains looked so good, it was a struggle to choose just one each to order. We eventually succumbed to the braised and rolled pork belly (£18.50). As we bit into the golden crispy rind, meaty, velvety juices oozed out. This was served with buttery, peppery mash, spiced apple compote, sausage meat stuffing and crackling so crunchy, the chef could probably hear us munching on it from the kitchen (£18.50)!
We also tried the steak – always a good indicator of a quality restaurant. A succulent 8oz sirloin was smothered in a piquant blue cheese butter, served with wilted spinach and an aromatic Rioja sauce (£22.95). Cooked medium-rare as requested, the steak had a perfect pink centre and the meat was incredibly lean.
To accompany our mains, we ordered a portion of dauphinoise potato (£2.95), consisting of layers of wafer thin potato slices interspersed with cream, with a subtle hint of garlic and a mouth-watering cheesy topping.
We were almost too full for dessert, so we shared the sticky toffee pudding. Moist and sweet, this was served with a dainty jug of sweet, silky butterscotch sauce and fresh vanilla ice cream (£6.95).
With cosy, old-world charm and staff that really make you feel at home, The Market Place is the perfect go-to for lunch or dinner as the days get colder and the nights get darker.
Monday and Tuesday: closed
Wednesday and Thursday: 12pm – 3pm (Lunch); 6pm – 9pm (Dinner)
Friday and Saturday: 12pm – 3pm (Lunch);
6pm – 10pm (Dinner)
Sunday: 12pm -3pm (Lunch)
The Market Place, 66 High Street, Cowbridge, CF71 7AH.
01446 774 800