Ostro (Peri Peri) – CardiffHALAL STATUS Fully Halal
Located a 5-minute drive from Cardiff University on City Road, it’s obvious that a lot of thought and consideration has been put into decking this place out.
In contrast to the dark exterior, the inside is bright and airy, with strikingly attractive blue and red neon lights that help make this an inviting place.
Having recently opened in March, this ultra-spacious 120-cover eatery appears to be styled after another leading South African chicken brand we all know of.
There’s nothing more satisfying than lusciously thick shakes. This pair of Oreo and Kinder Bueno were certainly premium, with the former having greater depth of flavour.
A portion of Garlic Bread that was over toasted with barely any garlic to speak of. Pretty poor!
With plenty of salad on the side, which included red and black olives as well as cucumbers and tomatoes, this starter was let down by Grilled Halloumi that was overcooked and, thus, rubbery in nature.
A Mixed Green & Feta Salad that was super fresh, with grated carrots, red onions, tomatoes and sweet corn contrasting well against the saltiness of the cheese and the slight sourness of the drizzled dressing. Next time we’ll try the chicken version.
BURGERS & WRAPS
While the chicken was relatively juicy, the sauce appeared to have either collected at the bottom of the wrap, or wasn’t evenly distributed to begin with.
In any case, this Peri Breast Wrap was decent enough without being anything memorable.
A good quantity of perfectly cooked chicken thigh topped with a large dollop of pepper relish, and nestled in between a lightly toated bun that was as soft as you’d want, ultimately defined this surprisingly tasty burger.
With a slice of cheese that might as well have not been there, and some cucumber, red onions and lettuce that offered textural contrast, this was one of the better chicken burgers we’ve had in a long time, and one that we’d recommend all the way.
We don’t tend to go for mild owing to the fact that… well, it’s mild. On this occasion, we’re glad we did, because we actually got to taste not just the quality of the chicken, but also the beautiful charring they’d achieved.
This was gorgeously moist and succulent, with the charring managing to impart a smoky edge with each given bite.
In all honesty, this full platter easily stands up to its rival over at Nandos both in terms of its cooking and marination. Dare we say: this was better!
With the medium we opted for being just as good, the charring was again wonderfully judged, with the griddle marks standing true and proud, and the chicken tender, moist and extremely satisfying.
And, of course, you can enjoy all this with five varieties of bottled sauces – Leon & Herb, Mild, Medium, Hot, and Extreme – all readily available at a strategically designated location.
Now, the chicken platter comes with two sides, 2 bottomless drinks and two dips, viz. Garlic Herb and Chilli Mayo.
While a Whole Chicken alone costs £11.99, said full platter will set you back £17.99, and two full platters £27.99.
It’s obvious too that the pair of sauces are inhouse made, since not only was the consistency of both fairly viscous, but the taste of both strong and robust.
In the end, it was the Mint Garlic which stole the show for us – absolutely delicious!
This well executed Spicy Rice has an Indo-Pak pilau quality to it, with gentle heat throughout.
More impressively, this didn’t betray any signs of being reheated, which in our experience many top restaurants often fail to conceal. Very nice and a top side option.
This was a good portion of chips, or fries, which had a fluffy interior and a crispy exterior.
These were also floured with the restaurant’s “famous” peri peri salt, providing that touch of spice and heat.
It ought to be noted that the desserts here are not homemade; and sadly, it’s obvious too!
While this warmed-through Chocolate Fudge Cake was, in terms of texture, more a brownie than anything else, it definitely needed the relatively smooth vanilla ice cream to breathe some life into it.
On the other hand, these white chocolate flavoured Cookies with ice cream were by far the best of this mediocre bunch, with the cooked cookie dough, despite having a slightly gooey centre, being served fairly dense and hard.
As such, the soft and whispy-smooth ice cream was again called on for rescuing.
Nope; this Strawberry Cheesecake was wrong in so many ways! The topping was more dense and whipped cream in texture than cheese, with the layer of gelatinous strawberry jelly on top a right turnoff.
And with no crumbly biscuit base to speak of, not only were the proportions of each layer misplaced, but the scoop of ice cream entirely out of place.
- YES/ NO
- DISABLED FACILITIES
- CHILD SEATING
- JUST EAT
Not only was the all-important boneless chicken and chicken platter both on par with their rivals, but the chicken burger was miles better too. In fact, that burger was one of the most flavourful chicken burgers we've had in quite some time.
While the desserts really do let this place down badly, they've excelled in what they set out to do: serve Nando-style grilled peri peri chicken.
And with a fully Halal menu, this definitely should be on your list of places to visit when next in Cardiff.
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