The view over Cardiff Bay at night from The Admiral restaurant in St David's Hotel

The Admiral St David in Cardiff Bay is an Australasian and Pacific-inspired restaurant inside the sumptuous St David’s hotel. I was invited along to experience the menu and have shared my thoughts on the new style and what you should try…

The Admiral St David new design and seating with driftwood tables and sofas

Not to be confused with the insurance company, The Admiral refers to a navy chief as the restaurant holds a commanding presence over the passing little sail boats crossing Cardiff Bay.

View over Cardiff Bay and Penarth from The St David's Hotel outdoor terrace
Comfortable seating area inside The Admiral bar and restaurant Cardiff

A cool relaxed vibe has washed over the former Tempus At Tides restaurant with sofa seating, driftwood furniture and a fresh white, beige and mint blue palette.
Any ties to Wales hasn’t been lost at sea with subtle references like Roald Dahl-inspired cocktails and quotes in picture frames, and the nautical theme of course refering to the iconic Cardiff location.

Cocktail bar and restaurant in Mermaid Quay Cardiff

Whilst I really enjoyed my Afternoon Tea experience at Tempus, I think this new style will encourage casual walk-ins and longer stays.

The chicken laksa main course at The Admiral St David

51°27′ N 3°10′ W if you’re arriving by boat! The St David’s Hotel is five star luxury in Mermaid Quay with a Marine Spa, 142 bedrooms and over 10 function rooms for corporate events. The Admiral restaurant is located on the ground floor, just to the right of the grand hotel entrance. There’s a pay and display car park on Havannah Street and it’s around 10-15 minutes walk from the Wales Millennium Centre and the Bay train station.

Mermaid Quay night life viewed from The St David's Hotel

The Admiral restaurant menu

The Australasian menu brings something new to the city, taking familiar Welsh favourites like mussels and lamb and infusing them with far-flung flavours such as lemongrass, Korean bulgogi sauce and Loa tomato salsa.

Comfortable grey sofa seating at The Admiral restaurant

Mushroom wraps and dip

There’s a ‘Bar Menu‘ and ‘All Day Menu‘, the former having sandwiches and wraps (ideal for lunchtime snackers) whilst both offering a ‘Small plates‘ and ‘Large plates‘ section. Prices are around £4 to £14 for small plates and £10 to £26 on larger plates, excluding on the day market price for freshly sourced fish and Butcher’s prime cut beef.

Lemongrass marinated Welsh lamb with coriander cous cous main course at The Admiral St David Cardiff

Welsh beef carpaccio and beef bon bon

On the ‘All Day Menu’ I started my dinner with the succulent Beef bon bon on Welsh beef carpaccio and a colourful tomato and coriander salsa. Other options include Chicken satay with peanut sauce, Breaded Pant-Ysgawn goat’s cheese and Three tempura king prawns with chilli and garlic mayonnaise.

Three tempura king prawns starter at The Admiral

Glass centre piece with beach theme at The Admiral St David

For main I tried the Thai sweet potato curry with spiced vegetable rice, flatbread and tomato salsa. This was an enjoyable vegetarian option with a medium heat, although a cooling mint yoghurt or sweet chutney would’ve been welcome for balance.

Welsh Mussels main course

Thai sweet potato curry main course at The Admiral St David Cardiff

Thai sweet potato curry with spiced vegetable rice

I dined with Miss Nicklin who opted for the Welsh mussels and was perplexed by the unusual mix of flavours that gave the sauce a rustic taste. We both agreed the fries are very moreish and crispy with a coating of various spices.

Spiced fries

All eight desserts on the current menu are incredibly tempting, Clotted cream creme brûlée, White chocolate parfait and a Welsh cheese plate all make the cut.

Peach melba

Desserts at The Admiral St David restaurant

Lemon Tart

The peach melba sitting in a nest of chocolate was delicious and the Lemon Tart also got Hannah’s seal of approval.

Fruity mocktails

The drinks menu is loaded with seasonal draught beer, white and red wines from across the world (including Australia, South Africa and Chile) and they’ve stuck with Tempus’s choice of award winning Novus Tea.

Chicken laksa with egg noddles stir fried vegetables and topped with a fried egg

My favourite three dishes were the Beef bon bon starter, Chicken laksa and egg noddles main course and the Dark chocolate cremeux dessert. I tried some of the chicken laksa, noddles and stir-fried veg as it’s not something I usually have but it was really delicious. The cremeux dessert marries dark chocolate with mango sorbet and coconut – unusual, exotic and sums up the bold east-meets-west direction The Admiral is sailing.

Dark chocolate cremeux with mango sorbet and coconut crumbs

The Admiral St David
Havannah Street, Cardiff
(+44) 02920 454 045

Disclosure: My dining experiences were complimentary of The Admiral in exchange for this honest review. 

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