Hokkei Cardiff 

I recently found out about a takeaway set up in Cardiff by two Masterchef finalists and so on my last night here before going back to Brum (yay!) I decided that I couldn’t pass up the chance to try it. Having tried food from other Masterchef contestants, I had some pretty high expectations. The interior itself was surprisingly cute: After we ordered, we were offered free green tea while we waited, which I thought was a really nice touch. Another nice touch was that one of the owners, Larkin, was there and was involved in the kitchen, which I thought was really great to see. Quite often you can get the impression that people run food businesses with little passion for food themselves, so seeing the owner ‘get his hands dirty’, so to say, was a bonus.

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We decided to have a dim sum and a curry each. I chose triple fried crispy fried beef followed by a lamb curry (which was called a Wooly – the most adorably named curry ever!).

The beef was amazing, in a really rich delicious sauce. The beef was delightfully crispy, and the sauce was a tad sticky, which I really liked. It was so rich that it could easily be shared between two, but of course I rose to the challenge of eating it all myself.

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Next was the lamb curry. Oh mygod. It was so good! Being Welsh, I know my lamb and I have high expectations. The lamb was cooked to perfection, and just melted in my mouth. The portion was really generous – always a good thing-  and again it was absolutely beautiful. Quite often in a meat dishes, vegetables are ignored and left out, so it was good to see that there was a decent handful of vegetables mixed through.


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There was a wide range of vegetarian options, which my mother loved. She opted for tofu and quinoa dim sum and an aubergine and tofu curry (this one was called a Genie!). Of course, I stole a fair amount of both.

The tofu and quinoa was really light and fresh and I wanted to steal far more than a couple of mouthfuls! I often find that tofu can be a bit hit and miss, either far too soft, where in my opinion it can be almost slimy, or with a good texture, but a tad bland. This was neither. The addition of quinoa meant that the tofu wasn’t slimy at all.

In comparison with my dim sum, this was a great starter, whereas mine felt like it could have held its own as a main dish.

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The Genie  curry had a delicious coconuty sauce which had a little bit of a kick. Aubergine is one of my favourite vegetables, but if cooked wrong, can absorb all the cooking oil and become chewy and greasy. I was therefore delighted that this wasn’t the case this time! There was a generous amount of mixed vegetables in there too, which added a nice variety to the curry. There was a really good amount of tofu in the curry too which was definitely a bonus.

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I’ve already decided that next time I’m going to try one of the baos – either the Piggy or the Moo (the names just get cuter!) – and I can’t wait to bring him here during the summer – although I do wish a branch would open in Birmingham!

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