It is always refreshing to see passion in a restaurant. The food is more enjoyable, if the staff actually care about what they are serving you.
Eat.cn falls into this category of restaurants.
The style of food and the layout of the restaurant is one you could imagine seeing off a side street in Shanghai. The authenticity of the restaurant cannot be disputed. The emphasis is placed on sharing and a mix and match format.
With this in mind we ordered.
On advice from the waiter we ordered the Salt and Pepper Squid, which is apparently a favourite among the customers. We also ordered the shredded pork with Kimchi and the beef in Sichuan pepper and chilli sauce, accompanied by Egg-fried rice.
The squid was really tasty and you could see why the Eat.cn faithful enjoy it so much. It was a snack-style main course, with a delicate balance of seasoning. The squid, which is notoriously hard to cook to perfection, was chewy (as it should be) but still retained the flavour.
It was one of those dishes you would love to take home in vast amounts and just sit and pig-out in front of the TV, while you ate it.
The shredded pork with Kimchi had a fairly sour taste to it and looked a bit like a broth, but the vegetables mixed in with the pork gave the dish a degree of stability. Pork can be a hit or miss meat in Chinese cuisine, but Eat.cn has done well to promote it.
The beef in Sichuan pepper and chilli sauce was a seemingly fiery dish. The beef, which is worth mentioning, was very tender and had clearly benefited from being immersed in the Sichuan pepper and chilli sauce. There were so many spices in this dish. It would be optimistic to try and name all of them, but they worked well with the beef. It was by no means short of flavour.
Eat.cn had a very authentic feel to it. It felt like a small part of a busy Chinese city had been brought to life in Cardiff, but with a modern-twist to it.
The service was excellent. The staff were attentive and obviously pleased to be working there, which is always a reassuring element to any restaurant.
There are over 100 dishes on the menu and there are a substantial variety of dishes, to basically suit any palette.
Authentic Chinese cuisine, with a modern twist.
Price: £23.50 (3 courses between 2 people, including service)