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“Superb dining with warm friendly staff”

Restaurant James Sommerin
Ranked #1 of 70 Restaurants in Penarth
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$35 - US$115
Cuisines: European, British, Welsh
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, View, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Welcome to restaurant james sommerin with rooms james and louise would like to welcome you to their first restaurant, "restaurant james sommerin with rooms" situated on the esplanade in penarth. The restaurant has the luxury of having panoramic views over the severn estuary which sets the scene for a very relaxing dining experience. "we aim to create a dining experience our guests will not forget"
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Superb dining with warm friendly staff”
Reviewed 1 September 2014

This restaurant is everything Cardiff and Penarth need. Very high quality food from friendly, knowledgable and welcoming staff.

We visited the restaurant to celebrate our anniversary on a Sunday and had the three course lunch menu. When we arrived we were welcomed and offered the chance to enjoy a glass of wine in the lounge area before being shown to our table. The restaurant has brilliant views without feeling like you are dining in a goldfish bowl. We had 3 different amuse-bouche all of which were flavoursome. My husband and I ordered different dishes for both starter and main course all of which were flawless.

The raspberry souffle was the tastiest dessert I have ever had the pleasure of eating with an amazing (if not unusual) rosemary ice cream. To our surprise, and gratitude the restaurant kindly provided us with a selection of small desserts to say congratulations on our wedding anniversary. This was a lovely touch. We definitely recommend ordering the coffee as the petit fours are worth it in themselves. The most amazing mixture of flavours from bubblegum to passion fruit.

In our opinion, considering there is nowhere else in Cardiff/south Wales that comes close in terms of quality, the cost of the meal was fantastic. 5 glasses of wine between us and the three course meal each including the extra £4 for a cheese board dessert came to £104.

We will definitely be returning and have already recommended the restaurant to all of our friends.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank David F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JSommerin, Owner at Restaurant James Sommerin, responded to this review, 13 September 2015
Dear Guest

Thank you so much for taking the time to review us after your visit to Restaurant James Sommerin last year. We thank you for your custom and would like you to know that your comments have been helpful in driving us forward since we opened, and in helping us know what our customers value. All our team were so pleased that you enjoyed your visit and look forward to welcoming you again.

Best wishes,
James and Louise Sommerin
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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698 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cardiff UK
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Utterly divine!”
Reviewed 31 August 2014

We had been promising ourselves a meal here (having had a wonderful dinner at The Crown at Whitebrook, his previous establishment).

We went for the Cinio (lunch) menu & we were not disappointed.

We were served a taster of cheesy panacotta with haddock (in a tiny jar) plus a beautiful nibble on a stick with our drinks, then an amuse bouche of chicken liver parfait, truffle brioche & apple.

The menus tell you only the ingredients, so how the dish will actually arrive is wonderfully mysterious! We both had beef cheeks, peanut, soy & broccoli to start. The beef cheeks had been cooked in a water bath & were falling-apart tender with seared broccoli, broccoli puree, peanut brittle (yes!) & a soy drizzle. Due to the large picture windows, I was sadly unable to lick my plate without an audience though I sorely wanted to.

The main course of pork, cauliflower, date plus another ingredient I have forgotten was fabulous. There was pork loin plus a crunchy cube of pork shoulder, which was sweet, crispy, savoury, melting & delicious.

For dessert I had raspberry, rosemary, olive oil. This took the form of a raspberry soufflé (heavenly), with a rosemary ice cream on the side. I WANT THAT RECIPE!! My partner had plum, rice, apple, cinnamon which appeared as the most fantastic rice pudding there ever was, topped with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream, plums & a cinnamon caramel crisp sail. Beautiful.

If we thought the food would end there, we were mistaken. We received a complimentary dessert plate to share (pineapple, liquorice, almond) which was again fabulous.

The petit fours with coffee had a kids' sweets theme - bubble gum panacotta, rhubarb & custard mousse, white chocolate/coconut truffle & a macaroon I suspect Parisians would fight over.

This restaurant is fantastic.

It is expensive (three course lunch is £34 per person) but it's worth the outlay for an occasion. Its truly great.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank TheNoble1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JSommerin, Owner at Restaurant James Sommerin, responded to this review, 13 September 2015
Dear Guest

Thank you so much for taking the time to review us after your visit to Restaurant James Sommerin last year. We thank you for your custom and would like you to know that your comments have been helpful in driving us forward since we opened, and in helping us know what our customers value. All our team were so pleased that you enjoyed your visit and look forward to welcoming you again.

Best wishes,
James and Louise Sommerin
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wales
Level Contributor
202 reviews
163 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
“Lovely food. Lacking warmth”
Reviewed 31 August 2014 via mobile

We had been looking forward to this visit for a while. The food did not disappoint at all. This restaurant is deserving of its reputation for some of the best food in the uk. Parma violet ice dream blew us away and the tastiest lamb I had had for a while. We had the 7 course tasting menu. The amouse bouche with truffles was just stunning. It's only failing is its staff. The service was impeccable, but it was cold and frosty. Attempts to engage in small talk were clearly not the done thing and were met with curt responses. Maybe they just need a bit more free reign. When I said goodbye to the waiter he looked terrified. When you go somewhere like le manoir you are made to feel like a guest in someone's home. You want to feel welcome when you are shelling out £250 + for lunch. Add this to the clinical decor and you didn't get that. Could not fault the food at all though. I'd go back again for the food alone.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank collegefield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff
Level Contributor
43 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“good food good location”
Reviewed 30 August 2014

We went on a Friday evening. Decor so subtle almost missed the restaurant. Minimalist and comfortable. Had a great table next to viewing window for kitchen. Tried the five course taster menu. Food delicious and service impeccable. I am scratching my head as to why I won't rush back. Think it's a lack of the drama I felt at the Crown. Certainly pleased we went but will watch progress with interest.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Welshtraveller005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JSommerin, Owner at Restaurant James Sommerin, responded to this review, 13 September 2015
Dear Guest

Thank you so much for taking the time to review us after your visit to Restaurant James Sommerin last year. We thank you for your custom and would like you to know that your comments have been helpful in driving us forward since we opened, and in helping us know what our customers value. All our team were so pleased that you enjoyed your visit and look forward to welcoming you again.

Best wishes,
James and Louise Sommerin
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“What lovely food!”
Reviewed 29 August 2014

My husband and I had been looking forward to eating at James's in Penarth as we had been regular visitors to The Crown @ Whitbrook for a lot of years when we lived in the Forest of Dean. We lamented the lack of a fine dining restaurant in the Capitol of Wales when we moved back to Cardiff. So today we went for lunch and was so thankful that it was all we could have wished for. Each mouthful was superb and we thoroughly loved it all. All that is, except for the bread. It was disappointing to just be presented with a plain brown or white roll which were both dry. Come on James, you did much better than that at the Crown!! But even so, we shall definitely be coming back soon.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank redrag777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JSommerin, Owner at Restaurant James Sommerin, responded to this review, 13 September 2015
Dear Guest

Thank you so much for taking the time to review us after your visit to Restaurant James Sommerin last year. We thank you for your custom and would like you to know that your comments have been helpful in driving us forward since we opened, and in helping us know what our customers value. All our team were so pleased that you enjoyed your visit and look forward to welcoming you again.

Best wishes,
James and Louise Sommerin
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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