Sunday lunch Sundays don’t come much better than last weekend’s in Cardiff, and a brisk walk across Bute Park in the sunshine was rewarded by Y Mochyn Du at the end of it.
Looking like an overgrown mock-Tudor groundsman’s hut for the gentleman who cuts the grass at Swalec Stadium next door, it soon shakes off the Harvester feel once inside. The huge portrait of an ebony sow in the glass dining area suggests the pub’s name in English, ‘The Black Pig’, might not be too hard to guess for non-Welsh speakers. Still that didn’t stop me asking, in cut-glass English, what Y Mochyn Du means. Nice one.
Sitting down, there’s an earnest discussion about the merits of Welsh language education going on amongst a family at the next table; this ends when the daughter pulls out a pair of new Nike high tops she’s just bought, and globalisation can breathe easy once again.
The food, cawl and roast pork, is solid and its consumers famished so that works. A wider variety of veg and some proper potatoes with the roast would have helped but the beer, the pub’s own cwrw, is a really tasty traditional bitter.
The main bar area is all wood paneling and sports memorabilia from a newspaper cutting of Scott Gibbs looking chuffed after helping Wales deny England the Grand Slam at Wembley in 1999, to a picture of an angelic looking young footballer from Ely who went on to become Ryan Giggs.
There’s also a ‘cricketer’s corner’, which was occupied by three men discussing the laws of rugby. I left feeling I had shown insufficient cariad@iaith– by Gareth Bale’s boots, I’ll bring the red Primark t-shirt I bought for the Wales-France game next time.