Rimel’s Rotisserie in Cardiff shared space with another restaurant called Zenbu Sushi. I didn’t really get the concept so I asked our hostess. She explained that Zenbu used to share space with Rimel’s. You could sit in one place and order food from either restaurant. But Zenbu has recently closed so it’s only Rimel’s now. Except you can still order food from either restaurant. Even though Zenbu doesn’t exist anymore. It’s all just Rimel’s, serving food from both Rimel’s menu and Zenbu’s menu. Clear as mud. The menu is like this:
After that head scratching explanation, we put in our name for a table of 8 and were told to expect a 30 minute wait. We spent our time waiting around the grassy area that shares space with The Lost Abbey, East Coast Pizza and Sambazon. We watched a repeat from last week of unruly young children running around, fending for themselves. We were getting really hungry now. I glanced at my phone for the text I was supposed to receive 10 minutes ago from Rimel’s telling us the glorious news that our table was now ready. But it never came. After 45 minutes of waiting, Jen marched her bad-ass hangry self over to the hostess. I don’t know what she said, but literally one minute later, the hostess was scrambling around with apologies and getting us seated. Jen had a very smug smile on her face, and she was our hero.
We took a look at the eclectic menu. Rimel’s offers food from hamburgers to ramen to rotisserie chicken to sushi. Everything is sustainably sourced and organic ingredients are incorporated when possible. My kind of food! We placed our order and waited. And waited. And waited. I decided to pass the time by watching the chefs cook on the grill right by the bar. I was asking one a few questions about the menu, and he was extremely friendly. So friendly that I felt he needed a photo in the blog. Not only didn’t he mind, he insisted on grabbing his two co-workers for a shot as well. No pompous, rude or shy chefs here!
When I sat back down, no food had arrived and my people were listless and pale. We were starving! I asked our waitress if it was possible to bring some bread to the table. “Sorry, we don’t do that here” she said. But it was either the fact that all 8 of us were chewing on our napkins, or maybe her heart just caved a bit because in a few minutes some toasted bread showed up. But not too much. In fact, here is my serving after we split it 8 ways. How could I possibly handle my meal after ruining it with this much bread?
When our food finally arrived, we had been waiting a total of 90 minutes. Not off to the best start, but on the other hand, just about anything would taste great now!
The Calamari was nicely presented and tasted good. The cilantro-garlic vinaigrette is a mistake though. Calamari needs something thick, like aioli, not a thin vinaigrette. And how much vinaigrette could one eat with this amount of calamari? Proportions are way off here. But they were tasty without sauce.
The Fresh Catch Sliders looked good, but nothing outstanding.
Debbie ordered a Wok Seared Bowl with shrimp. This was piled high with shrimp (a far cry from her experience at Trattoria Positano). I think she lost count after 11. They were big, juicy and delicious.
Being at a rotisserie chicken establishment, I too, ordered a Wok Seared Bowl but with the chicken. For mine, they used a flat-style bowl. Some might use the term “plate”. The chicken was juicy and the variety of crisp vegetables was impressive. Sadly, their Green-Chili Garlic Sauce fell short as well as their Peanut Sauce. I thought both sauces were bland. A little spice would have worked well here. But no great loss because the natural flavor of the chicken and fresh vegetables were really good on their own.
Christine’s Pacific Rim salad said was tasty, but nothing extraordinary. Again, their rotisserie chicken is very moist and delicious, but the rest of the salad was standard. And maybe consider a more reasonable size on that purple cabbage? That chunk completely missed the shredder.
Hubby was happy to get his usual Grilled Fish Tacos. These were very good and he chose a healthy brown rice option.
Rimel’s brings in cheesecake from Zen-Sational bakery. Although it’s impressive when restaurants make their own desserts in-house, there ain’t nothing wrong in my book with bringing in from a place that can do it better! I heard amazing flavors like “Oreo” and “Vanilla Cream” through my hands that were covering my ears while I was “La -la-la-ing” as loud as I could. Lucky for me, it was Brandon’s choice and he chose Nutella. No temptation for me tonight-phew!
I’ll admit, it sure looked beautiful as it was being passed around our table. I’m still not sure if anyone really liked it though….
Although we didn’t try any of Zenbu’s sushi (Not because they’re closed, but because we just didn’t order it off Rimel’s menu) we got a good taste of what Rimel’s is about. Their rotisserie chicken and fresh local ingredients are outstanding. They cook their vegetables perfectly and their healthy farm-to-table style is exactly what I love. I’m giving them a bit of a hard time however, because for a restaurant specializing in rotisserie chicken, their prices are pretty high. Maybe this works better in their other locations in La Jolla and Del Mar, but for this surfy little town of Cardiff, I thought they were off the mark. I’m not sure if our wait was standard, or if our large group for this small place threw them for a loop. But you may just want to grab a slice at East Coast Pizza before you put your name in for a table.
No blog this weekend, but grab your Groupons and join us next Sunday, September 16th at 7:00pm to the place that no one can pronounce….