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First look at new Japanese noodle bar as it opens its doors in Cardiff

The Japanese noodle dishes have been carefully crafted by owner James Chant

Matsudai Ramen

Following a five-month refurbishment of the former Natwest bank site in Grangetown, Cardiff, Matsudai founder James Chant has thrown open the doors of the new 70-cover ramen restaurant.

Since starting out in late 2019, Matsudai Ramen’s pop-up events have taken over kitchens in London, Manchester and Bristol, delighting die-hard ramen fans and ramen newbies alike.

When lockdown hit in 2020, James turned to DIY ramen kits that would allow customers to recreate its most popular dishes at home.  So it’s great to see this pop-up to shop-up finally have somewhere to call its own home. It’s also great to see them re-occupy a building that’s been left empty. It’s not only filled a hole in the Cardiff food scene, but one locally as well.

Matsudai offers a brand new take on noodle dishes, taking inspiration from Japan’s style of cooking. In fact, one of the most popular dishes on offer is James’ signature karaage (a Japanese method of deep frying) chicken and mushrooms, which we tried to start and would highly recommend.

Matsudai Ramen’s karaage

All of the dishes that we tried were absolutely delicious and not like anything else you can get elsewhere in Cardiff.

If you’re new to ramen, like us, you will find staff particularly helping in explaining each dish, which they did for us, and offered tips on the best way to eat them ensure the best experience possible.

Photo credit: Daisy Purkis

What I would say is that they don’t let trying something new put you off, as you will be pleasantly surprised. The dishes are different, but all of the flavours have been carefully put together by James and his team to create some truly spectacular dishes for you to enjoy.

Photo credit: Daisy Purkis

The house Japanese curry mayo was also amazing, along with the Shiru-Nashi Mazesoba that we had for main. Again, dishes that we would recommend if you’re new to ramen.

We were told to expect the ramen style dishes to change with the seasons, so it’s definitely one that you’ll want to keep coming back to.

Matsudai Ramen is openMonday to Friday 5-10pm, and Saturdays 12-10pm. From September 28th, it will also open Sundays from 12-7pm.

Table bookings are now live via the Matsudai website at matsudai.co.uk/ramenshopcdf.