Whilst staying at The Celtic Manor we were invited to PAD restaurant which (as you can see above) is an acronym for Passionate Asian Dishes. We were told the Executive Restaurant Chef, Simon Crockford, was cooking that night and what a treat we were in for. We informed the restaurant that we are Vegans to which we were told they happily cater to our dietary/lifestyle requirements. I was excited to try! I googled the restaurant beforehand and saw the reviews and menus both looked excellent… So that lovely Sunday we accidentally skipped lunch and were therefore ravenous by the time our 8.00 reservation arrived.
We started with some apres dinner drinks in the PAD lounge which is just to the right of the main restaurant. I should mention also, Pad is located in the Old Manor House of The Celtic Manor, which, as the name suggests, is the oldest part of the resort. You don’t have to be staying in the Resort either, you can make a reservation for any evening to enjoy their fine dining, and fine dining it was indeed.
So we started with some drinks from the bar and some nibbles to get us in the mood.
We were greeted by the host and looked after by the barman until we were told they were ready (we had arrived early) where they kindly carried our drinks through to our table for the evening.
Our waiter kindly brought us the Vegan menu and happily detailed each of the options for us, the Chef had kindly explained that he would like us to have a taster of everything on the menu and would be happy to provide a taster platter for both the starter and the mains. Excitedly (and hungrily) we agreed.
For starters we had the vegan platter which included:
- Sweetcorn & beansprout spring rolls with hot and sour dipping sauce
- Edamme bean and sweet potato salad with pomegranate, pickled cucumber and puffed rice
- Korean spiced Tofu and rice cakes, kimichi, ponchu dressing.
The starters were an absolute triumph, our taste-buds were tingling from all the new flavours and textures that we had never tried before. Our favourites were the rice cakes which were so flavoursome we both actually ‘Wowed’ when we ate them. I also thoroughly enjoyed the sweet potato salad with edamame beans, the only thing close to this in a way for me to describe the delicious flavour would be to say it is similar to a vegetable Chat in Indian cuisine (which prior to being plant based i used to love).
The chef very kindly gave us a taste of all the wonderful vegan options for the mains too.. we were happily inundated with delectable dishes and we could not get enough. Included in our mains were:
- Singapore noodles with Soya and garlic fried broccoli
- Sri Lankan curry with butternut squash, spinach and cauliflower
- Sides of Steamed rice, Asian friend greens and sweet potatoes. there was also a special tempura friend broccoli as an extra
Oh my days, where do i start here.. The curry was utterly sublime, mixed with the noodles, which of course, were cooked to perfection and the fragrant tasty rice, it was quite possibly(actually, no possibly about it, it was) the nicest Asian cuisine i’ve ever eaten, just typing this has made me drool at the memory and tempting me to book a table for us tonight 😉
The flavours are so exquisite, mixing herbs and spices i would never have thought to combine but which made the most interesting combinations.
After feeling like we had fed like kings and queens we still has desert, and i love a sweet desert so i was intrigued as to the tastes that would come next
The desert consisted of
- Pre desert: Basil panna cotta with a coffee gel
- Desert was Roast pineapple on a pistachio and ginger flapjack with mango sorbet
I’d never tried a pre desert but have to say i was most impressed, this light pannacotta with a coffee gel was such an interesting flavour, both rounding off the meal and cleansing the palette well. It was light and just the right amount after we had gorged on the fine dining of the mains and starters.
The desert of roast pineapple on a flapjack bed with mango sorbet was possibly a little too heavy for me at the end of the meal, but more likely that i ate too much of the other dishes and didn’t leave much room (they are not stingy on the portions i hasten to add!!), but the flavours combined were delicious. My husband isn’t a fan of flapjacks so this wasn’t his favourite, but it was still immaculately dressed on the plate and the flavours were very well suited to each other, if you’re a flapjack fan i think you would have approved. We both agreed the panna cotta with the unusual coffee gel and basil was unexpectedly our favourite!
We couldn’t leave without trying their signature cocktail- The Dragonfly Mojito, which our host kindly told us was their speciality and had been a favourite with diners since its origins. If you’re a mojito fan you will LOVE this, its fresh minty flavour was lovely and the exotic fruit played perfectly with our delicious food.
To say we thoroughly enjoyed our meal would be an understatement. It was possibly the best meal out we’ve had this year (we’ve been to a few vegan restaurants too and this actually topped those!).
If you’re in the South Wales or even Bristol area and fancy some fantastic Asian food i would definitely recommend visiting Pad. You won’t be disappointed!
To book Pad click here
*Our meal was gifted as part of our stay at The Celtic Manor but i wasn’t asked to write a blog about the restaurant, i was so utterly impressed i felt like i wanted to share and thought you’d like to hear about good food!