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Echo Bar – Cardiff Airport

Airport restaurants and bars have a captive audience, did this one pass our taste test?

CARDIFF Airport

Echo Bar

RATING: Food 1.5; Service 4; Ambience 1.5; Drink selection 3.5; Toilets 2.5; Website (for airport) 1; Total: 14/30

IT’S 12.15pm, I’ve just made a tortuous journey from Neath by public transport to the airport – taxi, train, local train, walk over level crossing to local bus – and I’m hungry after a disastrous breakfast experience in the Holiday Inn Express, Swansea East. So, once through security (where security knocked my battery off my laptop which was on stand-by under the new regulations to prove it is working) and faced with 90 minutes to kill I walked up to the bar. Golf was being featured on the TV screens so that was an attraction but the only seat available – first day of school holidays and package flights crammed the terminal  – was straight on but partially obscured by lighting. Why place the TV set there or why decide on drop down lights. Also, why have an arcade next to the main restaurant. However, we move on. Fish and chips seemed the best bet, surely can’t go wrong, and it is freshly cooked. Bad choice. Only the peas – yes, the peas – passed the taste test. The chips were lukewarm and the fish, well. Inside hideous batter – fatty, taste of fat and little else – hid a fish. Chef, do yourself a favour and think again. With a J20 orange and passion fruit drink the cost was £11.95. I travel a lot and know the price of food in airports but quality – even when mass catering – must be achieved. And, they must have been short of staff as the tables lay strewn with debris for some time – not good. I tried another cafe in the departure hall earlier on. It’s just been newly refurbished but the tables were not cleaned and I gave up after standing waiting – there were four staff doing things – for five minutes and nobody acknowledged I was there. Black mark.

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