The Clink is a kitchen and restaurant at HMP Cardiff where prisoners can train towards gaining a nationally recognised qualification in the catering and hospitality industry. Open daily for lunch but only one night per month for dinner, it's not easy to get a table, especially since rising up the ranks on Tripadvisor and now coming in at no.6 of 623 restaurants in Cardiff, up from no.12 just two months ago. I actually booked 2 months ago via their online enquiry process, and boy, was it worth the wait! Outside the main prison walls, the exterior is a classic example of "don't judge a book by it's cover". The plain brick block opens up into a boutique style dining room with soft reflections of their slow colour change lights bouncing off mirrors, gleaming silverware and glass topped tables. It's clean, open and very inviting.... Our server for the night, Lee, welcomed us warmly and offered non alcoholic drinks.... The men
I came here with a large group that rented out the whole restaurant. We had a three course meal that was really well done! The decoration and lights are are a little crazy; very purple and loud; not sure if that is always going on. The front of house staff is pretty friendly and handled a completely full restaurant really well, with only a little confusion about who ordered what. No alcohol though, just mocktails, so keep that in mind.
Overall the price is reasonable and I really support the idea of the restaurant; giving prisons a job and working toward a useful goal. I'd go back again.
I was very surprise when I was able to get in, as I had been warned it was normally booked up, but I walked around anyway just in case. It was a set meal of 4 courses but at £39.95 I figured as a treat it would be ok. I had the Tart Tatin as a starter, then Mackerel, then the plaice, then rhubarb dessert. There is no alcohol served so I opted for fizzy water, although they have lots of soft drinks and a mocktail of the day. It was all absolutely lovely! It's attached to the Prison and the staff are all inmates so this is a chance for them to try something. The manager told me about their mission and what it meant for them. I'd definitely go again although I think I'll book just in case.