It was a beautiful sunny afternoon today so we extracted the Husband from his working quarters (our loft) for a lunch at one of our favourite family eateries, Zizzi's italian restaurant at Mermaid Quay in Cardiff.
Now, hands up, I did intend to do a more thorough review than this but we were, in all honesty, hungry and anyway, it will be no hardship at all to return.
Anyway, this should give you a flavour of the place and because it seems to be a little quieter in the day than neighbouring Pizza Express, it's well worth having Zizzi's as what I like to think of as a reserve in your "will put up with your offspring" restaurant arsenal.
Zizzi's in Mermaid Quay is bright and airy and has a fabulous view over the Bay. I love it when the sun sparkles on the sea. It makes the Bay feel quite continental.
With his usual quest to sit somewhere with the most risk to his personal safety, Ieuan decided we'd sit on the high backed, blue pastel chairs but they were surprising comfortable and, happily, he didn't fall off.
The children's menu came on a printed sheet with colouring and puzzles to keep them occupied.
I think the barman may be coveting Ieuan's Power Ranger.
Caitlin's latest masterpiece. Ieuan did his customary Incredible Hulk green angry scribble.
The children's starter, dough sticks, come with carrot and cucumber batons. Yes. That really is Ieuan eating carrot.
The Husband chose the bruschetta as his starter and had polished it off before I had a chance to wield the camera! I can tell you it was light and fresh with sweet baby tomatoes and a generous helping of cheese.
My main course was the Skinny Pizza Pollo Roquito - chicken, roquito chillies, Fior di Latte Mozzarella, sliced asparagus, baby watercress and fresh oregano. Under 550 calories (still quite high but still...) plus 25p of the cost of the pizza (£10.25) goes to Cancer Research UK.
It came with a lovely fresh side salad with spiralized beetroot and radishes.
One slight oddity about the online menus is that you have to click to bring up the prices and select your local restaurant. I'm not quite sure why the prices just aren't displayed next to the dish, unless there is considerable regional variation in prices across the country, which I can't imagine a chain such as this doing.
The Husband chose Strozzapretti Pesto Rosso (£9.95) - spicy piccante chicken, red pesto, creme fraiche and spring onions which was creamy and delicious with just the right amount of 'bite'.
Caitlin had great fun decorating her mini pizza with her chosen toppings of olives and ham.
This left me to pay the bill whilst the Husband legged it after the miscreants. We have just invested in a Tastecard which gives 50% off the bill or, here in Zizzi's 2 for 1 on main courses. The total bill came to £44.40 which included one large glass of rose wine, a small beer, a glass of milk and a diet coke.
Now you see them, now they've legged it to the fair.
Oh well, never mind. I will just have to go back to check out the desserts. All in the name of research of course.
Further information: Zizzi's in Cardiff Bay is based in Unit 8, Mermaid Quay, CF10 5BZ. Tel: 02920 462232. You can tweet Zizzi @WeAreZizzi and they are on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wearezizzi.
This is a completely independent review.