Chikako's, 10-11 Mill Lane, Cardiff (01222 665279). Dinner daily. A rather lugubrious basement presided over by Chikako Cameron is a rare opportunity to find Japanese food in Wales. Proof that passing pop stars and actors looking for a den of Zen in a strange country have found it here lies in their signed photographs displayed trattoria-style. pounds 20 a head with drink.
Le Gallois, 6-8 Romilly Crescent, Canton, Cardiff (01222 341264). Lunch and dinner Tue-Sat, lunch Sun. This new star was recently given an award by the Eat Well in Wales Red Book for its extraordinarily good-value lunch. pounds 10.95 might buy a salad of smoked duck breast, black pudding with plum sauce; perfect duck confit with Puy lentils and buttery cabbage, skate with grapefruit, tagliatelle and pesto, or tender kidneys and a memorable banana tarte tatin. Dinner is pounds 20-odd for three courses without drink.
Gilby's, Old Port Road, Culverhouse Cross, Cardiff (01222 670800). Lunch and dinner Tue-Sat , lunch Sun. The strong point here is fish, which has earned Gilby's a commendation from the Red Guide. After starters of scallops on vanilla risotto or plaice tempura with wasabi mayonnaise, there are eight fish main courses on a long, varied menu. Two-course lunch is pounds 7.95, three-course dinner with coffee is pounds 11.95 from 6-7pm, pounds 20 or so otherwise.
Woods, Pilotage Building, Stuart Street, Cardiff Bay (01222 492400). Lunch and dinner Mon-Sat from end April. Martyn and Deb Peters are about to move their award-winning restaurant into a listed building overlooking Cardiff Bay. Salmon fishcakes on spinach with tomato and chive sauce and the risottos will stay on the menu, flexibly priced to suit brasserie- style eating or special occasions. Around pounds 20 a head without drink. Caroline Stacey