Rebecca Jones reviews Crimson Rhino

LOCATED at 4 Northgate Street, Crimson Rhino is a new food venture in Aberystwyth that stands out amongst the usual cafes and takeaways in the town. Veering away from typical fast food fare, they sell a range of tasty and health-conscious snacks and drinks; from sweet and savoury flavoured popcorn, smoothies, houmous and vegetable/pitta crudites and frozen yogurts, as well as lower-fat crisps and paninis. As a typical student who has resorted to buying cheap, unhealthy fast food when rushing to and from classes, I feel that Crimson Rhino could provide a welcome change for that lunchtime fix.

Crison RhinoOn my first visit there, I decided to order a Chocolate and raspberry smoothie and a houmous/veggie and pitta tub. As someone who often buys the pots of houmous from supermarkets, I had hopes that Crimson Rhino’s freshly made houmous would be an improvement upon these. I’m pleased to say that I was not disappointed – the sun-dried tomato houmous I ordered tasted amazingly fresh, containing big chunks of sun-dried tomato and whole chickpeas left in. Even the vegetable sticks were a cut above what I expected (and who can say that they normally get excited over chopped veg?). The carrot and cucumber were both really fresh and crunchy, whilst the pitta bread wedges were a nice added touch. It actually surprised me just how much I enjoyed the whole thing.

The chocolate and raspberry smoothie was really enjoyable too. Chocolate and raspberry was just one flavour combination available and, with so many other tasty sounding smoothie combos to choose from, I was spoilt for choice. What I particularly liked was the freedom I was given to mix up flavour combinations and levels of sweetness in my smoothie. For example, although it was not as sweet as I’ve tasted before in other cafes, I was given the choice to add frozen yogurt, banana or extra milk to sweeten it beforehand. So I would advise if you’re looking for a sweeter, creamier taste then these would probably be a welcome addition. The prices I would certainly class as very reasonable; the houmous/veggie and pitta bread tub was £2.99 and was really filling, whilst the smoothie at £2.99 was much cheaper than some smoothies available in Aber.

The shop functions as both a takeaway and a sit in venue, and there is a bookshelf inside full to the brim with lots of books to peruse. Overall, my first impressions where that the interior has a really pleasant, welcoming feel – homely even. I would recommend liking Crimson Rhino’s Facebook page, as they’re one of the most active food places in town when it comes to social media; they update the page several times a day and it’s really useful for keeping up with new and exciting offers and the changes to their menu. I hope this exciting new food venture succeeds because it’s really brought something different to the town’s ever growing legion of food places. And with plenty of support behind them so far, I think they’ll be staying around for a while.