issue 2 : OCTOBER 2015
LOVE SHOPPING LOCAL
POP-UP Kitchen SPECIAL!
4 REVIEWED RESTAURANTS
BEHIND THE BREW: WILD GREEN HOPPED BEER FREE: MINCE PIE FROM KRISTY’S BAKERY Life in The Kitchen: MOSAIC Photo Credit: Malabar Aaanaa
The go-to family-friendly restaurant on The Gower!
Basket meals JUST
Breaded Scampi, Battered Cod, Quarter Pound Beef Burger all served with chips from midday untill 6pm, Mon-Sun
Llanrhidian Holiday Park, Llanrhidian, Gower, SA3 1EU
Serving Delicious Food, Seven Days a Week Taste our famous Sunday Roasts! Starting at £8.95 (£5.50 for children) Served 12pm to 4pm.
A la carte menu available from midday to 8:30pm, Monday to Saturday
The Purple Badger Gower Llanrhidian
Taste Swansea Magazine October 2015
PUBLISHER Taste Swansea Magazine
elcome along to Issue #2 of Taste Swansea magazine! We’re
back to celebrate the best restaurants, cafés, pubs, food and
drink that Swansea, Gower and Llanelli has to offer.
It was an absolute pleasure to see so many people reading, enjoying and
commenting on the first issue, which came out in August. All in all, a great
But I like to think we’ve done even better this time – ironing out a few
wrinkles, while offering even more quality food and drink content. I’ve even
Harcourt Colour Print
managed to get you a free handmade mince pie from the wonderful Kristy’s
Bakery in Sketty! (see page 30 for details).
What else can you find in this issue? We’re big fans of pop-up kitchens,
which are becoming an important part of eating out in Swansea, and that’s
reflected in the magazine – we have a feature on one of the city’s newest additions, Hardies Supper Club (page 9), a review of a Cuban pop-up night
All effort has been taken to ensure that the information contained in this magazine
in Gower (page 21), and an extensive guide to some of the most popular
is accurate at the time of publication.
pop-ups in the city (page18).
no responsibility for the consequences of
However Taste Swansea Magazine accepts
errors or omissions. All text, artwork and
We also have a few returning features, like Life In The Kitchen (page 25)
photographs submitted for publication
and Behind The Brew (page 29), while local cookery teacher Danny Rees
within this magazine are accepted on
explains why shopping local isn’t just a fad, in a Food Matters triple-page
spread (starting on page 10). There’s plenty more features to chomp your way through, including the usual foodie news, roundups of local produce markets, what’s in season (with a new columnist), and several honest reviews of eateries in and
the understanding that prior permission been
where relevant. Opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher, editor or designer and the magazine is in no way liable for such opinions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher.
around Swansea. I was very grateful to get feedback from readers last month, and I’d be keen to hear what you think about the second issue. If you have any suggestions on what you’d like to see in the next issue – our Christmas special – please get in touch with me: email@example.com. But until next time, buon appetito!
LOCAL PRODUCE MARKETS From breads to beer, cheese to cake, and olives to… well, pretty much anything, there’s something for everyone at one of Swansea’s upcoming local produce markets! SAT 3 OCT, SAT 7 NOV
Sun 11 oct, Sun 8 nov
SAT 24 oct, SAT 28 nov
SAT 10 oct, sat 14 nov
SAT 11 OCT, SUN 8 NOV
SAT 17 Aug, Sat 21 NOV
MUMBLES FARMERS MARKET
PENNARD LOCAL PRODUCE MARKET
PENCLAWDD LOCAL PRODUCE MARKET
SKETTY LOCAL PRODUCE MARKET
Are we missing any? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!
Enjoy freshly made coffees, teas, doorstep sandwiches, paninis, bagels, jacket potatoes and delicious cakes! Free
WIFI 75 Uplands Crescent, Swansea
Check Out Our
NEW Pop up Kitchens On Faceboo k
Like ‘Steam Coffee Shop’ On Facebook
CURRY IN THE J-SHED In early September, brothers Suki and Jas Kullar (pictured) opened the doors to the second Rasoi restaurant in their new waterfront home, the SA1 J-Shed. The area had been crying out for an Indian kitchen since it was first redeveloped almost ten years ago and Rasoi Waterfront are just the addition everyone was hoping for. After popping down on the opening night it was clear to see that no expense had been spared on the luxurious design, which resonates with the prestige of the location. However it was the food that made the biggest impact – a mix of familiar and unique dishes brought to life in a way only
Rasoi could do. The brothers’ first multi-award winning restaurant in Pontlliw has proved immensely popular and I’m sure their new venture is likely to be just as successful.
NEW ALE HOUSE THE GRAVITY STATION G’DAY FOR WIND STREET DINING Wind Street’s long-standing Australianthemed bar Walkabout has received a muchneeded facelift after undergoing a sensational £750,000 makeover. It has ditched its dated ‘outback’ feel and is now much more ‘Melbourne’; vibrant and modern. They have also redeveloped the menu, which takes on classic, laid back Aussie fare. I tried out a platter of pretty much everything, and it’s fair to say that they are setting the bar high for casual eating in the city centre. One of the aspects that impressed the most on my initial visit was the genuine imported Australian ales on offer – Fat Yak made for very easy drinking!
We’ve got some lovely ale spots around the city, but it’s so good to finally see a venue dedicated to real beer in the centre of Swansea. The Gravity Station, which opened on the Strand in August, is a haven for real ale lovers – boasting an impressive (almost overwhelming!) selection of craft beers and ciders on tap, as well as hundreds of bottles of local, national and international brews to take away.
“THERE IS NO SINCERER LOVE THAN THE LOVE OF FOOD.” George Bernard Shaw
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1825 Coffee Shop, Dylan Thomas Centre Hummus and Carrot Sandwich Tucked away in the beautiful Dylan Thomas Centre, this peaceful little coffee shop offers some tasty healthy choices, including their freshly made hummus and carrot sandwich. Plenty of crunch from the grated carrot, while the home-made hummus delivers on flavour. And, on wholemeal bread, it’s a lunch with very little to feel guilty about!
Thai Taste, Swansea Market Pad Krapaow Prawn In the heart of Swansea Market, this tiny café serves up authentic Thai food, with the Pad Krapaow Prawn one of the healthiest options on the menu, and popular with bodybuilders. Stir fried prawn with fresh chillies, onion and basil, served with boiled rice. No added salt, sugar or MSG.
Mosaic, St Helen’s Road Thai Butternut and Sweet Potato Curry A light, but reassuringly zingy vegan dish from Mosaic’s ‘World Fusion Tapas Menu’, which is all the more satisfying combined with a portion of sticky rice. It’s cooked from scratch with fresh ingredients and no additives, so it’s a nutritious, guilt-free treat. Lovely.
Shine, Union Street Organic Soup of the Day One of the city centre’s newest ventures specialise in healthy juices and smoothies, but also offermore hearty choices for lunch; such as their organic thick vegetable soup, served with a bread roll for only £3. A bargain, and perfect for the impending winter chill.
Starvin’ Jacks, Portland Street Superfood Salad It’s hard to beat a fresh salad when it comes to a healthy lunch and the Swansea staple Starvin’ Jacks offer a vibrant medley of broccoli, rocket, cous cous, red onion, tomato, sweetcorn, carrot and pumpkin seeds. Add a lean mackerel or chicken protein boost for a pound extra.
Govinda’s, Cradock Street Govinda’s Special Readers of Issue #1 will know this is my go-to lunch in the city centre. A generous helping of freshly made vegetarian fare: a vegan and a dairy subji (curry dish), dahl (lentil stew), salad, rice, chutney and either a poori or pakora. Satisfaction guaranteed.
SUPPER WITH STYLE
ver tried a liquid nitrogen mojito on a disused train? What about mustard icecream on the roof of an office block?
This is no ordinary restaurant. Welcome to the wonderful world of Hardies Supper Club, who’ve arrived in the city with an arsenal of exciting ideas and intriguing menus for their pop-up events – which are ready to change the way we think about eating out in Swansea. Hardies was set up by 34-year-old Mancunian Chris Hardie; an ambitious chef who has run countless restaurants, cafés and pop-up kitchens across the country. After meeting his girlfriend in Cardiff, he moved down to Carmarthen where the new company is based. However it’s the foodies of Swansea he’s keen to wow with his new concept. He emphasised that creativity is the key when it comes to his events – both the menu and setting. ‘It’s about allowing guests to eat in unusual locations,’ he said. ‘Places you would never think of enjoying a five course meal; like a beach, a cellar, schools, theatres… even disused trains! It doesn’t need to be a place with a built-in kitchen because we can adapt.’
But it’s not just the locations that change. One night he’ll be cooking gourmet burgers and tacos, the next it’ll be five star fine-dining. Chris explained that he is focusing on themed evenings, as they offer lots of scope to be creative. ‘We had a Rebellious evening at Steam in the Uplands a few weeks ago, which was a huge success,’ he said. ‘We had a five course dinner, each course paired with one of history’s greatest rebels. For example we served a starter inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, which was an Indian Pale Ale and spiced pumpkin soup served in a beer bottle, along with an edible garden!’ Sounds delicious, but the dessert intrigued me the most. Inspired by Che Guevara, diners enjoyed a chocolate cigar with smoked citrus mousse, served with spiced ash in a genuine ashtray – a bold dish that truly plays with the senses. But that’s exactly what Chris wants from his kitchens. For those who missed the Rebellious evening, there’s plenty of opportunity to catch an event as Hardies has taken residency in two bustling Uplands hotspots – Steam Coffee Shop and Noah’s Yard, although Chris has plans to introduce one-off kitchens elsewhere in Swansea.
FOOD MATTERS: LOVE SHOPPING LOCAL Shopping local is not a new fad, or something that should
WITH DANNY REES
be reserved for those with extra money – as local chef, cookery teacher and Taste Swansea columnist DANNY REES explains. Save your health, cash and the community by shopping from local, independent stores and producers.
re you stuck in a rut? Shopping at the supermarket, spending a fortune, buying the same old foods and then chucking most of it away? You are not alone. Research shows that British families are throwing away £60 of food a month. Collectively this amounts to 4.2 million tonnes of avoidable food waste. This does not suggest a nation of happy consumers. Perhaps it’s the poor quality two-for-one offers that are going in the bin, or maybe people just don’t see much value in food any more; an idea almost unthinkable to our grandparents generation. We have become a nation of thoughtless consumers and it’s destroying our health, the environment, our finances and our communities.
Above: Local cheeses on display in Swansea Market. Right: Independent coffee shops have more personality (and usually better coffee) than the chains.
Admit it – are you ever happy in a supermarket? I know I’m not. They are soulless, joyless places. And to cap it all off it’s easy to spend a fortune. Have you ever got home with a boot full of shopping bags only to unpack them and think to yourself ‘I’ve only got food for two meals and I’ve spent over a hundred quid’? Isn’t it amazing how that happens? I’m trying to find a new way to shop; a healthier, more sustainable and cheaper way that directly benefits my local community. It seems I’m not alone. While the profits of the big supermarkets are tumbling, the local economy is showing signs that people want local food. Where you spend your hard earned money is vital these days. I want to know that I’m making my city more vibrant by choosing a variety of good retailers, and I also want to reduce my impact on the planet too. Shopping and eating locally can make a world of difference. I do think supermarkets have a place in our beautiful city by the sea, but they should just be utilised as one of many food retailers. They are great for buying tins of tomatoes, jars of pesto, packets of pasta and so on, and this is what I now use them for. They often have good offers on these types of product – if I see De Cecco pasta reduced to £1 then I’ll buy a trolley load. If I’m really organised, which isn’t often, I can do this type of shop once a month as the produce isn’t perishable. If you are really don’t want to set foot inside a supermarket again then you don’t have to – you can have it delivered to your door. This one simple decision now frees you up to go to places you like. And boy have we got lots in Swansea!
Swansea Market is my favourite place in the city. It boasts amazing variety and has high quality producers such as Abraham’s, Tuckers Fish, Goodies Deli, Hugh Phillips Butchers and Neil the Gower veg man, not to mention the incomparable Carol Watts on the cockle stall. But it’s not just the food I come for – it’s the atmosphere. It’s real Swansea; full of passionate, friendly people. Swansea Market is open six days a week, from early morning to 5.30pm. New farmers’ markets have sprung up around the city in the past few years and this is a wonderful development for those of us wishing to buy locally grown food from passionate producers. Swansea
“Admit it - are you ever happy in a super market? I know I’m not...” has farmers’ markets in Mumbles on the second Saturday of the month, the Marina market on the second Sunday of each month, and Uplands on the last Saturday of every month. They are full of great small, local producers who make food the right way and with a passionate knowledge that they readily share if you ask. Brian Jeffreys of Crickton Farm, Llanrhidian is an unsung hero of both Mumbles and Uplands markets, selling great value Gower grown vegetables, fruit, cheeses and pickles. Producers like Ty Siriol pork are pretty special too – although I’ve not eaten meat for a year, I have had their
wonderful pork many times in the past and they really are producing meat in the right way. It’s so good, they could almost turn me back to meat eating! While you are shopping in a district such as Mumbles or Uplands you can make a day of it. I love to cycle to Mumbles from my home in Sketty, do my shopping and then pop on up to the Park Inn for a delightful pint of Mumbles Gold; or down to Verdi’s, which is hard to beat for coffee or light lunch with fantastic service and an inspiring view. Uplands Market is a relative newcomer to the scene but has been built up with real passion for local food and crafts. When shopping here I often call into Noah’s Yard for a coffee or light refreshment. You could go to Costa Coffee but why would you give your cash to a huge chain that has little interest in you other than what’s in your wallet, when you can go to Steam, Crumbs or BrewStone for a coffee or lovely lunch.
“Shopping, eating and drinking locally shouldn’t be a new foodie fad...” It’s encouraging to see so many independent restaurants providing almost entirely local dishes on their menus, such as Fairyhill in Reynoldston – their entire menu is pretty much sourced from within ten miles of the hotel – while excellent establishments like Dylan’s at the Gower Hotel in Bishopston are upping the amount of local produce they serve too.
I find the two most persistent barriers to the brave new world the producers are trying to create is cost and convenience. The convenience problem I have sorted; I just buy my store-cupboard items from the supermarket, and sometimes I have my fruit and veg delivered online from The Choice Is Yours (Mumbles and Swansea Market) which really makes my shopping bag lighter to carry home. Cost is always a difficult issue to address. It’s very easy to sound like a middle class twerp when preaching about food issues, particularly cost. I might be a twerp, but I’m a working-class Swansea boy who loves his food – so when I say most of us can afford to shop at our markets then I really believe it because I do it. I have an £80 a week food budget to feed a family of four. There is no way I can stick to it if I blindly wander around the supermarket picking up offers. If I have planned in advance what we are eating for the week ahead then it is achievable – just stick to your list. When you think about it, it’s very difficult to go over budget in a local market as there aren’t any silly offers to fill up your basket with. Because the price of the food on offer reflects its real cost then I am more thoughtful about buying it. I will only spend £3 on a loaf if it will all be used. I’ve thrown away mountains of cheap bread – where is the sense in that? Shopping, eating and drinking locally shouldn’t be a new foodie fad – it is for everyone and it will make our wonderful city more vibrant and unique. The food I endeavour to buy benefits our local economy, supports more diverse and humane farming and has far less impact on the environment. What’s not to love?
Nothing beats the freshly picked fruit on sale in our local produce markets.
A boned and rolled shoulder of pork 6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters Â˝ small savoy cabbage, finely shredded 1 bunch of spring onions or 1 small leek, trimmed and sliced 100g butter 100ml cream 1 tbsp oil Salt and pepper For the sauce: 50g chopped tarragon 125ml of dry cider Salt and pepper
ROAST SHOULDER OF PORK
WITH COLCANNON POTATOES AND A CIDER AND TARRAGON SAUCE 1. COOKING THE PORK
First of all cook the meat. Place the joint in the coldest part of your fridge for as long as possible, to ensure the meat and skin are really cold. Preheat the oven to 230C. Take the joint out of the fridge, remove the plastic wrapping and dry the skin with kitchen towel. Drizzle and rub a small amount of olive oil on to the skin. Place in the oven in a heavy roasting pan. Cook on 230C for 20-25 minutes or until the skin turns golden and starts to bubble. Turn the oven down to 160C and cook for 20 minutes per 500g. We recommend that you use a meat thermometer to ensure your pork is cooked thoroughly.
2. MAKING THE COLCANNON
For the colcannon, put the potatoes in a large pan of salted water, bring to the boil and then simmer for 10-12 minutes until soft. After 5 minutes, add the cabbage and spring onion. Drain, mash, and then add the seasoning, butter and cream. Keep warm.
3. FINISHING IT OFF
Remove the pork and keep warm, and in the same pan add the cider and reduce the amount by half by simmering it. Add the tarragon and season.
FOR FOODIE NEWS AND RESTAURANT REVIEWS AND A NEW WEEKLY FOOD AND DRINK ROUND UP
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TEA, GENTLEMEN? E
ndless brews and a stack of dainty finger sandwiches
has so far been a hit, proving very popular with men who
– it has to be the quintessentially British custom of
enjoy the finer things in life.
afternoon tea. The delicious tradition is said to have started in around 1840 with a young lady called
So how does the food differ from a traditional afternoon
Anna Russell; the seventh Duchess of Bedford and a close
tea? Forget those little sandwiches – how about a miniature
friend of Queen Victoria. The story goes that, while visiting
char-grilled beef burger topped with Welsh cheese? Or a
friends, Anna felt in need of a little something to counteract
corned-beef rissole served on sweet red onion marmalade?
the ‘sinking feeling’ of late afternoon and keep her going
There’s a coronation scotch egg with mango salsa and even
a Cumberland sausage roll, while sweet treats include warm caramelised apple tart and lemon sponge cake. Washed
Word spread and afternoon tea soon became the norm in upper class households; served with a small cake or finger sandwich, and usually enjoyed outdoors. A century later and afternoon tea was more associated with grand hotels – such as The Dorchester and The Ritz in London – and grew in indulgence; essentially a meal in its own right. Thankfully these days we no longer have to travel to London or a mansion house in the 19th Century to enjoy the meal,
down with, of course, a cup of tea (or coffee). Yes please. As Daniel Bayliss of the Stradey Park Hotel told Taste Swansea, ‘Due to the incredible popularity of our afternoon tea we decided it would be nice to offer a more malefocused option, with heartier menu choices. So we released our chefs to forage the wilds of Carmarthenshire, to assemble the finest ingredients for the smorgasbord of deliciousness that is Gentleman’s Tea.’
as hundreds of hotels across the country offer their own version. In recent years I’ve enjoyed countless afternoon teas in Swansea – the Dragon Hotel and the Marriott in particular offer good value choices and relaxed settings to while away a casual Sunday afternoon. However, one that really appeals to me – as both a food writer and a man – is the Gentleman’s Tea; a unique feast served at
Gentleman’s Tea at the Stradey Park Hotel is cooked fresh and served daily from midday to 6pm. Booking is essential. Afternoon Tea is served daily at Swansea’s Marriott Hotel from 2pm to 6pm, while the Dragon Hotel serve theirs every day, from midday to 5pm. Booking is advisable with both hotels.
the beautiful Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli. The new concept
@THE BAYSIDE GRILL
@THE BAYSIDE GRILL
Dine at the Bayside Grill every Monday night and enjoy a free side order with every 8oz Rump, 8oz Rib Eye or 10oz Sirloin.
Dine at the Bayside Grill every Tuesday night and enjoy a free glass of wine with every fish dish on our table d’hote menu. To include, beer battered cod, salmon and seabass.
YOU CAN CHOOSE FROM…
Beer battered onion rings Selection of freshly cooked vegetables Sweet potato fries Garlic ciabatta
YOU CAN CHOOSE FROM…
Short mile Chardonnay, Short mile Shiraz Or la Campagne Rosé
@THE BAYSIDE GRILL
@THE BAYSIDE GRILL
SWEET TOOTH NIGHT
Dine at the Bayside Grill every Wednesday night and enjoy three courses for the price of two. Enjoy a starter and main course and take one of the following desserts, free of charge.
Dine at the Bayside Grill every Thursday night and enjoy a pint of beer and a burger for £11.95
YOU CAN CHOOSE FROM…
Pulled pork burger Piri piri chicken burger Marriott burger Lamb kofta burger With...
Madagascan vanilla brûlée Sticky toffee pudding Chocolate & hazelnut brownie Raspberry frangipane Peanut butter parfait Or a selection of ice creams
YOU CAN CHOOSE FROM...
Becks, Boddingtons or Stella
SwanSea Marriott Hotel, MaritiMe Quarter, SwanSea Sa1 3SS. tel: +44 (0)1792 642020
“Burgers of Outstanding Natural THE PURPLE BADGER, LLANRHIDIAN Beauty”
holiday park may not be the first place that
paprika-seasoned fries and the restaurant’s creamy,
signature coleslaw. Enough to feed a whole family, but the
somewhere to head for great food. But forget
right amount for a very hungry food writer.
your preconceptions – The Purple Badger in
Llanrhidian Holiday Park ticks every box when it comes to
My dining partner enjoyed the Chicken New Yorker; a well
a casual meal out.
presented and generous portion of moist chicken topped
The odd name actually refers to a curious Gower legend,
with mounds of bacon, cheese and barbecue sauce, not to
which goes back to the 19th Century when local residents started seeing purple-tinted badgers around. Despite initial confusion, it soon became apparent that the critters had been munching away on the purple sloes that grew in the woods of
mention another stack of fries and peas. For the amount of food you receive it’s all very affordable, with main meals coming in at around £10 each.
Llanrhidian. The more they ate, the more purple they became!
I refused to waddle out of the place until I had tried a
And the legend spills over into the restaurant’s eccentric décor:
nearby Gower Brewery. A well balanced, tasty session beer
stylish, colourful and comfortable, with quirky wallpaper, furry lampshades and, of course, a stuffed purple badger guarding the bar area. A unique atmosphere in which to enjoy browsing
pint of their very own beer, Purple Badger, brewed by the – perfect for washing down those beautiful burgers!
the menu, which boasts an extensive choice of pub grub – from salads and steaks, to curry and burgers. It was the Salt Marsh Lamb burger that caught my eye. And I’m glad it did! The burger itself was a real event – a large, juicy patty topped with squeaky halloumi cheese in a toasted brioche bun. This was served with a gargantuan stack of
POP-UP Kitchens FAIRYHILL HOTEL & RESTAURANT The exceptional Fairyhill will be hosting their first pop-up event taking place on Thursday, 15 October – joining forces with Babitas Spice Deli to bring an evening where fine dining meets authentic Indian cuisine at the beautiful hotel in Reynoldston.
Steam Coffee SHop The lovely Steam Coffee Shop in the Uplands have collaborated with Hardies Supper Club to bring an exciting new monthly kitchen; one that will change the way you think about eating out in Swansea (see our full article on Hardies on page 9). Their Night At The Movies event takes place on Friday 30 and Saturday 31 October.
NOAH’S YARD Noah’s Yard host a regular Wednesday pop-up kitchen with Malabar Aaanaa, who cook up delicious southern Indian fare in their Keralan Kitchen, and have just branched out into Persian and Middle Eastern cuisine with the Pomegranate Kitchen. The next Pomegranate Kitchens will take place on 7 October and 4 November, while the next Keralan Kitchen at Noah’s takes place on 11 November. Meanwhile Hardies Supper Club will also run their delicious Manc Burgers night at Noah’s on Wednesday, 21 October.
CARREG ADVENTURE Carreg Adventure - who operate from the grand Stouthall Country Mansion, also in Reynoldston – are running their own series of creative in-house pop-up kitchens, from Italian to Southern BBQ (check out page 21 for a full review of their brilliant Cuban night). Their next pop-up event is a pie night, which takes place on Saturday, 7 November.
All events are subject to change. Check individual websites for times and menus. check out TasteSwansea.com for regular pop-up kitchen updates.
“The jewel in Llanelli’s dining crown”
SOSBAN, NORTH DOCK LLANELLI
set menu (£18.70 for three courses), although I decided
to break free and order a la carte.
riving into Llanelli’s upmarket North Dock area, it was hard to miss Sosban – a huge stone building
The Welsh charcuterie board was a great warm up, with a
with a striking 90ft tower that acts as a kind of
selection of meats, pickles and even a tangy picalilly served
historical map pin. Before conversion it was a
in a mini copper ‘sosban’ – nice touch.
derelict old hydraulic pump house, which had fallen into complete dilapidation.
My main course really hit the spot and proved the highlight of the evening: a succulent roast chicken forestiere, with
However, after the Grade II listed building was lovingly restored in 2011, what remains is a beautifully designed restaurant which holds on to its industrial heritage with style. For such an open plan layout it’s surprisingly warm – even cosy – especially on a miserable, wet Wednesday evening. I had heard great things about the restaurant but, having only been for afternoon coffee in the past, was keen to experience the cooking for myself. The menu changes from day to day, and they always offer a very reasonably-priced
new potatoes and a generous helping of chopped green beans and fried pancetta. A salty, meaty and indulgent dish. And thankfully, despite the deserved reputation of fine dining, there were no punches pulled when it came to portion size. It left little room for dessert, however that wouldn’t stop me trying! I went for the chocolate fondant with raspberry ruffle ice-cream – light but decadent, hugely chocolatey but enough sharpness from the fruit to avoid it being sickly. Throw in a great wine, beer and cocktail selection, and some friendly and efficient service, and it’s safe to say that Sosban is the jewel in the crown for Llanelli dining – a restaurant that rivals some of the best in Swansea, if not South Wales.
OUR CHRISTMAS ISSUE WILL BE OUT MID-NOVEMBER. CRAMMED FULL OF FOODIE NEWS, REVIEWS, ARTICLES AND OPINION.
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“Something different in an exceptional setting”
CARREG ADVENTURE, REYNOLDSTON
On arrival we enjoyed a welcome drink in the gorgeous little
Cuban pop-up kitchen at a Georgian mansion house in Gower? This was something I had to see for myself.
I had heard about the pop-up events at Carreg Adventure
library, before being ushered into the dining room where a single table was laid out for around 15 people. Lively Cuban music played in the background as we were served a couple of canapés – a warm, melt-in-your-mouth Cubano sandwich, with layers of meats and cheeses, and Papas Rellenas; spiced croquettes with a tasty mincemeat filling.
after a brief visit to the beautiful Stouthall Estate one afternoon, and my intrigue got the better of me. They’re
The main course was a traditional Pollo de Varadero – a
actually pretty inventive when it comes to themes, having
supreme of chicken, spiced with paprika and served with
already done Moroccan, Seafood, Italian and Southern
a vegetable stew and roast potatoes. While there was little
Barbecue nights. But for me, Cuban would be a completely
in the way of sauce, the chicken was so well cooked and
a new experience.
succulent it didn’t need much additional moisture.
It’s such a unique setting for a pop-up kitchen. The
Finally we ended the meal with a couple of gooey pineapple
beautifully renovated 18th Century house sits in 16 acres of
fritters, with caramel sauce and icecream (fried fruit still
ancient woodland, and oozes charm, history and a couple
counts as one of your five-a-day… I think). The three
of nifty secrets. But, most importantly, the owners are
courses, including a welcome drink, came to just £15 per
passionate about food and they have a chef who knows
person, which made for a very affordable evening out.
what he’s doing! The whole event was so relaxed, enjoyable and refreshingly different, there’s no doubt that I will beheading back for their next pop-up event. Buen provecho!
Authentic Italian and Welsh Bakery
Where else can you find Swansea pies, fresh focaccia, giant cookies, custard slices, traditional lasagne, Sicilian cannoli, panna cotta, Pugliese bread, messinese sauce and hundreds of other treats all hand made and baked on the premises?
Baking today like weâ€™ve done for 80 years. It may only be October, but now is the time to start placing your orders for Christmas to avoid disappointment. Our freshly baked Christmas goodies include: Antonioâ€™s traditional Italian Panettone Cocktail mince pies Chocolate and fresh cream logs Traditional Christmas pudding Christmas truffles
“Dining at its very finest”
t’s difficult to review a place like Fairyhill. I could spend
An aspect of the menu that resonated with me in particular
hours sifting through the dictionary for adjectives
was the locality of it all. The majority of ingredients come
that may help paint a picture of the wonderful décor,
from within 10 miles of the hotel, while vegetables and
sumptuous food and welcoming service. But my dining
herbs are grown just feet away from the restaurant in the
partner probably summed it up the best as we were making
walled gardens. And you could tell this freshness from the
our way home; ‘what a magical place.’
vibrant flavours in every mouthful.
And I wholeheartedly agreed – we had spent a few hours enjoying a special evening out at the idyllic country hotel, set in 24 acres of unspoiled land in the heart of Gower. The restaurant itself is a relaxed, intimate space, overlooking the pristine gardens and patio area. Oozing sophistication, but very unassuming. To write about everything I ate would require a magazine in itself so, to be concise, the food was outstanding. Flawless presentation and full flavours from a chef who clearly knows his ingredients and how to bring the best out of them.
My main course, pan-fried wild sea bass with marsh samphire, crushed new potatoes and a laverbread sauce, offered a real taste of the Gower. Delightfully presented, the fish was light and fresh, but substantial. The highlight of my night was the starter of ham hock terrine, Scotch egg, cider poached apple and pickled girolles. A masterpiece both on the plate and in the mouth. The service enhanced the evening further. Everyone we encountered was attentive – without being intrusive – while quick to offer smart recommendations on both food and accompanying wines. Ultimately Fairyhill is one of those places you could read about for hours, but nothing beats the actual experience. Truly dining at its finest.
LIFE IN THE KITCHEN BRENNAN STREET Swansea’s beloved Mosaic restaurant celebrated its 10 year anniversary in August, having settled into their new home; the Press House on St Helen’s Road. Here, head chef and co-owner Brennan Street speaks about his love of the kitchen, seafood and design. What is the best thing about being a chef? Having trained originally as a theatre director, I love the fact that being a cook allows the same creativity, working with all the senses.
What was the first meal you ever cooked? Growing up in Zimbabwe, we were blessed with an abundance of ‘exotic’ ingredients like avocados, mangos and passion fruit growing in the garden. So, if my memory serves me right, I made my own childlike version of guacamole with lashings of salt, pepper, lemon juice and cream cheese and served it as a topping over chargrilled corn! How did your career in the kitchen begin? My partner Andrew and I had planned on starting an events company shortly after we met, trying to consolidate our various strengths for hosting and catering. However on a walk through Carmarthen I fell in love with a beautiful old listed building – so I went straight to the estate agent and, six weeks later, our first incarnation Mosaic Deli-Bistro opened its doors! What’s your favourite meal to cook for yourself? We both love fish and seafood, so quite often I enjoy making a mackerel and asparagus parcel, wrapped up in pancetta, and basted with wild garlic and lemon butter. What is the most popular item on your menu? Without doubt, my King Prawn Chowder is a signature dish that has been on the menu for 10 years now. Lashings of cream, white wine (normally a Sauvignon Blanc) and a quirky layering of various paprikas and secret spices.
And the worst? Repetition. Which is probably why the menu changes quite often (to the chagrin of the staff!) and, of course, the unsociable hours. Aside from Mosaic, where do you enjoy eating out in Swansea? We love the freshness of The Favourite Café and Nishimura on Brynymor Road, and often dine with Sam at SA3 in Mumbles, grab a quick coffee at Café 93 and, on our breaks, will often pop to Istanbul or Al Basha on St Helen’s Road. It’s brilliant to be able to support our neighbours.
“I love the fact that being a cook allows the same creativity, working with all the senses” Finally, if you weren’t a chef, what would you be doing? I love design, so would love to follow up on our enthusiasm for restaurant, bar and hotel interiors. That, or finish one of the 20 odd started-butincomplete novels!
FIVE to try:
FROM THE FESTIVAL The Swansea Bay Beer and Cider Festival at the end of August was another huge success, with hundreds of lovely brews served to thousands of thirsty ale lovers (including myself). Here are five of my favourites from the festival.
Pigeon Toed Orange Peel
Probably my beer of the
Despite being a long-time
festival, coming from
fan of Mumbles Brewery, I’d
not actually tasted their IPA
Heavy Industry. A cloudy
until the festival. But I’m glad
I finally did! Made in a very
brewed with pale and wheat
traditional way, it’s robust,
malts. It was easy drinking,
well balanced and had a
but had a flavour complex
satisfying caramel finish. The
enough to keep me sipping,
best Swansea beer on show.
featuring sweet orange, with hints of clove and pear.
Black Flag Rum Porter
An intriguing and delicious
The focus of this festival was
We head over to Derbyshire,
dark beer from Tenby
on Tiny Rebel’s Champion
England for our final brew
Brewing Company, with
Beer of Britain, Cwtch, but
– Thornbridge’s strong IPA,
notes of chocolate, vanilla
I actually preferred their
Jaipur. Full of sweet citrus
and coffee – and a good hit
American pale ale, Hank.
flavours, it makes for very
of spiced rum! An indulgent
Floral and sweet, with a good
smooth drinking. But at 5.9%,
choice, perfect for the dark
hop punch, it’s a wonderful
it’s definitely one to sample
nights that are approaching.
in moderation (I learned that the hard way…)!
WHAT’s in SEASON WITH DAVID LLEWELLYN
In this segment we introduce a new columnist, DAVID LLEWELLYN – a London based innovation and development chef originally from Swansea. In this issue, David runs us through what’s in season this autumn and how to eat it! Thanks to the joint forces of the media and TV chefs we are now more aware than ever of the importance of eating things seasonally, when they at their very best. There is no denying that a tomato grown in your own greenhouse tastes so much better than anything you could buy, and this is mainly down to the fact that they are picked when they are ready. That’s not to say there is not some fantastic produce available all year round, but when something special comes in to season it calls out to your imagination to be used, and in a multitude of ways. Now it’s autumn and the game season is in full flow – the markets are bursting with the season’s shoot and the delicious accompaniments to match. Local pheasant, beetroot and swede can all be bought within yards of each other, which is enough to excite even the calmest of food lovers. As summer makes an exit we can look forward to cosy nights and pure comfort food. Dust off the roasting dishes and settle in as hearty meets healthy.
FRUIT AND VEG
Meat and Fish
One ingredient three ways: Beetroot In season beetroot is not just an excellent addition to a salad but a great tasting, nutritious and versatile vegetable. And fantastically, it can be used well in both sweet and savoury dishes. I have three simple but delicious ways to use beetroot – Simply Roasted, Beetroot Tart Tatin, and Beetroot and Chocolate Brownies. Find my recipes online at TasteSwansea.com
MUMBLES NEW PREMISES Two and a half years after its creation, Rob and Peter Turner celebrate Mumbles Breweryâ€™s new premises at Swansea Enterprise Park. The ten brewers barrel plant was used to create the first beer in September.
Born in Mumbles with a local heritage, connected to the community, it's history and the future, like the new oyster beds growing in Swansea Bay.
Our regular beers include: - Mumbles Gold - Mumbles Mile - Lifesaver - Oystermouth Stout - India Pale Ale. Every beer is distinctly unique, crafted from a diverse range of carefully chosen ingredients.
WILD HOPS GROWING IN LANGLAND BAY
‘WILD GREEN HOPPED ALE’ MUMBLES BREWERY Our new beer really is local in every sense of the word – using freshly picked wild hops from Langland Bay. The beer has been designed to truly embrace the wild hops, picked less than 24 hours before brewing. They are known as ‘green hops’ because they have not dried out, and therefore give a light and fresh aroma to the ale. New beers created by national and international breweries are often hailed by themed advertising and heritage branding, designed to create a false origin and history for supposedly artisanal products. In contrast, I am using quality ingredients and natural real-ale brewing methods, creating a unique, single-batch ale. The using of locally sourced wild hops, skilful blending of quality ingredients, rigorous brewing practices and correct storage, creates a natural, local ale without unnecessary additives. The malt comes from Warminster Maltings; a high quality, small scale, traditional floor malt house, sustaining the natural environment and local community. These values are at the heart of Mumbles Brewery. To celebrate the successful expansion of the brewery into new premises, the new single-batch Wild Green Hopped Pale Ale will be available by limited supply from October.
Rob Turner Head Brewer
ROB & PETER TURNER AT THEIR NEW PREMISES IN SWANSEA ENTERPRISE PARK
CAN’T WAIT FOR
CHRISTMAS? GET IN THE MOOD WITH A
FREE HANDMADE MINCE PIE FROM
JUST POP INTO KRISTY’S BETWEEN NOW AND 5 NOVEMBER, HAND THIS VOUCHER OVER AND RECEIVE YOUR TREAT – NO CATCH!
FREE MINCE PIE
Offer only valid with this voucher, which must be handed over at time of redemption. One voucher per person. No cash value. No photocopies. Subject to availability. Management reserves the right to refuse this voucher.
Reynoldston, Gower, SA3 1AN
CHRISTMAS PARTIES at
Stouthall Country Mansion Bespoke parties & private dining available For parties of 6â€”120 Selection of entertainment packages
Also ask us about team-building days and conferences!
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The second issue of Taste Swansea magazine! Packed with plenty of calorific content: Pop-Up Kitchen Special - a Cuban pop-up review, a feat...
Published on Sep 30, 2015
The second issue of Taste Swansea magazine! Packed with plenty of calorific content: Pop-Up Kitchen Special - a Cuban pop-up review, a feat...