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F IV E T O T R Y : SA 1 C O F F E E


Taste Swansea Magazine


After what seems to have been eight months of torrential rain and winter colds, spring is finally here! And while we're not quite at al fresco temperatures yet, the weather is certainly getting better, and menus are changing to include fresher, lighter dishes (although I'm sure you can still find a few hearty stews around – this is Wales after all!). And with the sunnier weather and endless daffodils comes this brand new spring edition of Taste Swansea, which is our biggest issue ever! We've managed to cram in even more foodie news, reviews and opinion than ever before. This is mainly thanks to our expert contributors, including our resident innovation chef David Llewellyn, who gives us a delicious look at in-season spring ingredients and how best to combine them (page 11). We also have a double page feature from Chris Keenan, executive chef at the Ship Inn, who runs us through his latest trip to the fish stalls of Swansea Market and then shares three recipes on how to cook his catch (page 16). And Gigi Gao from the Favourite Authentic Chinese looks at the wonderful ingredient DouFu – or 'tofu' as it's better known in Britain – as well as its history and uses (page 9). To wash it all down? We have a new columnist – expert wine teacher Antoinette Milne, who pairs four great wines with local spring ingredients (page 34). And head brewer at the Mumbles Brewery, Rob Turner, returns to share his ale expertise, rounding up some of his newest brews (page 33). Meanwhile I take a look at Swansea Market in a new regular feature (page 26), and also walk up an appetite with Swansea Ramblers, who helped us pair Gower walks with four excellent eateries (page 14).

Spring 2016 Publisher Taste Swansea Magazine General Enquires & Advertising info@tasteswansea.com Editor Chris Carra Design Steve Homer TasteSwansea.com Twitter: @Taste_Swansea Facebook:

facebook.com/TasteSwansea Disclaimer All effort has been taken to ensure that the information contained in this magazine is accurate at the time of publication. However Taste Swansea Magazine accepts no responsibility for the consequences of errors or omissions. All text, artwork and photographs submitted for publication within this magazine are accepted on the understanding that prior permission has been sought by the subscriber 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.









And don't forget our regular features like Life in the Kitchen, Foodie News, Local Produce Markets, and more! Remember, we love to hear from businesses and readers alike – send your suggestions for features, competitions and recipes to info@tasteswansea.com. Until next time, buon appetito!

Chris Carra Editor







GRAZING AT SOSBAN Llanelli's famous fine-dining experience Sosban are now offering a brand new grill menu alongside their renown a la carte and set menus. The 'grazing menu' features an assortment of burgers and A brand new coffee house is opening on Brynmill Lane, by the pelican crossing at the entrance to both Brynmill and Singleton Parks. But after speaking to owners Ceri Pope and Memphis-born Rick Miller, I found out that Brynmill Coffee House is much more than a simple café. In addition to good coffee, great service, and a relaxed atmosphere, they will offer a range of home-made authentic Memphis lunch specials, including traditional American grills, Mexican dishes, and a delicious white bean chicken chilli. The coffee house – which opens on 18 April – is certain to appeal to both students, local residents and Swansea foodies, looking to try something new.


platters at wallet-friendly prices (think a burger and fries for under a tenner), which is great news for the casual diner. There's also been a little change to the layout, with some new sofas and relaxed seating areas dotted around the grand industrial building.


Gowerton – known as the 'gateway to Gower'.

And if one pub guards those gates it's certainly the Welcome to Gower, which changed hands back in October last year. The new team, headed by landlord Robert Edwards, have done a great job in upping the quality and variety of food on the menu. They now offer a large a la carte menu – with everything from grills to curries – as well as a special Italian menu developed by head chef Steve Cook. The family pub is also very popular when it comes to live sport, pub quizzes and live bands.

KNOW YOUR WINE If your interest in wine is more than just

uncorking a bottle and hoping for the best, you'll be interested to hear about wine qualifications, run by Taste Swansea's newest columnist and international wine expert, Antoinette Milne. The WSET Level 1 Award in Wines will give a basic introduction to wine, followed by some basic food and wine pairings. Courses are run in Swansea regularly, with the next one taking place over three days on April 4, 5 and 11 at the lovely Café TwoCann. The course


costs £149.00 and includes a buffet and qualification – bargain! Further details can be found at wineforlifelearning.co.uk.

Taste Swansea columnist and awardwinning executive chef Chris Keenan is celebrating his first anniversary at The Ship Inn with the launch of a new Gower-inspired menu. The new menu is full of tasty local dishes such as a Gower fishcake with leek and laverbread, and seafood chowder loaded with fresh fish and seafood. Chris said, 'Cooking is immensely artistic and rewarding, and it’s wonderful to start a menu from scratch, and experiment with different ingredients and recipes. We have some interesting ideas this year, including a few

WHAT'S NEW? If you have any foodie news for the next issue we'd love to include it - please email details to info@tasteswansea.com

'around the world' cruise inspired evenings, to which I'm really looking forward.' 5

RETURN OF ROMA COCKLES From May, the award-winning Roma Fish Bar in Penclawdd will be bringing back their famous deep-fried cockles. The very seasonal and very local delicacy is only available from the popular Penclawdd fish bar from May to September each year. Get down there and give them a go!

POP-UP DELIGHTS This spring, one of Swansea's favourite pop-up kitchens, Malabar Aaanaa, return to their usual spot in Noah's Yard, Uplands with both their Keralan and Persian kitchens. The pop-up dates are as follows: 6 April (Persian), 13 April (Keralan), 4 May (Persian), 11 May (Keralan), 25 May (Keralan).




THE GREAT FOODS OF CHINA: TOFU In this month's Great Foods of China, GIGI GAO – owner of The Favourite Authentic Chinese on Brynymor Road – explores the delicious but sometimes underrated (especially among meat-eaters) staple of Chinese cuisine, Tofu.


ouFu is a very common food in China.


frozen. In Chinese traditional medicine, DouFu is

However in the UK, everywhere you look, it

suitable for those who are weak, malnourished,

is known as Tofu. Like many foods, Tofu is

and deficient in blood and qi. And if you are

a Cantonese word, while in Mandarin it is called

drinking liquor, DouFu is a great accompaniment,

DouFu (which is what I shall call it in this article!).

as it contains cysteine, which can speed up the

DouFu originated about 2,000 years ago in China,

the harm done to the liver.

detoxification of alcohol in the body, and lessen during the Han dynasty. It was invented by Prince Liu An (179-122 BC). As a green healthy food, its worldwide growth probably coincided with the spread of Buddhism, because it is an important source of protein and has a low calorie count, also high in iron – so perfect for the vegetarian diet of East Asian Buddhism. Li ShiZhen in the Ming Dynasty described a

DouFu dishes are very common, typical

method of making DouFu in the Compendium of

and popular in China. At The Favourite, where we

Materia Medica, as it can have high calcium and

offer real and authentic Chinese cuisine, the

magnesium content. There's a well-known story

DouFu dishes we serve mainly use soft and silken

about a very beautiful lady who is a DouFu

tofu. Our DouFu dishes are: Bean Curd Salad,

maker. She is pretty because she eats DouFu

DouFu and Century Eggs, Seafood and DouFu in

everyday, therefore she was given a name of

Clay Pot, Home Style DouFu, Hot Spicy DouFu,

'DouFu Queen'.

Hot Spicy Bean Curd, Gong Bao DouFu (highlyrecommended by Taste Swansea's editor Chris),

DouFu is made by coagulating soy milk and then

and Silky Egg DouFu on Sizzling Platter.

pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It can be made to be soft, firm, or extra

Allergies: Because DouFu is made of soy, individuals

firm. There are many different varieties of DouFu,

with allergies to legumes should not consume it.

including fresh DouFu and DouFu that has been processed in some way – like deep fried or



SPRING HAS SPRUNG BY DAVID LLEWELLYN The weather is getting better, the big jumpers are being put in the cupboard, and the asparagus is tasty again... That must mean spring is finally here! To celebrate, Taste Swansea's innovation and development chef DAVID LLEWELLYN rounds up his favourite in-season foods, and how to bring out the best in them. I love spring because it delivers a multitude of fantastic produce to really excite food lovers. As the days begin to stretch out, we can put away the casserole dishes, pour ourselves a cold glass of wine and look forward to a fresh, lighter approach to eating – but one still packed with huge flavour. In this issue, I take ingredients that are all perfect at this time of year and bring them together to form one mouthwatering complete meal that is sure to put a smile on your face. May signifies the arrival of British asparagus and, in Swansea and Gower, those of us with a strong back are lucky enough to be able to pick it for ourselves. Although we are used to being able to eat asparagus all year round, British is certainly the best and the season is short – so get it while you can!

Simply boiled or steamed it's fantastic, but I love them rubbed in olive oil, seasoned with coarse salt and put on a searing-hot griddle pan. Turn once when they are charred on one side and cook for a few minutes until tender. Charring really intensifies their flavour and transforms this stunning vegetable. Romesco sauce is a perfect accompaniment. Smear a generous amount of sauce on a platter, pile on the charred asparagus, and finish with a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts and a good drizzle of balsamic vinegar. This is also a brilliant way to treat broccoli, and purple sprouting is beautiful right now. It would not be spring without two things – lamb and Jersey royals. Lamb shoulder for me is king and it requires just a little bit of attention and plenty of time to put your feet up.

Simply set the oven to 150C; slice a white onion into a roasting tin; add some herbs, fresh bay leaf, rosemary, thyme (or whatever you can get your hands on), and a few cloves of bashed garlic, then cover with foil. Put this in for around four hours. Remove the foil towards the end of cooking to colour the meat and continue until it falls apart and can be cut with a spoon! For the potatoes, again I prefer an honest approach where the veg shines. Boil in salted water until tender, then toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper, fresh parsley and mint. Or to make it even more special add some crispy bacon and fresh, local blanched samphire. These three dishes are a true showcase, not only to spring but to our beautiful landscape that has helped forge them. 11


Members of Swansea Bay GOOD Food Circle work together to deliver a good food destination; taking pride in offering fresh, seasonal, local produce – SwanseaBayFoodCircle.co.uk Make sure to check out our members ‘Championing Local Produce..!' Restaurants / Bistros / Cafés / Tea Rooms... Three Cliffs Coffee - www.threescliffs.co.uk Fairyhill - www.fairyhill.net Cafe TwoCann - www.Cafetwocann.com Britannia Inn - www.britanniainngower.co.uk Cariad Cafe - www.cariadcafe.com Gower Heritage Centre - www.gowerheritagecentre.co.uk Morgans Hotel - www.morganshotel.co.uk The Kinder Cafe - www.thekindercafe.co.uk Welcome to Town - www.welcometotown.co.uk Le Petit Bulle - www.lepetitbulle.co.uk Garbo’s Cafe Bar - www.garboscafebar.co.uk Dylan Thomas Birth Place - www.dylanthomasbirthplace.com 360 Cafe - www.360swansea.co.uk Bay Bistro - www.thebaybistro.co.uk Gower Wildflower Cafe - www.gowerwildflowers.co.uk Growers and Producers... Cae Tan - www.gowerpower.coop/caetan/ Gower Salt Marsh Lamb - www.gowersaltmarshlamb.co.uk Gower Heritage Centre - www.gowerheritagecentre.co.uk Tuckers Butchers, Penclawdd Estelle’s Gower Goodies - www.estellesgowergoodies.co.uk Gluten Free Baking Company – www.thegluten-freebaking.com JL Occasional Cakes - www.jloccasionalcakes.co.uk Ty Sirol Pork Welsh Pork – www.welshpork.co.uk Gower Sea Salt / Halen Gwyr

If you would like to join the Swansea Bay GOOD Food Circle, give us a call on 01792 403339 and a member of the team will contact you.




As we finally ditch winter, we should at last start seeing some decent weather – which is great news for the excellent outdoor local produce markets we have in Swansea, Gower and Llanelli.

And this spring, our favourite markets will once again be serving up your favourite foodie treats – whether that's beer from Mumbles Brewery, burgers from Nothing But…, or cupcakes from the Raspberry Cakery. We also have a new addition to the line-up – one which operates in any weather – the Mosaic Undercover Market. This was held at the St Helen's Road restaurant for the first time in March and was a great success. The Mosaic markets will include both crafts and food produce, including cakes, biscuits, and a deli and vegan selection. The following are correct as far as we know, although all are subject to change. Contact the market organisers directly for more information.












Are we missing any? Let us know! Email info@tasteswansea.com 13

WALKING UP AN APPETITE With sweeping views, endless moors and plenty of beautiful wildlife, Gower is the perfect place to go for a walk. But a walk is only as good as the food you enjoy after it. So, in collaboration with the walking enthusiasts at Swansea Ramblers, we have come up with four fantastic Gower walk/restaurant pairings.

Fairyhill - Cefn Bryn Circular At eight miles this is a good leg stretcher, which starts on the top of Cefn Bryn – the backbone of Gower, with good all round views. The route – on which there are a couple of awkward styles and muddy patches – takes in some of the lesser known parts of Gower, away from the madding crowd, with a mixture of farmland and commons. It should take about four hours, in which time you'll have built up an exceptional appetite. And what better way to reward yourself than by a trip to Fairyhill, which is just off the route and worth walking eight miles to get to by itself. While it's probably wise to bring a change of shoes, lunch in their gorgeous gardens will replenish even the most tired of soles, and souls. With a locally-sourced three-course lunch for £25, it's certain to appeal to any budget. Booking is advisable. tinyurl.com/zp86blk

The King's Head - Rhossili Down Starting at Hillend caravan site in Llangennith, there's an easy threemile walk along the spectacular Rhossili Bay beach towards Rhossili. You can then return along the Wales Coast Path, which runs just above the beach past the Old Rectory, now owned by the National Trust. If you like more of a challenge then climb steeply onto Rhossili Down from Rhossili village, before dropping back down to the caravan site (this is around five miles). The easy route will take about two hours, while the more strenuous one will take about three hours. Back in Llangennith you'll find The King's Head, which is a rustic pub that serves excellent bistro-style specials, as well as hearty pub classics like home-made pies, and fish and chips – all prepared with great skill and served with a smile. There's also a lovely real ale selection to wash it all down with. And if you've done the strenuous route, award yourself another pint. tinyurl.com/jdp6eyv

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SwanseaRamblers.org.uk is an excellent online resource for Gower walks, and includes all the information, maps and history you'll need to enjoy your walks.

The Ship Inn - Port Eynon Point This is a short two-mile walk with a gradual climb and one short steep descent. From the Point, there are good views of Port Eynon Bay and the south Gower coast and cliffs. Before climbing up you can make a detour to see the remains of the 17th century Salthouse. The route also includes the hamlet of Overton, and should take about an hour and a half to complete (a bit longer if you visit the Salthouse). After the brisk seaside walk, head to The Ship Inn, which offers a warm and cosy atmosphere, friendly and attentive service, and – most importantly – delicious, fresh gastropub food with plenty of local produce, lovingly prepared by Taste Swansea's columnist Chris Keenan. tinyurl.com/h9j9gcr

The Britannia Inn - Llanmadoc Down On this three mile walk there are some splendid panoramic views of Gower and Carmarthen Bay as well as an impressive hill fort. There's one long gentle climb to the top on a broad path, followed by a ridge walk and a gentle descent the other end. It should take about two hours to complete. Nearby, down a winding road with superb views of the estuary, you'll find The Britannia Inn in Llanmadoc – known as 'Gower's best kept secret'. Talented head chef Martin Davies serves up some wonderful rustic dishes, made using fresh local produce. The pub itself is split into the casual bar area – which has just undergone a beautiful makeover – and a more formal restaurant area, along with a large beer garden which is perfect for a few post-walk pints! tinyurl.com/jjk96u6



THE FRESHEST OF FISH As I recently strolled around the stalls of Swansea Market, I chanced upon a couple of beautiful lemon sole. They were very fresh with bright eyes, firm to the touch and had a wonderful smell of the sea. They were caught on a day boat, which are the pretty little fishing boats you see bobbing up and down on the water. As the name suggests, they are out for no longer than 24 hours, catching small quantities of fish and landing them back at the market in peak condition and just about as fresh as the moment they were caught. The greatest benefit of buying fish off these little boats is the extended shelf life offered to the fishmonger, hotel and restaurant. They may be a little more expensive, but you expect to pay a premium for quality. Also within the dazzling display of fresh fish and shellfish I fancied some fillets of Gurnard - a very meaty and tasty fish with a firm texture. Not so long ago, fishermen were using these as bait for lobsters. These days however, they command a decent price for themselves as they have become more and more appreciated by chefs up and down the country. The last thing to catch my eye was a group of sea bream, which are fresh, shiny skinned, and bright eyed. An incredibly versatile fish – steamed, fried, grilled or baked, this fish can handle it. Now, with my catch in my hands, its time to get back to my kitchen.

WHOLE LEMON SOLE WITH A LEMON BUTTER Ingredients For the sole 25g/1oz butter 1 tbsp. olive oil 2 whole small lemon sole, dark skin removed Salt and freshly ground black pepper For the lemon butter sauce 55ml/2fl oz white wine 100ml/3½fl oz double cream 50g/1¾oz butter ½ lemon, juice only 1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives What to do For the sole, heat the butter and oil in a frying pan. Season the fish with salt and black pepper on both sides, then place them into the hot pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. For the lemon butter sauce, place the white wine into a saucepan over a medium heat and simmer until

Chris Keenan is an award-winning Michelin star chef, a published author, food writer, and a TV and radio broadcaster. He is currently engaged as Executive Chef at The Ship Inn, Port Eynon. Chris can be contacted at: chris@chriskeenanfood.co.uk

reduced by half. Add the double cream and butter to the pan and simmer until thickened. Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat. Now place the whole sole onto plates with the sauce poured over and the chives sprinkled on top. This dish is lovely served with buttered new potatoes or – better still – crushed new potatoes, with a little crème fraiche and chopped


fresh watercress stirred in.

ROAST FILLET OF GURNARD WITH A COCONUT VEGETABLE CURRY Ingredients 4 fillets of Gurnard, 6-7 oz each A drizzle of oil for cooking 1 small onion diced 4 fat cloves of garlic, crushed A small head of broccoli cut into florets 1 courgette diced 1 red pepper diced 4 small medium-sized tomatoes, chopped A handful of mange tout, cut in half diagonally A teaspoon of ground ginger A pinch of garam masala A tablespoon of mild curry powder 2 small cans of coconut milk A generous handful of baby spinach leaves A dash of fresh lime juice Salt and pepper What to do Heat the oil in a suitably sized saucepan. Stir in the onion, garlic, pepper, courgette, broccoli and cook together as you stir. Now add the dry ingredients, curry powder, ground ginger, and a pinch of garam masala. Cook the spices and vegetables together for at least 5 minutes, not allowing them to colour at all. Next add the chopped tomatoes and stir these into the spices until they begin to break down, pour in your coconut milk, season and simmer for about 10 minutes. Finally add the mange tout and stir in the baby spinach leaves, and a dash of fresh lime juice. That’s your curry done – time to cook the fish! Heat a little oil in an oven-proof frying or sauté pan. Lightly season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Place the fish in the hot pan, skin side down. Make sure the pan is sizzling nicely at this point so you get a nice crisp skin. Turn the fish over to seal the other side then get it straight into the oven. Roast for about 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and is firm to the touch. Set the fish onto plates, serve with the curry sauce and basmati rice, or for a little authenticity serve everything on a piece of banana leaf, with a wedge of lime and fresh coriander.

BREAM WITH TOMATO SALSA Ingredients For the bream A little oil and a small knob of butter for cooking 2 whole bream, (if you prefer, your fishmonger would fillet them for you) A little salt and pepper For the tomato salsa A drizzle of olive oil 200g chopped fresh tomatoes 50g of finely chopped onions 1 small clove of crushed garlic A few basil leaves A couple of lemon wedges A pinch of caster sugar What to do Heat the oil and the butter in a shallow pan until it starts sizzling. Season and place the fish into the pan, cook for 5-6 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Lift from the pan and onto plates. Now in a clean pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil. Add the onions and garlic, sweat these off for a minute of two or until they begin to soften. Next add the chopped tomatoes and sugar, stir all ingredients together over a gentle heat. The tomatoes will soon break down to form a lovely rustic sauce. Spoon the salsa around the bream, with a wedge of lemon and a sprinkle of torn fresh basil leaves.






ALL CHANGE AT THE WOODMAN The Woodman sits in an enviable spot – a stone's throw from the sweep of Swansea Bay, surrounded by the botanical grandeur of Clyne Garden. But it reserved its spot on the seafront way back in around 1819, when the Duke of Beaufort leased land at Blackpill to build a school and a pub. This pub – which was then known as The Brinney Inn – was originally on the opposite side of the road. By the mid-1800s it had become known as The Woodman, and was bought in 1880 by William Graham Vivian, the owner of the Clyne Estate. Then, just before the turn of the century, the original pub was demolished and rebuilt in the present location. Quite a history, which the pub is still writing. It's now a solid favourite of locals and tourists alike, who love the rustic look, varied and adventurous menu, and one of the cosiest atmospheres you will find in Swansea – especially if the log fires are roaring! In the last few months the pub has seen some big changes. Back in October last year, The Woodman enjoyed a refurbishment; retaining the country pub atmosphere you'd expect, with a fresh paint job, a gallery of mirrors and plenty of comfy furniture on which to plonk down and enjoy some food. Then in February this year the pub saw more change, when locals welcomed back former manager Steve Rouse. He took control of The Woodman for the first time back in August 2011, and returned to the pub last month after a year spent running another fine Swansea establishment. He's also gathered together members of his old team to rejoin him, including kitchen team leader Kristian Roberts and two other chefs. But the changes don't stop there, with a new Spring/Summer menu launched in March. I've had a chance to look at it in detail and there are plenty of seasonal winners. Highlights for me include the Buttermilk Chicken Burger, Asian-Style Chilli Duck Noodles, and a very summery Mango, Mozzarella and Asparagus Salad (perfect when the beer garden is in full swing). Finished off with a Salted Caramel, Brownie and Cheesecake Sundae, and a few pints of real ale? Of course. So while The Woodman still holds onto its heritage tightly, recent changes have definitely made it more comfortable, friendly and delicious.



REVIEW: ARTISAN BREAD MAKING Gower Heritage Centre On a brisk February morning I popped along to the artisan bread making workshop at the Gower Heritage Centre, organised by the Swansea Bay Good Food Circle. Before the actual bread making began, we had a guided tour of the working mill and our guide, Arwel, proved very entertaining as he explained the history of the milling process.

by Chris Carra I took my two loaves home with me on a baking tray, ready to cook that evening. How did they come out, you ask? Not bad. Both of mine were about 60/40 rye to white flour, and were edible – thankfully – and not as dense as they first appeared. They could have done with a bit more salt, but I was pretty happy with my first attempt!

Facts I remembered – it takes 25kg of grain to make 9kg of flour, and flour is very explosive – so no metalto-metal moving parts were permitted in the mill. Or smoking for that matter! We then moved to the classroom to construct our own loaves. Supplied with everything we needed to make the bread we set about crafting a traditional organic loaf. I found it refreshing not to have to follow a rigid recipe. Instead, we were told by our expert tutor, Chendore, to add 'about a third of a bag of flour' and 'around two ladles of water'. Just like they'd have done back in the good ol' days. We shaped our dough into sausages – accompanied by a good dose of innuendo – before learning how to fold the dough into a Celtic knot, as well as the origin of the phrase 'get your leg over' (cue more innuendo). As the bread was left to rise, we enjoyed a lovely, home-made lunch in the Tea Rooms – three courses no less! A robust cawl, organic bread and butter to start, followed by a tasty cheese quiche, and finished off with some bara brith. All home-made, all delicious, and just what I needed (or should that be kneaded…) after a morning of bread making.



LIFE IN THE KITCHEN CHRIS PRICE: SOSBAN This month we chat to Chris Price, senior chef at Llanelli's famous Sosban. With a renown fine dining menu and a brand new wallet-friendly grill menu to focus on, Chris is one of the busiest chefs in the areas. But we still managed to grab him to share his thoughts on life behind the kitchen doors. When you are not working, where else in the area do you enjoy eating out? I try to vary my choices when it comes to dining out, and enjoy anything from Tafarn y Morlais in Llangennech, down to Slice in Sketty.

What was the first meal you ever cooked? The very first meal I cooked was actually a Sunday roast. It was a roast shoulder of lamb with a red wine jus, Yorkshire pudding and sweetened carrots. This all came from Gordon Ramsay's Sunday Lunch cook book, and it turned out very well! What's your favourite meal to cook for yourself? For myself I love to cook some honest, uncomplicated Italian dishes – whether it's trying to find the perfect carbonara or having a go at some simple but effective pizzas. What's the most popular item on your menu at the moment? Currently I'd say the most popular dish on the menu is the braised shoulder of Welsh lamb, which comes with tender stem broccoli, roasted shallots wrapped in Carmarthenshire ham, and good old mashed potato – made from scratch.

What's the best thing about being a chef? The best thing is being given the task of creating new menu ideas; figuring out what works best on the dish and then getting some good feedback from our customers, who say they thoroughly enjoyed their meals. It's always great to hear those words: 'compliments to the chef!' And the worst? I would say the only downfall of being a chef is the long hours. Trying to fit in a social life while working crazy long days throughout the week is pretty tough, but it's worth it in the end. Finally, if you weren't a chef, what would you be doing? If I wasn't a chef I would probably be improving my swing on the golf course. I love spending most of my days on the course taking in the Costa del Carmarthenshire sunshine!


SWANSEA ON A PLATE: SWANSEA MARKET By Chris Carra As the editor of this fine magazine I do a lot of writing, editing and eating behind the scenes. However it's taken me until the fifth issue to realise I didn't have my own column. So I have put this right. I now introduce you to 'Swansea On A Plate' – a little culinary journey around the foodie hotspots of Swansea. I've started with an area that's truly king for shoppers who are after fresh, local produce – Swansea Market. It's a foodie haven and the heartbeat of Swansea City Centre; bustling with local characters and steeped in history. On my most recent walk around the market, I noted at least 40 different stalls offering food and local produce. It's actually surprising how many food traders there are in the market, from Tucker's Fish and The Choice is Yours fruit and veg, to Billy Upton's family run butchers, we really are spoiled for choice. In addition to a more uplifting grocerybuying experience than a trip to your average depressing 'superstore', Swansea Market also caters for those wishing to have a bite to eat in the vibrant market. A classic café that needs no introduction is Sandy's Lunchbox, who serves up delicious, honest lunches – from curries and their famous carvery, to home-made pies, soups and cakes. A newer addition, which has become incredibly popular with city centre eaters, is Thai Taste, who offer a full menu of authentic Thai cuisine – some dishes with an intense kick (I'm talking from experience)! It's all preservative and MSG-free, and tastes awesome. The queues at lunchtimes really speak volume for the quality of their food. There are also several deli stalls selling everything from faggots and rissoles to cheeses and meats, but the highlight for me is Goodies Deli whose refrigerated units are bursting with some wonderful exotic goods – local and continental cheeses, olives, and some delicious chorizos and cured meats. Another stall I love to browse is Tiffany's Sweetie Jar – which offers hundreds of retro sweets, chocolates and confectionery, and caters well for sugar-free, gluten-free and gelatine-free diets. Other highlights include Carol Watts – who is well known for her cockles, laverbread, prawns and a very popular seafood mix in a home-made sauce – and the nearby stall A Little Bit of Welsh, offering a great selection of Welsh preserves, honeys and jams. I think I picked a good place to start my culinary journey of Swansea, but with a plethora of quality stalls, there's only so many I could remember. I suggest you get down to Swansea Market today and discover what goodies are in store for you! Where's next on my journey? Find out in the next issue of Taste Swansea. In the meantime, feel free to send me your suggestions: info@tasteswansea.com



In this regular feature we get a real taste of some of Swansea's most celebrated food and drink producers. In this issue, we speak with Rhossili-based cottage baker JESSICA HIGGS of Jessie's Cottage Cakes. A relatively new business, their mail-order tray-bakes are already hugely popular with the cake lovers of Gower, Swansea and beyond! You're a relatively new business, but take us back to the beginning – when and why did you start Jessie's Cottage Cakes? I moved from Shropshire to Rhossili in June 2013 to live with my now husband Tom, who farms Great Pitton Farm with his granddad Christopher Beynon. I'm a farmer's daughter myself and was brought up on traditional home-made food, with my mum's Sunday roast a favourite; this was reflected when all my friends used to conveniently arrive every Sunday at 12.30pm! Living on a farm all my life, and now with my farming husband, food is very important for the energy levels, especially a sweet treat and this is where I first discovered my love for baking. In November last year, after two years of Gower living, my love of baking and having my own business drove me to leave my position as reception manager at the Oxwich Bay Hotel and go back to my passion. What kind of produce do you specialise in? I specialise in tray-bake cakes; these are enjoyed by everyone, anyone, and at any time. My five main cakes are Caramel Shortbread, Brownies, Blondies with Raspberries, Tiffin and Chocolate Chip Flapjacks. Then I have my cake of the month, which is currently Mother’s Day Malteser and Marshmallow Tiffin. In addition I cater for gluten free, and it's as simple as ticking the gluten free box on checkout – why miss out on cake!

So you actually bake the cakes in your cottage? How does that work for you? I am currently baking with my country navy blue Rayburn, which works well for me. However I am planning to expand into one of the farm buildings over time. Everything is baked to order on the morning of dispatch and therefore the receiver could not ask for fresher – this is proper home baking, sent straight to your door. What's your favourite cake to bake and then eat? My personal favourite is the Caramel Shortbread, as I love the combination of the buttery shortbread melting in your mouth, the rich and gooey caramel and then the crunchy milk chocolate – I am hungry thinking about them! Tom's favourite is the Tiffin – he loves the syrupy taste. Where can people find you? Do you do any local markets? Any plans to open a shop? At present I am supplying a few establishments in South Gower, and I am going to have a stand at The Gower Show in August this year. I've also entered my Caramel Shortbread into the Great Taste Awards 2016, and am hoping to hear back from them soon. I'm not planning on having my own shop, and I'm predominantly trying to keep my business simple, and stick to one thing – mail order cakes. A lot of locals order my cakes and pick them up, which is great.


Est 1935

KRISTY'S BAKERY Eversley Road, Swansea | 01792 201479 Specialist Italian bakery in Sketty

Baking today like we've done for 80 years.





FIVE TO TRY: SA1 CAFES SA1 is such an exciting area of our lovely city, and marries all aspects of life in Swansea – business, academics and leisure. And you can't have any of those without good coffee! So we've decided to round up five of the best cafés in the SA1 area worth heading to next time you need a break.



Nestled inside the historic Dylan

An elegant J-Shed café that

Thomas Centre, 1825 Coffee Shop

specialises in much more than just

serve up a lovely array of coffees,

coffee. With an ever-changing and

courtesy of their bubbly Spanish

varied bistro menu, Café TwoCann

barista Rosa. They also focus on

has cemented itself as a foodie

veggie and special diets, offering

paradise. Throw in a relaxed

plenty of home-made soups, salads,

atmosphere, friendly service, and

chills and daily specials. It's also a

an array of special food and wine

relatively peaceful atmosphere and

events, and it's clear to see why

great for working – I end up writing

TwoCann is so popular.

half this magazine in 1825!




If you're after peace and quiet, look

At the other end of SA1 we have a

One of the newest and most

no further than the tranquil café at

very popular café, with a fresh and

exciting cafés in Swansea, the Great

Swansea's Environment Centre (Pier

bright setting, and lovely waterside

Hall Café Bar is located on the first

Street), which is a haven for fair-

views that live up to its name. As

floor of the brand new Great Hall

trade, organic and eco-friendly

well as classic coffees, beers and

Building in Swansea University's

enthusiasts (which should really be

wines, they offer some good value

Bay Campus (Fabian Way). With

all of us). The café also offers its

breakfasts, an array of cakes and

breathtaking views over the bay,

own green shop, and perhaps the

brownies, and a variety of specials –

you'll find both coffees and staple

greatest value on this list – instant

from a grilled halloumi salad to an

café favourites such as sandwiches

coffee for 80p and a cappuccino for

antipasti meat platter.

and salads, as well as beers, wines,

£1.50. Bargain!

sharing platters and tapas.




MEAL FOR TWO AT THE WOODMAN If you've read our feature on the history and recent changes at The Woodman (page 21) you'll no doubt be keen to pay them a visit. And one lucky Taste Swansea reader will have the chance to do that for free! We are giving away a two-course meal for two people and a bottle of wine, which you can enjoy in the cosy atmosphere of the newly refurbished Blackpill pub. To be in with a chance of winning, visit TasteSwansea.com, Competition closes Tuesday, 3 May with winners selected at head to the 'Competitions' page, random and notified soon after. No cash alternative to the prize and enter your name and email will be offered. The prize is not transferable, and subject to availability. We reserve the right to withdraw any prize without address. It's that simple! giving notice. Taste Swansea is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition. Terms and conditions apply.



Former Masterchef judge, award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster, and even an occasional jazz pianist – Jay Rayner has done it all! This month he will be appearing on stage in Swansea with his new show A Night of Food and Agony – half stand up comedy about dreadful restaurant experiences, the other half a jazzy reflection of food, drink, and being raised by his agony aunt mother.

And you can win two tickets to the show, courtesy of Swansea Grand Theatre! To be in with a chance of winning, head to Competition closes Tuesday, 15 April with winners selected at random and notified soon after. No cash alternative to TasteSwansea.com, go to the 'Competitions' page, the prize will be offered. The prize is not transferable, and and enter your name and email address. subject to availability. We reserve the right to withdraw any A Night of Food and Agony is at Swansea Grand Theatre on Friday, 29 April at 8pm.

prize without giving notice. Taste Swansea is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition. Terms and conditions apply.



BEHIND THE BREW: FIFTY SHADES OF PALE ALE What's in a colour? Over two hundred years ago all beer was real ale, and it was all dark in colour - such as Imperial Stout from London, which was brewed in such a way to withstand long, tough journeys to imperial Russia. This ale was reputedly the favourite drink of the Russian aristocracy. But it wasn't just stouts – even lager bier of that era was dark. Slightly later, new barley malt roasting technology, combined with the high-sulfate waters of Burtonon-Trent, created the next famous British export: India Pale Ale. And the Mumbles Brewery IPA is true to tradition, using only British hops which include Fuggles 'dry hopped' in the cask, just like those sent around the Cape. Since the 18th Century, ales have become lighter, with golden beers becoming particularly popular. For the Six Nations 2016 tournament I designed my lightest ale ever – a blonde beer called Hop Kick. It flew over the bar, breaking all my previous sales records for a single ale. At only 4% ABV, it is very easy to drink and the refreshing American hop flavours brought drinkers back for more. It poses the question: is blonde the new gold? Then, at Easter weekend, I launched my first American Pale Ale, called Triple Hop Pale. At 4.7% ABV, it is strong enough to take the complexities of three American hops, one 'dry hopped' in a conditioning vessel before casking. Look out for more pale ales from Mumbles Brewery over the summer months. Rob Turner Head Brewer, Mumbles Brewery 33

WINE & DINE: Spring With Antoinette Milne With more than 25 years experience in the wine industry, ANTOINETTE MILNE is a superb addition to the Taste Swansea line-up and will be sharing her expertise with you over the next few months. This issue, Antoinette looks at the very best wines to enjoy in the warmer spring weather; pairing them with some fantastic in-season local produce. Ancre Hill Estates Sparkling Rose 2013 How about trying the delicious Ancre Hill Estates Sparkling Rose with Welsh spider crab? It’s a delicate pairing, with this sparkling rose giving a refreshing and zesty lift to the beautiful crab. The wine – a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – is a pale salmon pink colour, and has notes of refreshing ripe citrus fruit, and wild strawberries and cream on the palate with subtle hints of vanilla. Asoft persistent mousse with a clean finish. £28.99 at Cheers Wine Merchants and Mumbles Fine Wines

Gwin Gwyn 2014 What about trying Gwin Gwyn white wine with some tasty local cockles (albeit without vinegar)? The refreshing ripe fruit in the wine enhances the salty, fleshy mollusc and both will appear smoother and richer. A blend of Phoenix and Siegerrebe grape varieties, it's dry and delicate with floral aromas of elderflower and ripe citrus fruits on the palate. It also won a Bronze Award at the UK Vineyards Association Wine of the Year Competition 2015. £15.00 at White Castle Vineyard

Ancre Hill Estates Pinot Noir 2013 If you are thinking of enjoying some roast Welsh Lamb (see David's recipe on Page 7), the Ancre Hill Estates Pinot Noir works particularly well as the lovely acidity will be the perfect foil for the oily meat. Lovely aromas and flavours of red fruits such as wild strawberry and black cherry, combined with spice and hints of liquorice. There's a lasting, smooth finish. Ready to enjoy from now until 2020. £23.99 at Mumbles Fine Wines and available at Cheers Wine merchants

Glyndwr Red 2013 As a fuller bodied wine, Glyndwr Red stands up well to Welsh Black Beef, while the saltiness in the meat enhances the smoothness and richness of the wine. A wonderful marriage. Produced from early ripening mature Rondo grapes, this red wine is full-coloured and fragrant. Gently aged in American oak barrels, it displays a charming, rustic character of berry fruits and savoury nuances. £17.50 at Glyndwr Vineyard in Cowbridge - also available at Dylan's Sketty.

Antoinette runs Wine For Life Learning, which organises a series of certified wine courses and tastings across Wales. Please visit WineForLifeLearning.co.uk for more details. Sign up for the WSET Level 1 Award in Wines at Café TwoCann on April 4, 5 and 11. All wines and prices were accurate at time of print.




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Taste Swansea - Issue 5  

The fifth issue of Taste Swansea - the Spring Edition! Dive into the only regular food and drink magazine for Swansea, Gower and Llanelli, a...

Taste Swansea - Issue 5  

The fifth issue of Taste Swansea - the Spring Edition! Dive into the only regular food and drink magazine for Swansea, Gower and Llanelli, a...