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Taste Swansea Magazine


We're now well into 2016 and I'm guessing most of you have given up on your new year's diets? That's good! Eating everything in moderation, getting some exercise and having a few less chocolates is always more sensible than a crash diet anyway (but who am I to give dietary advice?). Plus it means you are able to enjoy eating out again. And we are blessed with some excellent restaurants, cafés and pubs in Swansea – so all the better! Love is certainly in the air this issue, with plenty of inspiration for cooking your own romantic Valentine's Day meal from Chris Keenan, executive chef at the Ship Inn (page 22). Don't want to get your hands dirty? Then check out some of our advertisers, who are offering to do all the hard work on 14 February so you can concentrate on the romance. What else have we got? Our London-based, Swansea-born innovation chef David Llewellyn gives us some quick tips on making delicious winter desserts (page 7), before local cookery teacher Danny Rees explains the key to a healthier 2016 is to eat a little smarter (page 12). On page 17, Gigi Gao from the Favourite Authentic Chinese begins a regular column on Chinese ingredients – kicking off with a broad look at Chinese cuisine in general. We also speak with awardwinning food writer and former Masterchef judge Jay Rayner ahead of his new show at Swansea's Grand Theatre (page 27). And don't forget our regular features like Life in the Kitchen, Foodie News, Local Produce Markets, and more! Quite a lot to cram into such a small magazine. But cram we did.

February/March 2016 Publisher Taste Swansea Magazine Phone 07525 069850 General Enquires & Advertising info@tasteswansea.com Editor Chris Carra Design Steve Homer Editorial Assistance Ben Watkins 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.

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 CONTRIBUTOR





FOODIE NEWS COFFEE PUNKS One of Swansea's newest third-wave coffee houses – Coffee Punks – opened on the Kingsway in December, and aims to deliver something very different from bland chains like Costa and Starbucks. Coffee Punks owner Glen Adams is a passionate guy and an expert when it comes to the coffee industry. He told Taste Swansea that trying to replicate a chain should not be the goal of any independent café – being individual is the key to great coffee. 'Where an independent coffee house can compete and win outright is with quality,' he added. Coffee Punks have also introduced a new student discount scheme, offering a generous 15% off food and drinks.



Specialists in Italian breads, cakes and confectionery, Kristy's Bakery on Eversley Road in Sketty has also been making traditional lasagne 'ready meals' for years – allowing regular customers to enjoy restaurant quality dishes at home. But now, on every Thursday and Friday lunchtime in February, they are offering the chance to enjoy hot, fresh lasagne and sauté potatoes in their little café for £4.50. If you consider a toasted sandwich is usually around a fiver these days, that's nothing short of a bargain. Bellissimo!


UPLANDS SQUIRREL The quirky Uplands coffee shop Steam has started the year with a sharp new re-brand and is now called Squirrel. While the essence of the café is the same – and you can still get a sausage sandwich and a coffee for around a fiver – Squirrel now places more emphasis on their night-life. Evening meals include a chicken and chorizo burger, and spiced curry battered halloumi and chips, while their creative cocktails have a big gin influence – including the 'Buttered' (buttered gin, pineapple and tonic) and 'Grape' (gin, grape, sage, lemon and tonic). Sounds delicious!

BEST ROAST IN LLANELLI Having been voted 'The Best Sunday Dinner in Llanelli' last year by readers of the Llanelli Star, The Bridge in Llangennech has also been shortlisted for the 'Food and Drink Award' at the Llanelli Star and Carmarthen Journal West Wales Business Awards. The awards were to be held at the Stradey Park Hotel on 22 January, just as Taste Swansea went to print.

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


The enchanting Fairyhill in Reynoldston run their popular wine tasting lunches at the stunning hotel once a month. The informal events include a walk-around tasting, followed by lunch. Canapés are served to accompany the wines, and you are able to order any wines that take your fancy at the event. Upcoming tastings will be held on Saturday, 6 February and Saturday, 12 March, between 11.30am and 1pm. The tastings are £5 per person, in addition to the normal lunch prices.



COMFORT IN THE COLD BY DAVID LLEWELLYN Enjoying the miserable weather? Us neither. But thankfully Taste Swansea's innovation and development chef DAVID LLEWELLYN is on hand to give us a few ideas for desserts that will offer a little comfort to stave off the depressing winter chill. Now that the festive season is over and the feasting has come to an end, we are left to battle the new year health kick. Balance and moderation are words we are likely to hear this month and, though this is true, what do you reach for when you need something a bit more comforting? It's certainly not a stick of celery. Thankfully there are many ideas for hot and cold desserts over the winter months, with apples, pears, pineapple, passion fruit and citrus all perfect to use at this time. For a quick and indulgent afterdinner treat, I love to break into chunks some panettone or brioche left over from Christmas, smother it with some local marmalade, pour over a little indulgent homemade custard, and then bake until golden, crispy and astoundingly comforting. For something a bit fruitier, try cutting a fresh pineapple into long wedges, then put it into a

frying pan of melted butter. When the pineapple starts to colour, add a good glug of dark rum (watch out for the ensuing fire storm!), then add a large teaspoon of dark brown sugar and a good few turns of the black pepper mill. Black pepper and pineapple are a fantastic combination! Once the sugar has melted and has a nice caramel colour, finish with a small dash of cream. This results in a lovely warming butterscotch sauce. Serve with a spoonful of crème fraiche, put your feet up and enjoy. There are occasions, especially when it's miserable outside, that only chocolate will do – so make it a bit special and share a warm bowl of melted chocolate fondue with homemade shortbread, marshmallows and salty pretzels to dip into. The fondue is incredibly satisfying to make and, like myself, when you know how to make it you will

want to use it on everything you cook! Start with 300ml cold water, 50g caster sugar and 25g of coco powder. Whisk this together over a medium heat until all the coco and sugar has dissolved. When it's just under the boil, take it off the heat, break up 50-60g of good quality dark chocolate and add it in to the hot liquid, piece by piece, whisking as you go until it has all melted and you are left with a beautiful silky, shiny sauce. This sauce is also fantastic drizzled over a classic poached pear. Poach the pear with an opened vanilla pod, a star anise and half a cinnamon stick – a flavour that will match the chocolate perfectly. Comfort comes in many forms, but this time of year taking a moment to give yourself and others a little treat will always provide a smile – even if the weather won’t.



POP-UP KITCHENS Swansea isn't blessed for choice when

it comes to pop-up kitchens, but more and more are arriving which is great to see – there's so much scope for collaboration between location and cuisine. If you know of any pop-ups we should feature, please send details to info@tasteswansea.com.

FAIRYHILL HOTEL After a successful maiden pop-up late last year, the luxury dining hotel will be hosting another event in conjunction with Babitas Spice Deli on Thursday, 25 February. An evening of authentic Indian fine dining at one of Swansea's most picturesque hotels, in the heart of Reynoldston. Certainly a pop-up not to be missed!

SKETTY BISTRO & CAFE Malabar Aaanaa also pop‐up in the intimate Sketty Bistro and Café on Eversley Road on selected Friday evenings this month, with both kitchens serving up mouthwatering home‐made food. The next Pomegranate Kitchen in Sketty takes place on Friday, 5 February. Then a special, fiery Goan‐themed Keralan Kitchen will be happening at the Bistro on Friday, 19 February.

NOAH'S YARD The Uplands' favourite pop-up kitchen, Malabar Aaanaa, returns to Noah's Yard on several Wednesdays in February. Their Middle Eastern Pomegranate Kitchen will take place at Noah's on Wednesday, 3 February, while there are also two February Keralan Kitchens at the bar: the first, on Wednesday, 10 February, will feature a special Chettinad Thali – a type of cuisine from Tamil Nadu in South India. The next one takes place on Wednesday, 24 February, featuring a Goan Thali.

IF YOU HAVE A POP-UP KITCHEN, PLEASE SEND DETAILS TO: info@tasteswansea.com All events are subject to change. Check individual websites for times and menus, and check out TasteSwansea.com for regular pop-up kitchen updates.





It may be a new year, but you can guarantee




Swansea's local produce markets will be back in


town, selling your favourite foodie treats – bread,


beer, burgers, sweets, cupcakes, vegetables and more!


The awful weather certainly put a dampener on many







disruptions to some of the most popular events – Mumbles and Uplands in particular. But both return this








Malabaar Aaanaa, Little Valley Bakery, Cocoa Bean, Mumbles Brewery, Goggi's Cuisine, the Mumbles Pate Company, Taste of Persia, Pop Cycle to name but a few.






The following are correct as far as we know,


although all are subject to change due to weather.


Contact the market organisers directly for more



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



It's February and you've probably already given up on your diet. But fear not – as local chef, cookery teacher and Taste Swansea columnist DANNY REES explains, the key to a healthier 2016 is to simply eat smarter – and it is as easy as it sounds!


his new year, like millions of others, I have resolved to be a better person. However, I won’t be tempted by the latest diet or fitness craze, as they usually fizzle out – they just aren’t sustainable in the long term. Losing weight and getting fit top the charts of New Year’s resolutions each January, and the diet and fitness industry will be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of billions more pounds being spent by consumers. The 'big food' industry – the supermarkets, fast food outlets and processed food manufacturers – help to get us fat and then the advertising world makes you feel crap about yourself, and pass you on to an industry who can help (for a fee of course), turn you into a fitter, slimmer version of yourself. It’s a racket that’s for sure and one I feel it’s hard to avoid. We live in strange times indeed. For the first time in human history more people suffer the effects of fat related diseases than from the effects of too little food. Are we to blame – us mortals with little willpower to resist an extra slice of cake – or are there darker forces out there imploring us to eat junk? My guess is a bit of both.


We are all able to exercise free will and live a healthier lifestyle but it sure does require you to ignore the messages you are bombarded with every day. Our evolution doesn’t help us either – we have evolved to eat lots of caloriedense food when it presents itself, which in our world of cheap excess, is often. This plays into the hands of the 'big food' industry – the soft drinks giants, the big alcohol companies, the junk food industry and the supermarkets. Junk is everywhere. Adverts are constantly bombarding you with messages to eat, drink, eat, drink, and eat. Always food high in fat and sugar. Have you seen an advert for eating more cabbage lately? No, nor me. Even filling up your car means avoiding sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks, all on offer at the till. If, like me, you are prone to weight gain, then who is to blame for the excess around our middles? A very straightforward answer would be the individual. You (and me) are the ones responsible for eating the food, right? But keeping your weight down isn’t easy in an environment where there is too much easily available junk food, and messages imploring us to buy it and eat it.

Our high streets, once home to the baker, greengrocer and butcher, are now awash with take away and fast food retailers. Supermarkets are a minefield too, with some 40-50,000 items on sale; the vast majority of it processed in some way. My local area – the Uplands – has a KFC, Subway, Costa, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and various take away options competing for business. We need protecting from these giants but, in our capitalist world of the free market and deregulation, we are left to fend for ourselves and need to make smart choices or suffer the effects of a diet high in fat, sugar and salt.

"Junk food is everywhere!" So what can we do? Here are few things that are realistic and achievable.

books and programmes have hardly encouraged us to get into the kitchen. It’s just food porn and The Great British Bake Off and Masterchef are great examples of how these shows are a barrier to honest, simple cooking. These programmes show just how stressful, time consuming and costly cooking can be. The recipe I feature on the next page is super easy, healthy and cheap. Next, enjoy your food, but eat only when hungry. Eat slowly and eat consciously – savouring each bite, and stop when you are full. Take time out for food; don’t eat a miserable pack of sandwiches while hunched over your desk at work. Go out, sit under a tree, have lunch with colleagues, use your works canteen, go to your favourite café. Resist using the ‘big food’ industry. These companies are in a battle for your money and they will stop at nothing to get it. Billions are spent in marketing the food to you and then they turn up on every corner of your town, and sell cheap food to get you in. How can a local, honest and healthy retailer compete with that?

First of all, eat a diet that consists of whole foods as much as you can. Fruits, vegetables, lean meat, fish, pulses and staples such as rice and pasta should be eaten daily as part of a healthy diet. Sure, have a treat – but make it just that. Avoid processed and junk foods as they are often packed with salt, saturated or trans-fats and sugar. Read the labels of any processed foods you use and if the ingredients list goes over five or six items – or there are things you don’t recognise – then the chances are the product isn’t good for you. Secondly, cook more. Cooking needn’t be stressful, time consuming or costly. The great irony today is that we’ve never had so much cookery advice. But the celebrity chef endorsed




We are both blessed and cursed in Swansea. It seems that the rise of the supermarkets, the fast food and drink outlets continues unabated – but there are alternatives. Instead of going to the supermarket every week, try the Mumbles or Uplands local produce markets. We also have one of the country’s finest food markets in Swansea and St Helen's road is great for Asian produce. When you next fancy a light bite or lunch then Govinda’s vegetarian and vegan restaurant on Craddock Street is fantastic value. Crumbs, another vegetarian café in the Uplands, is perfect for a good value bit of grub, a coffee or wonderful fresh juice. Brewstone, also in the Uplands is great for a wood-fired pizza or wrap, excellent coffee, cakes and tapas. When it comes to coffee, I have an instinctive dislike for Costa and Starbucks. Mostly,


"Resist using the ‘big food’ industry." because they have instilled an American coffee culture here which is replacing our tea and Italian coffee tradition. Who on earth wants a huge flagon of toffee nut latte coming in at a whopping 400 calories? My new favourite café is the Square Peg in Sketty. Not only do they serve fantastic coffee but they are also a social enterprise, using profits to make a difference to those affected by poverty here in the city. Finally, for a lovely treat, I like to head to the Favourite Authentic Chinese on Brynymor Road. This friendly café uses no MSG in their cooking and offers authentic, fresh Chinese dishes instead of your usual 'slop in a wok'.




long with the humble and wonderful onion, my cupboard is never without a tin of good quality plum tomatoes. Both these ingredients form the base for so many wonderful dishes and the great European cuisines would be much different without them. The tomato sauce in this dish can be made in larger quantities as it keeps for a good few days, and can be used in pasta dishes and as the sauce for patatas bravas. I include hot smoked paprika to add an earthy Spanish spice to the sauce, but you can leave it out if you prefer. This easy sauce takes minutes to prepare but leave it simmer for as long as you can for the flavours to develop and for a thick texture. I top the tomatoes with grilled halloumi. Halloumi is a ‘Marmite’ cheese – you either love it or hate it. I love the salty taste and squeaky texture, and grilling or frying it is essential to appreciate its glories. Don’t use white sliced bread as a base – the better quality the bread the better your overall dish will be. I recommend a loaf from Kristy's Bakery in Sketty, hand cut to your preference.

Spiced Tomato Sauce with Grilled Halloumi on Toast Serves 2 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes 1 medium onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, sliced 1 tbs olive oil 2 tbs tomato puree 1 tsp hot smoked paprika Halloumi cheese, cut into 6 thick slices and grilled until golden on each side 2 thick slices of bread, toasted and buttered Fry the onion and garlic in the oil until soft, with a little colour. Add the paprika, tomato puree and stir in the tomatoes. Leave it to simmer for about 20 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. I like to season the sauce with a little salt and also some sugar to help balance the sharpness of the tomatoes. Spoon the tomatoes onto the toast and lay three slices of halloumi on top of the tomatoes.



THE GREAT FOODS OF CHINA BY GIGI GAO In her first Taste Swansea article GIGI GAO, owner of the Favourite Authentic Chinese on Brynymor Road, gives us some insight into the diversity of Chinese food, as well as the specific tastes and dishes of the delicious Lu and Chuan cuisines.


Iove to share the cuisine of my homeland with

Notable dishes from this region include spicy

the lovely people of Swansea, so I will be

boiled fish (which is my most favourite meal!),

writing an article for every issue of this

Kung Pao chicken, hot and spicy chicken on the

magazine, sharing with you some different

bone, and fish and pickled cabbage – this last

aspects of Chinese food. It may be a super

one is very popular with our Chinese customers,

ingredient or a healthy style of cooking – there are

but maybe not so much with locals!

so many things we can talk about! Before we look at individual ingredients, it would be a good idea to introduce you to the general cuisine and flavours of Chinese food. Just like the other countries of the world, China has many different regional tastes – all very different, and very recognisable. The eight main styles of Chinese cuisine are as follows: the Yue, the Chuan, the Hui, the Lu, the Min, the Su, the Xiang, and the Zhe. At the Favourite Authentic Chinese, we mainly focus on both the Lu and the Chuan. The Lu cuisine is eaten in the cities of Beijing, DongBei and – my home city – Yangquan, all in the North of China. Lu is all about savoury tastes and big full flavours, and we love our roasted dishes and stews. Perhaps the most well-known dish from this region is Peking Duck, but others include hot and sour soup, Beijing sauced pork and the 'salt and pepper' dishes, like salt and pepper king prawns and squid – delicious. We now move west for the Chuan cuisine, which is eaten in the province of Sichuan and the Western regions of China. Chuan is noted for its spicy flavours and the use of chili and peppercorns in its dishes, as well as peanuts, ginger, garlic and peppers.



LIFE IN THE KITCHEN GARETH HOPE In each issue we love to chat to chefs from the city's best restaurants. This month, Gareth Hope, executive chef at the elegant Bayside Grill in Swansea's Marriott Hotel, takes us behind those mysterious kitchen doors to chew the fat.

What was the first meal you ever cooked? That would be a Delia recipe for Smoked Bacon and Tomato Soup, and a country loaf from my mother's Good Housekeeping cookery book. It really was a fantastic traditional recipe with no messing about, and a massive emphasis on quality of ingredients and seasonality. Love it to this day. What's your favourite meal to cook for yourself? I love a good braised beef dish – beef shin, feather blade, and short ribs are a favourite; a cut of meat where there is enough fat to melt without being greasy. Gently cooked for a long time with some root vegetables, a thick sauce, mashed potato (with too much butter) and braised red cabbage with cranberry. A winter favourite! What's the most popular item on your menu at the moment? Funnily enough it's a braised feather blade of beef. It’s a delicious dish that takes a lot of work, but is worth it. After cooking the cut of beef for around 3-4 hours, the fat begins to go incredibly gelatinous and keeps the meat very moist. We serve it with parsley mash, seasonal vegetables, pancetta, and pearl onion jus. It gets fantastic feedback!

I ate lunch at the Bayside Grill on Christmas Day – what's it like working that shift? Christmas Day is a high pressure and exciting day. Strangely enough I enjoy working on Christmas Day and have done almost all my career. The atmosphere is great in the kitchen especially considering everyone wants to get home for a mince pie. It's very hard work and weeks worth of prep and organisation go into it. What's the best thing about being a chef? The environment you get to work in. It can be a very tough environment with tempers flaring and high expectations, but everyone in the kitchen is in the same boat. All the good and bad challenges that get thrown at you – you go through them together. I'm very lucky because the team I work with is fantastic. Very young, energetic and excitable. Everyone wants to work hard and progress, and it's a very exciting time in my career. And the worst? Nothing really comes to mind. Finally, if you weren't a chef, what would you be doing? If I wasn’t a chef I think I would have joined the armed forces – both my dad and brother worked in the RAF, and I grew up in that kind of environment. You work as part of a team in both careers and I think that is what is attractive to me.




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


uring February, Swansea Bay GOOD Food Circle members will host various Valentine's food events as well as other themed evenings. Then on Monday, 14 March, they present the Swansea Bay Food Tourism Conference – now in its fifth year – at Sketty Hall.

In recent years they have had celebrity chefs such as Stephen Terry, Franco Taruschio, and Shaun Hill. This year, the celebrity chef attending is Michelin starred chef Bryan Webb, from the awardwinning restaurant Tyddyn Llan near Corwen, North Wales. During the morning Bryan will be holding a workshop for chefs and, after lunch, he will be interviewed live, giving you an insight about his life in the kitchen. The event is open to all chefs, restaurateurs, café owners and local producers, and is an excellent opportunity to build local

contacts for the year ahead in a friendly environment. Producers are more than welcome to bring samples of their own produce to show others. If you are a Swansea Bay restaurant, bistro, pub, café or tea room offering seasonal local Welsh produce within your menu, or you are a local food producer and would like more details on the Swansea Bay GOOD Food Circle, they would love to hear from you. It is free to join the circle! To keep up-to-date with all the foodie events, follow the circle on Twitter: @SwanseaBayFood, or on Facebook: SwanseaBayFoodCircle

Booking for the Swansea Bay Food Tourism Conference is essential as places are limited. For more information please call Tourism Swansea Bay, organisers of the conference, on 01792 403339 or email info@tourismswanseabay.co.uk.




alentine's Night is a great excuse for a romantic dinner – whether you relax and go out to your favourite restaurant, or choose to test you own culinary skills by preparing something special at home. If you are planning to create something sensational yourself, careful menu choice is crucial and putting a little thought and planning into the meal will reflect how much you care for your partner. Sophisticated food is romantic, and a flambé dish is sure to impress – but please be careful not to set anything other than the food alight!

You could also recreate a meal you first experienced together, perhaps on holiday – this is sure to conjure up warm memories. Of course ingredients like asparagus, oysters, champagne and chocolate are famously connected with Valentine's Night, but there are many other romantic ingredients: almonds, honey, mustard, raspberries and strawberries, sweet basil, ginger, pineapple, garlic, vanilla, coffee and bananas are all said to have aphrodisiac qualities. And with that little lot at hand, you should have no trouble sending out all the right messages. Plan your menu around ingredients you know you and your partner enjoy. Choose dishes that are not too fiddly to eat, and avoid making the courses too large, leaving room for a few chocolates and some good coffee later.


Chris will feature in the next issue of Taste Swansea with a selection of his 22recipes


My Valentine's Menu


Warm Fruits de Mer A seafood dish which is wonderful for sharing. It's easy to prepare yet stylish and sophisticated, and sure to impress. Chargrilled Ribeye Steak Juicy and succulent – enough said. Creme brulee, fruit compote, shortbread biscuit A classic French dessert with all sorts of flavours and textures going on. A delicious way to end a lovely meal, and can even be made a couple of days in advance. 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

CHRIS KEENAN'S RECIPES Warm Fruits de Mer 6-8 fresh scallops 14-16 shell on crevettes (cooked) Live mussels cleaned 2oz garlic butter Dressed leaves, lemon or lime to garnish Little oil for cooking Dash of dry white wine Chopped parsley Method Simultaneously heat up your crevettes in garlic butter, and cook the mussels in a little dry white wine and parsley. SautĂŠ and season the scallops in a little hot oil. Arrange all on a suitable presentation dish while still warm, garnished with lemon, lime, granary bread and a small dressed salad.

Rib Eye Steak with homemade triple-cooked chunky chips.

2 x 8-10 oz Rib Eye Steaks 2 field mushrooms 2 half tomatoes 2-3 large Maris Piper potatoes Salt and pepper Oil for cooking Method First you need to get the chips on the go. Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunky chips. Place into a steamer or a sauce pan of hot water and bring to a gentle simmer until they almost break when you bend them. Leave to one side so they can drain and dry. Next turn the fryer to a medium heat suitable for blanching, drop the chips in for a couple of minutes or until they take on a very pale colour. Heat a drizzle of oil in a shallow frying pan, season the steaks on both sides and slowly lower the steaks into the pan. They must sizzle on first contact with the oil. Now, how long you cook the steaks for depends on what degree of 'doneness' you like but, as a guide, cook them for one minute on each side continuously until you get the steaks just as you like them.

Creme Brulee 425ml cream 100ml milk 1 split vanilla pod 50grms castor sugar Method Firstly bring the milk and cream together with the split and scraped vanilla pod to a gentle simmer, then allow to cool for a minute or two. In the meantime, whisk or beat the eggs and the sugar together until it increases in volume and becomes light and frothy. Carefully and slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the beaten eggs, whisking all the while. Pour the mixture into ramekin dishes and set these into a deep sided tray. Fill the tray with water that comes at least half way up the side of the dishes. Place in an oven pre set to 160C for about 25 minutes. When they seem set - but still with a good wobble on them they are ready. Place in a fridge to set and cool. Sprinkle generously with some fine castor sugar and glaze with a blow torch until nice and caramelised. Serve with a shortbread biscuit, a little fruit compote or coulis and even a chunk of homemade honeycomb for a little extra texture.


New! MOSAIC MARKET While not solely food and drink, they already have a good mix of stall holders lined up, including a vegan section, a bakery and a deli, as well as jewellery and crafts. Speaking with Taste Swansea, owner and head At Taste Swansea we love a good local market – as you've probably guessed from our Local Produce Markets page earlier in the magazine! So we were very excited to hear of a brand new undercover market set to hit Swansea, at Mosaic restaurant – just off St Helen's Road. The Mosaic Market will take place on the first Saturday of each month, with the inaugural market planned for Saturday, 5 March.


chef Brennan Street said, 'We're really looking forward to the first one, it should be a fun day. We are also offering discounts on dining too. And if the first one goes well we hope to grow the event with live music.' The markets take place from 11am to 3pm. See you there! Small tables are £20, with large trestles £30. If you're looking to book a stall please email Mosaic directly: mosaicswansea@gmail.com.



s a result of the recent inclement weather, my mind has never been far from the thought of gathering around a roaring log fire in a rural setting and tucking in to some wholesome home-made comfort food – preferably washed down with some good real ale. Throwing caution to the wind (and rain) I set out to do just that! The Gower Peninsula has long been a favourite haunt of mine and, due to living abroad for many years, it had been some time since I had explored my child-hood playground. My mission was to venture to The Ship Inn, Port Eynon. I recall the pub having previously been very tiredlooking, but it now offers a great first impression – tasteful, rustic, seafaring décor. Serious investment has taken place here and knowing that chef Chris Keenan was in the kitchen, this signalled to me serious long term intent by the owners. My first wish came true with a tempting roaring log fire. The second part of my mission was immediately accomplished as I was greeted by Cati (or was it

"I was so comfortable... I didn't want to leave!" her identical twin Charlie?), who served me a lovely pint of Gower Gold. As for my third wish, this also materialised with efficient service and a smile. As a starter, a large bowl of home-made butternut squash soup with warm crusty bread. Truly one of my favourites, but served with an optional hint of chilli to add further protection against the elements. It was delicious. This was followed by another comfort food dish – bangers and mash. These were pork and apple bangers, not the usual Cumberlands which are so dominant on menus these days, and the flavour of apples really shone through. The portion was huge and the onion gravy was rich and tasty. I'm sure chef used a good measure of red wine! In all, a lovely comforting dish – simple, but executed very well. Suffice to say after two courses I didn't have room for the bread and butter pudding and, regrettably, I had to to call it a day there. But frankly I was so comfortable in the corner of the room that I didn't want to leave! For great food I'll happily go anywhere regularly, irrespective of the location – and I strongly recommend The Ship Inn.

Steve Homer



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A NIGHT OF FOOD AND AGONY Jay Rayner has enjoyed a delicious career – an award-winning writer, journalist, a judge on Masterchef and a broadcaster, and even an occasional jazz pianist! And this April he's in Swansea, appearing on stage at the Grand Theatre in A Night of Food and Agony. Speaking exclusively with Taste Swansea, Jay talks about Japanese food, Soda Streams and his new show. What's your favourite kind of cuisine? If I had to eat the food of only one country for the rest of my life, it would be Japan. We are finally beginning to understand just how diverse it is. Plus I adore grilled eel.

What about a favourite drink? Sparkling water. I’m addicted to it. My wife banned me from having it in the house for a while because I was getting through a dozen litres a week. So I bought a Soda Stream. You know the food industry inside out – give us a fact that may surprise us. On a large scale carrots are always harvested in the middle of the night when it’s cool, because they’d start decaying more quickly if harvested by daylight. What do you know about the Swansea food scene? I must confess, not much. Once, after recording an edition of the Kitchen Cabinet – the food show I present for BBC Radio 4 – we did eat at some huge Indian restaurant on the hill above Swansea. Nice enough food but the place was odd. It looked like the setting for a wedding but I wasn’t getting married.

Photo: Levon Biss

And if you could eat just one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? This sounds like the stuff of utter nightmares. The same thing? Day after day? My choice would be irrelevant because, after about a week, I’d be sick of it. You might as well give me a protein shake. You should read Taste Swansea more often! So what's the idea behind A Night of Food and Agony? It’s a night of two halves. The first is an hour of stand up comedy about dreadful restaurant experiences. In the second I’m joined by the rest of my jazz quartet as I take to the piano for an hour of songs about both food and drink, and that reflect my childhood being raised by an agony aunt, because my mum was one. What kind of thing can we expect? A lot of good laughs, some swinging music and some truly filthy stories of the sort people from Swansea love. Jay brings 'A Night of Food and Agony' to Swansea's Grand Theatre on Friday, 29 April at 8pm. 27 27

GET INVOLVED If you've reached this page and still haven't guessed, Taste Swansea is a dedicated food and drink magazine for all foodies in Swansea, Gower and Llanelli. Fashion, cars, and property? Sorry, not interested! However, we are interested to hear from the following: READERS: Loved an article and want to get in touch with the writer? Seen an error (they do happen now and again) and want to point it out? Want to subscribe to the magazine? Get in touch!

CHEFS: Read our articles and think you can do better? Have a special recipe you'd love to share with our readers? Get in touch!

BUSINESSES: Want to reach out to thousands of hungry foodies? Want to share some information about an upcoming event? Have an exciting new menu? Get in touch!

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In this feature we get a real flavour of some of Swansea's most celebrated food and drink producers. This issue, we speak with local spice guru VICKI THOMSON of Malabar Aaanaa – a mainstay at the Mumbles and Uplands local produce markets, as well as host of several popular pop-up kitchens in Noah's Yard. Take us back to the beginning – when and why did you start Malabar Aaanaa? Malabar Aaanaa was established in the spring of 2013, after being inspired by my friends and adoptive family in a small village called Chendamangalam in Cochin, Kerala. I also wanted to revisit a previous food business I had, called The Banyan Tree Deli. What kind of produce do you specialise in? We specialise in South Indian food, with the main concentration being Keralan. At the produce markets you will find a mix of vegetarian and vegan hot street food including Masala Dosa, Uthappam, Masala Vada wraps, and ready prepared South Indian spice pastes and main dishes. At the pop ups we have two types of cuisine – the Keralan Kitchen serves South Indian Thalis and The Pomegranate Kitchen serves Persian and Middle Eastern mezze dishes. I wanted to show the wider aspects of India in the food we deliver. How is Kerelan cooking different to the kind of curries we may be used to in Swansea? Cuisine from South India is very special and different from most of the Indian fare on offer here; this tends to be North Indian and Anglo Indian. The main differences between South Indian and North Indian food is that South Indian can be spicier. It uses coconut oil instead of mustard oil, coconut milk instead of dairy products, and also generally uses tamarind and Kokum instead of tomatoes as a souring agent.

You go to India now and again – do you come back with lots of new ideas? I've been travelling back and forth to India for the last 14 years; my first love was Rajasthan with its arid landscapes and bursts of vivid colour, Moghul architecture, and delicious dal with buttered chapatti and cups of hot masala chai. I then visited Kerala or – as my friend Dipin proudly informs me – 'Gods Own Country', which is far more laid back than the north, with its coconut groves, back waters, beaches, temples and a bounty of seafood and vegetables. Kerala is a larder of inspiration, from the people you meet, the landscapes you see and cuisine on offer. It's hard not to be inspired by each visit. What's your favourite thing to cook and eat yourself? My favourite thing to eat is obviously Keralan, especially food prepared by my friends Divya and Deepa who make the best sambar, prawn fry, fish curry and beef fry with parotta. I'm very keen on home cooked food. My favourite dishes to prepare when I have no time pressures would be venison pao, Kerala prawns and a spicy fish dish cooked in banana leaves



Design your own

nothing but Simply Fabulous Burger! ...

In the mood to get creative? Want to see your favourite burger come to life on a real menu?

In this exclusive competition, the exceptional nothing but… Simply Fabulous Burgers – located inside No. 6 on Princess Way – are asking Taste Swansea readers to create their next bestselling burger! Find inspiration, choose your ingredients and get the idea to us. The reader with the most delicious and creative concept will see their burger on the nb... menu! In addition you will be invited to come and join the awesome nb... chef in the kitchen to cook your creation for yourself and three friends! Keep in mind that nb... are all about taste and using the finest local produce. To be in with a chance to win, head to TasteSwansea.com, go to the 'Competitions' page, and enter your burger idea! It's that simple.


Competition closes Saturday, 5 March with winners selected by the restaurant and notified soon after. No cash alternative to the prize will be offered. The prize is not transferable, and subject to availability. We reserve the right to withdraw any 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.

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KEvRersIleSy RToaYd, S'wSansBea |A01 7K92 E201R47Y9 Specialist Italian bakery in Sketty

Bakin g today like we've don e for 80 years.



@KristysBakery 31


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Taste Swansea - Issue 4  

The fourth issue of Taste Swansea - the only regular food and drink magazine for Swansea, Gower and Llanelli. Dive in an uncover some foodie...

Taste Swansea - Issue 4  

The fourth issue of Taste Swansea - the only regular food and drink magazine for Swansea, Gower and Llanelli. Dive in an uncover some foodie...