18 February 2012

Slice....Swansea, Restaurant Review...

Hubby and I went for a belated Valentine's Meal on Thursday. There were two reasons for it being belated, firstly hubby was in London, whilst we were in Wales on Valentine's Day itself, and secondly the restaurant we went to is only open Thursday-Sunday each week...ever since we discovered this little gem of a restaurant, we try to book a meal there whenever we are visiting Grandma and Pops in Swansea...and because it is such a small restaurant, it seats around 16-20 only, you have to book plenty of time in advance...The Restaurant in question is Slice, it is so called because of it's shape, a thin wedge of a building in one of the most unassuming parts of Swansea. But make no mistake, although Slice itself is unassuming, its food is definitely not!!
The ingredients are sourced as locally as possible, right down to the flour they use in their homemade bread, to the herbs that come from their own kitchen garden out on Gower...The owners Philip and Helen carefully plan the menus based around seasonality of produce, and take a couple of weeks off every 10 weeks or so to plan the next one...this means that if your timing is good, each time you go, the menu will be full of wonderfully fresh, seasonal delights! So far we have managed two visits (plus a couple of 'sorry we're fully booked') and two completely different menus...The menu is a set 3 course menu, with three choices per course plus an amuse bouche to whet the appetite!! The menu at the moment is below...
We usually aim to order things that we both like, or would like to try and share...we are that couple who can often be seen swapping dishes halfway through the course!!! 

So, what did we have? 

The amuse bouche that evening was an espresso cup full of a wonderfully rich and silky butternut squash soup...with a basket of warm, home-made bread. (we ate it before I got the chance to take a photo!!)

For Starters, I ordered the Pan-Fried, Sesame Coated Duck Cake with Apple Raita, which was wonderful!! It was rich and packed with absolutely loads of meat!! The apple raita was both sweet and sour, the contrast of crisp, sweet apple and sour yogurt was intriguingly good and cut through the richness of the duck perfectly!

Hubby had the Venison Terrine, Wrapped in Home-Cured Bacon, served with Beetroot Chutney and Toasted Sour Dough. The terrine was also chock full of meat, and reminded me texture-wise of a really good homemade pork pie filling. The beetroot chutney was fantastic, it (like the raita before) had a sweet and sour taste to it, that complimented the terrine's rich gamey taste well.
The Mains were no disappointment either...and yes, we shared them too!!
Hubby chose the fish special, which was Pan-fried Fillet of Brill, with purple sprouting broccoli, a Buerre Noisette and cauliflower puree. It was melt in the mouth...absolutely gorgeous. Neither of us had tried Brill before, but would definitely have it again after tasting this dish. You could distinguish all the flavours, and they worked together beautifully...the cauliflower puree was great, and something I will be trying at home!!
I went for the Maple-cured Pork Tenderloin served on a bed of sautéed leeks, potato rosti and smoked paprika sauce. Another good choice...the meat was lean, soft and subtly flavoured from the maple cure...the rosti was nice and crisp (no soggy spuds here!!), and the sauce was wonderfully sweet and smoky at the same time. I was a bit worried it might overpower the meat, but far from it, it actually brought out the flavour of the pork extremely well.
Dessert choices worked out well too...there was something we both fancied. Hubby ordered the Vanilla Panna Cotta with poached rhubarb and rhubarb sorbet. I love rhubarb, but am not a creamy/custardy fan, so was a bit wary of the panna cotta, but as I had promised to share, I did just that! Boy was I in for a shock...the panna cotta was sublime!! in fact if it wasn't for the fact that I'd promised to share, I would have been more than happy to finish it off!! The poached rhubarb was just sweet and sour enough and the sorbet beautiful...as was the presentation...perfect, pretty and pink for Valentines...

My dessert choice was the plate of Chocolate Desserts...another beautifully presented dish. consisting of a bitter chocolate tart, milk chocolate mousse and a double chocolate parfait...one side white with coffee, the other dark with brandy...topped with a white chocolate sorbet. What can I say...a chocoholics dream...but I think my favourite part was the bitter chocolate tart.

I fancied a coffee afterwards, and was brought a cafetiere of coffee plus a plate of petit fours. Home-made Merlyn truffles and chocolate orange shortbreads. 

The perfect finish to a wonderful meal...

But not the end of the review...I couldn't finish without mentioning the attentiveness of Helen, she was warm, friendly and welcoming, without being overly so...and the price...our bill came to £85, which was for the two meals plus coffee for one and a £14 bottle of wine...well worth every penny in my view, and we will return next time we visit Swansea.
Just as an aside, I just love the salt and pepper pots on the tables...imagine my delight to discover they were for sale...two are now in my bag waiting to be taken back to London with me...just need to find two small mussel shells now! Maybe a trip to the beach tomorrow before we leave!!

One more thing, we paid for our meal, this review was not commissioned by the restaurant, but I did ask permission to publish it...these views are our own...
but please, if you get the chance, book a table at Slice...you won't be disappointed. xx

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