The Bay View

         

Quality of food:

10/10

Range of food:

9/10

Value for money:

9.5/10

Atmosphere:

Friendly, informal, warm

Staff:

Very professional, accommodating

Overall experience:

9.5/10

Review

It’s a cool, dark Saturday evening on a Swansea February so the enticing prospect of taking refuge in the warm, cosy atmosphere of the historic Bay View Bar and Restaurant was too compelling to resist!

We immediately felt at ease in the homely surroundings of the restaurant, characterised by traditional oak floorboards, an open fireplace and the natural, warm hues of the décor. The restaurant is a natural extension of the bar so the mood is lively. This sense of well-worn revellry is enhanced by the history of this landmark seaside tavern, witness to over 50 years of stops in the first half of the 20th century by the world’s first railway service, the Mumbles Train.

The speciality of the Bay View menu is Thai. Owners Matt and Samantha Nichol have brought years of critcally-acclaimed expertise in this culinary discipline to a city that had been dominated for many years by Bangladeshi and Cantonese dining.

The menu is an eclectic mix of traditional Thai dishes, peppered with Matt’s own interpretation of southern Asia’s vibrant cuisine, demonstrating a confidence and clarity for the art of Thai with a flair that can only come from seasoned experience.

The table decorations are simple but effective, by providing a textural contrast against the unforgiving white table cloths with attractive seashell arrangements. It certainly sets the bayside scene and hightened our anticipation of the mouth-watering temptations that were to follow.  As we awaited the arrival of our starters, we were absorbed by a mesmorising painting of the unforgiving sea as it crashed over Mumbles rocks.

Heidi’s starter consisted of Salt & Pepper Squid (£4.95). It is presented in a light, pale golden batter that serves to enhance the delicate flavour of the squid, so it was faultless on all levels. A splash of chili sauce just gives it the perfect bite. I had the traditional Duck Spring Rolls (£4.95), colourfully complimented by red and white cabbage. Again, these are bound by a light and delicate batter. The duck was tender and moist, and bursting with character provided by a delicious, full-flavoured sauce that refrained from distracting from the flavour of the mouth-watering duck.

For the main course, when she finally decided from the wide array of irresistible options, Heidi ordered Pad Ki Mao Noodles (£8.45) from the specials menu. This stir-fry dish consists of flat noodles, with chicken, egg, mixed vegetables, sweet basil chili and a staple of Thai cuisine, dark soy sauce. The vital freshness of the ingredients made us consider for a moment whether Matt was plucking vegetables from his own patch located in the kitchen! As with the restaurant’s supply of duck, the chicken was moist and packed with free-ranged flavour. Overall the dish provided a perfectly balanced pallet of flavours, but no individual taste was lost to the ether, all constituent tastes were immaculately turned out for inspection! The noodles were a worthy nest for this brood of flavours, providing a good proportion of noodle-to-ingredients ratio, and providing the perfect texture to round the dish off.

Meanwhile I plumped for the Khao Mow Dang (£9.45), consisting of tender barbecued pork slices topped with a sweet sauce made from the pork’s own juices and sprinkled with crushed peanuts and dark spring onions. This dish is immediately reminscent of a satay, with its generous provison of ground peanuts, but this is just one of several sensational taste influences cascading onto the pallet from a generous, rich-flavoured creation. As we had come to expect, the barbecued pork is tender and colourful and the noodles seem to harbour a secret spell as they melt magically in the mouth. Overall, this dish is as colourful as a Mumbles sunset, as the finely tuned mix of flavours crashes over the tastebuds just as the angry waves of Swansea Bay breach the rocks at Mumbles.

And so the scandelously flirtatious deserts beckoned! We both simultaneously homed in on the Exotic Thai Fruit Rambutan (£2.95), consisting of lychees stuffed with pineapple. A tingling conclusion to any meal, the sharp notes of contrast with the previous courses signalled a tuneful fanfare to conclude the evening.

As Arnie says in Terminator 2, “I’ll Be Back”!

And to drink ..

The Bay View restaurant provides a superb selection of international wines.

White wine (starting at £11.95 per bottle): 

French

Spanish

Italian

Australian

New Zealand

Chile

Red wine (starting at £10.50):

inc. Californian

Rose wine (£11.95)

Sparkling wine from £19.95

Champagne £22.95 - £85

The Bay View also purveys a wide range of beers, lagers, ales and ciders.

Reviewed by Pete and Heidi Rogers              

          Bay View website

                       

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