The Bay View
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Arnie says in Terminator 2, “I’ll Be Back”!
to drink ..
Bay View restaurant provides a superb selection of international wines.
Bay View website