Culinary Causerie

With Lesley Williams

Fish ‘N’ Ice @ Slice

Slice in Eversley Road has for many years been the jewel in Sketty’s crown. I have considered ourselves lucky to have such a prestigious restaurant – worthy of its entry in the Michelin Guide – right on our doorstep. With social distancing ongoing, Slice with just 16 covers is not able to reopen its doors to diners in the restaurant, but owners, Adam and Chris have reinvented themselves as Fish & Ice @ Slice. This is now a fish and chip shop like none other locally, serving not just perfectly fried fish and chips but delicacies such as pan-fried scallops, crab, and handmade pies, as well as their restaurant quality desserts and ice-creams.

The deep-fried cod batter is crunchy and golden and provides the perfect foil for the snowy white cod – the chips are twice cooked – crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. The scallops are top notch – pan fried and served with crushed peas and pickled fennel, and the homemade chicken, ham and leek pie knocks spots off any pie you will have had from a chip shop.

The menu changes weekly –according to what is seasonal and available from the fish market and is then put up onto their Facebook page. Last month the menu included, grey mullet, breaded plaice, salt-cod fishcakes, pork and pea rissoles, and for vegetarians there were goat’s cheese and red onion fritters and breaded halloumi.

The extensive dessert menu is definitely not found in any fish and chip shop that I have come across. Lemon meringue – homemade lemon curd topped with seared Italian meringue – the tartness of the lemon was the perfect foil for the sweet, soft meringue. The list of ice cream flavours of course includes vanilla, but there’s also Turkish delight, chocolate, rum and raisin to name but a few – and there are exotic toppings too – honeycomb, aerated chocolate, caramelised white chocolate, candied hazelnuts and fudge.

A special mention has to be made to the packaging. No greaseproof bags and plain paper wrapping to gently steam your chips and crispy batter – here you get fabulous brown card boxes that are pretty enough to eat out of.

As if all this wasn’t enough Fish n Ice @ Slice has a license for off-sales too and stocks a dinky range of wines in a can as well as bottled beers and soft drinks. At the time of going to press, there was no pre-ordering, but the waiting time is generally about 10 – 15 minutes.

 

Fish ‘n’ Ice @ Slice

Open Thursday – Saturday 17.00 to 21.00

73-75 Eversley Road, Sketty, SA2 9DE Tel: 01792 290929


Nando’s

As a family, we love chicken. Whether it is served as part of a roast or poached in a white sauce and topped with flaky pastry or cooked in a tagine with Moroccan spices and preserved lemons, I can be sure that it will keep everyone happy. Even when we opt for a take-away supper, chicken is the one thing we can agree on, and last month we found our new favourite – Nando’s.

This is a South African based chain of restaurants but the chicken for which they are famous is the Portuguese Peri Peri variety. Peri Peri, Piri Piri, Pil Pil call it what you will, has its roots in Angola and Mosambique and is named after the variety of chilli used – it’s hot, measuring 50,000 to 175,000 on the Scoville scale – it comes from the same family as Tabasco.

On a visit to Portugal many years ago, we found that the villa we were staying was in a town called Guia, which is famous for its Peri Peri chicken. They even have a chicken festival each year. There are lots of restaurants that just sell spicy roast chicken – you just say how hot you want it and they keep coming around and refilling your plate until you say stop.

Nando’s chicken too, comes in a range of spiciness from really mild to fiery hot. We chose to have our wings hot and the whole chicken medium – both were quite spicy but not overly so. The chicken was cooked until it fell off the bones – but was still really juicy and tender. Chips and garlic bread completed the feast.

I seem to be getting a little obsessed with take away food packaging – but here too the wrapping was beautifully designed.

With so many people ordering take-away food, waiting time can sometimes be quite long. We telephoned our order in and then went into town to collect it – this worked perfectly. There is an on-line ordering facility too.

Nando’s, Unit 5, Wind St, Salubrious Place, Swansea, SA1 1EE Tel: 01792 464589 www.nandos.co.uk


Gin & Tapas

It was my daughter that told me about Gin & Tapas at the top of Newton Road. She had met up with a couple of friends earlier in the year and was waxing lyrical about the food. So, of course we had to go along and see for ourselves, and we had to agree – this one is a winner.

Reserving a table was easy – a quick phone call and we were booked in. The bar has been made Covid-19 safe, with partitions in place between each table – making little private booths. As you would expect, it is waiter service only, but there were plenty of friendly staff on hand.

Manager, Jonathan Thyer took over Gin & Tapas during the first lockdown, he has previously worked with Dennis Cann of Café Twocann fame and also Morgan’s Hotel. Jonathan had always had a gin and tapas bar in mind and I think he has hit the mark here.

As you’d expect the selection of gins is extensive and includes those from local distilleries as well as inter-national names.

Chefs Tom Bovey and Steve Murphy are in the kitchen preparing innovative small plates, using local sourced ingredients. As usual we managed to order far too many dishes. The portion sizes are generous and are a snip at just £11.95 for three.

The specials on the evening we visited were smoked salmon, Italian cured meats and spicy prawns. All of which were right up my street. We added in cod goujons, calamari and tempura prawns, garlic bread and chips – yes, I know, we should have known better.

A special mention must go out for the garlic bread. Too often this is just a slice of bread that has been shown the garlic and then drizzled with a little oil. Not in Gin & Tapas – here the bread was generously spread with garlic butter and baked until it had crispy edges and a soft molten middle. I would go back for this alone.

The batter on the goujons and calamari was perfectly crunchy and golden, and the tempura batter was light and crispy – the perfect accompaniment for a cold glass of lager.

I love the concept of eating small portions of a variety of dishes – it’s a very sociable way of dining with friends and family. But if you prefer a more traditional meal then Sunday lunch at Gin and Tapas will be right up your street.

If you are a little uncertain about going out to eat, there is the option of takeaway too.

Opening hours are Tuesday- Saturday 11.30 – 10.00 (at the time of going to print) Sunday 11.30 – 6.00

Gin& Tapas 61 Newton Road, Mumbles SA3 Tel: 01792 361764

 

 

 

 

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