I hadn’t gone to South Wales to sample the restaurants. My friend Glenys and I were supposed to be helping a friend who’s moving house soon to pack. Suffice it to say that one long lunch later, not a single book was placed in a box …
You probably wouldn’t stumble on the Gower Kitchen by accident. It’s in Uplands, a way out of the city centre, in a run of unremarkable local shops. But it’s definitely one to come back to. I usually mistrust anywhere that describes itself as quirky, but the retro look hasn’t been overdone here, with mismatched furniture and bare floorboards. The Gower Kitchen is comfortable, friendly and serves good food that someone has clearly given careful thought to in terms of taste, texture and appearance.
The four of us ordered a varied mix off the menu and specials board – and it’s the kind of place that doesn’t bat an eyelid if you ask for a starter as a main. Vegans would struggle to find much on the menu – it looks like you can request the cherry tomato and fennel risotto without the parmesan crisp, but you’d have to ask what had gone into the basil pesto it comes with. But for vegetarians there’s a small but thoughtful selection. And if you eat eggs and cheese, there are also brunch-type dishes to order.
The pomegranate seed, rocket and feta salad was a divine starter – presented in a large glass bowl and carefully seasoned with what I think was a sweet chilli dressing. And that spot-on seasoning really came to the fore with my main course, which was a curried sweet potato, almond and coconut burger. It came with mango chutney, cucumber salsa and nicely-seasoned fries. The textures and the contrasts were perfect, and show just what someone with a bit of imagination can do with both burgers and veggie food.
Between us we ordered most of the dessert menu! I can confirm that the beautifully-presented chocolate brownie, served with spun sugar and ice cream, was crisp on the outside, moist on the inside and made me want to dribble unbecomingly …
Prices are in the low teens for burgers, mid teens for most dishes and higher teens for steak. Sandwiches, starters and brunch items come in between about £4 and £6. And there’s a good range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, including some cocktails – it was most disappointing that my friends wouldn’t sample the supposedly edible flower in the wild hibiscus fizz!
They don’t serve meals all day, although the bistro is open until 11pm. But it would be a perfect place to lounge around at weekend, drink coffee, eat cake and read the papers – and to avoid anything that smacks of work!
The Gower Kitchen
39 Uplands Crescent