Between Ross and Swansea we got involved in a heavy traffic and lost a quite lot of time. It was almost 1 o'clock when we arrived at Swansea. So we gave up sight-seeing in the town and headed directly for the Mumbles for lunch.
The Mumbles is a touristic sea-side town at the southern end of Swansea bay coastline, with many hotels and restaurants.
In the photo above is the view from the Mumbles toward Swansea Bay. As the tide was on the ebb, there was little water in the bay, but there were boats in the middle of tideland.
In the photo left is the precipitous cliff of the Mumbles coast line. We parked in a carpark between the coast and the cliff and went to look for restaurant. The parking charge was £2 for 2 hours if I remember well. Would cost relatively less if you park longer.
Before the departure, we did quite a lot of research and decided to go to Bartram's@698, but when we arrived, we found it closed for a private function. Pity.
So we started to walk towards Patrick's with Rooms, but eventually we entered The Marmaid which was closer. I did read good things about this place while I was doing research, so we decided on it.
From the outside, it looked like a traditional restaurant, but the interior was light and modern. This photo was taken just before we left, at around a half past 2 o'clock, but when we arrived it was almost full, although it was a weekday. Most of the diners at that time were either elder people or families with young children. Actually not only the restaurant, but also the Mumbles itself were full of those groups.
As water we ordered water. The waiter asked us if we wanted mineral water or tap water. It was quite surprising to me, as usually in middle or higher range restaurants it is a tacit rule that the water means mineral water. The water arrived in a jug with lemon and ice cubes. Good service.
After the order, arrived this bread with butter. It looked and tasted home-made. It contained small peas and something green in the dough. I guessed it was some kind of seaweed, but could not be sure. This butter was very salty. Later in the travel I bought some Welsh butter, which was also quite salty; maybe saltiness is a quality of the Welsh butter.
Each one of us ordered different dishes. This is my choice of starter: prawns with chili, ginger and coriander. The leaves underneath are Chinese cabbage, and on top of the pranws are deep-fried seawead. The red spots are Chinese sweet chili sauce.
It might be difficult to see from the photo, but it was really plenty, maybe too plenty for starter. It made me surprise as what I had expected was a variety of prawn cocktail. It tasted ok, but this fusion dish did not combine all the tasted well together. Besides, the pranws did not taste enough prawn; I can buy better prawns from local supermarket freezer. Other starters also were ok, but nothing exceptional. They all presented beautifully, though.
This is my main dish, seafood chowder with sea bream, mahi-mahi and crayfish cream.
The quality of fish was good, but the chowder sauce had a hint of Heinz Tomato Soup. This also had the same problem as the starter, which is the tastes of the ingredients were not in harmony.
I have to say, however, that the other main dishes (lamb and sea bass) were cooked beautifully and very well presented, too. I am particularly impressed by seabass with cockles and laver cream.
The main dishes, except chowder, were already garnished widh mashed potato and else, but these two side dishes appeared separately. On the dish in front are new potatoes, cauliflower, and carrot. Black bits on the veggie are not black peppers, but poppy seeds (that were a bit pointless to me). On the other dish are peas in mint cream. These were ment to be for three and plenty.
With additional £s;3 we could have had pudding, but we were too full. The total bill for three of us was about £34, so it was about £12 a head with service. I cannot deny that we were all impressed by the value for money. In Birmingham, we pay £10 for a dish of curry with rice in a shabby Indian restaurant.
Afterwards we went to see also Patrick's with Rooms; it looked bit old and tired. Instead looked interesting was a hugh restaurant called Verdi, just by the sea. I cannot comment on the food, as I did not even read the menu, but their ice cream looked very promising.
In the end, we got reasonably satisfied and headed for the next destination, Rhossili Bay.