Thursday, August 6, 2009
23. Spain, Tapas: the Swan Inn, Lewes
The Swan Inn
30a Southover High Street,
We were very pleased to see that the nearby Swan Inn was doing Tapas on a Thursday evening. Buoyed up by their motto: “ We don’t do fast food, just good food.” and the many great pub meals we have had there, we booked a table for two.
With 12-ish selections and special, the tapas menu is not huge but there is plenty to tempt most appetites- vegetarian and omnivore alike. Our dishes arrived reasonably quickly, especially as it was quite busy. The Greek Salad, Garlic Prawns and Calimari, each at £4.75 (pictured above right) were good choices. I often have their Greek Salad from the usual menu and it is always super: fresh, crunchy, well balanced with plenty of feta and olives and the home-made dressing is served on the side so no danger of it drowning the lettuce. The prawns were just excellent! Badgerman, predictably commented that it was worth “shelling out for them”. They were succulent, garlicky and easy to shell- though we really needed a finger bowl. The garlic mushrooms (pictured above left, £4.50) were delicious and, frankly, I don’t know how they could have been improved. We enjoyed every single one. The sun-dried tomato bread (right, £3.00) was really good and complimented the olives well. Badgerman certainly enjoyed the feta, tomato and olive filo parcels (below, £4.50) and keeps on mentioning them as a highlight.
We also had meatballs; they were good but could have been improved by being a bit spicier and I would like to have seen some choritzo and maybe a piquant chicken dish on offer, but the kitchen was still gauging customers’ reactions and this did not take away from our enjoyment of the food. Also on offer were Potato Skins with Garlic Mayo- £4.50, Mussels- £5.00 and Garlic Bread- £2.00.
We just had enough room for dessert and shared an scrummy rhubarb crumble from the main menu (pictured right). It was just as it should be hot, melting the cream, tart, not too sweet, with the topping crunchy by yielding under the spoon.
If you don’t make Tapas at the Swan, do try their usual pub fare- it is delicious, always reliable and good value. Most dishes are served with loads of veg. and I recommend the sautéed potatoes. Before 8:30 children are welcome but only over-16s are allowed on the premises after 8:30. As service starts at 7:00, there is plenty of time for a family with young ‘uns to enjoy their meal. Reservations are a good idea.
Our bill, with a round of drinks and excluding tip, was £32.84.
Food presentation: 2.5
Food quality: 4
Value for money: 3