No recipes today but a quick shout out for The Optimist Bar and Kitchen, 59, Uplands Crescent, Swansea. The Optimist has recently opened in what was previously the long standing Chattery. The Optimist is independently owned and the baby of local boy Ryan Hole. Early indications are that his hard work and long hours (they open at 0730hrs for breakfast and go right through to the evening / night trade) are paying off. Check out their Facebook Page for a video of the transformation and the up to date news etc.
So just as a back story of why we visited – two weeks into the school holidays, Small Boy fell and broke his arm, resulting in a hospital stay and having an operation to have a plate inserted before being fitted with a full arm plaster cast. Therefore our visit to Alton Towers to celebrate his seventh birthday had to be cancelled and instead we decided on a weekend away in a cottage in Pembrokeshire. To fuel our journey, Small Boy requested breakfast at The Optimist.
The Other Half booked a table and to be honest I scoffed that a table was booked for breakfast but she was quite right as at 10 o’clock it was full. Of course we were late but out table was still waiting for us and we were greeted by a very nice and helpful member of staff and taken to our table and she immediately took our order for beverages whilst we perused the menu. The Small People had juice we had tea which comes in a pot that didn’t dribble and was piping hot – top marks!
The first thing you notice is the make over the building has had. The interior has been designed and finished in a very relaxed, comfortable, modern way and has a good atmosphere. Of course Small Girl (aged 4) went off to check out the loos (which are pristine) and came back very excited at having discovered a little private snug area. It really is comfortable and welcoming.
There is a little one’s menu which scored major points with me as the lunch menu doesn’t have a chicken nugget or fish finger in sight. Instead the lunch menu has a mini platter, a pasta dish or slider and chips. The breakfast offering is boiled egg and soldiers or things on toast i.e. banana, nutella, cheese, avocado or beans. Small girl decided on boiled egg and soldiers. Small boy as usual deviated from the Little One’s menu and decided on the American Style Pancake stack with maple syrup and streaky bacon. I decided on the Veggie breakfast and The Other Half decided on the full hit Optimist breakfast.
Very swiftly Small Girl’s egg and soldiers arrived and she tucked straight in. Our lovely waitress revisited our table and apologised that Small Boy’s pancake stack had not arrived as the kitchen had not realised that it was for a child. I thought this was a lovely gesture to bring the children’s food out first. As it happens their timing was spot on as she finished her eggs as our breakfast came and she was able to help her brother with his pancakes!
The food was very well cooked and presented beautifully without being pretentious. My veggie breakfast consisted of grilled halloumi, veggie sausage, roasted vine tomatos, field mushroom, beans, sautéed potatoes, a free range egg (cooked to your liking) and sough dough toast. The Other Half’s choice was the same other than the halloumi and veggie sausage was swapped for bacon and a pork and leek sausage. The food was hot, very tasty and generous. My one criticism is that the potatoes were not seasoned but that was probably just an oversight. Small Boy is still talking about his pancake stack (although it came with back bacon rather than streaky – he didn’t mind) it was quite a pile of fluffy light pancakes topped with bacon and drizzled with a pool maple syrup. It didn’t touch the sides!
Even though they were busy, the service was faultless, the staff were warm and friendly, chatty with the kids and there was no sense of being rushed. It’s a great place to breakfast as a family.
The evening menu hadn’t been launched when we were there but was due later that week. I look forward to trying it and the Small People are looking forward to trying out the lunch menu and hitting the breakfast menu again soon.
All in all The Optimist Kitchen and Bar fits very well into the Uplands scene and caters for families as well as the cooler night clientele. I hope they go from strength to strength and their hard work and commitment as an independent concern pays off.