Stepping into this quaint small bar in Maylands was like being transported to a charming bar in Paris, very European in style and brimming with warmth and energy. Swallow Bar in Maylands had been on my list for a while and I wish I had visited sooner.
Situated in the middle of the Maylands cafe hub on Whatley Cres this small bar is definitely small and with a buzz in the air I was glad we were able to secure a table without a booking on this busy Thursday night. The bar has a lovely front room with train carriage booths, covered (and heated) courtyard out the back, live Jazz and Blues music on Thursday and Sunday nights and a fab weekend brunch.
Seated and with a great bottle of Castlefeder Mont Mès Pinot Grigio cracked we made our menu choices. The menu is simple but full of luxe produce with a comfort food vibe. First up we had the mushroom, fontina and thyme croquettes, always something I love to order and these were some of the best I’ve had. They didn’t come with any type of sauce but didn’t need one, the the inside was soft, gooey and cheesy, super tasty and covered with a thin, crisp, golden outer layer.
We also ordered the chicken and pedro ximinez pâté with garlic rubbed sourdough toasts. The toasts were a great accompaniment to the creamy, rich and full flavoured pâté. As far as pâté’s goes this was also up there and a nice, generous serve.
The next delicious plate to land on our table was the battered tiger prawn mini brioche bun with Marie Rose sauce and butter lettuce. A piled high mini burger, glistening with crunchy lettuce and that brioche shine, I was wishing we had ordered two and I didn’t have to share. Although small it was easy to cut in half for sharing purposes and boy was it good. The prawn was succulent and juicy and was the star in this simple but well executed burger. YUM.
Our final savoury dish of the night was the spice roasted cauliflower with toasted almonds and lemon yoghurt. The humble cauliflower has definitely been brought to life in recent years and appears on more and more restaurant menus and for good reason. This versatile vegetable has great flavour, especially when roasted and paired with Mediterranean or Middle Eastern flavours. This dish was fresh and light, with the crunch of the almonds, the buttery, nuttiness of the cauliflower and the lemon yoghurt rounding out a well balanced dish.
I was full but had spotted a dessert on the menu earlier that I was just going to have to make room for, the beignet. Beignet are French doughnuts, covered in cinnamon sugar and served with blueberries and cream and are a must despite the 15 minute wait. I find that most desserts that state a wait on the menu are always good and these didn’t disappoint. Soft, fluffy and a bit doughy in the middle with a crunchy, sugary outside these were delicious with a dollop of cream and went really well with our glass of Pertaringa Muscat. Some bits of the doughnuts were ever so slightly under cooked but it didn’t detract from the overall taste and a great dessert to share when you don’t want anything too rich and filling.
Such a great experience at Swallow Bar and I hope I can get back there soon, with the warm and friendly service, great vibe, delicious food and fabulous drinks, this place is truly a gem in the small bar scene. This is a perfect date night venue, charming and intimate, but make a booking so you don’t miss out, it fills up fast. If you live in the area, go and support your friendly neighbourhood bar and if you don’t, well, go and see what you’re missing out on.