Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Chattery – Uplands Crescent

From the outside (and the inside too I guess), The Chattery looks very much like your traditional British café. However, it also has elements of a restaurant, pub and bar mixed in, making it the perfect place for a Swansea on a Plate review!

It sits quietly in Uplands Crescent, within thirty seconds walk to trendy new places such as Noah's Yard and The Gower Kitchen. Despite this fiesty competition, the family business, which has been in the same hands since 1977, has been running successfully for many years.

I find it comes across as another one of those places - similar to the Kardomah - that you know is there, but may not have bothered with. It was for me for many years. I can sympathise with some who haven't tried it - from first glances there's not too much to get excited about. The décor is quite generic 'traditional', with heavy wooden tables and chairs, surrounded by wood-panelled walls. When it's busy it's quite a cosy place, though when quiet the atmosphere can be a little dry.

However, what it lacks in cutting-edge design, it makes up for in good, honest, home-cooked food. It's nice to see them trying to offer more than just tea and toast, and this is where the restaurant side of things come in.

They offer quite an extensive menu - from the usual cooked-breakfasts and 'things on toast', to more exotic dishes such as vegetarian moussaka, nut roasts, ratatouille (I've enjoyed this several times!), chilli con carne and Mexican fries.

Mexican Fries
On my most recent visit I went for a bit of both worlds: the traditional rarebit (with fried mushrooms) and a more adventurous Mexican fries. The fries were actually potato wedges, which came with an unusual creamy sauce and a good dose of fresh peppers. It all came fresh and hot, and tastes good, especially the rarebit which I'm always impressed with.

There is a rarebit under the mushrooms!

Prices are pretty fair for the kind of home-made food you'll be served with. It was a fiver for the Mexican fries and a rarebit averages about £3 – 4, depending on the topping.

I mention pub/bar status, and this comes from the fact that The Chattery offers occasional live music nights and has a licensed bar. This means you can enjoy a few cans of beer, bottles of ale or glasses of wine with your evening meal (or with your breakfast, if you're into that kind of thing). The music nights seem to be staged a couple of times monthly, offering mostly acoustic music and 'free pork pies' during the interval whenever bands are playing! This is an offer I am soon planning to try!

If you are planning a night there, I’d recommend checking out the website, which has several instructions. I’m assuming most people are quite familiar with the owners as they warn: “Do not come up to us in the pub and try to book tickets. You have to call in or ring us up”!

It's a large enough venue, but I can imagine it gets pretty busy, so it's probably worth booking ahead.

I think that the warning on the website actually highlights the unique, established character of The Chattery. It's a place worth visiting and a good alternative from the other venues in the Uplands.


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1 comment:

  1. I like the comparison with the Kardomah; I have actually been to the Chattery for a late lunch about 4 years ago but otherwise it is a place you know is there but don't 'notice'. I can't remember what I had but seem to remember I was happy enough! I'll give it another go at some point in future.