The Belle Vue Bistro is a quaint family run restaurant in Swansea, boasting just 26 interior covers.
Service and Décor at Belle Vue Bistro
The frontage is rather unassuming, with the restaurant being nestled between two aging shops and under a block of flats from the “pre-fab” era. Assuming this means anything from the outside would be a mistake as it all belies a fresh and modern interior which is still homely enough to be referred to as a bistro. The service clearly has its genesis in the Belle Vue Bistro’s family run roots, being unfussy, welcoming and friendly. The wine list is short, but well thought out, and I was pleased to see some local craft beer featuring.
Food at Belle Vue Bistro
The menu is a relatively simple, Italian-inspired affair, sourced from local produce wherever possible. I started with the risotto balls, which were extremely good, but the award for best starter goes to my friend who had the calamari. These were giant rings, reminiscent of the most decadent onion rings, with a crisp batter, which, despite its thickness, covered perfectly cooked squid inside. So often, a restaurant will attempt calamari and the diner has to chose between undercooked batter or overcooked cephalopod; not here.
In terms of mains, I opted for the “Arizona Burger”, which features pepperoni and nachos in its toppings. It was such a unique suggestion, that, me being me, had to try. Of course, the concept of a crisp texture inside a burger isn’t a novel one. Onion rings often feature, as does fried chicken and well done bacon, but nachos? Strangely it works, and it works well. My only slight criticism is that the chips were bordering on roast potatoes. Regardless of how well executed these were, a burger deserves, nay needs, fries at best.
Friend had a ham and mushroom pizza, which was clearly on a fresh homemade dough and done very thin and crisp. I didn’t see a wood-fired pizza oven in the Belle Vue Bistro; I assume it was cooked more conventionally. There are many “Italian restaurants” that have them, such as Prezzo, upon which the traditional way of cooking a pizza is wasted. Given the Belle Vue Bistro’s clear ability to prepare a good pizza, I would suggest the local Prezzo donate their traditional oven to them so they can take it to the next level.
This brings me onto portion sizes. They are not ridiculous, nor are they over priced. The portions are sensible and offer good value for the price, meaning Belle Vue Bistro is one of the rare places that sets you up nicely for dessert. We shared a sundae; which was well executed, but in hindsight, I wonder if they could have applied their magic in the assembling of a great menu of starters and mains to a greater selection of home-made desserts.
Belle Vue Bistro is a well thought out, intimate, local bistro that deserves to become a pillar of the local community. If it were even remotely local to me, I would be there regularly.
|Restaurant Name||Belle Vue Bistro|
|Price Range||£30 a head, two courses with drinks and service.|
|Address||8 Belle Vue Way, Swansea, SA1 5BY|