Having recently reviewed The Black Horse in Woburn, I
was full of high expectations when invited to review
their sister pub, The Swan, Salford which has a lofty
reputation for serving food at it’s finest. Neil Simons
has recently taken over the reins in the kitchen, and
this seemed a good time to pay a visit and see how he
had settled in.
Just a 10 minute drive
from Central Milton Keynes, I can confidently say that
if you visit this wonderful place once, you will
certainly be itching to return.
My guest and I decided
to be seated immediately on our arrival but there is a
large bar, with some comfy leather seating for guests to
sit, chill and have a drink before their meal if they so
If you walk through the
main entrance there is a large bar which almost hides
the restaurant situated behind it. The bar was quite
busy with a buzz about it but also welcoming at the same
time. The restaurant has chunky, spacious tables with a
variety of leather seating or pine chairs with high
backs. A huge mirror adorns one wall, and I was rather
taken with the partly frosted window that allows you to
see into the kitchen where there was a flurry of
I felt the music was
slightly too loud but the restaurant was also busy with
lots of chatter and the two combined to create a buzzing
atmosphere with a warm, friendly and relaxed ambience.
When the food, service and décor are first class like it
is here; the atmosphere really does tend to take care of
Service The waiting staff were attentive, efficient and
friendly. I was impressed when our waiter reeled off the
daily specials from memory with only a very quick glance
at the board towards the end to ensure everything had
been covered. This was a young, knowledgeable team with
great maturity, lead by the admirable Leanne who does a
fantastic job in ensuring everything at The Swan runs
smoothly. First class!
To accompany our meal I
went for a Rose and chose the Pinot Grigio delle Venezie
Rosato San Girolamo. Real Pinot Grigio with a copper
hue. This was not the lightest wine you will ever taste,
but was smooth and much enjoyed. I’d recommend this to
anyone who likes white wines and would like to try
something slightly different.
The Swan, very much like
The Black Horse, provides a menu which has something to
suit all tastes.
To start, I chose the Rice Noodle Salad of Sugar Snaps,
Oyster Mushrooms and Red Peppers, Teriyaki Dressing
(£5.00). This dish was immaculately presented, full of
colour and it absolutely smacked of freshness. It looked
great, and tasted great too. Zingy and light, this was
an impressive starter. My guest ordered the Caesar
Salad, Free Range Chicken, Crispy Bacon and Anchovies
(£5.75). Caesar salads can vary greatly from restaurant
to restaurant, and if there was any hint of
dissatisfaction with this dish, it was a lack of salad.
My guest still loved every mouthful and was almost
speechless when I asked for her thoughts.
For mains I opted for
the Moroccan Spiced Lamb Steaks, Lemon and Mint,
Chickpea Couscous. (£14.50). The thinly sliced steaks
were placed on top of the delightfully tasty and moist
couscous and it seemed a shame to ruin what was another
superbly presented dish. I normally order lamb pink, but
simply for a change and to see how this dish would
arrive, I ordered the lamb well done. With credit to the
Chef, it was still tender. I decided not to order a side
dish with this meal and unless you are very hungry, I
doubt you would need to either as it was quite filling.
I found this to be a simple yet very affective
combination bursting with flavour.
My guest chose the Sea
Bass Steamed with White Wine and Fennel, Cherry Tomato’s
and Olives (£13.50). My guest commented that the fish
was very soft and tasty whilst the dish as a whole was
full of lots of different flavours without being too
harsh or overpowering and all the different textures
I was not impressed when
my guest ordered the Chocolate Brownie, Vanilla Ice
Cream (£5.00) as this is a dessert I wanted to try.
Served almost hot, crunchy on top, moist and gooey in
the middle this was “one of the best chocolate brownies
I’ve ever had” remarked my guest. I promptly stole some
from her plate and yes, this was a mightily impressive
dessert with fantastic homemade ice cream.
I ordered the Pistachio Parfait, Crème Anglaise (£5.00).
Again, another masterpiece in presentation; this was an
enjoyable dessert which was light and tasty.
In summary, if you’re
one of the seemingly few people that I have spoken to
who have yet to try The Swan, Salford, then quite
simply, you’re missing out on something special. Make
sure you visit soon!
(To read an earlier review of The Swan, Salford, please