Restaurant Review – Hanson at the Chelsea

On a tangential note, the Witchfinder was in Swansea for a couple of days recently and tried a local restaurant called Hanson at the Chelsea. It was so good I decided to go back another day to er … ‘research’ a review.

All the fighting against social authoritarians makes me hungry and so, whilst on a recent break in Swansea, I spent some time kicking back on some fine dining.

The first day I was just looking for somewhere to eat and so picked out a highly reviewed restaurant. It had a nice, homely interior near Swansea station, and had quick service, although the lights in the gents appeared to be broken and I had to rely on the illumination of my iPhone 4. I ordered scallops to start. They were … good. Melt in the mouth good – perfectly cooked and textured. I had not intended to write a review but I decided to go back the next day –

I started with the Oak Smoked Salmon. As on the first day service was quick and the starter looked like this –


This is some good salmon – that white material underneath is crab flakes.

The fish was a fitting prelude for the main course. HatC is in the Good Food Guide 2015 and has two AA Rosettes, also for 2015. The restaurant won AA fish restaurant of the year for Wales 2005. However, your author recommends not having the fish for the main course. The reason for this is simply that you will miss out on the revelation that is the 8 Hour Cooked Honey Crisp Belly Pork. This –


8 Hour Cooked Honey Crisp Belly Pork as supplied.


Time to unpack the goods. Arrayed around the centrepiece that is the golden roast belly pork we have (from bottom left, clockwise), rib pork croquette, crackling and black pudding with onion marmalade on apple confit (sauce).


After slicing into the central pork cut, I found it to be the softest and most incredible pork I had ever tasted. On the left, I have dismantled the rib meat croquette to give readers an idea of what it was like.

The accompaniments and the sauce were competent. The rib meat croquette was above average. The centrepiece though, the pork, was a well of ecstasy. Perfectly soft, perfectly flavoursome – just that good and the inspiration for the review.

Finally – the dessert –


Crème brûlée at Chelsea at the Hanson. Now, seen one crème brûlée, seen them all. But this was pretty good. The fruit was very fresh, sweet and flavoursome. The shell was suitably hard and crispy.

Overall, this is a very competent crème brûlée – including by comparison to the various London restaurants I frequent. The shell was crispier and the fruit better. The strawberry piece was nice and large. Whilst the pork belly is the centrepiece of this review, you will have to travel pretty far for a better crème brûlée.

The Witchfinder General recommends Hanson at the Chelsea.

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