Blink and you may miss it, the little hidden Swansea Asian restaurant that is serving the best styled cuisine in the city – miles better then Wagamama in my opinion.
Opened in January, it’s a relatively new face on the block of Dillwyn Street, small in size, neighboring one of the most recognizable names in the city; No City. This charming, locally-run little restaurant serves mouth-watering authentic Asian cuisine and has gone largely unnoticed as queues flock to a local chain for their taste of the East.
If lockdown taught me anything – it’s my appreciation of food and celebrating the best our growing city has to offer. Chains will always attract visitors but they don’t necessarily offer an authentic experience or have the same charm.
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As a result, other options have often been neglected for Asian food but one of the newest is a small charming place named Muswanna. A small, family-run operation, they hope to offer an authentic experience but also entry-level friendly – for those who may not be familiar with the cuisine.
The venue and menu may be significantly smaller then rival Wagamama but the flavor and diversity is far from it. The décor is simplistic whilst relaxing, providing an authentic feel.
The emphasis is on less is more here (not in portion size) with plentiful space and wide tables for comfort. The menu offers diverse food options from all over Asia, ranging from China to Korea; Crispy pork belly, Duck pancake options, noodles, Korean beef ribs, bao buns, ramen and more.
There are too many mouth-watering options to choose from. Each item on the list is clearly detailed with allergen information – showing what each food contains with an option of speaking to your server to discuss intolerances.
Vegetarian options are also detailed on the menu but no apparent vegan advertised options – you can view their full menu on their social media here. It’s the perfect venue for a small party to share meals at affordable prices – the portion sizes here are generous.
Having the problem of eyes bigger then our bellies, ordering for two, I admittedly went home with more then I could eat.
Opting for a sharing experience we ordered two specials; Korean beef ribs served with kim-chi and lettuce (as a wrap) at £13.80, and crispy shredded duck pancake wraps with home-made peking sauce served with cucumber and leeks at £13.80.
With such a wide choice of appealing dishes, it was difficult to stop there – we added typhoon shelter fried king prawns for £12.80 and Korean fried chicken ramen for £8.50, alongside a small portion of rice at £1.50 and alcoholic beverages of cider and Japanese beer. The grand total came in at £61.80 and I do not regret a penny. Read here about our experience at a Swansea Michelin star restaurant.
The Korean beef ribs cut straight off the bone and the aroma was enough to make your mouths water – serving with lettuce as a wrap made the meal delicate and light on the stomach but one you couldn’t stop admiring – any rib lovers would drool at the sight of these.
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Duck pancakes are a must when you dine out at an Asian restaurant and the crispy option certainly did not disappoint, served with the sweet soy sauce and light pancakes – the taste is gentle but exquisite allowing individuals to pack how heavy they want meat or soy into the wrap.
The Korean fried chicken ramen was the highlight of the meal, an authentic Japanese noodle dish that feels like it virtually brings the flavors of the East to Swansea. The only thing I questioned with this was why I had not tried it sooner, the noodles and meat were all packed with flavor and made you savor every bite.
The service size is also generous and one to keep an eye out for if you’re a social foodie – it looked as good as it tasted.
The typhoon shelter fried king prawns were an unexpected triumph and another generous sharing size, a taste of Hong Kong it says on the menu and believed to have originated from cooking found in typhoon shelters, one that I would likely hope to visit for myself in the future. Admittedly, I am not the biggest fan of prawns but the seasoning and chilli weren’t overpowering but added a great deal.
Having been defeated by the overwhelming amount of food, we had to concede to take half the prawns and Korean ribs home in containers but would without question be returning to try more of the menu and authentic Asian dishes.
Chains like Wagamama have made a name for themselves in offering flavors of the East and do provide their own quality food but little gems like Muswanna on Dillwyn Street offer a more genuine and authentic experience of the cuisine and one that deserves queues outside the doors.
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