Swan St Social
177 Swan St
Richmond, VIC 3121
Next door to Noir
Looking for somewhere in Richmond for a tipple and some good quality nibbles? Do I have the place for you! Swan St Social opened in 2012 in the space above French restaurant Noir. A former brothel, the place was renovated to shed it’s former life and was reborn as a sun-drenched wine bar with floor-to-ceiling windows and plenty of blond timber. Just the place to visit on a sunny Friday or Saturday night before heading out to one of the local bars along Swan St for the night.
Chef Peter Roddy, who has worked for the likes of Gordon Ramsey and Michel Roux, has created a tapas-style menu that’s much more relaxed and affordable than it’s mother restaurant, Noir. If you’re after something to nibble on as you drink your glass of Argentinan Malbec, you must try the truffled pecorino polenta chips. A word of warning: these things are unbelievably good. Order one plate per 2 people.
If you’re after something more substantial, there is a selection of mains suitable for sharing. The short ribs are morishly tender and definitely worth ordering, while the pork belly demonstrates a sophistocated complexity that you don’t normally see for such a reasonable pricetag. Both are excellent dishes, but do require you to order vegetable adornment.
If it’s veggies you’re after, the chargrilled corn is made memorable with the addition of popcorn and almonds. It’s a lovely dish, with bright yellow kernals at the peak of freshness. The quinoa salad is also likely to bring a few smiles to faces, with a soft boiled egg adding an umptious gooiness.
The quality of the food doesn’t skip a beat when it comes to dessert. The elderflower pannacotta with summer berries, honeycomb and yoghurt sorbet is a great combination for the warmer months. The mango souffle, with passionfruit curd and coconut sorbet is perhaps a little jarring with it’s combination of citrus and creamy flavour, but that would be looking to find fault.
Swan St Social is exactly what you want in a wine bar. The food and service are excellent, and the wine and cocktail menus studded with plenty of good choices. You really can’t do much better. With a new roof top beer garden, add it to your destination hit list this summer.