We went to the much awaited Swallow Bar for a real visit, and here’s what it is like. The front section is quite cute. The booths look pretty good and it’s all nicely done, but the place is just too damn small. It’s not somewhere you could reliably make a date to meet someone, because the chances are high that there won’t be anywhere to sit. And there’s not even anywhere to stand while you do wait for somewhere to sit. You can’t reserve a booth or table either. It is about 50% too small for a small bar.
Maylands is not really big enough that there is anywhere else to go if the place is full, (The gun shop or White Eagle Travel notwithstanding,) so I think some people will be put off making a special journey there because of this. Everyone seemed very friendly, (despite some bloke being in there wearing thongs) and the atmosphere was nice and those who got a seat appeared to be having a good time, but I would probably only go there again if I was walking past and looked in to see that there was somewhere to sit or stand, or if you could make a reservation.
The food was ridiculously expensive, but that’s Perth in general, so I was fine with that, but if you pay the best part of $30 for 4 prawns (or was it 3?) without much else, I do expect not to have to take the shells off myself, especially when it’s in a garlic sauce. I would have valued it at about $15. Also, it doesn’t open for lunch except Sundays or breakfast. It’s more like a cafe where knobheads wearing lycra might park bikes and drink a coffee on a Sunday morning, and I would bet that that is how it will end up.
So, it was a kind of OK experience, and I’m glad it’s there, but it really needs to break into the space of one of the shops next door. I’d rather have a decent Beef Wellington and a pint of Landlord at 5 Bar for not much difference in price, which if there is a queue outside is near to plenty of other places you could go.