As any scurvy sailor-type, Navy veteran, or albacore tuna who’s spent any time off the shores of New South Wales will tell you, swallowing any kind of maritime equipment is an unpleasant experience. Thankfully this particular tapas and wine bar in Wollongong’s city centre is far from a bitter pill – and, besides, if you ask the young Navy vets (really) who run this casual but sophisticated Crown Street watering hole about the meaning of the name, they’ll tell you it’s slang for retiring from the sea and settling down ashore. So, if you’re the kind of landlubber who likes traditional and modern small plates with Australian and international wines, marine-life-inspired craft beers and a relaxing atmosphere, enlist some elbow space with a reservation now!
You can’t go wrong with a bucket of South Coast black mussels cooked with cherry tomatoes, basil, chilli, garlic and a few generous glugs of sauvignon blanc served with toasted Turkish bread ready for the soak-up. And taking the plunge at The Swallowed Anchor seems particularly appropriate, considering the maritime theme of this new tapas and wine bar in Wollongong’s city centre, not to mention the naval backgrounds of its proprietors. Naturally, there’s plenty more fresh seafood on offer – classic salt and pepper calamari, tiger prawns two ways – but enough turf-based fodder to counteract the surf and keep your landsick-spins at bay. There’s the braised pork, veal and chorizo balls in a Romanesco sauce, as well as plenty of breads, gourmet poppers, wings, chips, onion rings, too.
Can’t forget the sliders, soft shell tacos and salads, either. We like the classic American cheeseburger when we want to keep things simple and smooth sailing, but the Spanish jamon Serrano and halloumi sliders with avo are a great way to shift gears into more raunchy tapas territory. Food is one thing, but The Swallowed Anchor wouldn’t be what it is without something to sip on. As it stands, the wine bar side of the operation is a standout along Wollongong’s central Crown Street. Take a seat on the balcony overlooking the hustle and bustle of the city centre and enjoy a glass or two, or go for the diverse craft beers on offer, many chosen to reflect the ocean-going life. Well worth an advance booking – seats at The Swallowed Anchor go full steam ahead.
Excellent food. The best tapas we’ve had in Wollongong. The portion sizes were substantial & well priced. Excellent service & very accommodating. We’ll definitely be back.
A great place for celebrations.. The tapas choices are fantastic.. Great value and delicious.. Good selection of wines too. Friendly and capable staff. Highly recommended.. Try the mussels.. Yum!
Quick and friendly service...awesome! Great wine selection, tapas menu is great. If I have to offer a negative, it’s a bit noisy regardless of whether you sit inside or outside.
Small changes to the food and drinks options were awesome. The scallops were delicious, my wife raved about them for ages. Service super friendly and helpful. Thanks again for a great night.
The food was excellent, the service the same. At many restaurants tapas dishes are small and overpriced but this restaurant has good size dishes and reasonably priced. We would have stayed longer and had more drinks, but My only criticism is that the chairs were not comfortable enough to sit for a long time. We will go back to The Swallowed Anchor, good experience.
Went to The Swallowed Anchor for my birthday. Had the most fantastic food and wonderful, friendly service. Will definitely be going to The Swallowed Anchor again!!
Tapas were great. The salt and pepper calamari was cooked to perfection and I really enjoyed the mushroom arancini covered in a nice crunchy crust. The Nutella donuts were to die for although could have had a bit more Nutella with them. Emily markham entertained us throughout our meal and the atmosphere was fantastic as a result. The only disappointment was that there was no dessert wine on the menu.
The booking was quick and easy. Service and food at The Swallowed Anchor was amazing. We decided on the set menu as it was too hard to decide! Will go back again.
Go with the tapas, rather than the 3 for $ tacos etc. We found the tapas to be totally devine, but the tacos (although great value) were a little bland in flavour. The service is EXCEPTIONAL and all the staff we encountered from arrival to goodbye were friendly and awesome.....just what I love in a restaurant. We'll definitely be back to try some of the other delights from the tapas share plate menu!
Great service, great food, great drinks. The Swallowed Anchor is a lovely place for dinner that I would recommend to anyone looking for a great night out.