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.
I would recommend The Swallowed Anchor. Super friendly and helpful staff that make you feel welcome, delicious food and lovely cocktails, can't fault it and looking forward to coming back :)
Friendly staff, delicious Tapas options and a pretty good drinks list, including a mean espresso martini. It was the perfect nights to sit on the balcony.
The staff are very helpful with recommendations the food is delicious the wine list extensive and the atmosphere great it’s definitely a place for groups but couples wouldn’t be out of place either, do as we did order bits of everything.