Feed Me - Alberto Viola at The Dragon Hotel
Welcome to your monthly slice of #FoodHeaven: Feed Me.
Hello, hello fellow foodies. Welcome back to another delectable and edible edition of #FeedMe! The column where I - Christie Heaven - will be filling my face with the most mouthwatering treats that South Wales has to offer.
Have you ever had a life-changing food experience? Discovered a sumptuous chocolate cake that melts away your problems? A juicy steak you can cut with a spoon? Or a taste bud dancing dish on holiday you attempt to recreate once you return home? I didn’t have to venture far this month, as I passed through the golden gates to food heaven when I tasted a sublime masterpiece prepared by Alberto Viola at The Dragon Hotel.
Alberto’s dish is his own culinary creation which he envisioned and designed himself: Braised Belly Pork with Black Pudding Bonbons, Spiced Apple Purée & Cider Roasting Jus.
Put simply, it is one of the most sublime dishes I have EVER tasted. I became possessed by Gregg Wallace, the gourmand grocer himself, as I dived headfirst into a dish created by a man best described as a Master Chef.
The belly pork was braised in cider and apple juice for a luscious sweet depth of flavour, pan-fried before having a stint in the oven for crispiness. This cut of pork is a personal favourite with its layers of soft meat, salty fat, and a crackling top all of which oozes deliciousness.
One of the dish’s accompaniments is a spiced apple puree - Granny Smith apples diced, cooked down, spiced with turmeric, and made silky smooth with butter. Alberto evolves this well-established combination of pork and apple further, by reducing the roasting juices and caramelising with sugar to serve a stunning jus. The end result is garnished to porky perfection with mandolin sliced apples, lightly dusted with icing sugar, dried in the oven on a low heat until perfectly crisp.
If this belly pork/apple pairing wasn’t a taste sensation enough, the black pudding bonbons elevate the dish to another level - deep-fried golden globes of yumminess, made from black pudding and mashed potato balls, with a moreish savouriness counterbalancing the sweetness of the apple.
Served with tenderstem broccoli and an artistic flair, Alberto’s creation instantly tops my list of heavenly plates of food. There is no doubt that this talented chef at The Dragon Hotel has a passion for food. I encourage you all to hotfoot it to their Brasserie and Cafe Bar to experience their food for yourself!
Visit the Swansea staple and their delightful dishes at
39 The Kingsway, Swansea SA1 5LS
Phone: 01792 657100
Video filmed and edited by: Shannon Heaven
Tags: Feed Me