Every area needs an upmarket place – to accommodate the connoisseurs and “la crème-de-la-crème” wishing for a little extravagance, and a great drinks selection –, which stands high above the competition.
Many eateries are aiming for the special spot in the reviews and the accolade, trying hard to reach that place and remain at the top. It is not a Michelin star crusade, yet as desirable, for the rewards can be huge; an incentive to achieve greatness.
I would love to validate The Unruly Pig position, having tried several drinks from the cocktails menu, and dishes from the seasonal Sunday Lunch.
Passion Fruit Kiss (Vodka, Grand Marnier, and Passion Fruit)
Great and sour like.
Duck Liver Parfait
A revelation: smooth and the perfect light texture.
Served with toasted Brioche (cut in a rectangle-like fashion, unusual but looks great) and Onion Marmalade (crunchy, and not sickening sweet as you would otherwise), which brings a earthy taste matched by Chicory and Bitter Leaves.
Quite surprising, yet delightful.
Soy and peanut butter-like dressing, with Pea Shoots and Sunflower Seeds, slices of French Radishes, and (homemade) burnt Onion powder.
Amazing combination of flavours, awakening the quite tired nation-favourite dish.
Chilled Avocado Velouté with Lime cured Prawns
Looks amazing with bright colours of Red Pepper Brunoise, Nigella Seeds, Coriander Sprouts and Sunflower seeds.
I do like the after taste of the Nigella Seeds, bringing the flavours altogether. Despite a very smooth and delicate texture, something is missing to make the dish great. Adding a touch of salt and pepper changed the dish for the better.
Raw Prawn served Ceviche-style floating on the top feel like an inconvenience. Perhaps, smaller pieces would have worked better, as the texture does not work with the velouté. A dash of lemon, a Brunoise of Avocado and Prawns (and perhaps a hint of Chilli) would have made the dish a winner indeed.
I must admit, though, that it is a very nutritious and healthy option.
Roasted Dry Aged Beef, Dripping Roasties and Yorkshire Pudding
Roast is succulent, tasty, and the choice of sides is perfectly suited. A touch of salt would have awaken the dish. It seems seasoning is either too light or completely absent.
Roasted Rack of Pork, Roasties and Roots
Pork is divine – tender and juicy. Again, missing a touch of seasoning.
Portion is enormous, a whole rib (with bone) and crackling.
Celeriac and roasted Beetroot bring a sweet touch, while Peas and other greens a touch of earthy flavours and crunch, making the dish whole.
I am not sure about the deep-fried then roasted Potatoes, making them very rubbery and hard to cut, and chew.
A glass of the Provence Rosé was the best combination I could think of looking at the extensive wine list, and I was indeed right.
Strawberries, White Chocolate Mousse and Shortbread
The mousse, a quenelle of gelatine added to vanilla-flavoured whipped cream, is too rich and sweet despite being a tiny portion, and made worse by an overly sweet shortbread. Thankfully the strawberries break the sweetness and bring much needed earthiness.
Dessert wine: Black Muscat (Elysium, California), a hint of Cherry and Blackberry, Peach and Rose, with spiced caramel after taste.
Poached Cherries Pump Street Bitter Chocolate and Pistachio.
A deconstructed Forest Gateau with strong flavour and rich dark chocolate.
Dessert wine: Banuyls (Gerard Bertrand, France). A hint of Frangipane (Almond cream) and Pear aromas, with sweet Balsamic, but quite dry; however, it breaks the overwhelming – if not sickening – sweetness of the dish.
Overall, I was very happy with the menu. It is clear that the Head Chef and management are trying hard to impress, delivering good food and an extensive list of drinks.
Leaving the place, I had the feeling something was missing, but not from the food itself, and probably confused.
The dessert had really set me off on a very uncomfortable drive back, and it was without dinner I went to bed that day. Staff must truly have a sweet tooth: seasoning mainly absent, but sugar well and truly present.
It is all about FOOD!!!™
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Olivier is a Michelin-Star trained chef, a leading lecturer on the UK-first Natural Chefs and Vegan Natural Chefs, and a registered Naturopath and qualified Nutritional Therapist, embracing fully his passion for good food and healthy eating.