Saturday, 27 April 2013

Norwich delights: The Pigs

I just spent the weekend in Norwich and got taken to a couple of foodie gems.

First up was the most amazing deli: Bakers & Larners.

This place was amazing. It had anything and everything you could think of. High quality local artisan produce aplenty. I just wanted to eat everything there and then. I'm pretty sure if I lived anywhere nearby I would struggle to not spend a lot of money.

That was followed by dinner at renown Norfolk eatery: The Pigs. It did not disappoint.

The Pigs is a countryside pub that place specialises in all things porky. It seemed churlish not to embrace this, so we basically had everything porky on the menu.

We started off with a couple of Iffits which are apparently "the Norfolk version of tapas". Firstly a ham hock scotch egg with piccalilli. It is clear to me that there are few things better than a freshly fried scotch egg. This was a a brilliant example. Beautiful tender hock meat mixed with an occasional cornichon and a soft egg in the middle. All enveloped in a crispy golden breadcrumb coating. Delicious.

To go with the scotch egg we had pigs ears and tartar sauce. What's not to love: crispy bits of pork with a rich yet  pungent dipping sauce. I admit we may have gone a little deep-fried heavy, but, hey, I was on holiday...

We followed these up with a couple more porky iffits (OK so this might have resulted from a slight amount of indecisiveness when ordering as opposed to any great "plan" per se...)

A kilner jar of potted pork was served straight out of the fridge much to its detriment. Once it had warmed a little this was classic rillettes and the accompanying apple chutney was superb: chunky and robust. While we were waiting for the potted pork to warm up we tucked into a plate of honey, marmalade and Colman’s mustard glazed pork ribs. These were excellent, the bones came out clean but the meat still had enough a satisfying bite to it. I wasn't too impressed by the marmalade glaze nevertheless these were good local ribs just don't expect a classic BBQ rib.

By this stage we were getting a little full so decided to share the belly of "Perfick Pork" with smoky bacon beans, apple chutney, black pudding and crackling. This was about as good as pork gets. The belly was perfectly cooked tender and flavoursome. The beans used a mix beans and were absolutely delicious. The black pudding was top-drawer and not too peppery. My only complaint was the cracking - simply not enough of it, only a single crispy shard each.

We didn't have room for pudding despite contemplating it for some time; there was simply no way to fight against the preceding pile of porky protein.

If you're in Norfolk, you should definitely get to The Pigs. I shall be going back for sure.

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