After the delight of eating at vegetarian institution manna earlier in the week, my cravings for meat had made a healthy return and upon hearing of The English Pig, the salivation became all too much to bear and we booked a table.
Being lucky enough to work in Clerkenwell surrounded by eateries such as Smiths, St John, Comptoir Gascon, Gaucho etc, we’re hardly starved of meat options locally, but as pork is somewhat of a addiction of mine, The English Pig sounded right up my street.
I imagined that it would be a lot like Smiths, and in a way it is. It’s large, it’s loud, it’s busy, just like Smiths most of the time. Sadly I was hoping for something a little more intimate, but being a Thursday night, and being so close to the City it was predictably full of inebriated City boys. They were harmless, if not a tad loud though. Just bear in mind that it’s an ideal place for a loud, gossipy supper with friends, but probably not for a discreet meeting with clients.
The food however is superb! Oh my, I love pork, and pork they do very, VERY well. It is no wonder it’s packed full of testosterone fuelled City dwellers with meat as good as this on the menu.
We opted for ‘Parma ham, black pudding, shallots, apple & hazelnuts’ and ‘Ham hock, carrots, white beans and sage’. The ham hock was utterly, stupendously delicious. I could have finished my meal after the starter and left a happy lady, as it was there was still more delight to come…
For main we tucked into the ’21hr Slow Roast Belly with mustard mash and cabbage’ and the ‘Braised shoulder with parsnip, strawberries and broad beans’. Both were totally scrumptious. We rounded the meal off with a cheese board which was reassuringly generous in its portion sizes (despite being reasonably stuffed after starter and main, I’d always be abhorred to receive a stingy cheese board!).
All in all the meal was a great success. The restaurant may be loud, but the gloriousness of the food drowns all of that out so your evening is not wasted.
It’s on the recommend list for the food, but I’d avoid it if you’re after something intimate. There are a good few other options round the corner in Farringdon/Clerkenwell for that type of ambience. Leave this place for the overtly and boisterously appreciative.