Preview: The Potted Pig

For new venues, building up public interest can be tricky.  Do you hire a PR company - which, whilst effective, costs money, or do you go it alone, rely on word of mouth and pray to the gastronomic gods that your hard work and cold hard cash is enough to see you through the first year.

The Potted Pig seemed to manage it with a few careful tweets, tantalising taste buds with hints of the menu and keeping potential diners up to date with what was going on behind the scenes.  By the time their launch party started tonight at 5pm, Twitter seemed to be ablaze with foodies clamouring to get on the guest list or find out when they could get in to eat.  As someone who'd been salivating over the menu for several weeks, I was delighted to go along and preview the menu.

Smoked Aubergine Scotch Egg

One of the few vegetarian items on the menu, this was a joy to eat.  Keeping the essence of a scotch egg it used a quails egg in the centre surrounded by a spiced aubergine puree, deep fried with breadcrumbs.  Despite this it was light and creamy, set off with the beautifully soft yolk of the egg.  I don't normally like aubergine but these were a treat.

Asparagus with Dill and Tarragon Sauce

Another rare veggie canape, the spears were wrapped in a light puff pastry and served with a fresh herb sauce.  The asparagus was cooked but served cold - yet somehow this was delicious rather than feeling limp.

Home-cured Mackerel

The mackerel was served with a sweet and sour pickled onions on toast.  The sweet, vinegar flavour worked well to cut through the oil of the fish.

Duck Hearts on Toast

Not for the squeamish, the menu is great for those of us interested in nose-to-tail eating.  The meat itself was firm, if slightly chewy, with a rich aftertaste.

Crab Cakes with Crab Mayo

Coarsely shredded, sweet crab meat, rolled into balls, breaded and deep-fried.  What more could you want?  Crab meat in the mayo of course!

Steak and Green Sauce

Thickly cut, rare steak.  This melted beautifully in the mouth and left you wanting more. 

A Feast of Pig

As the name suggests, The Potted Pig certainly loves pork.  We first sampled the restaurant's namesake - a coarse, peppery rillette, spread thick on toast.  The main event though was the whole roast suckling pig.  The gathering crowd applauded as the beast was paraded through the restaurant before being returned to the kitchen to be shredded.  We waited with bated breath.  It emerged again in canape form, the flesh served between round of white bread with a Cinnamon and apple sauce - perfection.

Launch nights can be a bit hit and miss when trying to get a feel for a new venture, but after tonight I'm certainly keen to head back and sample the menu proper.


Ceri said…
The vegetarian things sound yummy yummy. :) As you said there are few on the menu though, I'll probably give this one a miss. ;-)
The veggie dishes were great, especially the Scotch Egg. I have to admit that was a surprise given how meat-heavy the menu is. I'd agree that I'm not recommending it for non-meat eaters though
Anonymous said…
Definitely on my list - especially as it turns out my other half was at the launch (last minute invite!) and said it seemed pretty good. Looking forward to trying the full menu.

Hannah @ Love to Dine
Same here Hannah. Was one of the more successful launches I've attended in terms of the quality of the food - definitely makes me want to go back with a group and try the whole pig.

My only complaint about the night, and something mentioned by many others I've spoken to, was it was packed. But I guess it was a fairly open invite...
Sian said…
This new restaurant sounds amazing. I was drooling over the menu on a shopping trip to Cardiff recently. I would love to try it but as an average income person am slightly put off by the complete abscence of prices on the menu or website. Can anyone give me a vague idea of what to expect??
Sian - It really annoys me too! Luckily I did have a peek at the actual menu and starters come in at around £5 - 7. Mains range from £9 for Rabbit through to £20 for the Crab dinner. The whole suckling pig needs to be ordered in advance and is for a minimum of 8 people. This costs £25 a head. Hope that helps!
Helen Jones said…
As a response to the vegetarian comment - meat free diners would be pleased to hear that considering the menu is forever changing, and so is the quantity of veggie dishes! I've been lucky enough to eat there twice since the opening, and last week 4 out of 6 starters were vegetarian (amazing cauliflower fritters with cheese sauce being one) and the veggie mains were most appealing to me, even though as a meat eater myself -pearl barley risotto and root vegetable and creme fraiche salad both very nearly tempted me away from the carnivore options! Don't let the pig fool you...
Thanks for the follow-up Helen. The veggie food I sampled there was indeed very good. My only concern would be that if the menu is constantly changing then future veggie visitors might not have such a wide choice on a consistent basis.
I guess the answer is to call/email ahead before booking.

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