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19 April 2014

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Blog Reviews from London Piggy

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All new, non-pretentious London Food Blog. We write honest reviews about the restaurants we visit and the recipes we enjoy!


  1. For us, Christmas in North Yorkshire could only mean one thing, another self-indulgent lunch at The Black Swan. It had a lot in common with our trip there last year; the weather was terrible and the meal was satisfying. Since our last visit, there have been a few changes up there. Tommy Banks has taken over from Adam Jackson as head chef, making it a real family business. His brother James heads up front of house and their parents own the place. They’ve also just been promoted to 3 AA rosettes, as well as retaining their Michelin star...

  2. Yauatcha unashamedly sets its stall out to give diners a modern and refined take on Chinese food. Its Michelin starred status reflects this but so does its pricing. My question is quite simply, is it worth it? Its location on Broadwick Street in Soho could hardly be better in terms of footfall but it looks as though there will soon be some serious competition, right on the doorstep. Former owner Alan Yau is currently in the process of renovating the old Endurance pub next door so I’ll be interested to see what he’s got in store. Watch this space...

  3. There are always a few surprises when a new Michelin Guide is released. This time around I have to admit I wasn’t expecting Brasserie Chavot to be awarded a star, but I’m not sure why because they have all the credentials. Executive chef/owner Eric Chavot previously held two stars at Capital and top critics like Jay Rayner and Giles Coren have been raving about the food at his brasserie ever since it opened earlier this year. Why then, you may be thinking, were we remotely surprised?...

  4. The man behind Flesh & Buns and Bone Daddies, Ross Shonhan once described making tonkotsu ramen as being like melting a pig into a bowl. At Flesh & Buns they don’t melt anything, they just put it in a steamed bun. Damn good it is too!...

  5. As you walk through the door at Dishoom, it’s immediately obvious that they’ve put a lot of emphasis on fixtures, fittings and little details. Trendy touches like Hindi symbols and ornaments, and signs of degradation like missing pieces of plaster, ironic tobacco spits on the walls and exposed corrugated sheets are all there in an effort to replicate the look and feel of an old school Bombay cafe. Of course, this is only skin deep...

  6. We’d been hearing lots of good things about their food, both from people who know their burgers, as well as those who probably don’t (but make plenty of noise all the same). Anyway, we crossed our fingers that it wasn’t just Twitter hype and headed over there early on a Wednesday evening. The restaurant itself is fairly small and was busy when we arrived (of course it was). The queue wasn’t particularly long but we did have to linger for a few minutes to get a table. There is no ticketing system either, you just give your name when you order then wait for the waitress to find you...

  7. Published : Saturday, 24th August 2013

    Jubo | Jubo -€“ Korean Fried Chicken comes to London

    Just in case you didn’t know, pigs love fried chicken. Oh! You did know. Anyway, we were very excited to be invited along to the launch of Jubo at The Bedroom Bar in Shoreditch. Fried chicken and Korean food combined. That was something we just had to try, so we hot-trottered it down there. The Bedroom Bar is a funky place to grab a drink and Jubo is there to take care of any alcohol induced hunger pangs. Located on the left-hand side of the bar as you enter, Jubo is inspired by the type of Korean fried chicken canteen that’s found in K-towns (Korean towns to you and I). They also serve Korean inspired cocktails as well as the local tipple, Soju and the obligatory Hite beer...

  8. Shake Shack set the bar high from the start. They made it clear that they’d only be serving grass-fed Aberdeen angus beef patties and cooking them medium. They also promised us wondrous sounding desserts called concretes, using some of the best ingredients around. However, after reading a number of disparaging reviews and negative first-hand accounts from friends, a thought occurred. Was it’s all just hype and marketing spin?...

  9. Everyone loves chicken. Don’t they? Will Holland, the head chef of 3 AA rosette winning restaurant La Bécasse, certainly does. When he was interviewed as part of the Guardian’s “where chefs eat” series, he chose Clockjack Oven’s rotisserie chicken as his recommendation. Praise indeed...

  10. We booked a table at Bird of Smithfield on a Friday night and after an impromptu walk around the block (damn you Google maps!), we found our way to the restaurant. It’s split over five floors in an old Georgian Townhouse. The bar is on the ground floor with the dining rooms and roof terrace (overlooking Smithfield market) above. When we eventually arrived, we were warmly greeted and shown up to the first floor dining room...

  11. Published : Sunday, 9th June 2013

    Tonkotsu | Tonkotsu – Comfort in a bowl

    It was 8pm on a Tuesday and we decided to head to a restaurant that’s creating a lot of buzz right now, Tonkotsu on Dean Street. As well as the name of the restaurant, tonkotsu is also a type of ramen and literally means ‘pork bone.’...

  12. Hawksmoor is without doubt our go-to steak place and we’ve been keen to try their bar menu for months. Then a couple of weeks ago, we saw that they serve a short-rib French dip sandwich. We needed no more convincing and made a beeline for the bar at their Spitalfields branch...

  13. Published : Sunday, 19th May 2013

    A. Wong | A. Wong – Elegant, good value Chinese food

    Believe it or not, there’s now a tasty little restaurant within five minutes of Victoria station that’s starting to change Londoners’ perceptions of Chinese food. Located on a seemingly unpromising street flanked by chain restaurants, they opened their doors in late 2012 and have attracted lots of critical acclaim. For us, it was their great value tasting menu that stood out. Eight courses for £38.88! Surely there must be some kind of mistake? We decided that at this price we had to give it a whirl...

  14. Although bistros and brasseries seem to be becoming ten a penny in London right now, we were keen to try this one and had heard really good things. It’s right across the road from Jason’s flagship restaurant, Pollen St Social where we recently enjoyed an impromptu visit to their dessert bar and have had great meals in the past...

  15. Published : Sunday, 12th May 2013

    The Ledbury | The Ledbury – London’s finest

    The Ledbury has quite a reputation. They hold two Michelin stars and were recently voted the world’s thirteenth best restaurant in a poll which saw The Fat Duck come only thirty-third. Australian head chef Brett Graham has been in residence since 2005 and has overseen the restaurant’s meteoric rise. I’ve heard people suggest that a third Michelin star might not be too far away and on this evidence, all of Brett’s accolades are well deserved...

  16. On a wet Friday evening, the Hog and I were in town and I had a sudden hankering for MEATliquor. We walked there only to find a massive queue, so decided to give it a miss. However, my craving didn’t subside, so we booked MEATmission for the next evening. What a great idea… they actually take bookings!...

  17. If you’ve got a sweet tooth and you don’t know about the dessert bar at Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social, you’ve really been missing out! We’ve eaten at Pollen St before and remembered that if you don’t want a full meal, you can just make a beeline for the the dessert bar, so we did just that...

  18. We’ve seen so many good things written about this place lately, that we decided that we were missing out and this visit felt overdue. We both liked the look of the main menu, but the Hog was particularly keen to try their “two cut” Sunday lunch, so off we went...

  19. Undeterred by some seriously wintry conditions, we headed to over to Dalston Superstore last week for the opening night of Spit & Roast’s weekend residency. We’d tried one of their buttermilk chicken baps at Feast only a couple of weeks before and really enjoyed it, so we were intrigued to find out what they could do with a proper kitchen at their disposal. Dalston Superstore itself is a dimly lit little bar with achingly cool staff and dubious artwork hanging on the walls. In many ways it’s the perfect setting for an evening of pimped up fast food!...

  20. Timing is the key to getting into these tiny, no-reservations places and this time we got massively lucky. No sooner had we stuck our head in the door, than were were shown through to a tiny table beside the bar. The decor is minimalist, it’s dimly lit and and a John Lee Hooker 12″ was playing in the background. We ordered two small plates to start, followed by two large. The starters, quail with turmeric and fried red prawns were both delicious. The mention of turmeric on the menu made me assume that the quail would be spicy and curried, but there was really no reason to jump to that conclusion. It was perfectly cooked with juicy meat and a crispy skin and was a pleasure to eat with my hands...

  21. We headed for Loong Kee Café at the far end of the Vietnamese strip. We’ve been there once before and enjoyed our meal. I had particularly fond memories of their bahn cuon (steamed rice rolls), which don’t appear on every menu. The restaurant itself is pretty basic in terms of furnishings, but was almost half full when we arrived, so obviously this doesn’t deter anyone. If anything, you know it’s not going to cost you an arm and leg! They also allow BYO, so come prepared. We didn’t bother and instead stuck to their Vietnamese beer, which was itself a bargain at just £2.80 per bottle...

  22. There’s no denying the fact that dining here feels very special, and the view from the fortieth floor of the Heron Tower is absolutely stunning. It would be an impressive date or special occasion venue and I’d definitely recommend coming here...

  23. Hawksmoor is a carnivore’s paradise and both the Hog and I are avid meat eaters. Given that, I’m sure it won’t surprise you to learn that it’s one of our favourite pig-out places! I really struggle to find fault with any of the meals we’ve had at Hawksmoor. Whether it be fantastic, succulent Chateaubriand, sensational porterhouse or great value rib-eye on their express menu (£26 for three courses); it’s all been nothing short of excellent...

  24. Published : Sunday, 24th February 2013

    Patty & Bun | Patty & Bun – Not just another burger joint

    Patty & Bun only found a permanent home in October and has quickly developed quite a following. Prior to this, they’d made a number of acclaimed cameo appearances, popping up at places like The Doodle Bar in Battersea and The Endurance on Berwick Street. We arrived at 7:15 on a cold Tuesday evening, by which time the queue already extended out across the pavement. Don’t worry though, this isn’t going to be one of those annoying blog posts that just complains about queues! We did wait for the best part of an hour, but this was what we expected. P&B only seats thirty, so realistically, demand is always going to outstrip supply. If you don’t want to queue, remember, there are plenty of other options elsewhere in town!...

  25. Published : Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Pizza East | Pizza East, Shoreditch – Ticks all the boxes!

    This was my first visit to Pizza East and it was long overdue. Prior to this I’d have been hard pushed to name a really good, specialist pizza restaurant in London, but no longer! Pizza EastSure, there are some fantastic Italian places where you can get pizza, but they don’t generally make it the star of the show. That’s why I think that Pizza East has been so successful. There are now three branches, Portobello, Kentish Town and Shoreditch and all of them have built up quite a following. We arrived at 7pm on a Tuesday night, and you could clearly see what a popular place it is. We were very glad we’d booked a table!...

  26. We’d been eagerly awaiting our visit to Disco Bistro for quite a while, having read so many good things about the food. Despite the hype, I’m delighted to say we were not disappointed in the slightest! Disco Bistro Menu Disco Bistro Menu Our booking was for 7:30 but we arrived a little early and decided to grab a quick drink in the pub downstairs. On their website, it’s called a “trashy bar,” and this was certainly the case. Aside from the door leading up to Disco Bistro, the Rising Sun is basically just another city watering hole. It wasn’t particularly busy either, but then again, it was early on a Tuesday evening...

  27. Published : Wednesday, 13th February 2013

    Kettner's | Kettners – Afternoon tea in town

    Kettner’s really should be the perfect place to have afternoon tea. It’s right in the heart of Soho, it’s been around for almost 150 years and the current owners have spent a packet on making sure it exudes glitz and glamour. This was my second visit (the first was for dinner a couple of years ago) and on both occasions I was enticed by cut-price offers. This time, it was my sister’s birthday so I thought it would be a great opportunity to take advantage of the Champagne afternoon tea deal from Time Out. After all, who doesn’t love a bit of tea, cake and fizz? There were a lot of birthday celebrations going on though, so it looks like my idea wasn’t very original!...

  28. Published : Sunday, 3rd February 2013

    Red Dog Saloon | Red Dog Saloon – Hoxton, Texas?

    We’re serious barbecue fans, so it’s probably an understatement to say that we were excited at the prospect of putting Red Dog Saloon’s “authentic American BBQ” to the test. The initial signs were very good. They even hold Man V Food style eating challenges and have a burger called The Devastator (which contains three 6oz patties, 200g pulled pork & 6 rashers of bacon). However, if you look Red Dog up online, you’ll see that it’s attracted some very mixed reviews since opening its doors in July 2011. The only true test though, is to see for yourself...