I can understand how it’s easy to get into a restaurant rut. Dining out isn’t the cheapest and it can be so disappointing if that treat you’ve saved doesn’t meet the expectation. Understandably you might fall back on old trusted. But I also think it’s important to try new things; I like to hope that anyone reading food blogs or restaurant reviews might feel a bit more reassured if they are planning to spend their treat/money/time somewhere new. And if there’s somewhere new that should be top of your list – it’s The Swine That Dines.
It’s run by the lovely folks at The Greedy Pig cafe on North St and is their Friday & Saturday evening gig. A menu of 7 or 8 small plates which changes every few weeks, a couple of puddings and BYOB. Me and P ate there last Friday after a few beers at North Brewing Co (tap room at the new brewery) which is only a few mins walk away and perfect for pre drinks.
The menu when we went was their Burns Night themed plates. We decided to order 1 of everything on the menu, you can pick and choose as you please but like I said, sometimes it’s good to just take the plunge!
First up was Seaweed Cured Mackerel with Pickled Veg which was P’s favourite dish of the night along with a Pear, Lanark Blue Cheese, & Oat Cake Salad. The mackerel was delicious and the pickled veg balanced out the oily fish perfectly. The salad was a nice and light accompaniment, the blue cheese not overwhelming any elements.
Next we were served Shetland Mussels with Bacon Croquette (it may have a fancier name than croquette but let’s go with it) and Vegetarian White Pudding with Onions & Chicory. Both delicious, in fact assume from this point on everything was delicious. Also I dare say meat eaters, you wouldn’t have been able to tell the white pudding was veggie.
Then onto Partridge, Penny Buns & Prunes and Duck Egg, Press Potato & Black Kale. The egg dish was probably the second (you’ll see why soon) most surprising dish of the evening for me. Sounds fairly middle of the road but all the flavours combined brilliantly, especially the black kale which was almost like nori.
Then finally for our last savoury course/courses we had the Lamb Faggot with Carrot & Swede and Confit Celeriac with Mull Cheddar Sauce, Hazelnuts & Apple. The celeriac was my favourite dish of the evening; a big old wedge covered in tangy cheese sauce – the epitome of (refined) comfort food.
All good meals end with pudding in my opinion so we ordered both on offer; the Heather Honey & Prune Tart and the Raspberry & Coconut Moussey Cake Thing (technical name I believe). The heather honey tart was just the sweet treat to finish the meal, not overly flowery either and had pastry so thin you could almost see through it (didn’t actually try this…I assumed). P was less keen on his pudding though he polished it off. Probably more it wasn’t to his taste rather than anything actually wrong with it though.
None of the foods were ones I’d ordinarily pick off a menu (or really love) so it shows the skill of Stu (the chef) that for one evening he convinced me that they were an array of my favourites.
So are you up for visiting? You definitely should be. The food was all fantastic and at £6 a plate (the partridge was £7) it’s incredibly good value. You could get away with ordering less than we did, but where’s the fun in that? Plus it being BYOB means you’re basically saving money so it balances out ordering every dish…right?
If you do fancy visiting then pop over to their Twitter page for the latest menu www.twitter.com/SwineThatDines