Monday, 28 January 2013

The Pig & Butcher

I'd all but given up trying to find a decent Sunday roast in a London pub.  After multiple disappointments, and a phase of not really feeling the humble roast dinner, it seemed like a thing of my past.

Living in Islington is great.  There are almost too many cosy local pubs offering increasingly impressive selections of craft beers and ales, though most lack an equally remarkable menu to entice those more interested in the food than booze.  I harbour a healthy (ahem) interest in both and am happy to report my latest find, an establishment which invests equal thought and time in both the beverages and the eats on offer.

I reside a mere 5 minute walk from The Pig and Butcher and they will no doubt be seeing a lot more of me.  The decor is rustic and charming, miles better than the dingy old interior of The Islington Tap, think sticky floors and drafty corners.

My friends and I arrived for 12, and they were full by 12:30.  It's certainly popular with locals, staff are friendly and service is deft.  It's advisable to book in advance though early birds will snag a bar table.  We each went for a different roast, all come with seasonal veggies, creamed leeks, a yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes.

Roast leg of Kentish lamb.  Loved everything about it, except the tats, 
which were disappointingly anemic.

Slow roasted, pulled Old Spot pork shoulder & apple sauce was a hit.  
Creamed leeks in the foreground, were an excellent accompaniment.

35 day-aged roasted Hereford beef sirloin was also well received, 
all needed more gravy, an extra jug was served when we asked.

Roasts are £15.95 so they're not cheap.  Only grumbles were the potatoes, and the lack of gravy, otherwise excellent and the quality of the meat really shines through.  As an ex waitress I rather like the idea that they spoon out your chosen sauce for you, rather than delivering multiple sauces per table, smart of them.  Reduces unnecessary waste and mess.

There are a couple of non roast options and some really interesting sounding starters and desserts.  I'm keen to sample the weekday dinner menu but was not up to anything more than 1 course on this visit.  Sue and John tried some of the many beers, there's also a weekly special, this week's was an offering from Hawaii with pineapple.

The whole thing was reminiscent of The Bull and Last, my favourite gastropub in London.  Leaning towards the carnivorous, there's a butchery room on site and daily deliveries of meat and fish result in an oft changing menu.  I love the vibe and am happy to have found the place.

The Pig & Butcher
80 Liverpool Road
Islington, N1
8/10

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