Coming back to London I was determined to make the most of London’s wonderful restaurants and fantastic food. I couldn’t get a table at my favourite Honey & Co for several months (see last week’s post for a quick & easy dinner from their cookbook) but, on reading the Time Out Best 100 Restaurants in London guide, I was very excited to note a new one in Brixton!
My sister was coming up to London so we could see each other for the first time in six months, and so I decided time was ripe to check out Naughty Piglets. It had opened relatively recently, since I’d been in Madrid, replacing a Caribbean restaurant and therefore sparking off complaints of gentrification.
“We’re sad to see another local Caribbean Restaurant being replaced by an Instagramming bar” says Brixton Buzz, a local newspaper.
Whatever your views on gentrification, in this case, the owner of the Caribbean restaurant had decided to sell (and has apparently gone on to open up a nightclub), and the site was being sold on the market, where the new owners, husband and wife Joe and Margaux, found it. Not exactly their fault that it was being sold! Joe was the head chef at Clapham restaurant Trinity (I ate there almost five years ago now and absolutely loved it) and Margaux came to London from France to learn about wine, ending up working at Trinity before moving to Terroirs. They met, they married, and eventually ended up opening their own place – Margaux talks about the experience of getting everything set up and her favourite restaurants in London in this interview.
While definitely Instagrammable, Naughty Piglets is so much more than just an expensive place to go and take pictures on your iPhone (and its not expensive). Walking into the bar, there is exposed brick, an open kitchen, books lined up on top of the bar, a menu written on a chalkboard …. so far, so hipster.
But we are greeted by two French women behind the bar, take our seats at the high stools and immediately feel comfortable in the warm hubbub of the restaurant. We basically wanted to eat everything on the menu, formed of several small plates and a few larger meat-based main courses… and so we set about doing so. The relaxed environment means that you are not stuck to the traditional starter, main, pudding format, and so we ordered a huge number of dishes to share between the three of us and sat back to enjoy them.
The first to turn up was burrata with courgettes and pine nuts – I love burrata. I quickly grabbed my phone for an Instagrammable picture (now I’m just teasing Brixton Buzz) before Jilli’s fork dived in there.
Scallops were incredible, pork belly with sesame and Korean spices was delicious and my absolutely favourite was the chocolate milk pudding which my sister and I shared. It was ginormous so perfect for sharing and just delicious.
The wine focuses on natural wines, but the list is by no means limited to that and there’s a great selection across the price ranges. I’m also a big fan of a restaurant that offers a carafe of wine – perfect for three people on a week night! As I know nothing about wine I will direct you to this blog post for more information – and say that our carafe of red was absolutely delicious.
Overall, it was great food and a fantastic atmosphere with friendly, welcoming service. For loads of food, wine and a generous tip it was £35 per head so while not cheap, very, very reasonable for the quality of the food. I can see that we might become regulars…