Words I thought I’d never say, part 1: “I have just eaten a delicious lunch in Cardiff City Centre.”
In fairness, Big Jay had already given The Potted Pig a decidedly positive review, and my colleagues from the blog community of Cardiff have also been singing its praises, so one could say it was inevitable. However, given that a dog has just been voted the most talented performer in the country, it is safe to say that anything could have happened.
Words I thought I’d never say, part 2: “Mr Rayner has nicked my idea for a review.”
Having waited for months to even get a table, I had already decided in my own preconceived notional way that a) I would use that subject as a theme for my review and b) that it could never live up to the hype. Then, last week the Big Man releases his review for the enigmatic Dabbous restaurant in London, and bang, my idea ends up in the Observer albeit written by a better hand than mine.
My recommendation to all those people, waiting in vain to sample the fussy Michelin delicacies of Dabbous, is to jump straight on the Paddington Express, turn right just after Pizza Express and sample some happy food, served by happy people in a hearty, happy restaurant. Whilst I am on that ‘happy’ subject, we were served by a real diamond of a waiter. He knew the wines, the menu, but most of all he knew people. Result, an expression of happiness in the shape of delicious local food.
We started our lunch with the Welsh seaside on a plate – cockles, laver bread and bacon on toast. Fresh (with one F), plump little cockle gems and real Welsh caviar on a thick slice of sourdough – it was the best example of the Welsh classic I’ve ever eaten.
Devilled duck livers, straight from the ever popular Madgetts Farm, were delicately cooked to a perfectly pink complexion, soft and meaty, with a gentle heat from the seasoning, enhancing the richness and flavour.
It wouldn’t have been right to eat in the Potted Pig without tasting the beast itself, so slow roast Hereford pork belly with baked carrots and greens it was and what a cracker. Two generous slices of the meatiest part of the belly, perfectly tender, with the crunchiest of cracklings served with delicious gravy.
Barnsley lamb chop was a beautiful piece of meat, served with tender, pink and juicy lamb kidneys, roast onion and the creamiest champ this side of the Irish Sea.
The Potted Feast ended with a chocolate mousse with brandy cream. No photo of this, I’m afraid, I was so distracted by this chocoholic delight that I simply forgot to take one.
Now, a pause for thought: The Potted Pig is situated next-door to one of the heavyweights of the Chain, Chain, Chain World, Pizza Express. The ‘Pig’s’ lunch menu offers two fantastic courses of locally sourced, top quality food for £10. If you really want your eyes opened, check out the online menu of the big bad wolf next-door and see what a tenner will get you there. It certainly made me huff and puff.
So, you get the picture, I have been caught up in the rapture that is The Potted Pig. The wait was well and truly worth it and given the level of service, the quality of food and the general atmosphere of all round happiness within its basement St Mary Street abode, I am starting a petition to rename this establishment. The Perfectly Potted Pig.
The Potted Pig
27 High Street Cardiff CF10 1PU
Tel: 029 2022 4817