The Black Pig Pub and Dining Room: Restaurant Review

The Black Pig is quirky, appealing, serves really tasty pub grub and is just a great place to hang out ...

The Black Pig Pub and Dining Room: Restaurant Review

The Black Pig is quirky, appealing, serves really tasty pub grub and is just a great place to hang out...

The first thing you see as you drive up the side of this town pub to the rear car park is a Magritte-esque black-painted wall with white pigs dancing across it.

“I’ve lost count of the number of people who come in and tell me we’ve got the pigs the wrong colour,” says chef-patron Julian Leefe-Griffiths.

After the dancing pigs, it’s the mounted head of an Oryx in the front bar that grabs your attention – shot in South Africa by our host – and the distinctly carnivorous look continues with animal-themed wallpaper upstairs.

There’s a lot of meat all over the menu, too, such as the Pig Sty Board (Scotch egg, pork pie and ham terrine), and My Artist Friend’s Chart Farm sirloin steak, served on a wooden platter with chunky chips in a little bucket.

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It’s meltingly tender, the B�arnaise as good as it gets. “A classic dish, but could have done with a few cherry tomatoes for a splash of colour.” Artists, eh?

No complaints either with my generously sized leg of Gressingham duck which was served with really gorgeous braised red cabbage and mustard mash, a perfect seasonal dish.

But it’s not all hunter-gatherer stuff, and we both enjoyed veggie starters – simple but tasty goat’s cheese and beetroot, and roast butternut squash with home-cured Parma ham salad, which MAF was disconcerted to find was served cold, despite a description that rather suggested otherwise.

Puddings are ridiculously good, so do make sure you leave room for such delights as vanilla and chocolate sundae with Kent cob nuts or the rich-textured white chocolate baked cheesecake.

We ate at rustic wooden tables in the big square dining room with an open hatch to the kitchen, half-panelled walls hung with posters and a nice bit of jazz and The Small Faces in the background.

Upstairs there are three private dining rooms, one seating 28; downstairs the front bar has a wood-burning stove and comfy seating, and there’s a cosy, book-lined bar known as The Sty. Naturally.

 

We ate – dinner for 2:

Goat’s cheese parfait with pickled beetroot �6.50

Butternut squash and Parma ham salad �6

Duck with mustard mash �14.50

Sirloin and chips �19

White chocolate cheesecake �6

Vanilla and chocolate sundae with cob nuts �6.50

 

Executive chef/patron: Julian  Leefe-Griffiths

Who has influenced you most? I met a lot of inspirational people when I worked in the film industry, Directors and producers for whom “it’s alright” was just not in their vocabulary. Do it to the best of your ability and then redouble your efforts.   

Who would you like to cook for? Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver, I really like their quality produce and British/seasonal vibe. Going back in time, I’d love Jesus to cook for me, especially that dish with the five loaves and the two fishes. How does he do that!?  

 

The Black Pig Pub and Dining Room18 Grove Hill Road, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1RZ01892 523030Open: Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm, 7pm-10pm, Sat food served 12pm-10pm, Sun 12pm-9pm

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