Have you ever had one of those days, when you eat a very large lunch (because it was offered to you), knowing full well that you have dinner plans? I tried to convince myself that my elasticated stomach would stretch, to house two large meals for the day, but I was wrong.
Upon arriving at Naughty Piglets, and catching sight of the small plates being served to the other tables, I was filled with regret. My usual ‘fill the table’ approach was not happening tonight, and so I would describe this review as a ‘sampler’, as I was only able to share three small plates and a dessert.
The sampler was enough to convert me into a raving fan of a very talented chef, as all of the dishes were presented beautifully, and tasted even better than they looked. Naughty piglets is the love child of married couple Margaux Aubry Sharrat and Joe Sharratt, a chef and sommelier team, and the restaurant open since 2015, is continuing to thrive in popularity.
The 30 cover restaurant, serving small plates, was jam packed, without a table in sight available (to be expected, in Brixton on a Friday night), and here’s why….
Our first plate was the Chargrilled mackerel, gooseberry, coriander (Priced at £10), delicately grilled, with equally as delicate presentation, the gooseberry dressing perfectly balanced out the strong and sometimes overpowering fishy flavour of the mackerel.
This was closely followed by the Burrata, Datterini tomatoes, and basil (priced at £9), this was served with accompanying bread, and pretty much fell in line with my expectations on having some damn good cheese and tomatoes.
My favourite dish was the Devon crab, peanut and picked cabbage (Priced at £11). As far as I am concerned, crab, peanuts and the vinegar from the pickled cabbage is truly a match made in taste bud heaven.
To finish we ordered the Doughnuts, lemon curd and sour cream (Priced at £6), quite simply a perfect to a delightful snack.
Now whilst I think that the dishes eaten were faultless on flavour, quality of ingredients and presentation, I could not help to feel a little short changed on the portion sizes versus price, even given my large lunch. How I personally define value for money is made up of environmental, service, quality, taste and price. For me the price, service, and environment combined, is what has led me to this conclusion.
The environment was uncomfortably hot, with a single fan struggling to keep us cool (within the back section of the restaurant), and my visit was during the peak of our unusually hot British summer. The service was casual, our waiter had extensive menu knowledge, though seemed thinly spread between the number of tables he was waiting. The décor is reminiscent to a quaint French brasserie, loads of wood, with a stripped back simple appearance.
Whilst the menu pricing did not sit comfortably with me, I will return to Naughty Piglets, purely because I was so impressed with the dishes ordered, and I am now left wondering curiously, what the rest of menu has to offer. If I was to sum up my visit to Naughty Piglets, I would use three words, flavoursome and beautiful food.