Hidden away off a country lane near Goole in East Riding is a place that has all the charm of a rustic barn-conversion and all the excellence of a serious player in the restaurant world. I know I’m getting straight to the point here. That’s how impressed I was.
The Peppered Pig is an unpretentious, laid back, cosy, welcoming restaurant at the bottom of a gravel drive, and food fans could be forgiven for not even knowing exists. But, thanks to chef Jonathan Westwick – who has his sights firmly set high with an inventive menu full of super fresh ingredients of the highest quality – they really should.
We were treated to a five-course tasting menu, always the best way to really sample what a chef’s really made of, in my opinion. The friendly staff, who set the relaxed tone of the atmosphere, brought us a nicely timed feast of dishes chosen at the chef’s discretion. And boy, did he pull out the stops.
It’s so nice to know that here in Yorkshire we are blessed with so many great restaurant, and increasingly so, and I must say that The Peppered Pig is right up there. If you’re looking for a place to eat that is home to a menu that is stylish and refined, not to mention completely delicious, go along and try it.
Kicking off with an Amuse Bouche of pumpkin soup, we were off on our multi-course delight. This was followed by Breast of Pigeon, Poached Figs, Goats Cheese, Pistachio and Oat Crumb. While pigeon wouldn’t ever be my first choice, I am always happy to be put out of my comfort zone and be coaxed into trying even my last choice. It was delectable and the best I can describe this wonderfully-cooked bird was a cross between beef (but lighter in taste) and pate (but tougher).
Next up was Butter Roast Halibut, Romesco Sauce, Garlic and Chilli – a wonderfully succulent fish dish with all the right ingredients accompanying it, bursting with zingy flavour but still allowing the halibut’s taste to shine through. My favourite course, I think.
Following on we tried Venison, Blackberry and Orange Bread and Butter Pudding, Wilted Greens, Stout Redux. It was perfectly pink in the centre, had just the right amount of moisture and even looked beautiful, but then again all the dishes did.
Our last main dish consisted of Lamb Fillet, Baby Vegetable ‘Scotch Broth’, Faggots, Parsnip Croquette. It was like a mini Sunday roast with plenty of heartiness and none of the stodge. The lamb melted in my mouth and was simply a wonderful piece of meat.
As an overall experience of The Peppered Pig, it is difficult to judge, seeing as I went for an early dinner after Christmas shopping, midweek, on an evening with driving rain. It was relatively quiet within the restaurant, but I was told the recent expansion means it will take time to refill the restaurant with bums on seats. Despite the number of vacant tables the warmth and Yorkshire affability of the team shone through, (even from the chef himself – not a usual occurrence, even for a food blogger!) and, coupled with an absolute corker of a meal, I am guessing this place will be full to bursting in no time. But hopefully not so much that I can’t get a table again.