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Pig and Butcher - review

A bit of a porker, this one

Written by . Published on September 21st 2012.


Pig and Butcher - review

The former Islington Tap behind the Business Design Centre is now all spruce and gastro groovy and a sister to the Princess of Shoreditch and the Lady Ottoline in Bloomsbury.

Pubs should be locals, should have a landlord not a manager

Old fashioned food, pretty much direct from the suppliers, clean wooden tables. Funnily enough there is an Islington stamp that sort of applies to all the pubs around – the Drapers Arms gets well reviewed sometimes, in fact friends who live nearby swear by it, the Barnsbury has its moments (good real ales), the Angelic is a magnificent building and the Crown has its moments too and the Albion has its garden...


The Pig and Butcher is almost the same again. 


There is something written in the DNA of pubs that usually screws the food, usually the landlord himself unless he happens to be the chef, or the kitchen is too small, or it is just too expensive to live anywhere on a chef’s wages, or maybe just the booze gets in the way. It is a glass ceiling. Also the P&B is now a small chain, which is perhaps not a good idea. Pubs should be locals, should have a landlord not a manager. For the most part pub groups suck.

The Butcher is OK but at £80 for two with a bottle of good house wine it is pushing the financial envelope for a quiet night out but that was not deterring anyone. It was full enough.

ButchermonkfishThree little monks...


The monkfish scampi with aoli was on the mean side portionwise...


Mrs Beeton’s beetroot – with an egg – was colourful and again somewhat thinly sliced to accommodate the different coloured beets which I suspect had been hurried through the cooking and that elusive, magically beety flavour had not had the time to evolve.

ButcherporkGood pork and mash


The main courses at £15-ish – the  beef was £24 – looked the same pretty much but the pork with celery was a much better choice than the lamb chops which were a bit too rare breed and organic for their own good. Fatty and dry.

ButcherlambThe lamb was on the scraggy side
Service was Rumanian and American and half the customers were speaking French and Italian.

It was the money really that annoyed me - £80 goes a lot further in a Chinese, Japanese, Turkish, Vietnamese, in a restaurant proper...I don’t really like the idea of spending £80 down the pub for food I can cook at home, and probably you could too.



The Independent raved about this place - but then probably he was on expenses...

Service    3
Atmosphere    3
Cooking        5
Total        11

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