Their autumn menu will be a winner once the colder weather kicks in
THE Blue Pig is all set for the change in seasons. Its new menu is packed with dishes that'll give our weather-worn Northern souls the culinary hug we need once winter comes.
There's plump cuts of belly pork with giant shards of crackling. Spicy meatballs in smoked garlic ragu. Crisp Feta and Spinach Parcels with aubergine fries. All hearty, warming stuff perfect for a cold day.
Unfortunately, it's 25 degrees outside and we're roasting. The punters sitting on the Blue Pig's pavement tables have got the right idea – people watching over a glass of wine and a few small plates. This popular NQ bar features graffiti covered ceilings, huge mirrors, original cast iron chandeliers and enormous Victorian windows perfect for watching the world go by. And in weather like this – with its pavement cafe vibe. It's a great place to catch the sun.
Meanwhile, inside, we're pretending it's autumn already with our ordering choices. We've chosen a feast of Blue Pig's best dishes from its new menu. And although a big meal is the last thing you want in this weather, we're liking what they're bringing us.
Give it a few weeks, and a drop in temperature, and the al-fresco eaters will be flocking inside for these dishes.
Lemon Thyme Crusted Buffalo Mozzarella
A gooey, oozy ball of creamy mozzarella cooked in a crispy breadcrumb shell, and served with a spicy, salty dipper of red pepper pesto. It's from their small plates menu – and is perfect for sharing with drinks.
Japanese Tiger Prawns
The accompanying salsa made this dish, with its flavour-burst combination of pineapple, cherry tomato, red onion and green chilli. Inside the light batter were big, juicy prawns: a satisfying bite and another good one for sharing.
Pimms and Ginger Pork Belly
The Blue Pig is well known for its Sunday lunches and this dish showed why. The generous cut of slowbraised pork was soft and tender, the crackling on top crisp and salty. The pickled apple was an eye-opener – tart and acidic, it was a bold counterbalance to the fattiness of the pork. Jersey royals, petit pois, pea shoots and a thick, rich gravy completed the dish.
Crispy Buttermilk Chicken
After the very British belly pork, we went for the US version of a Sunday lunch: this Deep South-inspired buttermilk chicken. It comes with a crispy rasher of maple-glazed bacon, creamy potatoes, and a dressed salad of avocado and green leaves. All the elements were lovely – and together made a very appealing dish.
The Blue Pig Burger
They've got an inspired menu of burgers here, ranging from the gluten-free and vegan Charred Chilli and Cannellini Falafel, to the Chipotle Pork and Manchego. We opted for their signature Blue Pig Burger. The 8oz prime steak pattie was juicy and flavoursome. The brioche bun was soft and sweet. The mustardy-mayo sauce set it off nicely. Add ripe tomatoes, red onion, and gherkins, and you've got a very exciting bite.
We finished on this simple classic of Cornish ice cream muddled with fresh raspberries and mint. Beautiful summer flavours that we'd happily devour all year long.
The Blue Pig is at 69 High Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1FS.