Nestled away down a side street off the bustling Broad Street in Birmingham is where you will find the Pickled Piglet. It has only been open a matter of months but already has a good reputation amongst the ‘foodie’ community. It is housed in an unassuming building, with a restaurant downstairs, and a bar upstairs with several more tables. We ate up in the bar, where it was steadily busy and had a nice relaxed atmosphere for a leisurely lunch. The service was prompt and friendly and there was a lot of interesting artwork up on the walls with artist details to look at, as well as a nice view over the canal basin if you were at the right table!
There was a good range of drinks to choose from, an extensive wine list, some unusual lagers and ales on tap, fruit juices as well as decent coffees and loose leaf teas.
Moving on to the main event, the food. Again, there were lots of options and deals to choose from – small tapas plates and boards, the ‘brunch’ menu or set lunch menu, and a separate menu for evening dining also.
I love tapas, so I had already decided after a quick scroll around the website last night that this is what I wanted – husband happily went along with this after having a read of the options on offer; certainly more intriguing dishes than I have seen on any other tapas menus in Birmingham.
We went for 7 little plates ranging from £4-£6 each. It was just the right amount for a lunch we thought, and we had room for some dessert too. If you were having this for dinner, you might want an extra 1 or 2 plates depending on how hungry you were!
The dishes we went for were: Honey and Saffron Pork Belly, Garlic Lime and Tomato Confit Prawns, Sweet Chilli and Sesame Chicken, Shredded Pork and Pickles, Scallops Apple and Smoked Bacon, Crispy Potatoes and Paprika Mayonnaise and Crab Celeriac and Apple Pancakes. Presentation was also really nice, pottery dishes, wooden boards etc, rustic but with a touch of class.
My husbands favourite was the crab pancakes, and mine probably the scallops, but not a bad word could we find to pass about any of them. All cooked extremely well, seasoned perfectly, succulent, tasty and very very moreish!
A selection of other options on offer apart from the tapas included; Smoked chicken, apples, walnuts & mild Beauvale blue cheese salad £7, Pan fried sea bream with risotto of peas, prawns, soft herbs & parmesan £15, Smoked streaky bacon, fried eggy bread & maple syrup £7 and Dry-aged Longhorn sirloin steak with hand-cut chips, leaves & peppercorn sauce £19.
Having just about enough room left for dessert, Lee went for the obligatory cheese board (being a bit of a cheese connoisseur and obsessive!) while I opted for a yummy sounding Oat and Treacle Tart with Vanilla Cream.
There was a good selection of cheeses – the highlight being Celtic Promise – one which Lee will definitely be hunting down a supplier of, as well as a tangy chutney and plenty of biscuits to accompany it.The only slight downside Lee felt was that all the cheeses were almost ice cold, and could have benefitted from a little time out of the fridge before serving. My treacle tart was enormous, and I fought to finish it, but finish it I did because it was too yummy not to! It tasted a little like a warmed through luxuriously gooey flapjack, nicely complimented with some vanilla cream with appealing flecks of vanilla speckled through it.
Price wise we paid £57 for 7 plates of tapas, 2 desserts, 2 soft drinks and a coffee. Depending on the time of day you ate or what menu you decided to choose off, eating here could be cheap, average or pricey, but they also offer some staggeringly good deals, such as steak night (Mon) where you get a longhorn beef sirloin and chips for £10, and small plate night (Wed) where you can get 4 of the small tapas plates (excluding the scallops) for £10 also.
Overall we thought a great place to eat, certainly somewhere we would go back to! I hope as it’s reputations grows and it gets exponentially busier that it doesn’t change what it is doing so well.
The Pickled Piglet
35 Gas Street
Disclosure: We paid for our own meal, and all opinions expressed are honest and our own