Those of you that have lived in Edinburgh a while may remember ‘International Starters‘, it was a pretty unique concept at the time. No mains, just a series of international starters served tapas style. Of course it no longer exists, the culture of small and large plates makes it look quite old old fashioned these days and made it a bit redundant. Black Pig & Oyster is there now, and ironically serves both small plates and tapas.
The interior hasn’t changed too much. Apparently the building was plagued by a leaky roof earlier in the year, so this is Black Pig & Oyster 2.0, serving the same food, sans flood water. I must admit after talking to the family that run this place, I warmed to them and admire their commitment, many others might have chosen to throw in the towel. Not this lot, Mum is front of house, Dad and son are in the kitchen and they’re here to stay – and after hearing their story I am rooting for them a bit. I love a good hardship/underdog story. Throw an independent restaurant into the mix and I’m there with my imaginary pom poms ready to cheer them on. So let’s take a look at what we can cheer about here…
We chose two vegetarian starters, first up, Aubergine Fritters with Houmous. These were way tastier than the menu or picture would suggest. Vegetables not treated well always risk being dull. None of those issues here, these were as fattening as you like – dipped in batter, deep fried, and drizzled in honey and pomegranate. Big fat yes for these.
Paella Croquettes were just as good. Like mini arancini, these moreish little bites were served with a spiced gazpacho and pickled cucumber.
All good so far…
The mains are split up into sections, generally by ingredient, although our first main came under ‘Something Different’. I’m not sure what was different but my friend’s Truffle Chicken looked and smelled delicious. The crispy breast was served with mushrooms, potatoes, plenty of garlic and truffle oil. If this is different, then I like it.
Of course I had the black pig, how could I not? The Surf & Turf in this case was a thick cut steak of Iberian Pig and Giant King Prawns. It wasn’t as heavy a dish as I was expecting and was easily manageable. At times I forgot I was eating pork as it looked and had the texture of beef steak. Something different this certainly was.
As well as underdogs and hardship stories, I have another soft spot, and that’s hard working and passionate kids achieving their ambitions in life. Jack is the 18 yr old son who works the pastry section. Mature beyond his years both in personality and skill, I was impressed with his efforts, a Mojito Panna Cotta and a Tempered Chocolate Brownie.
This is a young lad who I am sure will go far who any parent would be proud of. Keep going Jack, the world needs hard working youngsters like you. The desserts were delicious, as good as some I’ve had from far more experienced chefs. Just clever enough to be exciting, not so clever there’s nothing of substance to eat. Good job.
A lovely meal and somewhere I’d be happy to recommend.
Black Pig & Oyster
Location: 82 Commercial St, Edinburgh EH6 6LX
Good for: Iberian Pig, Oysters, Tapas Style Dining