Walking to Pidgin reminded me of my love of East London, you cut down an unassuming back street passing Violets a fantastic little bakery that has made quite a name for itself using such a small space so productively. A little further along is Borough Wines, still open with dim lights casting a shadow on their wonderful selection of wines, a reminder of the refillable bottle I have of theirs at home, to go and buy their house wine straight from the barrel.
I arrive with mother in tow at Pidgin, a small 24 seat restaurant already packed to the rafters except for a little table in the corner just waiting for us. We are seated and let the hum of chatter wash over us as we order some cocktails.
The Pidgin cocktails, wines, and 4 course set menu change weekly, you can have a look on their website to get an idea of whats on offer, but chances are you need to book a little further in advance so won’t be able see what you will be eating, you are entirely in the restaurants hands. For me, that means I can relax, no need to hum and arr about what to have while craning my head around the restaurant staring at other peoples food with the anticipation that someone may order better than me.
A little amuse bouche arrived of finely cut morsels of beef tartare on wafer thin puffed rice thin, softer than a crisp to compliment the smooth textures of the beef.
First course: Mackerel, rhubarb, soral, buckwheat, parsley. The mackerel was cured in house with sugar and salt, it was the main flavour of the dish with sour rhubarb and light herbs in the background letting the mackerel shine.
Second course: Gnudi, wild garlic, nettle, ricotta. If you don’t like gnocchi, gnudi are like the beautiful sister, much lighter and made of ricotta instead of potato so it is just a light crunch on the outside and meltingly soft dumpling inside. Perfect mid course dish keeping it light yet tantalising us with wild garlic.
Third course: Chicken, smoked boudin blanc, salsify, pistachio, spinach. The chicken was cooked to perfection, incredibly moist with the crispiest skin an excellent meat to match that smokey boudin blanc (white black pudding) don’t be put off it is like a better less salty smokey bacon with a smoother almost pate like texture. With the salsify an old fashioned root vegtable a bit like parsnips the over all flavour was like a super refined roast!
Fourth course: Stout, chomeur, maple, balsamic vinegar, the dessert an interesting selection of flavours that I wasn’t super excited about but sometimes I think that’s because they aren’t my favourite ingredients separately and I can’t imagine how they would work together. Well let me tell you that a warm maple sponge with a slight crunch on the exterior paired with Guinness ice cream, a slight hoppy but mainly malty flavour and just a few drops of sticky tart balsamic taste amazing together. I’m all about a good dessert and I was so surprised at how well these flavours came together best dessert I have had in a while actually.
Oh and we had some dessert wine because well you know 😉 Also great an Asti, so not too sweet and also not too pricey, on of my pet peeves, super expensive dessert wine (first world problems).
The bill arrives with some raspberry and dark chocolate truffles and homemade limoncello both delightful and just really made the meal memorable.
The fact that there were such large gaps between courses left a slight disappointment, but the quality of food was excellent (you should see the tiny kitchen it comes out of and it makes it even more impressive!) They change the menu weekly, that is a foodie dream surely… just need to make sure you bring some good company =)