Naughty Piglets is a new addition to the Brixton restaurant scene. With rents in central Brixton becoming increasingly unaffordable for independent start-up businesses, Naughty Piglets, like the Shrub and Shutter we reviewed a short while ago, has gone for a ‘secondary’ location, this time in Brixton Water Lane, opposite the Hootananny.
The restaurant has the look and feel of a typical tapas bar, with stools around the attractive bar, side tables with more stools, and an area at the rear with tables and chairs. It’s a small space, but it has been well laid out and feels surprisingly spacious, catering for up to 30 diners.
The menu is based on small plates, though it’s not particularly Spanish, with dishes from around Europe on the menu. You can check the menu online, though you’ll find some daily specials which are not listed there. We went for the padron peppers, fried squid in batter and mussels in the typical French style, to start. All were well cooked and came in generous portions, served with bread and butter. I had a glass of Muscadet at £6.50 while Mrs D. had the house white, a Verdicchio at £5 a glass, to accompany our first dishes. Both wines were very good indeed, with the house, at £20 a bottle, very good value. Wine is served in half litre pots as well as bottles, which I always feel is nice option to have.
We then continued with pork belly, cooked in Korean spices and a 42-day-aged rump of beef. Again portions were generous and attractively presented. The pork belly was my favourite dish; the meat succulent and flavoursome and the Korean spices giving it a tangy edge. The beef also had a great flavour, but the texture was variable and not so tender in places for my taste. We went on to red for these dishes, both having the house wine, which was a French red with Cotes du Rhone grape varieties. Priced at £5 a glass or £15 a pot, this was of excellent quality again.
We passed on the desserts, as we’d had more than enough by this time. Prices range from £4-9.00 for all dishes, except the beef at £18.00, so our bill came to £72.50 including service. Considering the quality of ingredients, standard of cooking and the excellence of the wine, this restaurant provides good value for money.
Naughty Piglets is well worth trying – we’ll definitely go back. One tip if you decide to go – don’t sit at the bar unless you’re tall, as you might find the stools are not very comfortable, so ask for a side table or the rear dining area. But overall, this restaurant has good food and wine, reasonably priced in relation to the quality and has a good atmosphere with friendly and knowledgeable staff.