If you’re anything like us, you’ll understand the importance of being surrounded by top-notch eateries at all times. So, naturally, we were rather chuffed to discover that The Spotted Pig serves up tasty grub a mere 350m walk from The Urban List HQ.
The Spotted Pig has been on our radar for a while now. Once journo-hangout, Squid Row, this Symonds Street spot now takes its style inspiration from none other than a pig. Known for being delicious on the inside (pork belly, anyone?) and elegant on the outside, the Oxford Sandy and Black is the envy of the pig world with its sandy amber coat and black spots. The Spotted Pig has kept things simple yet sophisticated by using the piggy’s shades throughout the restaurant.
While we’re suckers for on-point interiors, The Spotted Pig’s menu had our attention from the moment we sat down. Founders, Nikolai and Melissa strive to represent the classic love story that is Brit-Kiwi food, and head chef Phil makes that a reality.
Our afternoon at The Spotted Pig started with their version of a bowl of olives—a bowl of crackling. Because nothing spells Britain-meets-NZ like a bit of crispy pig’s fat. Up next was juniper lime-cured salmon with feta on toast followed by lemon pepper and caper salt squid with lemon aioli. Simple doesn’t mean simplistic at The Spotted Pig and both dishes were a damn fine way to kick off the meal.
Continuing with the ‘Sharesies’ menu, we crunched our way through the carrot and pea arancini, served with a dinky bucket of pea puree. The pea theme was carried through to the pork terrine, which came with pickled carrots and peas.
By this stage, we were rather stuffed but being the champion eaters that we are, we gobbled up the rest of the shared plates. After all, who can resist candied pork belly? Three generous squares of belly were served alongside seared scallops and fresh Asian slaw to cut through the richness. We were also told that one of the lunch dishes had been made for the Queen (yes, Lizzy herself), and the quail on a bed of braised lentils, candied walnuts, mint and goats cheese HAD to be it. Right?
Wrong! The ‘Piggy in The Middle’ dish caught us all by surprise. Crispy skinned market fish fit for a Queen, served with a prawn and ginger broth. We did our best to be ladies and restrain from licking the bowl, but that broth was too good to leave behind.
Beer fans will be pleased to know that The Spotted Pig offers some of the country’s best craft beer including Hallertau, Garage Project and Epic. Or if wine is more your thing, you’ll find an excellent range of Kiwi vinos to wash down your meal.
There’s always room for desserts and three were on offer. Six sticky donuts arrived with mandarin parfait and the dark chocolate tart with poached black berries and mascarpone was gobbled up despite the full bellies. For a lighter yet R18 option, the panna cotta with grappa and summer fruits isn’t to be missed.
We rolled back to the office, stoked to have found our new lunch spot, after-work drinks pozzy, and place to get our $12 Thursday schnitzel. Whether you’re looking for a truly impressive feed or a relaxing spot to dine with the mates, The Spotted Pig has got you covered.
For more details, including opening hours, click here.
Image credit: The Spotted Pig