Does London need so many gastropubs? I want to answer a weary “no” but who am I to judge? Never a huge fan of the traditional English pub roasts, I’ve been disappointed too many times, even when dining at acclaimed establishments like this one, The Pig & Butcher in Islington. I don’t know, maybe I just don’t like roasted lumps of potato?
There were four of us and we all ordered the Roasted crown of Special Reserve chicken for 2 to share (£16.95), all served with a Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, creamed leeks and vegetables. Everything was so bland. The chicken had no flavouring to speak of, the vegetables and potatoes badly needed salt and the gravy was like brown water. I always love a Yorkshire pudding but I also desperately wanted some gravy with some flavour and substance to pour over it.
The creamed leeks side dish that came with it was the tastiest thing by far – served piping hot.
Dessert was a warm, soft chocolate cookie over some ice cream and could not be faulted. It’s obvious that the Pig & Butcher takes care in their food and it’s a really nice atmosphere, casual with comfortable booths and friendly staff – we had a great time hanging out in our booth for a few hours. Neither of us enjoyed the actual roast at all though. Who knows, maybe we ordered the wrong thing? The only pub roast I’ve really enjoyed recently was the one I had at The Snooty Fox, also in Islington. Ah, well. More money for the dumpling fund.
The Pig & Butcher
80 Liverpool Rd
London N1 0QD