I had heard great things about The Swine That Dines yet I’d never ventured to the top of town to try it out. However, when I spotted a series of pop-up events, dedicated to the deliciousness that is pie I knew this was my prime opportunity.
The restaurant itself is on the smaller side, unsurprisingly given its previous life as popular breakfast cafe The Greedy Pig and in the hour and a half we were there, there was a constant but steady stream of tables being sat.
We were seated immediately by a very welcoming and attentive host. The restaurant had obtained a special license for the Pie Sunday events so for drinks I opted for a delicious, locally brewed Ilkley blonde whilst my partner opted for a soft drink.
We both opted for the 2-course menu which cost £17.50. Initially, we had decided to go for the same starter but the waitress advised us to mix and match the menu, sharing a starter and dessert so we wouldn’t be too full and could try all three courses without purchasing the fixed-price three-course menu.
She said: “I know we want to sell but it’s about people being satisfied and sometimes too food much is bad.”
We really appreciated this honesty and she was certainly right about the generous portion sizes.
Our meal began with the polenta fries with confit garlic which was covered in pecorino shavings. Despite the strong smell and taste of the Italian cheese, the fries were delicate and not overpowered by the strong flavours. They were perfectly crisp yet still fluffy on the inside and the creamy garlic sauce complemented the dish perfectly.
Next up was the star of the show - the pies. My partner opted for the venison suet pudding pie which he said was rich, indulgent and had an amazing gravy. I opted for the chicken, leek and ham hock raised pie.
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As a Yorkshire girl, I’ve had a fair few pies in my time and I can confirm this was one of the best I’ve ever tasted. The creamy, mustardy sauce complimented the ham hock perfectly and the pastry was firm yet flaked easily.
On the side was aligot - a mashed potato blended with Oxford Isis cheese and fresh herbs. It was heavenly and a welcome upgrade on the usual mash. Accompanying that was the glazed Chantenay carrots.
It is not often I compliment a side plate of vegetables but these carrots were the best I have ever eaten. I enjoyed them so much I had to call the waitress over and demand the recipe. The secret? Molasses and lots and lots of butter.
Though we were quite full from the pie, we couldn’t resist sampling the vanilla slice. As it arrived, one of the staff rushed over to tell us proudly that it was the first batch of vanilla slices she’d ever made. She was right to be proud. It was the perfect amount of crisp flakiness and the vanilla filling was creamy and delicious.
The meal came to £42.50 for a starter, two sides, two pies, a dessert and two drinks. It’s not the cheapest lunch for two but for the quality, I’d say it was more than good value.
The atmosphere was charming, cosy and pleasant and the staff went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and make us laugh. I would recommend the Pie Sunday at Swine That Dines to anyone.