With so many venues scattered throughout the Northern Quarter, you know you’re always going to find something different and quirky wherever you look; hoping to stand out from the crowd. The Blue Pig is no exception to this - and with the first thing you notice being a huge blue pig hanging outside, I knew that this was going to be one interesting evening before I had even stepped through the door.
Enter the venue and you’re greeted by cosy tables, dark wooden fixtures and masses of food billowing out of their deli counter, with rows of meats hanging above in delectable fashion. Heading down on a Wednesday evening, we made our way over to the bar and were surprised by the number of after-work drinkers and late night shoppers keeping the place busy and bustling with the sound of laughter and clinking glasses. At the bar, we were greeted straight away with a warm welcome from the staff and an eagerness to help, which carried on throughout the evening - making sure that we were comfortable and had everything we needed for a lovely relaxed evening. We were shown to our table; a light airy space next to the window, and sat down to peruse the menu and also carry out a bit of people watching; my favourite pastime.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
Whilst we checked out the menu, I couldn’t help but notice the range of people who were sat all around me sipping on their wines and enjoying very laden deli boards (but more about that later!). With a range of couples, shoppers and after-work drinkers presumably from the offices surrounding; excited chatter filled the air with smooth music over the top. As light still flooded the venue through their vast floor to ceiling windows it felt calm and airy. However I can’t wait to head back during a dark winter’s evening, when the candles come out for a romantic late-night supper or cosy drink on a cold Manchester night.
The Drinks and Food
I’d heard many a great thing about a certain Monkey Gland (see Adam’s Bartender of the Week piece) so I went for that whilst my partner went for another popular cocktail; the Charlie Chaplin – a gin infused delight with notes of Apricot brandy and fresh lime; delicious! With such an array of food advertised before us; we decided to test the best of both worlds with one of their meat platters to start and a few mains from their exciting 333 menu, which changes weekly featuring the freshest seasonal ingredients. This week it was Chargrilled Mackerel and Belly Pork & Roast Cod, so I went for the Belly Pork and my partner went for the Chargrilled Mackerel which were both exquisite down to the last morsel. The crackling has to be some of the best I’ve ever tasted!
The dish of the day has to be the deli board Meat platter however, which I could have eaten over and over again. With The Blue Pig, you can either pick one of their platters or you can put your own together from the huge array of ingredients within the deli counter. There was so much choice for us; we decided to let the meat platter speak for itself and it definitely didn’t disappoint. With freshly made focaccia, poached pears, and the tastiest chicken liver & ale pate – I will definitely be heading back for more; determined to get through everything in their deli counter.
And of course, I had to try a pudding (would have been rude not to!) so I went for the chocolate truffles off the 333 menu, which were heavenly but extremely rich - so I was thankful there were only three of them!
The Blue Pig is a gorgeously relaxed venue where the staff are friendly and even the chefs seemed happy to be there, as they quietly chatted from behind their deli counter; obviously proud of their locally sourced produce and excited to show it off. I have already been recommending the deli boards to all of my friends and I can’t wait to head back again to see what else their 333 menu will have in store.