1. Leeds Living
  2. Eat/Drink
  3. The Swine that Dines reviewed - small plates of wonder

The Swine that Dines reviewed - small plates of wonder

23 September 2015
The Swine that Dines reviewed - small plates of wonder
With only a handful of tables available The Swine that Dines (the weekend small plate gig at the Greedy Pig) has a warm and intimate atmosphere. Owners Jo and Stu, as well as their lovely front of house assistant Thom, made you feel instantly relaxed with their friendly and familiar approach. Chalked on the menu board were eight different plates which Jo knowledgeably talked us through, explaining the thinking behind the dishes Stu had artfully curated. The personal experience at The Swine that Dines is one of the reasons why it stands out against my other recent dining experiences. As a table we felt both welcomed and valued – we were guided through our choices so we understood not just what we were eating but also why.

Spoilt for choice and completely unable to choose, we ordered one of every dish to share amongst the table, allowing us to sample every plate. The first dish arrived much to our hungry anticipation and we were presented with a tower of a charred carrot set up by its foundations of burnt aubergine, miso pesto and quinoa. The carrots were perfectly prepared with a firm texture and snap that complemented the more tapenade-like consistency of the other components. The burnt aubergine was combined with the miso pesto and quinoa to create a baba ghanoush-esque flavour – yet a depth was created by the minty tang of the dill and the meatiness of the miso pesto.

The Swine that Dines - article 1

Next up was the roasted squash, bitter leaf salad, barley and malt plate. This was a favourite of my company owing to the bitter and sweet combination of flavours used. The saccharinity of the malt and the caramelised squash was cut through with smacks of tartness from the barley and leaves. Plate three was a formation of tempura okra, heritage tomatoes, preserved lemon and yoghurt. Despite the heavy batter on the okra this dish retained a cleanness through the freshness of the lemon preserve and yoghurt. The quality of the tomatoes was exemplified by the sweetness of their taste and enhanced by the vinegary acidity of the accompanying sauce. There was a nod to the typical use of okra in Indian dishes through the aromatic flavours created through the use of black sesame and paprika - all components of the dish both worked together yet also stood out in their individual flavours.

Swine that Dine - Article 2

By this point the plates were coming thick and fast and our table became a slightly crowded feast of flavours. My favourite of the night was the ricotta gnudi, Romanesco cauliflower, apple and sage butter. The dish was rich in every sense of the word, with all the buttery creaminess of an archetypical comfort food ensemble. The crisp additions of thin apple segments and deep fried sage broke up the denser nature of the gnudi (dumpling like cheese balls) and the pureed cauliflower was a delicious addition. The polenta bread, goats curd, fried quails egg, Portobello mushroom combo was the penultimate plate to arrive. Despite having a lot going on the dish was dainty and each element carefully curated to complement the taste and textures of the others.

By the time the halloumi escabeche, saffron, coriander, green beans and black olives plate arrived our taste buds had been guided through a plethora of wide ranging flavours and we were excited to see what the final dish would bring. The salty, vinegary taste of the the crispy, yet saucy halloumi was a treat for any cheese lover and the dish could have been ruled by the unmistakable saffron flavour but the other flavours held their own.

Swine that Dine - article 3

Incredibly satisfied but not wanting to miss out, I finished this culinary occasion with a caramelised plum, pistachio and rose tart which was sticky and nutty and everything else you’d hope from a dessert such as this.

Each weekend the small plates menu rotates the themes of vegetarian Roots to Shoots, meaty Nose to Tail, a fish centred menu and then a mix of all three. Very different from the Greedy Pig’s usual breakfast offering, The Swine that Dines creates sophisticated culinary creations which utilise ingredients in an innovative way which shows a real understanding for their potential and versatility of use.

The Swine that Dines is every Friday to Saturday 6pm till 9pm at The Greedy Pig on North Street. For 12 dishes between four people it came to £12.50 per a head - amazing value for the quality of food.

Becky Peartree is our resident food writer and is in her final year at Leeds University where she studies English Literature.