As we pointed out recently, the Jewellery Quarter seems to finally be finding its feet with new and exciting venues opening all over it, and not just on St. Paul’s Square. We’ve already given you a review of basement cocktail bar Downstairs, Thousand Trades, and Ana Rocha (read it here), and since then The Button Factory has opened (in the building previously occupied by Vertu bar) and we’ve tried the new offering from Pickled Piglet Chef Proprietor Mark and his wife Chrissy – The Pig & Tail. They’ve converted the dilapidated George and Dragon in to a classy pub with relaxed food and service.
The interior is cozy with metals, woods, and leather offering somewhere to hunker down in the colder months with a beer, some food, and good friends. There’s also a bright walled courtyard in which to sit to enjoy the sun with a beer and a bite to eat. The old pub windows have been restored and from the street the Grade II listed building fits in with its Victorian neighbours.
When Mark and Chrissy’s first city centre venue, The Pickled Piglet, opened on Gas Street, we were massive fans – in fact while we lived in the city centre it became somewhat of a weekly dinner jaunt for small plates and a pint. It opened just on the cusp of a hoard of openings. Literally dozens of new venues have opened while the Piglet has been finding its feet and a big base of loyal customers. It’s without surprise therefore that The Pig & Tail has opened already feeling professional and with it.
Despite us being difficult customers and ordering a couple of dozen small plates, the service was very friendly and competent. Our order probably wasn’t entirely balanced as we just said “we’ll have that section and that section of small plates”. It is possible to get a balanced meal here, but on an afternoon with friends and much beer, we went for meatier and higher carb options!
The glazed beef fillet medallions (£8) were so tender and tasty I could eat some right now. I loved the arancini (£4), golden breadcrumbed crispy balls of risotto with sweet peas and heady fresh mint, and they’d be a perfect snack with a pint. Slow cooked pork belly (£7) was gooey and mouthwatering, with a soy, honey, and mirin dressing, like a grown-up sweet and sour. Amongst many other dishes we also tried the cheeseburger (£6) (having about an eighth each), and it was really great, with succulent pork pattie and top class cheese. Reviewing that list has made me want a pint and a nibble! We finished by sharing a strawberry sorbet, clotted cream ice cream, and meringue pudding (£6), which was totally summery.
You can’t book a table here, you have to turn up and hope. However there are a lot of tables indoors, and if the weather is nice the beer garden is a lovely place to eat.
Definitely a Saturday afternoon watering hole if there ever was one, and perfect for an after work bite to eat too.