[Originally published by On:Yorkshire Magazine: http://www.on-magazine.co.uk/food/yorkshire-restaurant-reviews/the-peppered-pig/]
The Peppered Pig in East Cowick, about nine-miles from Selby, offers diners great quality food and drink for almost any occasion. With a delicatessen and tea room that is open six days a week and a restaurant that operates five days a week it is ideal for picking up a few bits to posh-up a picnic, catching-up over afternoon tea, enjoying an evening meal for two or celebrating with a private party of up to 45 people.
When a café or restaurant offers so much choice it can often feel a bit muddled inside as it is trying to be more than one type of venue at once or, even worse, one of the menus can suffer. Luckily, this isn’t the case with The Peppered Pig – each menu offers a mouth-watering selection or homemade dishes made from mostly locally-sourced produce and the dining area is beautiful, light and airy.
I visited the restaurant on a Friday for dinner. There were some unexpected dishes on offer like the Full English Breakfast (£8 – presumably miniature and far more refined than a weekend fry-up!) and a Chicken Kiev (£8) starters but it’s always nice to see classic British dishes being reinvented with a twist.
After enjoying our amuse bouche, a mini mug of tasty tomato and basil soup, I had the Pan Fried Sea Bass & Scallop with a salad of pineapple and melon and Parma ham two ways (£9) to start and my guest, who usually doesn’t stray from chicken or beef, was tempted by the Slow Cooked Belly of Pork, red onion tart tatin, goat’s cheese bon bon, sage crisp and cider and thyme jus (£9). Whilst both dishes combined some classic ingredients (scallop and ham / pork and sage) some of the additional elements were more unusual and I was intrigued to see how they would all work together.
The sea bass was perfectly cooked and went surprisingly well with the finely-diced pineapple salsa as it had a little hint of chilli and wasn’t too sweet. The mini balls of melon and the crispy Parma ham added some great texture to the dish as, for me, the Scallop could have been seared for a little longer to give it the lovely crisp brown sweetness that I love. I also would have preferred to have had two pieces of crispy Parma ham as the rolled-up slice of cured ham didn’t quite work flavour-wise as it was overpowered by all the other elements. The dish was enjoyable but it could have been split into two – I certainly ate it as two separate dishes: Scallops, melon and Parma ham in one dish; then the Sea Bass and pineapple salsa together. Thanks to being cooked long and low the belly pork melted in the mouth, so the addition of a red onion tart and crisp goat’s cheese bon bon gave the dish the crunch it needed. I was unsure about the mixture of goat’s cheese and pork but it worked really well.
For my main course I chose the Breast of Duck, hedgerow compote, celeriac puree and champ (£20) and my guest had the Aged Sirloin with a stout redux, dauphinoise potatoes, spinach and buttered girolles (£22). I like my duck rare, but I would say that it was more medium-rare when I cut into it. However, it was very well cooked with a nice sear on the outside with the meat remaining lovely and moist. I love a fruity sauce with duck and the hedgerow compote worked really well – it wasn’t too sweet and the berries were all still whole and had some bite to them. The celeriac puree was fantastic with a velvety smooth finish that coated the duck perfectly when eaten together and the champ mash was tasty with both spring onions and peas mixed through it. We shared a side dish of sweet, al-dente honey and butter roasted roots (£3.50) and I had a large glass of The Den Pinotage (£6.95) that went perfectly with both dishes. Strangely, it was the creamy dauphinoise potatoes full of garlic that were our favourite part of the Sirloin dish. The steak was really tender thanks to it being well hung but it could have done with more seasoning to bring out the flavour more.
For dessert I, on the waitress’s recommendation, had the Parkin with butterscotch sauce (£6) and my chocoholic guest had the Dark Chocolate Brownie, white chocolate brulee, charred plum and pistachio (£6.50). The Parkin portion was very generous, exactly what you want for a pudding, and I could smell the ginger and spices the second it arrived. The cake was perfectly baked so it soaked up the unctuous butterscotch sauce just enough to make it delicious and sticky. The accompanying vanilla ice cream is some of the creamiest I have tasted and I could easily have eaten a lot more of it as it was gorgeous. The hands-down winner of the dessert stakes though was the brownie and brulee combination – the brownie was so gooey it was almost like a chocolate fondant in texture and it came with more of the fantastic ice cream to cut through the rich, dark chocolate. Crème brulee is one of my all-time favourites and the white chocolate one on this dessert was delicious, light and went really well with the crushed pistachios.
The Peppered Pig is definitely worth a visit for a mid-week treat or a celebration meal as you are guaranteed a great meal and excellent service from their knowledgeable, friendly team of waiters and waitresses. Despite being hidden away in a small town the restaurant was full and lively when we visited which is a testament to the quality food and drink being served in a beautiful setting – you wouldn’t get such stunning views across the countryside whilst you dined in the middle of a city.
The Peppered Pig, Turnbridge, Snaith Road, East Cowick, Nr Goole, DN14 9BY
Wednesday-Saturday: 6.30pm – Late
Sunday: Noon – 4pm
Deli Counter & Tea rooms:
Tuesday-Saturday: 9.30am – 5.00pm