Get ‘slutty’ eggs and ‘hidden treasure’ on award-winning restaurant’s new brunch menu
- Credit: Archant
Unruly Pig owner wants to “push the envelope” on the growing dining trend.
A stack of magazines and papers. Cocktails in myriad colours. Big, bolshy, unashamedly sexy flavours. This is brunch. And we ruddy love it in the UK.
The phenomenon (thought to be overtaking afternoon tea in popularity) is growing month on month, with more of us than ever choosing to have a lay-in, slip into something comfortable and head for our local café, pub or restaurant for a bit of pure indulgence.
And from April 6, every Saturday morning Suffolk’s reigning Best Restaurant, The Unruly Pig in Bromeswell, will be offering perhaps one of the most unique brunches in the county, full of surprises.
“We’ve been talking about doing this for over two years,” says owner Brendan Padfield, “and it’s only taken this long because head chef Dave said ‘let’s do it but right now I want to focus on consistency in the kitchen’. Consistency is king. It’s the biggest difficulty for any restaurant. We’ve managed to achieve that for a good 18 months now but we wanted that extra bit of maturity and confidence so waited a little longer, and six months ago ‘his grace’ said, ‘I’m ready, let’s plan’.”
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Brendan says the menu (actually three, there’s a regular one, a veggie one and another for children) has something for everyone, but goes above and beyond what you’d expect. So waffles, for example, are crafted from scratch in an £800 genuine Belgian waffle maker. And instead of a bog standard omelette maybe with a smattering of ham and sprinkle of parsley, here you’ll get omelette Arnold Bennett, served with undyed, lightly smoked Pinneys smoked haddock.
“It’s about making everything the best,” Brendan says. “So where you have the familiar boiled eggs and soldiers, we’re making duck eggs and anchovy toasts. But if that’s too challenging for some, fine, there’s brioche. It’s about pushing the envelope and doing something different.”
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The food lover goes on to talk about smashed avocado on toast, which has become pretty much ubiquitous nationwide on breakfast menus. At The Unruly Pig “you’ve got the best avocado and the best bread from Chris Brennan of Pump Street which is beyond match in my opinion, a little chilli, and some very small chopped black olives, with a drizzle of olive oil and hint of wild garlic on top. It’s healthy and wonderful.”
Weekend diners can also expect duck hash – a joyous meeting of onion, confit duck, potato and breadcrumbs, baked with spice, and topped with eggs and crispy capers. Then there’s the eggs Benedict, with the kitchen’s homemade English muffins, silky hollandaise and San Danielle prosciutto.
And seafood lovers will find mid-morning solace in a plate of oysters Rockefeller or a crab rarebit of creamy melted gruyere, brown meat, white meat and spring onion.
Then we arrive at the Slutty Eggs. “Oh let me tell you about these,” Brendan’s eyes light up. “The dish comes in an iron skillet. It’s messy and wonderful. You’ve got a mixture of potato and onions and spice, chorizo, nduja from the heel of Italy and double eggs broken on top. The whole thing’s popped back in the oven. When you break it all up it doesn’t look very elegant but it tastes divine. Brunch is about being relaxed, having a bit of a laugh, lazy Saturdays and this dish defines that.”
Those who prefer something sweeter will find a host of sucrose treats on the brunch menu. Pain perdu with the restaurant’s own brioche. And those waffles, with toppings ranging from prime smoked bacon and quality grade maple syrup, to poached rhubarb and blood orange with rhubarb sorbet, homemade lemon curd with Italian meringue, and rum and raisin- with rum-soaked raisins, rum sauce and ice cream.
Children will be very well catered for too.
“Lots of people have kids,” Brendan adds, “and it’s important to cater for them with something they feel comfortable with. Our menu is an extraction from the main menu but with more focus on comfort. So there’s ‘hidden treasure’. Parents want their kids to eat healthy but the kids have other ideas so this is a kind of compromise – vanilla porridge with the surprise at the bottom of the best quality Pump Street chocolate.
“We’ve got dippy eggs, a smaller version of the duck hash and of course, rather than the Fully Piggy English breakfast, they have the Little Piggy. And there’s lot of fun with eggy bread with banana and chocolate and of course waffles.”
A full range of coffees and loose leaf Novus teas, as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails completes the line-up for brunch. Bookings will be essential.
“We want to do this nice and slow and get it right,” Brendan adds of the restaurant’s latest venture. We’re going to not be over-ambitious, listen, adapt, be flexible, and then hopefully go for Sundays too further down the line.”