If you're a Leeds local, you may know The Greedy Pig; it's a charming cafe on the North side of town that's renowned for brilliant breakfasts and lovely lunches - and is well worth checking out if you're feeling peckish. If you looked at the outside, you might be forgiven for assuming that this is just another regular café, but their humble exterior hides a passion for excellent food that you'd be sorry to miss.
Word has started to get out about this place, and Jo & Stu who run The Greedy Pig have amassed quite the dedicated following - and rightly so. They are as lovely as they are passionate about food, and they invited me down to try out one of their Supper Clubs - charmingly named The Swine That Dines. They're branching out from fantastic fry-ups and satisfying sandwiches and opening their doors on weekend evenings for intimate dinners of their excellent cooking, with a themed evening once a month. With names like 'Nose to Tail' and 'Pig and Squid', you can be assured that this is no ordinary dining, and you won't find anything like it elsewhere in the city.
On this particular evening, we sampled a dish from each of the upcoming themes, taking a journey on a culinary adventure that took us from pig's head right down to trotters. Fussy eaters need not apply! We started with a mock scotch broth with seaweed dumplings and pearl barley, which was both tasty and a welcome start to the feast. Whilst I'm sure The Swine That Dines will be charming at any time of year, there was definitely something particularly wonderful about dining whilst it was dark and cold outside, with the few passers-by peering jealously in at the light-up window at the feast that was happening inside.
From that warm hug-hug-in-a-mug we jumped straight into pig's trotters - a first for me. Whilst the texture was a little off-putting, the meat was absolutely delicious, served on a bed of lentils and salsa verde which was the perfect accompaniment. Whilst I can't say that I will be jumping into cooking them myself, they are definitely worth trying at least once in your life!
We moved onto a Moroccan-style dish of butternut squash, aubergine, roasted peppers, and pomegranate from their 'Roots to Shoots' vegetarian night, which was gorgeous. I need to cook more of this style of food for myself - there's something about the tartness of pomegranate against lightly spiced vegetables that is just irresistible.
It was a toss up between the next two dishes for my favourite of the night; the first was crispy pig's head, which was beautiful, served with apple sauce, black pudding and samphire, and the second was belly pork with razor clams, chorizo and chick peas. Both dishes I would never have ordered myself, but both of which were stunning - perfect marriages of flavours and textures. I would never have though to pair clams with pork but it really works. I would go back for these dishes specifically - and urge you to do the same!
By this point, as you can imagine, I felt as if I couldn't eat another bite - but there is always a separate stomach for pudding and this one was worth finding space for. Deep fried porridge with ice cream and raspberry sauce. It sounds odd, but it definitely worked; it was a lot like a soft flapjack, the stodginess of which was cut through by the cold ice cream and tart raspberry. Just proving that sometimes experiments can turn out better than expected!
All in all it was a wonderful night, and if you live in Leeds it is worth keeping an eye on their Twitter page for announcements so you can try this for yourself. There are just a handful of tickets for each night so be quick when you see them come up for sale - you won't regret it!