The Five Little Pigs in Wallingford opened its doors in May, to glowing reviews from a local crowd who’d backed their Kickstarter. The team are already innovating and developing new offerings and events, building on their inventive menu and catering to the community.
Food isn’t often the main focus of a bottomless brunch; usually, the choice of champagne or the hours allowed of free-flowing booze, rank higher in one’s mind. Not so at the Five Little Pigs, where a three-course bottomless brunch menu has been designed with as much inventiveness and attention as any other dish featured on their European-influenced menu.
Local and wild
Co-owner and Head chef, Aimee, is behind the ethos of local and wild ingredients seen across the menu. Think; pickles from homegrown root veg, Chiltern hills foraged wild mint and garlic, purees and sauces all made from scratch.
I was happy to see more offerings outside of the usual bottomless liquids; with Bloody Marys and burnt orange and rosemary mimosas served alongside local Berkshire based Siren brewery Yulu Pale Ale. This is already a game-changer, finally an offering to entice beer lovers who would otherwise be reluctant to brunch. But, could it do anymore to entice those usually put off by this millennial pursuit?
No ordinary brunch offering
The lower expectation of bottomless brunch meant the skill and creativity of my fellow diner’s savoury granola (yes, it’s a thing), with local yoghurt, pickles, soft egg and homemade flatbread, took her by surprise. After the first bite, it was clear this wasn’t any ordinary brunch offering. The combination was unlike anything we’d tasted before; the sweet pickled onions and radishes next to the savoury granola and softly boiled egg was so pleasing. The flatbread, coated in olive oil and flaky salt was the perfect tool to mop up the sauce created by the yoghurt, egg and pickles mixing together to create a sweet, light, salty and sour combination of dreams.
My classic sweet homemade granola, with local yoghurt and summer fruits, was elevated with richness from poached strawberries. For main, the Albino Flamingo gin (co-founders Sam and Rob McGregor’s very own) cured Oxfordshire trout was a delight; soft and slightly sweet. It was served with a perfect poached egg on Orange Bakery toast, another local supplier.
Mains and desert – at brunch!
Following that mind-boggling savoury granola dish, my fellow diner ordered the Three Little Pigs breakfast. Including sausage, bacon and black pudding with roasted summer tomatoes and bone marrow buttered mushrooms. The bone marrow buttered mushrooms again stopped us in our tracks. How could we have forgotten so soon, to always expect the unexpected here? It was all complemented by a whipped-up-for-us-there-and-then brown sauce.
Finally, we enjoyed an (Oxford-based Missing Bean roastery) coffee which was sensible really, after the bubbles. It was served with a large shortbread biscuit dipped in melted chocolate and pistachios.
I’d never have known they’d only been open two months. The team were at ease and didn’t miss a beat. Particularly when it came to ensuring I never saw the bottom of my prosecco glass. Co-owner, Sam, seemed to enjoy his front of house role, having wished to run a restaurant and bar for years.
Five Little Pigs had proven their bottomless brunch could tempt even the most cynical into revelling this popular British pastime.
Bottomless Brunch – three courses, £36pp, runs Thursdays-Sunday.
Tables are available 10am-4pm, with final food orders by 2.15pm.
We dined as guests of The Five Little Pigs, all views remain our own.