The Scoffers, well most of us, are partial to a bit of pig. Bacon, prosciutto, pork chops or good English cumberland sausages - if it once went oink, we're in.
Imagine our joy of finding Porcine, a little French bistro above a bottlo on Oxford Street in Paddington. Let's just start with the fact it is not a home to just pig. There is a typical bistro menu of classics, with some adventure and fun thrown in for good measure.
Simplicity is often times the best way forward. Take your foams and fancy froths away and what remains is a focus on pure simple produce with imagination, precision and care. A manageable and almost entirely French wine list offers something for most budgets, including their own house Porcine wine. (Pinot Grigio or Pinot Noir). We couldn't go past a Patrice Colin Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley
A treacle glazed Jambon Maison was super lovely. We added duck terrine with duck fat toast (we want this every day but the ticker says no), a smoked eel potato gratin and a warm scallop vol au vent with fennel and Champagne to cover off the starting course. It was too much and too rich, but absolutely delicious. They are not trying to be anything here apart from what they are. A French style bistro, producing food you could find on the streets of Montmartre. And it's very bloody good.
Chef Harry Levy has worked at Quay, Sepia and with Newcastle's Brett Graham at The Ledbury in London, so there are some serious chops overseeing the kitchen. Add in charcutier Nik Hill, and some very lively, casual and enthusiastic service and you are in heaven. It's by no means stuffy French, quite the opposite.
That bottle shop downstairs is P&V, by the way, the 'natural' wine store from uber wino Mike Bennie and business partner Lou Dowling. If you can't find something you like on the menu, get on your trotters, head back downstairs and choose something you like, and add a $25 service charge to your bill for the pleasure. It opens up a myriad of choices.
Oh, main course... We opted for a calves shin, snail and garlic pie, banging with flavour, lights as a feather pastry and just marvellous. A tranche of dory with a roe beurre blanc was tempting, but who can go past a grilled ox tongue, deftly handled, with pepper or (Au Poivre). We were very well rewarded for our choices.
We so enjoyed our Scoffing we forgot to take shots, so images here are proudly borrowed from Porcine's inviting Instagram page. The menu changes frequently, so be prepared to find a suite of classic French fare with the Porcine touch. Get there as soon as you can post lockdown!!
Porcine is above P&V at 268 Oxford Street, Paddington. 2001
Open for dinner 6pm Thursday - Saturday. and Sunday lunch 12pm -5pm