Restaurant review: Le Petit Cochon, Glasgow - (Pig Out at Home)
Start the week well with a decadent Sunday roast from this charming eatery says Rosalind Erskine.
I am quite a late comer to Sunday roast.
While Sunday dinners growing up were always a sit down family affair (and always with a starter of garlic bread), a full on roast with all the trimmings was only undertaken on Christmas day – although latterly my Dad has become a pro at roast potatoes and cooks them at the drop of a hat now.
It took restaurants and flatmates in both London and Dubai for me to fully appreciate the feast of a dinner to start the week, and only partially as it demands a bottle of red to be opened and enjoyed alongside.
Growing up eating mainly pescatarian, and regularly seeing a former flatmate in Dubai spending hours in an (already) sweltering kitchen slaving over gravy and the perfect, pink hued beef joint, I can’t seem to summon up the skills or knowledge to create anything similar myself, which is why the growing number of ‘cook at home’ Sunday roast delivery or collection services have been one of the joys of lockdown and beyond.
So if, like me, you’ve exhausted your regular cooking repertoire during lockdown and are, once again, looking for convenience and to support a local business, Le Petit Cochon should be on your list for a stress-free, restaurant quality weekend treat.
The bijou, fairy light clad restaurant located on Radnor Street, a stone’s throw from Kelvingrove Art Gallery, is back open for brunch, lunch and dinner (minus the booze) but is still offering their Pig Out at home kits, including a Sunday roast option.
Opened in 2019, Le Petit Cochon is an independently-owned, neighbourhood wine bar and bistro. Orders for the Sunday roast or regular Pig Out menu are taken over email and available for collection on the day of cooking. The interior of Le Petit Cochon seems made for cold, misty days – the twinkling, welcoming fairy lights glimpsed from nearby bustling Argyle Street adorn the back wall and stairs from the mezzanine and around the cosy restaurant, which seems the ideal place to while away a lazy Sunday. But I have (some) cooking to do.
By cooking obviously I mean heating up someone else’s hard work – something I must admit I’ll miss a bit once the lockdown is over and restrictions eased.
Starters were easy as one, two ping, as both were microwaveable in seconds and served with warmed through sourdough and bacon butter, which beats a garlic baguette hands down – I’ve squirreled away what’s left to be eaten with, well everything, for the rest of the week.
A suitably autumnal shaded, delicate crab bisque was perfectly seasoned as not to take away from the shellfish and completed with a large Parmesan crouton, which gave the right amount of salty tang against the rich bisque.
I’ve only ever successfully made soufflé once thanks to a cooking class at Ballingtaggart, and while it was relatively easy, I’ve not attempted it since and I am not sure I could ever make one as good as the second starter, a Pumpkin and Epoisse twice baked soufflé to be served with chicory marmalade. The spongy yet light as air subtly cheesy soufflé was complimented by a silky, frothy pumpkin veloute and the tartness of the chicory marmalade cut through it all for a well-balanced dish.
On to the mains, and all the trimmings, which required minutes in a hot oven. Thinly sliced, pink pieces of roast sirloin cut like butter and were jazzed up with a red wine jus.
The second main was an aromatic roll of porchetta roast pork, served with a thick, heady cider and sage sauce. If I had one criticism, it would be that the herbs in this dish were a little too overpowering for me, but it was certainly not lacking in flavour.
The meat is obviously the main attraction, but the side dishes can often make or break a roast and they didn’t disappoint here. Crispy and golden on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside roast potatoes paired with parnips and carrots with just the right amount of bite. The star of the sides was the cauliflower cheese with crumbled topping though, with the sharpness balancing beautifully against the beef, pork and rich sauces.
After a short break, the microwave once again pinged for dessert - a Spiced plum and frangipane tarte to be served with lemon chantilly. Soft plum halves, their juices mellowed by festive spice, sat plump within the sweet, golden crust. A winning combination made even better thanks to the lemon cream, which added some lifting zest.
When I’m out for dinner, I always struggle to resist the cheese course if it’s an option and the temptation of the camembert was too much for me here too. It was the right choice, with the different flavours and textures sending my tastebuds into overdrive. Soft, molten cheese studded with rosemary was sweetened by a truffle honey drizzle and served with salted crostini in which to dip into this gooey, oozy concoction.
I hope the Le Petit Cochon Pig Out Sunday roast stays part of the restaurant’s offering even after lockdown for the sake of my culinary skills (or lack thereof) and the friends that can hopefully come round soon for a relaxed weekend meal, none of which requires spending hours slaving over a hot stove.
The menus and how to order can be found online here.
Le Petit Cochon
9 Radnor St, Glasgow G3 7UA
£59 for two including the optional cheese course.