Sunday 1 June 2014

The Flying Pig, East Dulwich Road, south London

One for alpha males, the Flying Pig majors on meat and beer. This East Dulwich pub's menu has a broad selection of burgers and baps, backed up by more comfort food, such as macaroni cheese with cauliflower or beer battered fish and chips. Some of the dishes have a bit of a kick, such as 'the spicy pig', a chorizo and jalapeno burger served with chilli mayo (£13). Among the pulled pork buns, the whole hog (£13), is probably best avoided. It packs in chorizo, streaky bacon and jalapenos, meaning there are too many flavours going on inside the bap - they overwhelm each other. The burgers and baps are served on wooden platters with some excellent handcut chips and delicious aioli. If you are hungry, the mac 'n' cheese side dish is tasty and huge for £3.50. You can wash it all down with one of the pricey British craft beers on tap, such as the Freedom Four (a very dry, but decent lager, at just 4% proof) and London Pale ale. 

Unfortunately, all this craftsmanship isn't enough to fill the large dining area every Saturday night and there can be empty tables and not enough buzz. Moreover, the loud rock music can be overwhelming and you may need to talk quite loud to hear each other. A mix of stripped back tiles and wood, the Flying Pig's decor is rustic, yet cool: You can see the kitchen through a large serving hatch surrounded by kitchenware. The service can be very smooth and efficient. But after you've had the main courses, the waiting staff might disappear, forcing you to go to the bar to order desert, more drinks or pay. Service isn't included in the bill, but the staff will probably make sure you are aware of that. 7/10