Virginia Plain – Swine and Cider

I visited Virginia Plain for their Swine and Cider event (because seriously, who doesn’t find that an appealing title?) Unlike most of the other restaurants involved in the June ‘Roast Collection’ series of events, Virginia Plain changed their offering every couple of days, but each dish featured local free range pork and German Apfelwein.

Like many good restaurants, the meal started out with bread too good to resist which tempts you to fill yourself up before your meal. I know this yet I can never resist. Especially when there are salt flakes.

Charcuterie Plate

Charcuterie Plate

We ordered 2 entrees, the charcuterie plate, and some manchego croquettes (which were golden, crispy and perfect). I have to say I was really impressed, although the charcuterie plate was reasonably expensive for a starter ($27) it was plenty for 3 people even without the croquettes, and I would certainly class it as generous. There were in total 7 kinds of cured meat, as well as some manchego wedges, pickles and bread. I could easily imagine many other modern mid-high end restaurants charging the same amount for a substantially less generous serve of meat.

Braised pork shoulder with Lyonnaise potatoes

Braised pork shoulder with Lyonnaise potatoes

The braised pork shoulder was not what I expected, but was served in a charmingly rustic way in a little cast iron pot on a wooden board. It was a pretty cold and rainy day and it actually hit the spot pretty well, warm, rich flavours, and just that feel-good homely gravy laden goodness. Along with the cider you couldn’t help but feel sort of warm and content on the inside. We had pomegranate salad to accompany.

Passed on the dessert as we were quite full, really, although the warm madeleines with cream sounded incredibly tempting. Half an hour later when it all settled and belts were in need of loosening we were glad to have resisted them.

A few days after I went there, they apparently changed their name to Mercy Bar and Eatery, but the website doesn’t seem to have changed yet.

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