Wiggies at The Rising Sun
Sat in the warren of EC4 is The Rising Sun, home to the new semi-permanent pop-up Wiggies. Wiggies has bedded in for the next six months, indulging the city’s love for all things pig. Founder, Lucy Hambro’s passion for pork began early, being brought up in Norfolk where her family owned pigs, or ”wiggies” – hence the name. It comes as no surprise then that when choosing which pork to feature on the menu Lucy was very selective, sourcing from Norfolk farm, Farm to Fork, where the focus is on sustainability and quality.
The chef behind the venture is Hambro’s friend Flora Hileary, normally based in India, who has flown back especially to helm the kitchen. Hileary told us that prior to the launch she had been in the Himalayas, meaning no phone reception and some very interesting planning meetings.
Opening cocktail options include a Trotsky or a Pig Chill – who doesn’t love a pig pun? The menu is concise, incorporating the expected flavour twists and spices inspired by Hileary’s time in India, shaped into quintessentially British dishes. The Quail’s Egg Black Pudding Scotch Eggs were flavoursome, the pork juicy and dotted with small chunks of black pudding. The unexpected highlight of the dish was the red pepper relish accompanying it, delicately spiced and providing a great contrasting, oozing texture. The Charred Asparagus Salad with Feta, Toasted Almonds and Sherry Caper Dressing offered as a vegetarian option was as expected and didn’t quite compare to the standard of the meat selections.
The choice of entrees includes dishes such as Keralan Slow Roast Pork Shoulder with Spiced Lentils and Cucumber Raita, which definitely tasted better than it looked: a hearty portion of shredded pork on a bed of lurking lentils. The only negative was that the raita would have been better served on the side to keep the contrast of hot and cold, rather than letting it mingle with the rest of the dish. The tenderloin however stole the show, cooked perfectly, deliberately slightly pink in the middle, encrusted with a muddle of spices and served with a carrot puree whose velvety texture boasted plenty of butter – this dish lets the pork truly shine.
The desserts could do with a rethink. While they definitely fulfil any need for something sweet to finish, they are slightly underwhelming following the symphony of pork the rest of the menu offers. The chilli powder on the Chilli Chocolate Espresso Cups with Salted Caramel and Shortbread would perhaps be better left off or replaced with chilli-infused chocolate to give a much subtler, less shocking bite. The poached rhubarb was pleasant enough but sat under a pile of meringue that didn’t have the silky, glossy-smooth sweetness that it should. But don’t hold the desserts against them as afterwards you can sit languidly at your table in the candlelit atmosphere and buzz of an intimate restaurant with the feeling of comfortable familiarity so hard to achieve (and evading so many established restaurants).
Wiggies provides a welcome addition to the London restaurant scene and is well worth a visit, though it’s perhaps best to leave any vegetarians at home.
Photos: Luna Ingrassia
Wiggies at the Rising Sun: 47/60
To book a table at The Rising Sun, 61 Carter Lane, London EC4V 5DY, call 07850 630 129 or visit here.