A ‘natural’ wine bar with perfectly matched small-plates menu.
Some time ago, the cider makers of France sat down to figure out a better way of marketing their boozy apple juice. ‘I know,’ piped up one. ‘We can call it “natural wine” and sell it abroad!’
This story about the origins of the drink don’t bear close scrutiny, but it would explain why so many ‘natural wines’ and ‘orange wines’ sold in the UK could pass for dry ciders in blind tastings. The term ‘vin naturel’ was revived in France in the 1980s to describe wines that use natural fermentation with little intervention in the winemaking process, often with unpredictable results. But there are also enthusiasts who love the wines’ distinctively different character.
Fortunately, such wines – like cider – go well with steamed mussels or clams. And Margaux Aubry, the Lyon-born proprietor of Naughty Piglets in Brixton (pictured), is well aware of this. Her wine list is predominantly natural, with the remainder organic.
The brief blackboard menu is prepared in the basement kitchen by Aubry’s husband, Joe Sharratt (pictured). Beside those plump steamed mussels in bonito butter are other classic small plates such as fatty duck rillettes, or a simple salad of black tomatoes topped with shavings of salted ricotta. Less expected is a remarkably good slab of Korean-style pork belly, steamed then grilled and served with a gochujang (chilli-miso) dip and crisp lettuce leaves. A good-sized portion costs a mere £9.
Desserts are great too: scoops of chocolate mousse are served with crisp almond tuiles, dulce de leche and a crumble infused with white chocolate.
The back room is more secluded, the front room convivial. Many passers-by book a table on the spot. Maybe you’ll be next to raise your glass of vin naturel to this little hotspot of Anglo-French cultural exchange.
|Venue name:||Naughty Piglets|
28 Brixton Water Lane
|Opening hours:||Lunch served Wed-Thurs noon-2.30pm, Fri-Sat noon-3pm. Dinner served Tues-Sat 6pm-10pm.|
|Price:||Meal for two with drinks and service: around £70.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.9 / 5
- 5 star:17
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
THE place to absolutely know in London!! Naughty Piglets is an excellent restaurant with an unique concept and an amazing wine menu. The meals are delicious, the ambiance is delightful and the team is wonderful. What else??! The owners are a very nice French couple, who really deserve all the congratulations, best wishes and lot of success in their emerging story. "Long live the Naughty Piglets!"
Highly recommanded to get it tried...and adopted, for sure!
I love this restaurant, the food, atmosphere and the staff are the best, please check it out, a real find!
Knowledgeable Staff, fab inventive food, great drinks and a bustling atmosphere. I go as often as I can.
This was by far the best restaurant experience I've had in South London. A wonderful atmosphere, delicious food and lovely staff. The best.
I was recommended this place by a chef friend of mine who said it was the best place in London to eat. Hidden in brixton past hootanannys which is a little bit of a walk from the tube station. The menu is set but you don't have to order everything :) but you will want to. Although run by a French couple, everyone appeared to be authentically French (with smiles). I went as a two and we ordered 5 dishes, which came out in order as per menu. All dishes were perfect in every way & I stand by- the best food in London & priced right. We turned up on opening doors during a week day so they were able to accommodate us but I would prebook to avoid disappointment.. Oh & also - go as 4- just so you can order & try everything on the menu! Bosh!
I got taken here for a birthday treat by my sister and I absolutely loved it. Fantastic food, great wine and friendly, attentive service. The atmosphere was buzzy but not too loud in such a small space. Book early and try this place out, It's so worth it and I guarantee you'll be back for more. The only downside (I would have knocked off half a star if I could) was that the chairs were not comfortable. After a couple of glasses of amazing wine, I have to say, I stopped noticing though.
Consistently delicious food and an extensive wine list (if limited on those by the glass) make this a real pleasure to have just round the corner. Feels like a real restaurant which, for all the food on offer in Brixton, is pretty rare.
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