Sunday, March 2, 2014

Want to Pig Out?

Isn’t it fun going somewhere different now and then?  Eat something new? Try a new setting and be surprised with a complimentary warm yam smoothie?

A warm, yam smoothie - it was a first for us but love the color!

No, you’re right, that doesn’t happen every day and even though we will probably not order it (and thus have to pay for it), it was comforting in a silky, purple, almost runny oatmealy kind of way.

The Pig, yes, that is the name (the English translation anyway), is located in Pinnacle Avenue, where A to Z kids used to be, next to the drive through McDonalds, where Let’s Burger was located for a very brief period….ring a bell?  Well if you drive to the end of this strip mally area you can’t miss it; there is a festive Chinese vibe outside that is impossible to miss.  Red lanterns swaying in the wind create a canopy to walk under to get to the entrance, smiley staff greets you with a very enthusiastic: “Hello!” and “Welcome!”, they are truly happy to have you as a guest. Extremely.
A few members of the staff are scattered around the reception area on the entrance floor where a roaring fire is warming up what looks like a pizza oven. There is a seating area as well and you can sit like a king in a rhinoceros chair and admire the giant pigs that are spread around the room for decoration.

A canopy of colorful lanterns welcomes you to A Pig.
Even the pigs are colorful!
The dining area is located on the second floor; a large nicely decorated space with rustic tables and chairs, colorful ethnic art on the wall and also a picture of an elephant, just because.

The staff is very friendly and accommodating, which is very helpful when choosing what to eat from the extensive menu. The food is presented on a huge two-sided board with pictures and Chinese explanations, no English. That is fine, we are at this point used to pointing and grunting out questions of what protein is in the dish and whether it is cold or hot.

No lack of options with this menu!

We proceeded to order a selection of four dishes, way too much but we had to try them all! We started with thinly sliced lotus root with green beans in a spicy Szechuan sauce, a vinegary salad with dill and some kind of grain – a great contrast to the spicy dish to cool down our burning tongues. Then came a warm salad with pork, thinly sliced dried chilies and an abundance of coriander and finally a ma po to fu, creamy tofu cubes in a spicy bean sauce. Needless to say, there were lots of leftovers – nothing remained of the warm pork salad though, it was so good we ate every morsel.

Yummy spicy lotus root with green beans

Cooling dill, greens and grains. 

Our favorite dish - shredded pork, mild chilis and tons of fresh coriander

The restaurant is not called The Pig for nothing; if huge platters of knuckels and trotters are your thing, this is the place to go. We didn’t feel like it on the day we visited but platefuls of the stuff was brought out to other patrons.

Did we mention that the service was good? Well, it is worth mentioning again. The staff were all smiles and professionalism, kindness and humour – we want to go back soon again only to feel welcomed like we did this day!

Waiting for us to return again!

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