Ultimate meal – Suckling Pig, Four in Hand, Paddington
Four in Hand is one of my many favourite restaurants in Sydney. I came earlier this year with a couple of close friends and family to celebrate my birthday. I had the pork dish and it was one of the nicest pork dishes I have had! Whilst dining, we noticed a suckling pig being carried across the room – we all looked at each other and thought ‘yup, we will have to do that one day!’
You all know my passion for pork, it is by far my favourite meat! This is my ultimate meal – a whole suckling pig amongst friends! With the help of my uncle, we managed to find 15 other pork lovers to dine at Four in Hand for their sublime suckling pig. I have been looking forward to this meal ever since I made the reservations six weeks ago!
I arrived early, and the lovely waitress showed me our ‘room’. It is not in the main dining area, but at the back of the pub – it’s a small, intimate and cosy room that could fit about 20 people. It was the perfect setting for 16 hungry diners!
I love the fire place – perfect for a cold wintery night.
We started with some fresh bread, not baked on site but from Iggy’s bakery in Bondi. Why have I not heard about this bakery before?
Once everyone has arrived, the waitress kindly told us sit so she can serve our amuse bouche. A small cup of soup was presented before us – white fish citrus and basil soup. The soup was strong flavoured, a little too fishy some said but had a wonderful citrus tang. I certainly enjoyed it.
We sat there chatting and the next I knew, the suckling pig was carried and placed on the table!
OH piggy! The star of the evening! Knife inserted into the back, ready to be cut!
As the waitress cut through the leg, I could hear the crackling sound of the crispy skin, it was like music to my ears! Oh how I heart crispy crackle! She cuts away, and I couldn’t help but salivate. I had to put the camera down and start eating this wonderful suckling pig.
Cut and then served on a wooden plank (I really need to get one for home!). Chunks of meat topped with crispy crackling waiting to be eaten.
The pork meat was unbelievably succulent that it cuts right through, the crackling was gooey and crispy and oh so wonderful! Best part about the pork!
C wanted the leg and the ear. The leg looked too much of an effort to eat for me, however, here are his comments ‘The ear was very crispy and crunchy but didn’t have much taste to it. The leg was very hard to eat, the skin on the upper leg was crispy but there wasn’t much meat to it. I couldn’t bite into the lower leg. Then I had some of the “normal” pork and it was very tender and tasty. I didn’t have much skin until late so it went a bit chewy and cold by then, oops!’
There were condiments that came with the suckling pig, jus (which was nice but a little rich), apple sauce (absolutely delightful and perfect combination) and chimichurri sauce. However, I ate most of the pig as it is and it was splendid! The suckling pig came with side dishes. Dutch carrots, absolutely wonderful! I couldn’t stop eating them!
Colcannon – traditional Irish dish which consists of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage. It was so creamy and so yummy it was hard not to have a second serve!
Slaw with prosciutto I enjoyed the most.
Last but not least, these bake scallions.
WOW! Food coma, 16 hungry diners demolished the pig – there was nothing left, except for the legs and the head. I am proud to say that I had at least two or three serves (my mother would be appalled!) and couldn’t stop eating the crackle.
It was a wonderful evening shared with wonderful friends! Although there were two separate groups, we all bonded over our love for food and wine!
Cost of the pig is $80 per person and you need a minimum of 10 people. 16 was probably the right number for us for the size of the pig! We definitely didn’t have any leftovers. I have had a couple of suckling pigs in my time, mainly Chinese style roast suckling pig and I have to say, I think I prefer the western style better. The meat is much more tender and the crackle – heavenly!
Wouldn’t hesitate to do it again, but maybe not so soon! Completely OD’ed on pork and had a ‘pig hangover’ – yes that is possible! If suckling pig is not your thing, then try their dinner menu at Four in Hand – well worth it! Unfortunately C didn’t think the cost of the pig was worth it but I think most of the diners did enjoy it.
Can you believe that my dear uncle wanted gelato after this feast – so yes, we did go to messina for some gelato! I couldn’t stomach one so had a couple of spoonful and I was done! Fantastic evening!
Ps: reservations are highly recommended! We booked six weeks in advance and from memory they are fully booked this month!
GA’s rating: 8.5 / 10
Four in Hand
105 Southerland Street
Ph: +61 2 9362 1999