Piggs - Jamón Jamón
By Sharon Wilson
He’s back. That was the word on the street last year that greeted the return of Senor ‘Iggy’ Campos.
If hospitality is known for big characters, they don’t get more ‘Gigante’ than Iggy, former proprietor of Iggs and Barioja on Jeffrey Street.
When those two closed down several years ago, I visited Iggy on-site and found him selling off the crockery. I stood with him, as I often did, outside Barioja as he puffed away on a cigarette and we put the world to rights; but this time our chat was tinged with sadness.
But Iggy is irrepressible, and extended gardening leave didn’t match his energy and flamboyance. He is back, has given up the ciggies and seems reinvigorated.
He tells me the opportunity to purchase what was Solo menswear, while simultaneously preventing another tartan shop on the Canongate, was too tempting to pass by. Say Hola to Piggs, a Spanish bar/deli that opened 2019 just in time for the festival.
Our visit was overdue, but fellow contributor Lea and I eventually organised a meetup. Snouts poised we headed to Piggs for a Friday lunch.
Iggy’s kilt-wearing son Daniel is the face of the business now, and he effortlessly charms the customers with top-notch customer service.
Glasses of white Rioja and briny olives were a perfect aperitif then we chose our tapas. Jamon came first and was so good we ordered another plate. Sliced razor-thin to enhance the flavour the ruby pink flesh was aromatic and herbaceous. The meat tasted of what those pigs had eaten.
Next came herby meatballs, sizzling in a spicy tomato sauce with sprigs of thyme. Patatas bravas were uber-crispy and cod croquettes melty with bechamel. A bottle of Rose cava just the thing to complement our food.
Iggy always had an eye for design and the logo comes from Royal Scottish Academy artist, Stewart MacKenzie. It’s a single line drawing with three dots depicting a pig head; Miroesque.
The clean line is echoed in design features; note the lights above the tables in this long, narrow space. Like the food, the design is simple and classic with an occasional Spanish flourish such as the mono Estrella Galicia beer font and fairy lights.
Iggy knows how to source, cook and present Spanish fare. Whether it is a traditional peasant fabada (bake it in the oven to finish it) which may appear on the specials alongside, for example, a lamb casserole, a breakfast of eggs and chorizo or ‘bocadillas’. The sandwiches are made with fresh sourdough from Company bakery and piled high on the pass. Café con leche beckons on a return visit.
There are platters too, plus sherry, wine and ‘Cerveza por favor’. Iggy and Daniel have all the bases covered, and Piggs is proving a popular spot.
Edinburgh EH8 7BE
0131 557 2955