The rich yellow moon rising last night proved a good omen for our visit to The Unruly Pig. The Driver’s Drinks menu pleased Inspector X as did her Unruly Damson Spritz. I opted for a large glass of the soft and very approachable Italian Barbera. The Unruly Pig has an interesting set menu, which changes often, but the piece de la resistance was on the regular menu that is changed monthly. I was leaning towards the Crispy Duck Egg with Parma Ham, Jerusalem Artichoke and Hazelnut starter when Brendan the congenial owner recommended a new addition: the Venison Tartare and Croquette with Beetroot, Apple and Blackberry. Beautifully seasoned venison tartare, with a delicate balance of tiny apple cubes, beetroot, blackberries, a lacy bread disc and a croquette of slow cooked venison haunch was the unrivalled star of the evening. Inspector X had the Ham Hock on Toast with Gorgonzola which although delicious was quite overshadowed by my venison. There is something to please even the pickiest diner on the Unruly Pig menu. Main courses chosen were Roasted Wood Pigeon Breasts with Pigeon and Black Pudding Pie (I could have eaten this little pie as a meal by itself) and Inspector X had Fillet of Hake with Saffron, Tomato and Haricot Bean Stew from the set menu. Brendan prides himself on his impressive appreciation of wines, including the Unruly Pig’s dessert wines, and we were not disappointed by his recommendations, a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and a Cadillac (French) – although I still prefer my pronunciation. My Damson and Pistachio Bakewell Tart was delicious but would have been even better served warm. The ever sweet and generous Inspector X shared her Hazelnut Panna Cotta with Roasted Pears and Coffee Gel (set menu) which was the perfect end to a great evening’s dining. We were guests of The Unruly Pig but amazed by the value of the set menu (two courses £15, three courses £18) and the regular menu won't break the bank either. Hearing something of the drama of the fire in the restaurant we celebrated Brendan’s dedication in getting the restaurant up and running again so quickly. At first glance the décor is almost unassuming but as the evening goes on it clear everything has been thoughtfully put together – right down to the background music and glass jar filled with dog biscuits on the bar counter. Heartfelt thanks to Brendan and his team. If I lived closer to the Unruly Pig I would soon qualify for a diamond loyalty card.
- Fillet of Hake with Saffron, Tomato & Haricot Bean Stew, Wilted Gem Lettuce
- Roasted Wood Pigeon with Pigeon and Black Pudding Pie, Kale and Mushrooms
- Dog biscuits on the bar ... Pooches welcome
- Unruly Spritz ( homemade Damson cordial)
- Venison Tartare and Croquette with Beetroot, Apple and Blackberry
- Dinner by candlelight
- Set menu
- Damson and Pistachio Bakewell Tart
- Hazelnut Panna Cotta with Roasted Pear and Coffee Gel
It's a well known secret that Gilbert and George go to the same kebab house in London at least five times a week to eat supper. They have been there two out of the three times I have been recently with arty friends who I want to surprise and impress. Apparently they don't have a kitchen at home so they couldn't cook even if they wanted to. The question is, is it an Installation or not? Whatever it is, the kebabs are cooked on the traditional Mangal open-fire barbecue, the pide bread is freshly made and free, quail is on the menu, the meat is full of flavour and it will only cost you about £10 per head. This, and Gilbert and George, are the reasons I can no longer go to the kebab van on Station Hill after a night out in Bury.
Restaurants that serve just fish with nothing at all to satisfy meat eaters are few and far between, but we LOVE them. Bure River Cottage at Horning is one of these. Inspector X has been here several times but for me it was a first and after just eating the starter - hot baked crab with chili, ginger and coconut, I wanted to be best friends with the person who cooked it. The chef Abbie and her partner Nigel at front of house after putting the children to bed upstairs, are assisted by charming young staff bringing the menu blackboards and the orders to the table. We had the hot crab, a cold dressed crab with herb mayo and a smoked mackerel pate to start. Then monkfish with salsa rosso, turbot with brown shrimps and samphire, and whole lemon sole with butter and parsley, all served with a shared selection of fresh veg and simple new potatoes. Heavenly food! The desserts were good too; white chocolate cheesecake, chocolate pot and coffee pannacotta, all with ice cream and a glass of South African straw wine to share. Dedication to the sourcing, preparing and cooking of an interesting selection of local fresh fish is a joy to behold - and there was a full restaurant on a Tuesday night beholding it here.
- Monkfish with salsa
- Turbot with brown shrimps and samphire
- White chocolate cheesecake
- Chocolate pot with coconut ice cream
Critically acclaimed Moro has little sisters and now we have one of them - Morito - living at the end of our road. With Brawn at the other end of the road I have hit the foodie jackpot for restaurants moving to this area of London, although at suffolkfoodie we rarely have deep enough pockets to go there more than once. Give me the pie and mash shops for dedication to service (about a hundred years of it) and value (still £3.50 for a home made lunch) But award-winning Moorish cuisine, rooted in Spanish and North African influences is hard to ignore, and the owners of Moro - Sam and Sam Clark - were locals once, they lived in the area too. So we booked our table, starting with three glasses of sherry (not each - there were three of us) advised by a waitress from Jerez, and quickly into a starter of dakos - a salad of tomatoes and soaked rye bread with fresh cheese, olives and anchovies. We then went through the tapas: octopus with fava puree, a succulent turbot steak with sherry vinegar and paprika, salt cod with purple potatoes, rabbit deep fried to a dry crunch with rosemary and moscatel vinegar, labneh with chillies and broad beans, and beetroot sweet herb borani with walnuts. It's all about the fresh quality ingredients and the interesting flavours here. The dessert we shared was filo pastry with gum mastic labneh and rhubarb. All of this and a glass of wine each amounted to £40 a head including service. I think we can afford to go back.
- beetroot, sweet herb borani and walnuts £6
- labneh, chillies and broad beans £7
- chicarrones - crispy pork belly £7.5
- dessert - filo, gum mastic labneh and rhubarb £7
- starter - dakos, fresh cheese, olives and anchovies £6.5
- salt cod, purple potato, quail egg and alioli £12
- the salt and spices on the table when we arrived
- turbot, sherry vinegar and paprika
This week we had a sneak preview inside Bury's newest restaurant The Giggling Squid. Prosecco was flowing at the opening party and canapes included this delicious salt and pepper squid. We loved the decor. Lots of orchids on a back drop of hand picked drift wood with atmospheric lighting. Upcycled mirrors and a huge bookcase of over 2000 books from the local Oxfam for those that fancy a browse. We are going back to sample the menu which includes seafood, street food and simple rustic Thai food all made in house. We are not sure if all the food is going to be elaborately garnished but loved watching the fruit and veggie carving at the opening party.
Darsham Nurseries. The best and most interesting breakfast I have eaten for a long time. Shakshuka ... baked eggs in spiced tomato and pepper stew with feta cheese and lots of lovely fresh herbs including my favourite dill.
His name is Ben Hutton. His restaurant is called Ben's. He has just opened in Bury St Edmunds and here is the link to his story. The food is all locally sourced, with pork reared by Ben himself to create his own recipe Ben's Bangers. The bangers come served on pancetta mash with shredded cabbage, buttered carrots and onion gravy. They were very good indeed. You can't beat bangers and mash on a cold winters night. We also tried the Trio of Jacob lamb prime cuts, which were shoulder, a lamb cutlet and liver. I would argue that liver is not a prime cut and is in fact offal, but I like offal and was happy to order it. It was served with boulangere potatoes, rosemary jus, root veg and savoy cabbage. The lamb was sourced from the local Culford flock and was tender, with plenty of it. I would have liked more gravy. Yes, I call it gravy. Puddings we tried included a selection of the local Alder Carr ice creams ...heaven.. and a cheesecake of the day which was stem ginger and honey. Light, not cloying and very well flavoured. A homemade tuile biscuit perched on the top, some lovely citrussy honey sauce drizzled over and unnecessary squeezy chocolate sauce garnish on the plate. It is good to see a new independent restaurant open in a town which is over run with chains.
We nipped into Bury St Edmunds last weekend to the Christmas Fair which was running throughout the town. Fancying a little street food, it turned out that we were too late at 7.30pm, with many outlets sold out. So the second plan was to nip to Bury's latest fine dining opening on Angel Hill called 1921(the one that used to be Graze)to try their bar canapes. Chef Patron is Zack Deakins, formerly from The Bildeston Crown and now heading up his own business.Canapes are £1 each but we went for the offer of all eight for £6.What a bargain!All were delicious and we played Canape Roulette. Spin the pen to see which canape to eat next. That kept us amused as did coming up with a cocktail. We tried for an Aperol Spritz, sorry no can't do that, Margarita? No, don't have the ingredients. So,we bought a bottle of Prosecco, a shot of Cognac and asked for a bowl of sugar lumps, all happily provided and made our own Prosecco Cocktails. A fun night out.
Quail, grouse, venison, lambs kidneys, wild mushrooms, blackberries, damsons and figs...there's all sorts of delicious Autumn Gameyness on this menu. It declares its honourable local intentions by highlighting the relevant items with two stars for Wyken produced food and one star for those from either Norfolk or Suffolk. We had a friendly, interested and well-informed waitress to help us get to the nitty-gritty of the provenance and anyway we saw the fantastic fig trees on the way in and we know it's true; Wyken has a long and proven reputation. The hits of the meal were the grouse (not starred) served off the bone and as tender as any we have ever had, and the damson trifle (two stars). The meat eaters seemed more favoured tham vegetarians with bigger portions (we didn't all have the grouse - we shared...) and red cabbage on two of the dishes is a bit of a short cut in the kitchen. But for just under £50 a head for three courses, including an on-trend aperitif - Prosecco with Campari and bitters - and a glass of their excellent and award-winning wine, we were happy. As the farmer among us pointed out, why not provide that unctious, golden Hillfarm rapeseed oil to dip the bread in, instead of importing the olive, and then we will send all our Suffolk visitors here.
We have just come back from lunch at The Dark Horse in Stowlangtoft, after hearing it had re-opened for business earlier this year. We went for the Dark Horse Breakfast at £6.95 and the Homemade Beef Burger topped with bacon and cheese at £9.95. Our verdict... the burger was better than the breakfast, because the burger was homemade. We finished with a Chocolate Brownie which was good - but shame about the discoloured mint garnish.