One of my top pubs because of their slick takeaway service during the lockdown. Efficient ordering and swiftly prepared food that has been reliably good. Nothing fancy but superb burgers, homemade pies, thrice cooked chips and homemade sticky toffee pudding. We've eaten this as takeaway and at the pub during Eat Out To Help Out. It's always been good. Very fair prices too!
- This is the takeaway steak, ale and mushroom pie. £10 with fresh vegetables. It's huge and homemade!
My kind of nibbles at the Bildeston Crown.
Organised by Gusto Pronto, The Great Gusto Food Superhero challenge encouraged young diners to use their creativity and come up with an imaginative food superhero. Some fun ideas created! Here are the winners...
The One Bull @ Bury St Edmunds – Jess Lewis (age 10) for Flossie Flash who is super fast and shoots sticky candy floss. Jemima (age 6) for Fruit Girl who throws fruit into the mouth of anyone eating an unhealthy snack and Georgina (age 3) for Flavour Girl and her Flavour Machine who adds delicious flavour to food.
The Cadogan @ Ingham - Megan (age 11) for Bubble Gum Girl who traps villains in bubble gum, Harriet Sykes (age 8) for Super Blueberry who knocks people out for an hour and can fly and Austin Speed (age 4) for Noodle Boy who shoots out laser noodles.
The Crown @ Hartest – Amelia Clarke (age 6) for Captain Carrot who can fly and Mr Strong Apple who has super strength and Oscar (age 1) for Potato Man who mashes and crushes baddies. The pubs tweeted their best entries each week during August using #TheGreatGustoFoodSuperhero if you want to take a look.
Why are all the decent pubs I've been to recently near Woodbridge? Last week I took Mr SuffolkFoodie to The Turks Head for a late Sunday lunch, as I'd been invited by Jemima the owner. Jemima was actually away on holiday, so I was sorry not to meet her. Still, I admire an owner who offers a review meal and shows such enormous confidence in the staff ... and the staff were brilliant, all quite clearly trained in their roles, and friendly, without hovering or being stifling. The Turks Head is a family and dog friendly gastropub with the Hasketon countryside providing some great local walks. (Handy PDF downloads for 11 guided walks are provided on the website). Even at 5pm, on an early April evening, the terrace was busy with families who looked as though they were stopping for mid walk refreshments. There's also a proper pentanque pitch, which has been added to my list of 'must investigate further, it could be fun' activities. The Sunday lunch is a set menu of 2 courses for £19 or 3 courses £24. I was hoping to try the Gressingham duck steamed dumplings which apparantly are a favourite of the regulars, but they had eaten them all, and so the replacement dish was an oriental duck salad with hoisin, which came garnished with wafer thin hot and piquant pickled ginger. A Caesar style, wild turbot salad had crunchy homemade croutons, whole anchovy fritters and with a very generous amount of wild turbot soldiers, a novel and very good take on the classic version. Spotted also on the menu was a foraged nettle soup which sounded tempting. The head chef, Mauri is a classically French trained chef who was born in India and has worked in many high profile establishments, the menu reflecting his eclectic range of cooking styles from around the globe. The highlight dish of our lunch undoubtedly being a local venison bhuna masala with rice, papad and raita. It is probably the best curry I've had between Southall and Leicester with powerful spicing providing the punch required of a great curry. Tender, pink roast sirloin of beef was topped by an impressive and very large Yorkshire pudding and was served with side dishes of tomatoey ratatouille, roasted carrots, celeriac and a cauliflower cheese. We finished with a banoffee pie (Birdy our delightful waitress telling us that the customers had petitioned when the pudding had been removed from the menu, so now reinstated) and Hamish Johnston selected British cheeses, which included a Perl Las, a Godminster organic Cheddar and Ellingham goats cheese. Behind the bar is a great range of local cask ales and my favourite Aspalls cyder and notably an excellent range of interesting soft drinks for the driver. There are three sittings for Sunday lunch starting at 12 midday with the last sitting at 5pm.
- Dogs are welcome
- Oriental duck salad with hoisin
- Caesar style wild turbot salad, croutons, anchovies
- Roast sirloin of Suffolk beef, Yorkshire oudding, red wine gravy with lovely seasonal vegetables
- Local venison bhuna masala, rice, papad, raita
- Banoffee pie, toffee sauce, caramelised banana
- British cheeses from Hamish Johnston
- Families are welcome
- the dining room
Last time I ate at The Tickell Arms in Whittlesford there was a sign on the door saying 'no long haired lefties'. That was in 1981. Nowadays the pub is part of the CambsCuisine Group and is much more accommodating. Dogs are welcome (in the pub) and long haired lefties are allowed in too. I ate duck breast with pearl barley, roasted red onions, parsnip puree and port sauce. Very good it was too!
Dave is Head Chef at The Unruly Pig in Bromeswell. He takes full advantage of his abundant Suffolk surroundings by cooking local and seasonal produce with an Italian influence, much of it on his charcoal fired Inka grill. Here is his recipe for Sage and Thyme Stuffed Rabbit, Baked Polenta and Cauliflower. No grill required for this!
People have been telling me the food is good at The Bear Inn, Beyton, so we nipped in for a family supper, which was just going to be a main course and then the chicken liver parfait sounded tempting with the fruit chutney and homemade bread (which had been toasted over the flame grill) so I ordered that. It was excellent. Much to the surprise of my family, as I never eat steak when I am out, I ordered a rib eye steak cooked rare, which it was. Salad leaves were properly dressed and fat chips crisp. That left no room for a pudding...or did it? I noticed the taster puddings which are scaled down portions so ordered the apple crumble with homemade vanilla custard. Wow, was that good and just £3 for the small, yet not so mini, deliciously tart apple crumble with sugary crunchy top and the best custard that I have eaten out for a long time.
Here is the link to The Bear Inn recipe page. Try making their lemon possett.
Royston - for lunch - I wasn't optimistic. A trawl through the streets only produced a Turkish restaurant (a kebab shop with chairs) and a couple of cafes with baked potatoes and not much else. But then I asked a man where I could find home-made food and he said the Green Man was ok. So I went there. It was more than ok, it was very nice. I had a two small dishes - a black pudding scotch egg and a haddock and mackerel fish cake, with chunky tartare sauce, salad and half a shandy. It was freshly cooked and just over a tenner altogether. But it wasn't very busy... go there Royston. The chef was at a festival - so rest assured chef, that the rest of the team can cope while you're away!
Benson Blakes in Bury St Edmunds has just taken over a country pub; not to make it into a burger bar but for a very exciting project. The pub is owned by the local farmer who will be supplying the pub with rare breed pork (Oxford Sandy & Black) with beef, lamb, free range turkey, wild venison and local game. There will be a small holding established early next year for herbs, salads and vegetables. The farmer will also be growing wheat, barley & hops for a microbrewery that will be established in the farm. They are also setting up a smokery and doing a full range of charcuterie meats and chutneys... Real Suffolk food !!