This year's SuffolkFoodie annual leave was taken on a 48 hour trip to see the best (and probably the most hyped) of the latest London eat-and-drinkeries. Starting at Taberno do Mercardo (via a really nice tea merchants on the way, and only minutes from Liverpool Street station) we had small pretty plates that featured tinned cold monkfish, runner bean 'fritters' on clam broth, cuttlefish with pigs trotters, drippingly soft cheese with toasted bread, prawn rissoles and the runniest custard tart. The waitress was as excited about the food as we were so even with just one glass each of house sparkling rose - shining like a citrine jewel - it was easy to spend half of our budget on the first meal.
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.
This is one you need to book ahead. On Friday and Saturday nights only at 7.45pm in Middlewood Green, it's a farmhouse (converted farm building) with fine dining at a set time, with a set menu and a set price £35.50. There is a formula here, and as "newbies" we were welcomed by the patron/chef and given the format and The Rules.
"Help yourself to wine and serve it yourself" - Bravo for the affordable quality choice of wines.
"Food will be served, water topped up and bang on the kitchen door if you need anything during the meal"
Plate after plate of competently cooked food came out of the kitchen, but nothing blew us away. Service did the job, food was delivered, plates were cleared, more food delivered, plates cleared... but no interaction from the young and efficient staff, get the jist? We duly knocked on the kitchen door requesting another roll to mop up the pate, but there were no more available and anyway we would be "filled up with the other courses" This is the perfect place to go with a small party of friends when you want to have a good chat and be fed together, but I did feel that we were expected to say "thank you for having us" as we left.
Last Friday night, late - nearly 10pm, suffolkfoodie and gang felt peckish and had to think hard where to get a good late night snack in Bury St Edmunds. Then we remembered the newly opened Graze... We were welcomed with a smile and enjoyed some impressive small plates of excellent food. One of our favourites were the Haggis and Rabbit Bon Bons. The wine was good too!
Paul Foster is making his name with restaurant critics and is due to appear on The Great British Menu on TV next month. He's Head Chef at Tuddenham Mill. Lunch today was very good indeed with the menu featuring some interesting herbs, some of which I believe are foraged locally. Pictured is my main course of potato terrine, artichoke, mushrooms and watercress. I am pretty sure the plate has chickweed on. What does everyone think?
A set lunch is £20 for two courses and £25 for three courses, with both an amuse bouche and very generous plate of home baked breads. A bit of a treat for a Monday!