After spending over a year trying to avoid economy bangers and ridiculous egg situations on my search for the ultimate fry up I am still hungry for more. Having eaten breakfast it is now time for lunch, Sunday roast to be precise. Join me as I try out different roast dinners, I will be trying everything from civilised restaurant's to rowdy pubs and supermarket cafe's to stack it high carverys. It's a difficult job but someone has to do it so join me on my search for roast dinner perfection!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Wig & Pen - Norwich

6 St Martin's Palace Plain

Sunday roast served between 12.00pm & 4.00pm

The Wig & Pen can be found a few minutes walk away from Tombland on St Martin's Palace Plain.

 There is a large outside seating area.

Large parasols will keep the sun out of your eyes whilst eating.

Inside is very traditional.

Quite expensive but worth it as the food here is great.

I am going to have to try the breakfast soon, sounds great!!

An order number is given when placing your order.

I am not a fan of sachets but they were happy to bring more over as you always need at least 4 each!

This is how my roast beef dinner arrived, plenty of potatoes and 2 large yorkshire puddings.

The veg and gravy arrived separately, 2 servings for 3 dinners. There was plenty but shouldn't it have been 3 servings for 3 dinners?

The roast beef dinner with veg added to the plate.

The beef was nicely cooked although I personally prefer it a bit rarer.

The roast potatoes were lovely but could have done with being a bit crispier.

The veg was tasty but a bit undercooked.

The yorkshire puddings were spot on.

This was the hazelnut and thyme nut roast with a redcurrant gravy, it tasted great!

With my last roast inspection being over 6 months ago I wondered if this blog would ever get updated again! A quiet weekend resulted in a free Sunday and an opportunity to go out for a roast dinner. We didn't fancy going too far so it was a toss up between The Adam & Eve and The Wig & Pen. The Wig & Pen was a bit closer and we had heard they served a decent roast dinner so we decided to go there..

Upon entering - Inside the pub is very traditional with wooden tables and chairs, exposed beams and various beer related memorabilia on display. Outside there is a large seating area with parasols which is perfect in the warmer weather. There is a bar in the centre of the pub with menus displaying roast dinners available, place your order and pay at the bar. You will be given an order number to place on your table and the staff will bring cutlery, sauces and when it is ready, your food. 8/10

Service - The staff working here were friendly, helpful and extremely efficient. They were more than happy to serve one dinner with extra roast potatoes and yorkshire puddings with vegetables to a vegetarian who wasn't keen on nut roast. Extra ketchup was bought to us when we requested it and they asked if we would like any horseradish sauce for the beef. During the meal they popped over to check everything was ok. 9/10

Type of roast - Ready served with shared vegetables and extra gravy.

Meats available - Topside of beef or leg of lamb. 

Contents - Roast beef and horseradish sauce, roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and gravy. 7/10

Vegetable portions - 2 bowls of vegetables between 3 people, I bet if one person ordered a roast dinner they would get their own bowl! This happens frequently when eating a roast dinner out somewhere and has always niggled me somewhat. That said though there was a decent amount of veg to go round but a more varied selection would have been nice, some parsnips or peas maybe? There was 5 large roast potatoes on my plate and 2 large yorkshire puddings, this I was happy about! 7/10

Presentation - The meat, roast potatoes and yorkshire puddings were layed out on the plate really nicely in a sea of rich gravy. The vegetables and gravy boat were also presented well. 8/10

The food - The roast beef was medium cooked with a great texture and flavour. The yorkshire puddings were spot on with a slightly crispy outer edge and soft inside. The roast potatoes were fantastic, fluffy inside with a nicely browned outside, a bit more crispiness would have been nice though. The carrrots, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage all tasted great but were slightly undercooked. 7/10

Gravy & sauces - The gravy was thick and full of flavour, 2 gravy boats docked at our table ensuring there was plenty to go round the 3 of us. Horseradish sauce was bought to the table    in a small pot, it was just the right amount and seemed like a fairly standard horseradish sauce. Ketchup was served in sachets, I am not too keen on sachets as they contain so little and take ages to open when you are adding at least 4 to your dinner. 7/10

Veggie option - Hazelnut and thyme nut roast with a redcurrant gravy with roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings and vegetable selection for £8.95. I tried some and it tasted really good, the redcurrant gravy was amazing! 

Value for money - My roast beef dinner cost £8.95 and was a good size leaving me feel really full up. 7/10

Overall - Great food in a lovely environment and good service too. It would have been nice to have seen a chicken or pork option but I have a feeling the roast options change from week to week.  The price here is a bit higher than other places but the quality is high and the portions are big. Definitely worth visiting if you are looking for a great roast diner in the city. 7.5

Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Street Cafe - Norwich

147 Magdalen Street

The Street Cafe is one of my favourite places in Norwich to go for a fry up, read more about that here.

The Cafe is fully licenced so if you fancy wine with your meal it is not a problem.

Inside it is traditional and welcoming, a great place to be.

Specials can be found on the blackboard and...

Fresh flowers can be found on each table.

The mint sauce portion was small but more was bought along upon request.

£6.95 for the standard roast.

I went for the large roast which cost a pound more at £7.95, lets look closer..

Good quality chipolatas and perfect roast parsnip.

A nice mix of perfectly cooked vegetables.

Delicious crispy roast potatoes and new potatoes lurked under the veg too!

It has been nearly 5 months since my last update to this blog and I was all set to meet up with friends for a roast at a Norwich pub, the night before it had snowed quite heavily which meant we couldn't make it. The following weekend I was still thinking "roast dinner" so keen to add something to the blog I went along to a favourite cafe of mine that I knew also did a Sunday roast...

Upon entering - The Street Cafe is somewhere I have been many times and it grows on me more each time I visit. Inside it is traditional, well laid out, warm, welcoming, clean and has a great atmosphere. There is a full waitress service so simply take a seat and somebody will soon be along to give you a menu and take care of you. There is a toilet at the back of the cafe by the counter, I mention this as many cafe's surprisingly don't always have one. The gingham table cloths are a nice touch as are the fresh flowers on each table. This place is everything a decent cafe should be. 9/10

Service - The waitress service here is fantastic, they are consistently friendly, efficient and helpful. First they bring you a menu and later come along to take your order, next drinks and cutlery arrive followed by condiments and finally the food. They always ask if everything is ok and the bill arrives at the end with a mint. 9/10

Type of roast - Ready served

Meat available - Lamb, beef and pork.

Contents - Roast lamb, chiplolatas, stuffing, roast potatoes, new potatoes, yorkshire pudding, roast parsnip, cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, green beans and gravy. 9/10

Vegetable portions - I was delighted when the veg arrived on the plate, there was a great selection and a good amount of each. 5 good sized roast potatoes and 2 new potatoes kept me happy enough. 9/10

Presentation - At the centre of the plate sat the huge yorkshire pudding towering above everything else around it. It eclipsed the stuffing ball to the north of the plate but didn't manage to hide the chunks of roast lamb that lay out towards the east of the plate where chiploatas were docked in the rich sea of gravy. To the south was the mountainous roast potato region and to the west the neatly stacked vegetables city. When the plate was put in front of me I was blown away it looked amazing! 9/10

The food - Really tasty and thick chunks of roast lamb, possibly a fraction over done but still well nice. Good quality chipolatas, the stuffing ball was nice but a bit hard. A homemade yorkshire pudding that had both elements of soft and crispy. Perfect roast potatoes, crispy and delicious as was the parsnip. All the vegetables were cooked to perfection which is always a must with any roast dinner. 8/10

Gravy & sauces - The gravy was on the food when it arrived and was spot on, rich, tasty and thick, plenty of it too. The mint sauce was fairly standard and although not much was initially bought to the table the waitress was more than happy to bring more along. 8/10

Veggie option - Tomato and vegetable bake and nut cutlet were available instead of the meat options.

Value for money - The standard roast seemed like good value at £6.95 but for just £1 more you can get the large roast which comes on an oval plate with an extra chipolata, potatoes and veg at £7.95. Whatever size you go for you won't be disappointed, there is plenty on the plate and it tastes delicious! 9/10

Overall - Excellent food, great service and good value for money. This place is a must if you want a home cooked roast but don't fancy cooking it or washing up afterwards. Be warned though you may end up washing up afterwards if you don't have cash on you, they don't accept cards which resulted in us not being able to leave a tip as we just had enough cash on us to cover the bill. This is a place where you will want to tip the great service and food though and it is without a doubt one of the best roast dinners I have eaten in a long time! 9/10