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!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The Stanley - Norwich

(Now closed)

33 Magdalen Road

Roasts available on Sunday from 12pm till 5pm

Having spent many weekends here getting as drunk as possible I decided to return to try their Sunday roast.

If you wake up late no worries, the roast is available until 5pm.

 Place your order and pay at the bar.

Choose where you want to sit, the tables already have cutlery, salt and pepper on them.

There are three courses to choose from, we just went for the main course but it was no easy decision, it all sounded so good!

A pint of Guinness seemed like the perfect drink to accompany my roast, my wife went for a diet coke.

The vegetables arrive separately in a bowl, the cauliflower cheese and bread sauce were an unexpected bonus!

The roast pork arrived over the roast potatoes and topped with some parsnips and crackling. The Yorkshire pudding looked overcooked but was a decent enough size.

 The golden glazed carrot and mushroom tart was the vegan option, my wife thoroughly enjoyed it.

A decent enough selection of vegetables and some boiled potatoes to share.

My wife loves cauliflower cheese, she was over the moon. (Clearly not part of the vegan option!)

Extra gravy and some apple sauce, best of all though was the bread sauce, love it!

Here it is all together on the plate, to be honest I prefer it served this way.

Nice succulent roast pork, definitely the highlight.

The roast potatoes were quite firm inside and lacked any crunchiness on the outside.

I hadn't been out on a roast inspection since February 2013 when I visited The Cottage on Silver Road. With the cold nights drawing in and the topic of roast dinners cropping up recently I decided to dust down this derelict sub blog and go out for a Sunday Roast. Sergeant Sausage had recently visited The Stanley on Magdalen Road and told me he'd had a cracking roast so I decided to head there myself with my wife, The Roast Inspector is back!

Upon entering - The Stanley is a pub I've spent many nights in over the years getting stupidly drunk before heading off to the Waterfront until silly o'clock. It was quite strange seeing it looking so civilised on a Sunday afternoon, most of the tables were prepared for Sunday lunch with cutlery wrapped in serviettes, condiments and a menu. Once you've decided what you would like from the menu just place your order at the bar, pay and collect any drinks. It seemed like a pleasant and relaxing environment to chat over a pint and before you know it the food is brought to the table. One top tip here is to check for wobbly tables, quite frustrating when you're trying to eat so be sure to pick one that sits firmly on the ground. 7/10

Service - Certainly a friendly welcome and an easy ordering process, with our order placed and paid for we searched for a firm table and sat down with our drinks. The food all arrived in good time and my wife was quick to spot she didn't have a Yorkshire pudding, it turned out that this was because she'd ordered the vegan option which didn't include one. The lady serving us kindly went to get my wife a Yorkshire pudding from the kitchen and some extra vegetarian gravy. We requested ketchup (goes well with roast potatoes) but there wasn't any, no big deal though as it's not something most people would have on a roast dinner. On the way out the lady behind the bar thanked us and bid us goodbye. 8/10

Type of roast - Ready served with shared vegetables. 

Meats available - Beef, pork and chicken. 

Contents - Roast loin of pork, crisp crackling, roast potatoes, new potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, roast parsnips, carrots, courgettes, red cabbage, cauliflower cheese and gravy. 9/10

Vegetable portions - As always when it comes to roast dinners I was hoping everything would arrive on the plate at once. A glance at the neighbouring table made me soon realise it was a shared veg scenario here though. Luckily for me my wife knows I like my fair share when it comes to food so she didn't bat an eyelid as I carefully divided everything in half. The vegetable portions were generous and just the right amount to go with what was on the main plate, once everything was together it was a nice heap of Sunday roast. On the main plate were a trio of large roast potatoes already in situ hiding beneath the pork. The cauliflower cheese wasn't mentioned on the menu so we were delighted when this arrived at the table. 8/10

Presentation - The main dishes arrived looking superb with the items nicely laid out and coated in gravy. The shared veg dish looked colourful and promising with a nice varied vegetable line up. Another plate arrived with a large bowl of cauliflower cheese, extra gravy, and the sauces. I was certainly impressed with what had been placed before us and couldn't wait to start putting everything together on the plate. 8/10

The food - The Swanington loin of pork was amazing, really juicy, incredibly tasty and cooked to perfection, perfect covered in the apple sauce. I was equally impressed with the crispy crackling that accompanied the pork, just divine! At the heart of every roast dinner are the crucial roast potatoes, for me they have to be soft inside with a nice crunchy edge. These roast potatoes may have been cooked in duck fat but they seemed a tad hard in the middle with no crispiness on the outside, very tasty but I was a bit disappointed. The other item that was slightly disappointing was the Yorkshire pudding, a good size but I like a mix of soft and crunchy on my Yorkshires. I found the Yorkshire to be too overdone at the top making that part way too dry and crunchy, a lovely soft base though. The cauliflower cheese came in a delicious cheese sauce but the cauliflower was a bit on the hard side, still quite nice though. The new potatoes were excellent and all the other veg tasted really nice, the carrots were quite firm but I quite like them this way so not a problem. Despite a few issues with textures the flavours were excellent and I wasted no time in finishing it. 7/10

Gravy and sauces - The bread sauce that arrived was delicious, I hadn't eaten bread sauce in years and it was superb with a lovely stodgy texture. The gravy was spot on, rich and delicious with a quite thick consistency. A bit of a shame there was no ketchup as I love it on my roast potatoes, the apple sauce that arrived was really nice though. 8/10

Veggie option - Roast butternut squash loaf / £9

Vegan option - Golden glazed carrot and wild mushroom tart / £9 

Value for money - Quite expensive at £10 but there was a lot of food and some items not mentioned on the menu (cauliflower cheese and bread sauce) were a nice surprise. 7/10

Overall - Although the roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding were a bit disappointing everything else was really nice, the pork and crackling were exceptional. The thing I really liked though was that there was plenty of food, always nice to walk home feeling stuffed after a roast dinner. Certainly a nice place to enjoy a Sunday roast with great service, the menu caters for vegans and vegetarians and meat eaters are offered a good choice too. If you really want to push the boat out you can have a starter or/and dessert too, they all sounded really delicious. 8/10

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