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, 3 November 2015

The White Lion - Norwich

73 Oak Street

Sunday roast served from midday until they sell out so get there early!

With so many recommendations for their Sunday lunch I couldn't resist visiting The White Lion on Oak Street.

We arrived just after midday to ensure there was still plenty of food left. It was also an ideal opportunity to get some photos of this beautiful and traditional pub before it started getting busy.

Real ale and cider drinkers are spoilt for choice here.

We sat by the window where the light was excellent for taking photos. The tables here are large, solid and sit firmly on the floor eliminating any annoying table wobble.

 In the back room there are more tables, the kitchen is through the door in the far corner.

 Another room at the side offers even more seating and bar billiards.

The roast changes each week and the golden slice is a vegetarian option.

I ordered a pint of Milestone Black Pearl, a great stout!

This homemade horseradish cream was to die for, easily the best I'd ever had the pleasure of eating! Thick and creamy with the chunky strands of horseradish giving it a nice hot kick, perfect with the brisket.

My wife requested some ketchup and was delighted when this homemade variety arrived at the table, in her words "lovely and quite tarte"

No messing around with seperate vegetable bowls here, everything arrives on the plate and looks superb!

A delicious wild mushroom stuffing lay on top of the thick sliced succulent roasted brisket.

Being slow roasted for 12 hours created brisket that tasted amazing and almost melted in the mouth, the texture was perfect.

The huge Yorkshire pudding that topped the plate was delicious and perfectly cooked.

Large roast potatoes with a nice crispy edge.

Butter softened cabbage cooked perfectly.

Roasted parsnips and carrots, again cooked perfectly.

My wife loved the vegetarian option, golden slice covered in a creamy white wine sauce. I tried some too and was really impressed, delicious!

I had no intention of having a dessert but curiosity got the better of me after overhearing the barman explain the stout posset with baked pear to another customer. Having just eaten an incredibly nice roast dinner I finished off with one of the nicest desserts I'd eaten in a long time. 

Just three weeks had passed since I'd decided to dust off the Roast Inspector blog by visiting The Stanley in Norwich for Sunday lunch. I was keen to visit somewhere else but with so many Sunday Roast option out there it was a difficult choice. Many people were recommending The White Lion's Sunday roast so I headed there with my wife to see what all the fuss was about...

Upon entering - The White Lion has a stunning traditional interior with chunky wooden tables, tiled floors and exposed beams. The pub is divided into three separate rooms with a central bar that can be accessed from all the areas. The front room has heaps of natural light, stools at the bar and nice big tables. The room at the rear is much darker and has more tables, a sofa and a coffee table. The room at the side offers more seating and a bar billiards table. We were drawn to the well lit front area as taking photos in a good light was essential. The Sunday roast was chalked up on a blackboard and kept very simple, a meat option, veggie option and dessert. Place your order and pay at the bar, cutlery and sauces arrive first and not long after that the food arrives. It was really nice to enjoy a Sunday roast in such a peaceful and relaxing environment with no music blaring out in the background. I could chat with my wife and not have to shout to be heard, this is my kind of pub on a Sunday afternoon. 9/10

Service - The chap serving us was relaxed, friendly and welcoming. As we waited at the bar he aknowleged us saying he would be over shortly, this gave me a great opportunity to get some interior shots of the pub. Our order was taken and we chose a table by the window, as we enjoyed our drinks the cutlery, condiments and food all arrived in good time. My wife requested some ketchup and was delighted when a pot of homemade ketchup was brought to the table. We pondered over the dessert wondering how it was made, the chap behind the bar kindly explained it in detail, after this I knew I couldn't resist trying it! We left thinking that as far as service goes this was spot on, we were welcomed and anything we were unsure of was explained. 10/10

Type of roast - Ready served 
Meats available - One meat option on the day but it changes each week.

Contents - 12 hour slow roasted brisket in a rich red wine gravy, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, butter softened cabbage, roasted parsnips and carrots, wild mushroom stuffing and homemade horseradish cream. 8/10

Vegetable portions - Everything is served together on the plate here which made me incredibly happy, in my opinion this is how a roast dinner should be served. The quantity and selection of vegetables served was just right and complimented the meat very nicely. 9/10

Presentation - As the food was placed on the table in front of me I was delighted with this impressive Sunday roast masterpiece that towered up from the plate. Everything was beautifully positioned on the plate and looked perfectly cooked, never had a roast looked so appetising. 10/10

The food - The slow cooked brisket was really tender and tore apart beautifully. It tasted amazing and melted in the mouth. Laying on top of the brisket was a delicious wild mushroom stuffing with a nice coarse texture. The roast potatoes were crispy on the outside with a soft centre, a proper roast potato and a good size too. The Yorkshire pudding was really big, tasted fantastic and had an excellent texture throughout. The veg were all cooked perfectly and consisted of butter softened cabbage, carrots and parsnips. A hugely enjoyable Sunday roast that couldn't have been any better, perfect! 10/10

Gravy and sauces - The rich red wine gravy was sensational and complimented the meal  perfectly. The homemade horseradish cream was by far the nicest I'd ever had the pleasure of eating, the thick cut horseradish gave a really good kick. 10/10

Veggie option - Golden slice with all the roast trimmings in a creamy white wine sauce - £8.50

Value for money - The brisket roast cost £9.50 and was well worth the money. 9/10

Overall - On my search for the perfect Sunday Roast experience I was looking for a number of things and The White Lion seemed to tick all of those boxes! A lovely traditional pub to dine in that was also nice and relaxing with no music booming out in the background. The staff were friendly, informative and made us feel really welcome. The food was incredibly nice, perfectly cooked and I loved how it was all served on the plate. I would never usually have a dessert too but having just eaten such an amazing main course it seemed insane not to, the dessert here was excellent! Be sure to give The White Lion a visit for Sunday lunch, you won't be disappointed and I can't wait to return again. 9.5/10

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