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!

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Rivergarden - Norwich

36 Yarmouth Road

Sunday lunch menu served between 12pm and 5pm

Back in August 2014 I visited The Rivergarden for breakfast (read that review here) which was delicious! They no longer serve breakfast but trying their Sunday lunch seemed like a great reason to return again.

Here are their winter opening times.

The bar is close to the main entrance.

The blankets are a nice touch, grab one and get cosy beside the fire.

The area around the fireplace looks like a lovely relaxing spot.

Board games are available here, anyone for a game of Cluedo?

The Rivergarden feels homely and welcoming throughout.

Our table was laid out really nicely, I loved the use of scrabble letters on the reserved sign.

Up to three courses are available on the Sunday menu, it all sounded delicious but we were just having the main course today. I'd been thinking about turkey all week with it being only a week away until Christmas so was delighted to see it on the menu, cauliflower cheese caught my eye too, love it!

I went for a pint of Guinness, perfect with a Sunday roast.

The items to share arrived first, a root veg selection, some cauliflower cheese and extra gravy.  In these situations I worry about getting my fair share, there was plenty to go around though which was a relief.

The root veg selection consisted of thick cut parsnips, whole carrots and onions. All incredibly tasty and cooked really nicely.

The cauliflower cheese was delicious, it's one of my wife's favourite ever dishes so she was over the moon when it arrived.

The stacked presentation was impressive with the roast potatoes making a good foundation to support the turkey, stuffing and Yorkshire pudding.

I rotated the plate and spotted a pig in a blanket, always a wonderful sight. Time to add some veg and some of that cauliflower cheese to this impressive stack of Sunday goodness.

It was a low light to take good photos in but I carried on regardless. The thick slices of turkey were nice and moist and the large pig in a blanket looked superb.

Hidden beneath the Yorkshire pudding lay a slice of stuffing.

The Yorkshire pudding was a good size and nicely cooked.

At the heart of a good Sunday roast is a decent roast potato and these were excellent!

I requested some cranberry sauce and covered the turkey in it, delicious!

My wife chose the veggie option, Glamorgan sausage. I tried some and really liked it, it was quite cheesy with a distinctive mustard flavour.

I'd already been to The Rivergarden back in 2014 for breakfast and really enjoyed it, because of this I had high expectations for our visit today. We were going for a family lunch so my initial thought was to keep my iPhone in my pocket and to sit back and enjoy the lunch. I was keen to add another place to the roast inspector blog though and nobody else in the group minded if I reviewed the meal so out came the iPhone...

Upon entering - The Rivergarden as the name suggests has a river that runs beside its stunning garden at the rear. As it was a bit chilly we didn't venture out there today though, instead we had reserved a table inside. The interior is warm and welcoming with a number of different areas to choose from, the first thing you see is the bar by the main entrance. Just beside this is really cosy looking area with an open fire, board games and armchairs. Beyond the bar is where we sat at a nice big table facing another beautiful fireplace, just beyond that and down some steps is the dining area beside the windows that look out to the garden. Our table was beautifully laid with a selection of glasses, cutlery, condiments and a reserved sign made using scrabble letters. Once seated we were given menus and shown the Sunday menu blackboard, we were able to order drinks at the table and simply paid at the bar on the way out. A very straightforward ordering process with everything you need on the table in a stunning environment, excellent! 9/10

Service - We were greeted with a smile, shown to our table and told that somebody would come along shortly to take our drinks order. Whilst ordering drinks we were given menus to choose from, we  decided what we all wanted quite quickly and placed our order. Wine glasses which we didn't need were taken away from the table to give us more space and we were offered a bottle of water for the table. The food all arrived together which is always nice when there's a group of you eating, we requested some cranberry sauce and settled in to the meal. We paid at the bar on the way out and was made to feel welcome throughout the meal, all the staff here were really friendly and efficient. 9/10

Type of roast - Ready served with shared vegetables. 

Meats available - Beef or turkey. 

Contents - Roast Norfolk turkey, pigs in blankets, stuffing, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower cheese, carrots, parsnips, onions and jus. 8/10

Vegetable portions - A fairly generous amount of large roast potatoes were served on each of our plates. Between four of us we were given one bowl of cauliflower cheese and two bowls of roast root vegetables, once plated up it was plenty enough to go around. 7/10

Presentation - The stacked presentation worked really well here with everything nicely balanced on the plate leaving enough room to add the other items around the edge. The cauliflower cheese and roast root veg were presented neatly in square bowls seated on a large square board, the extra gravy was served in a traditional gravy boat. 9/10

The food - The turkey was just how I was hoping it would be, nice tender and juicy slices, it was topped with a fairly tasty slice of stuffing. The nice long pig in a blanket was a pleasure to eat, a thin juicy sausage wrapped in a tasty rasher of bacon, I wish all pigs in blankets were this size!  The Yorkshire pudding hadn't overstayed its time in the oven, a great colour with a soft centre and slightly crunchy top. The roast potatoes here were amazing, probably the best I'd been served anywhere recently with a great taste, soft centre and nice crispy edges.  I loved the roasted root veg selection, chunky cut parsnips, whole carrots and onions, all packed full of flavour and cooked just right ensuring they still maintained a slightly firm texture. It's always a pleasure to see cauliflower cheese served with a roast dinner and here it was something to get excited about, the cauliflower was cooked to perfection and the cheese sauce was rich and delicious with a nice crispy top. As Sunday roasts go this was excellent, served nice and hot and certainly a pleasure to eat. 9/10

Gravy and sauces -  A nice rich gravy was already on the plate and extra was also brought to the table, always nice to have the option to add some more. A decent serving of cranberry sauce packed with plenty of whole cranberries accompanied the turkey beautifully. 8/10

Veggie option - Glamorgan sausages with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, roast root veg and cauliflower cheese. 

Value for money - The cost for the main course was £9.95, it's a decent size and tasted great so well worth the money. Starters and desserts are available too, 2 courses cost £12.95 and 3 courses cost £15. 8/10

Overall - I loved The Rivergarden on my previous visit for breakfast and once again felt the same this time having tried their Sunday roast. It looks great inside and feels really cosy and spacious, the blankets, real fire and board games are nice touches that add to that homely feel. The staff are really friendly, efficient and welcoming and the food is delicious, definitely somewhere worth visiting for Sunday lunch and somewhere I look forward to returning to again. 8.5/10


1 comment:

  1. Your visit sounds better than my recent one. I agree you get a decent amount but our food was cold, we had to send it back, meat was tough & the massive Yorkshires were dry & tasteless. Nicely decorated pub though (except the ladies loos which are shabby) & the staff are friendly.