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!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Temple Bar - Norwich

2 Unthank Road

Sunday roast served from midday till 5pm

Temple Bar is said by many to serve Norwich's best Sunday Roast, my wife and I decided to go and check it out for ourselves.

The main room was pretty packed but we managed to find a table in the smaller room, it had been decorated since our last visit and was looking much better.

Both rooms have a bar where you can place your order.

The Sunday roast menu looked impressive and offered a good vegetarian option too. 

My wife ordered a cup of tea, I decided a nice pint of Guinness was needed though.

After an unexpected and incredibly frustrating wait of 70 minutes the food finally arrived at the table. 

Presentation was superb but enjoying a meal when you're feeling annoyed isn't much fun.

A good selection of seasonal veg and a disappointing cauliflower cheese.

Extra gravy arrives in a small jug and a selection of sauces are offered. The gravy here was excellent!

The turkey was really juicy and delicious, the roast potatoes tasted great but were undercooked.

A roast dinner with some great flavours going on but some elements of it were quite disappointing.

For so long now my wife and I have wanted to try the Sunday roast at Temple Bar. On the occasions we'd attempted it in the past though there has been no empty tables so we've ended up going somewhere else, clearly a very popular place! We'd been here for breakfast back in 2015, you can read that review here. Anyway, we'd walked into the city to do some shopping and my wife suggested going somewhere for lunch, I didn't need much persuading! We almost went into The Sir Garnet but resisted the urge as I'd already reviewed their Sunday roast last year. Instead we decided to once more attempt to get a table at Temple Bar and as luck would have it there was an empty table in the small room where the pool table is located...

Upon entering - I generally avoid pubs playing sports on big screens but was prepared to make an exception here as so many people had told me they serve the best Sunday Roast in Norwich. Three things pleasantly surprised me as we walked in, there was an empty table for us to sit at, the TV was muted and the place had been decorated since my last visit and looked so much better. There was a menu on the bar offering an impressive selection of Sunday roast options as well as desserts. We placed our order, paid and collected our drinks at the bar and sat down. The food, cutlery and sauces were all brought to the table much later. There's also the main room which I can't really comment on as I've never spent any time in it, the smaller room we were sat in seemed like a fairly nice place to eat in though. 5/10

Service - We placed our order at the bar at 1.36pm, I wouldn't usually remember such a detail but the photos for the review keep a record of the time. The lady behind the bar seemed really friendly, she took our order, we paid and then sat down with our drinks. We enjoyed our drinks and chatted but after 50 minutes thought it a bit strange that no cutlery had arrived at the table. After 55 minutes my wife went to find out why the food hadn't arrived yet, by this point we were starting to feel quite annoyed. We were told the food was on its way and should be with us in 5 to 10 minutes. After 15 minutes we decided to cut our losses and enquire about a refund, at this point the food was finally arriving. Everything was on the table at 2.46, 70 minutes after we'd ordered it. Ok, so sometimes places do get really busy but surely it's better to warn customers of any potential delays when taking their order or at least apologise for the delay. Keeping customers informed and offering an apology does go a long way, sadly it wasn't the case here though. 2/10

Type of roast - Ready served with shared vegetables.

Meats available - Beef, pork, turkey, lamb and gammon.

Contents - Turkey, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower cheese, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, leeks, red cabbage jam, parsnip, beans and gravy. 9/10

Vegetable portions - The seasonal vegetables were served in a separate bowl, a fairly reasonable amount between two people. The cauliflower cheese was a pair of florets cut in half, I couldn't help thinking that a person ordering on their own may well get the same portion though. On the plate were a few roast potatoes, some red cabbage and a couple of strips of parsnip. 5/10

Presentation - The presentation of this roast was quite impressive, on the main plate the meat lay across the roast potatoes and a large Yorkshire pudding sat proudly to the side. The seasonal vegetable selection looked really fresh and the gravy presentation on the plate looked great with a carrot and butternut smear. 8/10

The food - The turkey was really moist and delicious, perfect with the cranberry sauce. I'd specifically chosen turkey today to make up for not getting it on Christmas Day and I thoroughly enjoyed it! The Yorkshire pudding was excellent with a nice crispy edge and softer towards the centre. All of the vegetables looked really nice but the broccoli and cauliflower were very undercooked. My wife's favourite ever dish is cauliflower cheese and here it disappointed, we couldn't taste the cheese and the florets were crunchy. The main disappointment though was the roast potatoes, they tasted really good but were way too firm and not crispy enough on the outside. A few aspects of this roast were excellent but sadly it was a bit let down by undercooked roast potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower. 6/10

Gravy and sauces - The gravy was spot on, really rich with a slightly thick consistency. There was gravy already on the plate and extra arrived in a small jug. A selection of sauces were offered, we chose cranberry sauce and ketchup (nice on roast potatoes) 8/10

Vegetarian option - Vegetables, pulses and occasional nuts and fruits baked in a loaf with a carrot fondant and vegetable gravy.

Value for money - The Sunday Roast costs £10.95. A 70 minute wait with no apology or explanation for a slightly disappointing meal didn't feel like money spent wisely at all. 2/10

Overall - Certainly the most frustrating eating out experience of 2016, if we'd have been informed of an hour+ wait on food we'd have simply gone somewhere else. The lack of apology or any updates on when the food might arrive I found really shocking, a well informed customer is always a much happier one. Eating when frustrated and angry isn't a great experience at all but I still managed to appreciate some real strong points with this roast dinner, sadly the undercooked items were a disappointment. 5.5/10


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