Situated within the picturesque village of Horstead, The Recruiting Sergeant is raved about not simply by locals however individuals throughout Norfolk and it’s clear to see why.
Earlier than visiting I had excessive expectations as I had beforehand eaten a improbable meal at one in all its sister pubs The Bucks Arms on the fringe of the Blickling Property, with each run by Colchester Inns.
After a busy week it was a delight to go out of Norwich into the countryside for dinner on a heat Thursday night and after we arrived we have been glad we had booked upfront because it was very busy.
For my starter I ordered pan fried Scottish king scallops with pork stomach croquettes and apple salad (£11.50) and it was offered superbly with petals of fish and meat round a inexperienced centre of rocket, watercress and matchsticks of apple.
The chubby scallops have been cooked completely, with a golden brown high and a velvety texture within the centre, and it was complimented by moreish croquettes and each married along with the apple, which gave the dish an added freshness.
My boyfriend ordered tempura king prawns with salt and pepper squid with an edamame bean salad and dipping sauce (£8.95).
He had given the waitress a listing of three potential starters to verify with the kitchen as he has a dairy allergy and was very happy to get his first alternative.
Each fish components have been mushy on the within and encased in a fragile and completely crisp batter, which got a kick with the punchy dipping sauce.
For my major course I opted for the Char Siu glazed Iberico pork loin chop with crispy wontons, fried greens and chow mein noodles (£17.95) and it was served with chopsticks, although I’m a bit rusty so went again to a fork after a couple of mouthfuls.
It was a delight to eat, with a mattress of soppy noodles and greens, which nonetheless had chunk, beneath a quilt of tender and smoky pork loin slices, sprinkled with sesame seeds.
In every nook have been crispy wontons, which have been bite-sized parcels of pure pleasure.
To raise the dish even additional, it will have been nice to have some floor peanuts or peppers operating by way of the noodles for added texture.
My accomplice had the confit Gressingham duck legs, triple cooked chips and a Waldorf salad (£16.95).
It was an enormous portion and the meat shredded aside simply and had a crispy pores and skin.
It balanced with the candy and tangy Waldorf salad, which jogged my memory of the long-lasting Fawlty Towers episode, and the chunky chips have been scrumptious, although I used to be solely allowed to pinch two.
I used to be the one one to order a dessert, so I may pattern all components of the menu, and went for the chocolate profiteroles with sizzling butterscotch sauce (£6.95), which was served in a metallic martini glass.
They have been indulgent and an actual deal with, although most likely higher shared in case you are going the entire hog with starters and mains too as it is rather wealthy with the butterscotch sauce.
In addition to its cosy indoor area, the backyard was remodeled into an al fresco haven throughout lockdown, with an out of doors bar and eating pods. It’s only a stone’s throw from Horstead Mill, on the River Bure, and we had a stunning post-dinner stroll.
It value £81.55 for 2 starters, two mains, one dessert and 4 drinks, which included a cocktail. Though the mains have been on the pricier finish, with nearly all of meals priced between £15 and £20, is was value it because the meals high quality is great and the parts are very beneficiant.
An excellent collection of beers, spirits and wines and for the latter the menu had a listing of pairing options for the varied dishes. When you favor the cocktails, there are lots to select from together with an Espresso Martini, Mojito and Elderflower Collins.
The within of the pub is all on floor degree so entry is okay and there’s additionally loads of area within the backyard.
Regardless of it being busy, the employees have been very pleasant and we didn’t really feel rushed in any respect. They have been additionally nice coping with my boyfriend’s dairy allergy.
The Iberico pork loin noodle dish was like one thing you’ll get out of your favorite Chinese language takeaway however taken up a number of notches and it was filled with flavour.
A welcoming ambiance and a beautiful beer backyard, excellent for unwinding after a busy day, and an actual vacation spot pub value touring to from throughout Norfolk.
Our meals critiques are all the time unbiased. They’re the opinion of the reviewer primarily based on their expertise of the venue after they visited. The institution is just not conscious of our go to, is just not knowledgeable we intend to jot down a overview and payments are paid by the reviewer. The selection of locations reviewed can also be unbiased and isn’t primarily based on venues which do or don’t promote in our publications.
When you like that, strive these:
1) The Kings Head, Bawburgh
Set alongside the River Yare and situated simply exterior Norwich, it was named Norfolk Dining Pub of the Year by the Good Pub Guide in 2019. On provide are a variety of seasonal dishes, alongside grazing boards, and it additionally has a brand new al fresco eating space, which is roofed and heated for rainier days.
2) William and Florence, Norwich
This widespread Golden Triangle spot is an Adnams pub, so you’ll be able to anticipate loads of nice beers, and the menu consists of grazing boards, tartines and mains akin to confit dug leg ragù and baked pollock. There may be loads of seating in its newly-revamped backyard and its brunches are additionally very fashionable.
3) The Honingham Buck, Honingham
One other nice vacation spot pub in Norfolk, The Honingham Buck has been creating a buzz across the county since it reopened under new ownership in 2015, with Henry Watt, additionally behind SugarBeat Consuming Home in Swainsthorpe, in partnership with Yarmouth-based Lacons Brewery. Alongside pub classics, there are additionally every day specials and the Sunday roast is without doubt one of the greatest in Norfolk.