Opinion: Food critic clearly hasn’t paid a visit to West Norfolk

In this week’s From The Newsroom comment piece, Jeremy Ransome writes in praise of the borough’s eateries…

I read a comment piece in a national newspaper recently that was written by a food critic who clearly hasn’t paid a visit to West Norfolk recently.

Columnist Emily Watkins’ piece in the i was headlined ‘Say goodbye to joyless British meals’ and she went on to label our fare ‘unappetising, uninspired and flavourless’.

One of the lovely dishes we enjoyed at the Crown & Mitre on Friday
One of the lovely dishes we enjoyed at the Crown & Mitre on Friday

Now, I don’t know where she’s been eating out, but it’s certainly not in one of our towns or villages – for we are choc-a-bloc with great places to dine.

I love a curry and I’m a big fan of Thai food too, with King’s Lynn Tandoori and the Dawinee Thai Restaurant, both in Gaywood, among my favourite places to eat. The Mediterranean dishes at Mem’s Kitchen in Lynn’s Saturday Market Place and High Street are superb too – but there’s an abundance of places serving great English food.

On Friday my wife and I enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Crown & Mitre in Lynn, and I recently took one of my grown-up daughters to the King William in Sedgeford and we were both bowled over by the taste, presentation and variety of food on offer. Yes, of course they offered the pie or meat and two veg quoted by Ms Watkins – but I enjoyed SunBlush Tomato Gnocchi, with marinara sauce, toasted pine nuts and prosociano cheese.

Another amazing dining experience this summer was at The Dabbling Duck in Great Massingham, where my corn seitan with sour cream waffle, shack salsa verde and Mexican bean salad was mouthwateringly gorgeous. My wife was equally impressed with her pan-roasted pollock, with saffron confit potatoes in a herb sauce.

In recent months I’ve also had a wonderful Quorn roast at Brancaster Staithe’s Jolly Sailors, a tasty chickpea, sweet potato and spinach curry at the Golden Lion in Hunstanton and slightly further afield, a beautiful vegetarian lasagne at The Anchor in Sutton Bridge.

Lynn News colleagues have come back from our regular Eat My Words food reviews with similar enthusiasm for English restaurants, giving glowing reports to places such as the Rose and Crown in Harpley, Jacks, of Woodlakes, Stowbridge, The Nelson in Clenchwarton, The Wildfowler in Terrington St Clement and the Rose and Crown in Snettisham.

The list could go on and on. We are blessed with fine places to eat here – with food inspired by England and further afield – don’t let anyone tell you any different.