<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to EDP Norfolk today click here

Food review: Erpingham Arms

PUBLISHED: 11:28 04 April 2017

Erpingham Arms

Erpingham Arms


Living in a home where meat is infrequently served meant that Dominic Castle was anticipating a visit to the Erpingham Arms with particular relish

In an idle moment the other day I pondered on what advantages there are to being the passive half of a pescetarian household. Certainly I’m fond of a nice piece of salmon or cod and will travel a distance for a good prawn, but there are occasions (vegetarians look away now) when the soul cries for a good simple hunk of steak.

This is not a complaint against the driving force behind our fish-and-vegetable-based diet; the present Mrs Castle says she would be happy to cook meat for me but it seems a bit unfair to ask the poor girl to get busy with a bit of beef when she would clearly prefer not to. And thus weeks, months even, may pass without a meaty morsel passing my palate.

So when I landed the gig to review the Erpingham Arms I called up the online menu with a frisson of hope and there it was, a line of much promise - roasted beef fillet, mushroom puree, fondant potato, celeriac, red wine jus.

The steak is a deceptively simple thing, easy to get right, easy to get very wrong. Anyone who orders it in a restaurant they’ve not eaten in before does so with a little tingle of anticipation. Is the beef good quality, is it the right age, cut properly, rested for just the right length of time? Does the chef know his or her fillet from their elbow?

I’m here to say that as far as Erpingham goes, all answers are in the affirmative. My steak came exactly as I’d imagined, caramelised to perfection on the outside, cooked precisely as requested on the inside. I’m pushing against the fashionable tide here but I don’t like meat that quivers; I’m not a vampire or a zombie so don’t like it raw, if that’s all the same.

It was actually the best steak I can recall eating for a very long time indeed, and while it was the Oscar-winner of the plate the supporting cast of vegetables and an exquisite mushroom puree were up to the task. It was simple fare, excellently done and one can ask no more. A thoroughly decent Merlot added to the experience.

The warm-up had been pretty fine as well; scallops with a wonderfully soft, creamy pearl barley risotto, and a cheekily sharp crunch of apple. My pescetarian friend selected wild mushroom, spinach and ricotta ravioli with a leek veloute, declaring it very flavoursome indeed though observing - she’s a keen MasterChef viewer - that the pasta could have been a little thinner and the ravioli better sealed.

She selected the monkfish for her main course - medallions, squash fondant, braised leeks, thyme beurre blanc - and was a happy fish-eater.

So to dessert. Anything with the words ‘sticky’ and ‘toffee’ in the name is a self-selecting choice for me and sticky toffee apple crumble tart, honey and vanilla mascarpone and toffee apple, pushes many buttons. Mrs C had a retro moment and chose a baked Alaska with kirsch-soaked cherries.

Both were good; my choice had plenty of good flavour and textures and herself enjoyed the supersoft meringue and small, sweet, boozy cherries, though - MasterChef again - felt that the base could have slimmed down a bit.

The pub, under new management, is certainly a smart destination, bang on trend with decor and possessing a tremendous log-burner for which we were grateful on the chilly February night of our visit. Service was OK, friendly enough, if a little absent-minded.

Back in the day Mrs C used to reside near Erpingham when the pub was called the Spread Eagle; why the name was changed is anyone’s guess but it has certainly grown wings.

Expect to pay

Starters from £6.25 to £7.50

Main courses from £13.95 to £19.95

Desserts from £6.25 to £8.50


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other EDP Norfolk Magazine visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by EDP Norfolk Magazine staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique EDP Norfolk Magazine account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More From Food & Drink

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Casual restaurant Socius is North Norfolk’s newest eatery which encourages sharing with its menu of modern British, tapas-style dishes

Read more
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Nothing is more British than the fish and chip shop. Whether you prefer enjoying them by the seafront or slouching on your sofa, Norfolk has got you covered

Read more
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Norwich has an eclectic list of restaurants, including fantastic Italian joints serving some of the best pizza around. We have gathered five places in Norwich for pizza

Read more
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Once the home of Colman’s mustard, Stoke Mill has always had a strong connection with the Norfolk food scene – and this highly regarded restaurant is worthy of its heritage

Read more
March 2018
Monday, February 26, 2018

Norfolk’s coastlines provide walks with endless stretches of beaches, marshes and open skies. We’ve gathered some top walks with fantastic pubs along the way

Read more
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Restaurant owner and dessert aficionado Stephanie Garbutt shares her Super Seven picks from podcasts and fashion to food and must-see binge-watch TV

Read more
February 2018
Friday, February 16, 2018

Fluffy scones heaped with jam and clotted cream, dainty finger sandwiches and maybe a glass of bubbles. We have picked 10 pretty tea rooms in Norfolk to go for afternoon tea

Read more
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Ali Barwick, owner of award-winning Season’s Bounty, creates over 25 types of marmalade and her newest venture is made with ale

Read more
February 2018
Monday, January 29, 2018

Chef director at The Assembly House in Norwich, Richard Hughes, shares his fabulous pheasant recipe with step-by-step pictures

Read more
January 2018
Monday, January 22, 2018

Norwich is home to many a tea room and coffee house doing exciting things with hot drinks. We have gathered 15 of the best places to go for a coffee in the ‘fine city’

Read more
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Norfolk's trusted business finder

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search