<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">
CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to EDP Norfolk today click here

Food review: The Wildebeest, Stoke Holy Cross

PUBLISHED: 16:12 02 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:12 02 October 2017

The Wildebeest, Stoke Holy Cross, near Norwich (photo: Steve Adams)

The Wildebeest, Stoke Holy Cross, near Norwich (photo: Steve Adams)

Steve Adams 2017 : 07398 238853

The Wildebeest in Stoke Holy Cross has been a fixture on the Norfolk pub scene for decades - so how does it fare as a fine dining experience?

Stylish interior at The Wildebeest (photo: Steve Adams) Stylish interior at The Wildebeest (photo: Steve Adams)

On a Thursday night in the rain, the Wildebeest is buzzing, with most tables full and plenty of people propping up the bar – always a good sign in a local pub.

But this is a lot more than a local pub. The team here very much have their eye on the prize - the foodie accolades and awards.

The Wildebeest has long been a familiar name on the Norfolk pub and restaurant scene and there is always a familiar nod when you mention its name. But in recent years it has had mixed fortunes, that is until it was taken over by the team behind The Ingham Swan and the Warwick Street Social in the city - with award-winning chef patron Daniel Smith at the helm.

Starter Starter

And his influence shows the minute you walk through the door. A glimpse at the menu tells you this is all about fine dining - it virtually spells it out. There are emulsions, crumbs, puffs and confit, unusual vegetables are delicately pickled and the temperature at which the fish is poached is proudly stated for all to see.

But the tag here is ‘relaxed fine dining’ and for all the fanciness of the dishes, it is still very much a pub atmosphere, with old wooden floors, mis-shapen hunks of polished wood as its tables and a bar at its centre.

And you don’t have to go down the a la carte route, you can opt for the set lunch or dinner de jour – a two or three course set menu offering great value. The A La Carte menu though is fabulously varied and is packed with intriguing, exciting dishes with a clear focus on local, seasonal ingredients.

Mains Mains

For starters we opted for the locally foraged Chanterelle mushrooms, crispy Wissington polenta, broad beans, puff potato, parsley cress and herb oil, and the duo of Dingley Dell pork; glazed cheek and bacon, apple, sage, pork puff.

Both dishes looked beautiful and tasted pretty good to - the polenta and puff potato were delicious and a great contrast in texture from the mushrooms, which were not quite salty enough or as deep in earthy flavour as you would perhaps want. The pork was tender and beautifully cooked and you can’t go wrong pairing it with its roast dinner bedfellows, sage and apple – the only complaint was that there could have been more!

For main course, there was only one choice for my husband – the char-grilled beef fillet, truffled mash potato, local Swiss chard, salsa verde, Tacons Romanesque and purple cauliflower, pine nuts and red wine jus.

Fine dining at The Wildebeest Fine dining at The Wildebeest

And what a dish it is; the beef was mouth-wateringly tender; the truffled mash potato rich and wonderfully pungent and the Romanesqe and purple cauliflower the perfect accompaniment.

For me it was the poached halibut – cooked at 56°C (I know this as it shouts at you from the menu), with a crispy bacon crumb, garlic and chive potato gnocchi, broad beans, peas, pancetta, pickled shallots and tarragon cream.

The fish was cooked perfectly, firm but delicate and the bacon crumb, pancetta and delicious broad beans added a salty and sweet flavour. Special mention also goes to the fabulously hearty gnocchi and the tarragon cream which brought it all together.

Dessert Dessert

The dessert menu at the Wildebeest is short but sweet and matched with a fabulous selection of cheeses – you can pick and choose according to your taste and create your own plate which is a nice touch.

But for us it was to be a sweet end to the meal, with the absolutely luscious lemon meringue honeycomb, Chantilly cream and pistachio crumb and the ridiculously rich dark chocolate marquise, accompanied with crème fraiche, caramelised oranges, blood orange sorbet, tempered chocolate and chocolate soil. The caramelised oranges and blood orange sorbet were a sensational match with the marquise; it was dish you didn’t want to end.

The food at the Wildebeest is excellent, the atmosphere is buzzing and it is hard to find fault - but sometimes you can’t help wonder that when it comes to all those fancy elements, that sometimes less is somehow more.

Expect to pay

‘Taste of Norfolk Menu’ - £45pp (optional wine flight £22.50pp)

Lunch de jour – Two Courses £17.50; Three Courses £22.50

Dinner de jour - Two Courses £23.50; Three Courses £28

A la Carte:

Starters: from £8

Mains: from £16.50

Desserts: from £7

82-86 Norwich Rd, Stoke Holy Cross, NR14 8QJ, 01508 492497; thewildebeest.co.uk

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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, December 14, 2017

Daddy Donuts in Norwich has started a delivery service of gourmet donuts which can be delivered to your home or office

Read more
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Whether you’re catching up with friends or heading out for after-work drinks, we had to recommend these 12 exciting cocktail bars in Norwich for you to try

Read more
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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
Thursday, December 7, 2017

Escape to a cosy pub in Norfolk this winter, the perfect place to find sanctuary after a long walk on a cold afternoon. We have picked 17 of the best cosy pubs in Norfolk

Read more
Monday, December 4, 2017

For the team at Godwick Turkeys, winners of the Field to Fork award sponsored by Easton and Otley College, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year

Read more
Monday, December 4, 2017

Winners of this year’s Outstanding Front of House category, sponsored by Broadland Wineries, the team at Benedicts restaurant in Norwich share their tips to ensure your Christmas is full of fun, indulgence and sparkle

Read more
Monday, December 4, 2017

Winners of the Best Newcomer award, sponsored by Zaks, Figbar is a dessert lover’s delight – and at Christmas it blends traditions from both sides of the Atlantic

Read more
Monday, December 4, 2017

What better place to sample a great festive cake than at Heydon Village Tea Shop, winner of the Best Afternoon Tea award, sponsored by Castlemeadow Care

Read more
Monday, December 4, 2017

Christmas is all about precious family time for Alex Clare, winner of the Chef of the Year award, sponsored by City College Norwich

Read more
Monday, December 4, 2017

Marcus Seaman and Amelia Nicholson, owners of The Brisley Bell, will be celebrating with locals this Christmas after scooping the Best Pub award, sponsored by Lacons Brewery

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
EDP Norfolk Application Link

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Norfolk's trusted business finder

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search