Restaurant review: Brasted's, Framingham Pigot
PUBLISHED: 11:08 14 August 2017
On an idyllic, warm summer's evening with the sun starting to sink in the sky, Brasted's feels like a pretty wonderful place to enjoy extraordinarily good food and exemplary service
Nestled among a complex of pretty barns, down a tree lined driveway off a winding Norfolk country lane there is a definite sense of getting away from it all, of allowing yourself to be swept up in the atmosphere of a very special dining experience when you arrive at Brasted’s.
From the moment you walk in, it is impossible not to feel welcome – the restaurant has an almost legendary reputation for delivering excellent customer service and it is not hard to see why.
We are shown to an inviting sofa and there is a gentle hubbub in the bar and it is clear that many of the customers are regulars as staff come over for a chat with handshakes and smiles aplenty, in between taking orders and offering advice.
Brasted’s offers the whole gastronomic package, from the imaginative set menu complete with lovely little surprise complementary additions to the attentive but not intrusive (always a tricky thing to balance) service.
With our wine – the wine and cocktail list is excellent – come the canapés; mini bruschettas and a tender slice of pigeon with raspberry sauce. A delicious start.
There is no hurry here. No rush for you to order and then to frogmarch you to your table, everything is done at a relaxing pace.
While the restaurant is very traditional in its style from its exposed brick, deep red walls and old beams to the pianist accompanying proceedings – any fears that it might feel stuffy are quickly allayed. If anything it is quite the opposite, with a great, light hearted atmosphere.
Service at our table starts with a little amuse bouche – a tasty morsel of hake with a dill crumb served in a mushroom broth. It is deliciously salty, and the delicate hake works perfectly with the strong, deep flavour of the mushroom.
Palette primed, we are ready for our starters. For me, Ellie’s Norfolk quail breast and leg Kiev with charred spring onions, baby broad beans and a smoked chicken consommé. The smoky flavour of the consommé with the garlicky taste of the Kiev is delicious and the quail is perfectly moist. For my husband it is the North Sea mackerel, torched and home smoked with lemon bergamot, squid ink crumb, spinach meringue and Granny Smith apple. It is a real taste of the sea and like the quail, the food looks as beautiful as it tastes.
Choosing a main course was a tricky business. Roasted brill, Gressingham duck, charred Pollock – all equally tempting, but we opt for Swannington’s succulent beef fillet and braised cheek with pancetta lardons, baby vegetables and smoked pommes puree, and the pork fillet saltimbocca with bacon jam, crisp pork cheek, Parisienne potatoes, quince gel and mustard jus.
While this might be fine dining, there is no scrimping on the portions. The beef is as succulent as promised and the braised cheek is mouth-wateringly good. The pork fillet saltimbocca – wrapped in sage leaves and pancetta – is so tender, as is the cheek, that it falls apart. The bacon jam and mustard give the dish a little salty kick.
It is hard to imagine how we will fit one in – but as the menu dictates – these are Brasted’s legendary desserts so it would be rude not to sample them.
Before that we are served another little treat – our pre-dessert, a rum-infused charred piece of pineapple served in a coconut and lime foam. So delicious, I could have eaten a whole bowl full.
For the dessert, the passion fruit cheese cake with matcha green tea sponge, mango sorbet and passionfruit granita was indulgently creamy, with the sweetness of the passionfruit running rich through it. Paired with the unusual texture of the almost crispy green tea sponge and sour mango sorbet it was a taste sensation.
My husband’s chocolate Genoise with a dark chocolate ganache, kirsch cherry gel, meringue and vanilla mascarpone was as decadent as it gets – the dense sponge, the rich, gooey ganache and the mascarpone all offset by the sharp cherry gel would be a chocolate lover’s heaven.
Full to bursting, we were ready to re-emerge back into the warm evening air – but not before we squeezed in a final treat of the night, a choice of beautiful, enticing truffles in a rainbow of flavours. A reminder of a wonderful evening.
Expect to pay
Brasted’s restaurant is open for dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
£39 for two courses; £48 for three courses; £56 for four courses – includes canapés, amuse bouche & pre dessert.
Brasted’s, Manor Farm Barns, Framingham Pigot, NR14 7PZ, 01508 491112, www.brasteds.co.uk