Review: How did The View restaurant at All Saints Hotel in Fornham St Genevieve stand up to its boast of producing the 'best Sunday roast in Suffolk'?
What's your favourite meal of the week? A cheeky Tuesday takeaway or a Friday fish dish?
Mine always has to be Sunday roast - heck, I even like one in the week. Yes, headline news: a roast isn't just for Sundays.
So when one local chef bragged that his Sunday roast dinner was the 'best in Suffolk', I simply had to put his claims to the test.
Now, I'm no chef. But when it comes to roast potatoes, I know my King Edwards from my Maris Pipers and I know which make the best roasties.* I also know that I don't like a lot of faffing with roasties - good, crisp outside and fluffy insides. So was All Saints' The View head chef David Coyne up to his boast?
We arrived on a regular Sunday in early December, hungry and expectant. No breakfast. Just a couple of big appetites.
The View sits in an enviable spot overlooking the superb 18-hole course and we enjoyed watching some Sunday action which didn't all go to plan on one or two occasions.
But back in the restaurant, things looked calm and we opted (sensibly) for a two-course Sunday lunch (£19). I love risotto so the sound of the Butternut risotto with truffle honey and pickled vegetables caught the eye. What a delicious fusion of creamy arborio rice and squash. The parmesan crisp shavings on top cut through the creaminess and while rice can be a challenge for filling you up too quick, this dish was just right and looked like a picture.
My partner opted for the River Deben Mussels steeped in Aspalls cider, chilli, parsley and homemade focaccia. The dish was one to savour with every last drop of creamy sauce being lapped up. The mussels were both plump and numerous.
As this was a Sunday roast road test, we opted for both the turkey roast dinner and the beef option.
My beef version came with a huge Yorkshire pudding, roast carrot and parsnip, seasonal greens and the largest roast potatoes you can imagine. Crispy and fluffy - they were a triumph. We had a bowl of cauliflower cheese to share and it proved the perfect side dish. I love beef - but don't like it cooked into submission, so The View's juicy but just off-pink cuts suited me down to the ground.
My partner's Norfolk turkey roast came with the same vegetables but with the addition of very tasty pigs in blankets. Turkey can sometimes be dry but this was moist and there was heaps on the plate.
For other palates, the main menu extends to pork belly, beetroot angolotti and pan-fried hake.
You can limit yourself to simply having a main (£15) or go all out with three course for £24. Desserts include Apple tarte tatin, chocolate brownie, blackberry parfait, chocolate croissant pudding or an East Anglian cheese board. How on earth anyone can manage three courses is a bit of a mystery, but give it a try.
So was it the best in Suffolk? Well there's the rub - I guess there are hundreds of restaurants in the county all producing fine Sunday roasts and I've not tried them all (yet) but for ambiance, tastes, service, quality produce and the height on that Yorkshire, I can't imagine many will come very close.
Sunday lunch at The View is available from noon to 3pm. More via www.allsaintshotel.com
*Maris Piper: Source, BBC Good Food, December 2018