Samantha Mattocks enjoys Sunday lunch – Brasted’s style!
Where did you go?
We went along to see the lovely team at Brasted’s, a restaurant near Norwich, who are opening for Sunday lunch for the first time since the 1990s.
What’s the vibe?
The main restaurant at Brasted’s is welcoming and inviting. Its brickwork and timber frames are complemented by red walls and thick linen tablecloths. There is often a pianist, adding extra atmosphere. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that it is stuffy – Brasted’s is far from that.
Who’s in the team?
Ashley Bush is the Restaurant Manager, and it is he who welcomes you and makes sure that the first drink is delivered before the main menu has even been picked up. Managing Director Nick Mills is there behind the scenes, as is General Manager Sian de Waal. Executive Chef is Norfolk icon Chris ‘Buzz’ Busby, and under him are chefs George Powles and Ryan Petch. It is a young, vibrant team with great energy.
What do we need to know about the menu?
This will be a Sunday roast the like of which you have not yet experienced. There is a huge sense of theatre for those ordering the beef, and everything is local, seasonal, and full of flavour. There are indulgent delights and lighter options available to suit every palette.
What’s the price range?
Two courses are £24 and three come in at £29. As with everything at Brasted’s, the offering is very generous, and you most definitely do not leave hungry!
Mum went straight in with the twice-baked Godminster cheese soufflé served with seasoned cream and chopped chives. Hot, melting, indulgent and delicious, this ticked every box. Dad opted for the ham hock with caper and gherkin tartar, celeriac remoulade, and a sourdough crisp, which he found to be light and full of flavour. With my orange allergy, I was offered a starter from their dinner menu – garlic-scented tiger prawns served with sea vegetables, cherry tomato velouté, and spring onion shoots. Ashley wasn’t to know, but this is the kind of starter I love and it vanished rather quickly!
All three of us went for the sirloin of Acle grass-fed beef – the other roast options included sugar pit local pork loin, slow-cooked lamb rump, or roast chicken breast with herb stuffing. The beef arrived in some style at the table and was carved in front of us using a piece of Brasted’s history that truly added a sense of theatre to the occasion – John Brasted’s great-grandfather’s carving set made by Mossman & Sons of Edinburgh and dated 1825. All the roasts are served with family-style vegetables including braised red cabbage, cauliflower cheese gratin, tossed brassica fricassee, bashed swede, roasted spiced carrots, dripping roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings. Phew!
Brasted’s desserts are legendary and if you have room left, then they are definitely worth indulging in. Typical Mattocks-style, we shared desserts. Mum chose warm chocolate brownie with pistachio sponge, Italian meringue, and poached fruits, which was light, delicious, rich, and fresh all at the same time. I stayed true to my ability to never turn up a tarte tatin, and this classic French apple delight came with cider syrup and homemade vanilla iced cream. Delicious!
What about dietary requirements?
Hands down, Brasted’s is the best place I have ever been to when it comes to dietary requirements. If I tell you that Ashley makes sure that each diner receives a dietary-tailored menu showing what they can have, rather than what they can’t, that should tell you all you need to know.
Tell us about the drinks
The range of drinks on offer at Brasted’s is wide and varied, with a good focus on local gins and beers. Mum and I went for a French 75 on arrival – I think every time we make it out at the moment is a celebration – while dad enjoyed an Adnams dry hopped lager. With our meal, we enjoyed a surprisingly light and highly quaffable Sangiovese and at the end, not only double espressos but also a perfect Irish coffee were savoured along with some moreish chocolate truffles.
Anything else we need to know?
Brasted’s and their sister company Complete & Utter are the go-to people for weddings, parties, and events across not just Norfolk but beyond. Their team is young and full of energy, and the words ‘can’t’ or ‘no’ are not in their vocabulary. They manage to combine old world service and modern style with aplomb.
Relaxed elegance meets fine food, served in style with a smile. Perfection!