Wells Maltings Café | www.wellsmaltings.org.uk
Kate Cleaver tells us a bit more about the new look bistro at Wells Maltings in North Norfolk
Wells Maltings’ Bistro looks set to become a key player in the town’s foodie scene with an exciting new menu with an emphasis on local produce, and a new hospitality boss, Steven Smith.
Steven brings a wealth of experience, gleaned from more than 30 years in hospitality, working around the world, with senior positions in Sydney, Auckland and the Caribbean.
Born and raised in North Norfolk, he is incredibly happy to be back in his home county and says that he has fallen back in love with the area’s openness, big skies and natural beauty, commenting: ‘The beaches are on a par with some of the best in the Caribbean.’
He wants the meals served at the town centre venue to complement and add to the fantastic range of restaurant and fast food now available in the area. Referring to the famous quay-side restaurants, he jokes: ‘We thought we might get run out of town if we served fish and chips!’
So rather than compete, he is offering dishes which appeal to vegans and vegetarians as well as including sausages from Arthur Howell – the butcher, also Staithe Street.
He says: ‘We aim to provide international flavours with an element of familiarity. For example, one of the dishes on our new menu is a vegetarian miso ramen with smoked tofu, topped by locally-supplied poached eggs.
‘And our pancakes, made with spirulina and buckwheat, are becoming strong favourites. They are gluten-free as well as delicious!’
With the Wells Malting director Simon Daykin, a self confessed coffee fanatic, they are also offering a range of hot spiced drinks and coffees, stocking up wherever possible from local stores.
Steven says: ‘Despite the widely-reported problems some catering establishments have had getting supplies following the pandemic, I am glad to say that we have had no issues. We use local fresh ingredients rather than pre-made items, which are much easier to get hold of, especially fruit and veg.’
Their idea is to differ from the local pub scene with carefully selected wines and craft beers. The wine offered is from small vineyards, rather than big labels, with much of the selection vegan or vegetarian.
Steven says: ‘Once all our staff are on board and fully trained up, and government restrictions allow, we will start to plan evening food. It may be just for show nights for pre-theatre food, or for a more general offering. But as we see an increase in customers coming in for drinks on show nights, we will push ourselves to open on more evenings.’
- The venue is also planning a series of talks from local suppliers including Archangel Gin on July 15 and Burn Valley Vineyard on August 19. Tickets are £6.