Shar­ing, car­ing and dar­ing

If you be­lieve eat­ing should be a shared so­cial ex­pe­ri­ence, bring­ing peo­ple to­gether over de­li­cious food – look no fur­ther than So­cius

EDP Norfolk - - Eating Out - WORDS: Rachel Buller PHO­TOS: Gary Sum­mers/SMD photography

While un­de­ni­ably charm­ing, Burn­ham Mar­ket has never quite made it to the top of my list of favourite Nor­folk places.

But after eat­ing at one of its new­est restau­rants on a warm sum­mer’s evening, I am see­ing it in a new light. The crowds had gone home, there was a lovely buzz in the air with peo­ple milling about, the his­toric build­ings looked be­guil­ing as the last sun of the day bathed them in light and it felt like a place which de­served its rep­u­ta­tion among many.

So­cius means shar­ing in Latin and that is ex­actly what this am­bi­tious new ven­ture is all about – get­ting to­gether with friends and fam­ily and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the plea­sure in eat­ing to­gether.

Tucked just off the main cen­tre in Foundry Place, the build­ing com­bines tra­di­tional flint style with more than a hint of Scan­di­na­vian de­sign flair. Light and airy with the kitchen fash­ion­ably open for all to see, the restau­rant was ab­so­lutely buzzing when we ar­rived with a great mix of peo­ple from across the gen­er­a­tions.

The menu is sim­ple, mod­ern, sea­sonal Bri­tish tapas with a Nor­folk twist and more than a hint of fine din­ing fi­nesse. The small plates meant for shar­ing look as beau­ti­ful and en­tic­ing as they taste. There is an ex­cel­lent, and af­ford­able, choice of wine and beer, in­clud­ing plenty of lo­cal sup­pli­ers.

Know­ing ex­actly where to start and how much to or­der is the trick, but the fan­tas­tic, friendly staff are happy to of­fer ad­vice – and re­fresh­ingly, there is no push­ing ex­tra food on you for the sake of a sale. The team is at­ten­tive but not in­tru­sive and the whole place has a great, re­laxed vibe.

We chose six dishes from the main menu and a cheeky lit­tle dish of juicy, sticky king prawns with just the right amount of sweet chilli from the ‘drink­ing snacks’ menu. The food comes as it is ready and you can steadily graze your way through the dishes – some come one at a time, some to­gether. This rather un­hur­ried ap­proach to eat­ing only adds to the re­laxed at­mos­phere.

After pol­ish­ing off the prawns, the So­cius cured salmon, beet­root and horse­rad­ish ar­rived – fresh and de­li­cious, the

‘This rather un­hur­ried ap­proach to eat­ing only adds to the re­laxed at­mos­phere’

beet­root ketchup added a sharp vine­gary tang against the hit of the horse­rad­ish and cool­ness of the chopped cu­cum­ber. The tuna tartare with spicy ai­oli and pick­les, served with crispy toast, was packed with re­fresh­ing flavour and just the right amount of heat.

For a spot of in­dul­gence, if the bur­rata, toma­toes and wild gar­lic pesto is on the menu, or­der it at once. This heav­enly dish came in a hearty bowl with a large ball of rich creamy bu­ratta – the outer shell of moz­zarella burst­ing and the strac­ciatella and cream in­side ooz­ing out.

With the flavour packed, juicy toma­toes and rich gar­licky pesto, it was some­thing to savour.

Our fi­nal three dishes came to­gether – So­cius house rubbed chips, Nor­folk quail with charred sweet­corn and calves liver with caramelised onions. The liver was my hus­band’s choice, but I couldn’t re­sist try­ing some. Ten­der and rich in flavour, the earth­i­ness matched per­fectly with the sweet­ness of the gooey onions, per­fect with the chunky chips. The quail was served with a sticky, cus­tardy sweet­corn puree – ab­so­lutely de­li­cious – with the bite of charred sweet­corn on top.

Was there room for dessert? It seemed wrong to refuse. I opted for the pas­sion fruit curd, pas­sion fruit rip­ple, sable biscuit and Ital­ian meringue, served with an abun­dance of rasp­ber­ries. Sharp, tangy and sweet all at the same time – the curd was par­tic­u­larly mor­eish. My hus­band went for the cheese and bis­cuits, which, as you might ex­pect, fea­tures a choice of some fa­mil­iar lo­cals – in­clud­ing Mrs Tem­ple’s Bin­ham Blue and Copys Cloud.

We stepped out into the peace and quiet of the warm night air, and an idyl­lic Burn­ham Mar­ket, feel­ing suitably full and re­laxed and vow­ing to re­turn.

11 Foundry Place, Burn­ham Mar­ket, PE31 8LG, 01328 738307, so­cius­nor­folk.co.uk

Cured salmon with beet­root and horse­rad­ish

TOP: De­li­cious desserts

ABOVE RIGHT: Mod­ern in­te­rior

ABOVE LEFT: Tra­di­tional flint build

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.