Wild& WON­DER­FUL

Dis­cover The Wilde­beest for a lux­u­ri­ous treat you’re cer­tain to en­joy, says Ju­dith Palmer

EDP Norfolk - - Eating Out -

Smart and stylish, The Wilde­beest stands out from its sur­round­ings with a ter­race and well kept topiary lit up with fairy lights. But its tra­di­tional ex­te­rior does lit­tle to hint at the mar­vels that await you in­side this Stoke Holy Cross pub restau­rant. On our ar­rival, we were met by staff be­hind a well stocked and beau­ti­fully de­signed bar, be­yond which we could see into the kitchen, where Nor­folk­born award-win­ning Chef Pa­tron Daniel Smith (who is also chef at the Ing­ham Swan and who bought The Wilde­beest with his busi­ness part­ner Gre­gory Ad­jemian in April) is busy work­ing his magic. The gor­geous aro­mas that ra­di­ate from there hit me as soon as I walked through the door, set­ting my mouth wa­ter­ing.

Rus­tic ta­bles made from large cuts of thick wood and wrought iron, along with chan­de­liers and Nor­folk art­work make this a chic and spe­cial din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

I am renowned among fam­ily and friends for be­ing very picky with my choices at res­tau­rants, but the menu’s de­scrip­tions made it al­most im­pos­si­ble to not want every­thing! My part­ner Nathan chose to try the pan fried pi­geon breast, with puy lentils, pancetta and red cur­rants (£8.50) for starters, while I de­cided to go for the crispy pork belly with pulled pork frit­ter, shal­lot puree, charred ar­ti­chokes and shal­lot rings (£7.95). Th­ese ar­rived promptly and on colour­ful plates; pre­sen­ta­tion is ob­vi­ously set to a high stan­dard as the dishes both looked as stun­ning as they tasted. My pork belly was maybe a lit­tle more fat to meat than I would have ex­pected but tasted very ten­der. It was com­ple­mented beau­ti­fully by the stun­ning pulled pork frit­ter and the shal­lot rings and puree gave a beau­ti­ful flavour. Nathan’s pi­geon - which the waitress had ad­vised would be served pink - melted in the mouth and sat on a

Head Chef & Pa­tron Daniel

Smith

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