Lunch in Lynn was a spec­tac­u­lar treat fit for a king, writes Rowan Man­tell

EDP Norfolk - - INSIDE - Mar­ket Bistro 11 Satur­day Mar­ket Place King’s Lynn PE30 5DQ 01553 771483 mar­ket­

We dine out at Mar­ket Bistro in King’s Lynn

When a neigh­bour is one of the most stun­ning build­ings in the county and you are op­po­site the twin­tow­ered me­dieval marvel that is Lynn Min­ster, you have to be pretty spe­cial to stand out.

And, just along from the daz­zling flint façade of the Guild­hall, Mar­ket Bistro does stand out. Award-win­ning, colour sup­ple­ment-star­ring, there’s been a buzz around Mar­ket Bistro for a while now.

A lot of res­tau­rants pro­fess to love lo­cal, but Mar­ket Bistro is a place to be­come be­sot­ted with lo­cal. The set lunch menu, £20 for two cour­ses, £26 for three, was packed with Nor­folk in­gre­di­ents, but the tone was not ob­ses­sive or stri­dent, sim­ply us­ing lo­cal fare where pos­si­ble to cre­ate a menu where ev­ery dish be­came a com­pelling com­pi­la­tion of flavours, tex­tures, meth­ods and, quite pos­si­bly, magic.

Our set lunch be­gan with a prestarter ball of de­li­cious­ness which con­tained a morsel of pork, some crumb and a cou­ple of pi­quant dabs of sauce. It set the tone for a lunch to be savoured slowly. The starter of squid noo­dles was served with pick­led veg­eta­bles and tem­pura mus­sels, with dashi (Ja­panese fish) broth, poured at the ta­ble.

For the main course my hus­band en­joyed Nor­folk pheas­ant breast, ac­com­pa­nied by a Nor­folk Win­birri red wine and I had the beet­root op­tion. Some­times a dish fo­cussed on a large slice of veg­etable can look as if the veg cen­tre­piece has been subbed on for meat, pro­moted from side-of-the-plate to star po­si­tion. This was very dif­fer­ent. The hunk of ten­der­tex­tured beet­root was ob­vi­ously monarch of the meal, with an ar­ray of other veg­eta­bles danc­ing de­li­cious at­ten­dance. It looked beau­ti­ful too with colours rang­ing from beet­root pur­ple to pink tinged discs of cele­riac and deep green fronds and leaves. Along­side the recog­nis­able veg­eta­bles were small mounds of cau­li­flower mousse and beet­root hum­mus, their smooth­ness set off by smoked beet­root, del­i­cate pick­les and sweet, crunchy grains which turned out to be caramelise­d onion.

Howard’s pheas­ant was en­hanced by con­fit parsnip, sprouts, red cab­bage and wal­nut. When eat­ing out I tend to choose some­thing I could not make at home. I think ev­ery sin­gle el­e­ment of this com­pli­cated menu qual­i­fied.

The set lunch dessert was a creamy, le­mony curd brûlée with laven­der and black­berry. Howard had cof­fee, and a fine range of petit fours served in a faux-book hinged box.

The dé­cor is cosy – wooden floor­boards and beams, walls of deep blue-grey, sub­dued light­ing. Out­side, a win­try day had turned to dusk as we lin­gered over a lunch to re­mem­ber and left know­ing that, set among the ex­cep­tion­ally fine ar­chi­tec­ture of his­toric King’s Lynn, Mar­ket Bistro is a gem. Our re­view vis­its are unan­nounced and we pay for our meals.

Pic­ture: Ian Burt

ABOVE AND RIGHT:The Mar­ket Bistro in King’s Lynn, owned by Richard and Lucy Gold­ing.

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