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Monday, September 26, 2011
If it’s good enough for Johnny Depp, it’s good enough for us. SIMON GOTTS ventures across the Norfolk Suffolk border to sample The Fox and Goose at Fressingfield.
My colleague’s expression was one of amused surprise – an arched eyebrow and a mischievous smile. Roger Moore wore it during his reign as 007 James Bond delivering memorable one-liners. But this time the look was because I was eating at The Fox and Goose. “I hope your wallet’s full. And you’d better make sure you’ve got your best bib and tucker on,” he said giving my office attire a contemptuous glance.
This restaurant at Fressingfield has been regarded as one of the best in the region and, rumour has it, frequented by the rich and famous. It is said actor Johnny Depp has been seen there.
The Fox and Goose is located in the heart of the Waveney Valley in the village of Fressingfield right on the Suffolk Norfolk border. It’s a traditional inn dating back to the 16th century, and was taken over by proprietor chef Paul Yaxley in 2002.
On arriving, my girlfriend and I went to the bar for drinks and to look at the menu. The a la carte menu looked enticing. Starters included Parma ham with pea mousse, celeriac remoulade, parmesan shavings and a mustard dressing, and crab salad with pickled cucumber, citrus cream and sesame seed toast.
The restaurant has a policy of always trying to source the ingredients they use locally, and they using many of the farmers, Paul first met when he was doing cooking demonstrations at local farmer’s markets. Most of their suppli-ers live and work within a six mile radius of Fressingfield. Clearly they believe in fork-to-farm.
Main courses included loin of Alburgh lamb with a herb crust and lamb jus, and fillet of halibut with cauliflower fritters, curried potatoes and a curried lime vinaigrette.
My partner chose calves’ liver with peach and almond chutney, fennel remoulade and a cherry vinaigrette to start, followed by fillet of beef with shallot puree, a green bean and tomato confit salad, mille feuille potatoes, pepper-corn and tarragon pesto. I went for king prawn tempura with a tomato and cucumber salad and coriander cress, followed by fillet of monkfish, served on runner beans, samphire and sauté potatoes, with a citrus, caper and mint vinaigrette.
Starter prices are £5.50 to £7.25, main courses £12.95 to £20.50. A pub menu has starters £4.75 to £5.50 and mains £8.95 to £16.95.
We were led to a downstairs dining room, which was cosy and atmospheric with a view of the church. The Fox and Goose also has an upstairs dining area.
We were served with warm rolls and butter along with a complimentary, miniature bowl of gazpacho soup.
My prawn tempura, with its light, tasty batter, went well with the salsa and coriander cress. My partner enjoyed the rich, melt-in-the-mouth liver which sat well with the sweet, fruity chutney.
On to the mains then and my partner was in raptures over the beef. As requested it was rare, pink and succulent. My monkfish was moist and tasty and the vinaigrette packed a flavoursome, citrus punch. The vegetables were also perfectly cooked.
I wasn’t going to manage dessert but the lure of chocolate tempted my companion who chose chocolate mousse with beetroot ice-cream and raspberry coulis and proclaimed it one of the best desserts she’d ever eaten.
The final bill came to £74.80 – not overpriced for great food and great service in very pleasant surroundings.
We didn’t see Johnny Depp though.
Or Roger Moore for that matter.
THE FOX AND GOOSE
Opening times: Food served Tues-Fri 12-2pm/7-7.30pm; Sat 12-1.45pm/7-8.30pm, Sun 12-2pm/6.30-8.15pm
Prices: Starters from £4.95, mains from £12.95, desserts from £4.50, Sunday lunch two-courses £15.95
Vegetarian options: Good selection
Wheelchair access: The restaurant is now upstairs, however there is another dining area downstairs with disabled facilities.