"Posh" fish and chip restaurant opens in Hunstanton
PUBLISHED: 19:00 10 July 2019
Local beer and wine, homemade fish cakes and pies, and ice cream made on site are all on the menu at Henry's.
"Come to Hunstanton - it is a fantastic town."
That's the clarion call from Jane Wallis, who's just opened a brand new fish and chip restaurant, Henry's of Hunstanton, in what was the old Heritage Centre.
"It's our time," the businesswoman (who's run the pavilion next door for 15 years) says. "We've got fun for the children, a fantastic beach and great shops. It's really time people came to visit because it's a brilliant place and it's just getting nicer and nicer which is why we've done Henry's here."
Jane is clearly passionate about the coastal town she grew up in, and she's had her eye on the Heritage Centre for a while. "When we knew it was going to go on the market we had to have it," she smiles, "we've always wanted it and thought of all the things we could do with it. But we sell our own ice cream next door so it seemed pretty perfect to turn it into a posh fish and chip shop!"
The team have been on the go since March, trying to prepare the new shop, which has created 30 brand new part-time, full-time and seasonal jobs. An extension was built at the front, a new commercial kitchen's gone in and what Jane calls "amazing" feature lighting's been hung over the dining space, which seats up to 60.
"It's really lovely inside. We've got lots of wood panelling on the walls, and herringbone parquet flooring, and Victorian style tiles in the walkway and takeaway area. We've gone for a clean and fresh look rather than theming the place."
Henry's will, Jane says, pride itself on making as much as possible from scratch, using local producers, from Cole's of King's Lynn, to the greengrocer down the street for fruit and vegetables, and sausages from a butcher from Dersingham…even down to local drink, such as Norfolk Kiwi beer from Barsham Brewery, and award-winning Winbirri wines.
The menu is packed with all your chip shop favourites, be it cod, haddock and plaice alongside fresh cut chips, cooked in beef dripping (with vegetarian cooking alternatives), but there are some nice homemade surprises too.
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Prawn cocktail with their own marie rose sauce. King prawn skewers in lemon, chilli and coriander. Homemade smoked mackerel pate. Vegetarian halloumi skewers with chilli jam. And tempura vegetables with the kitchen's honey mustard dip, garlic aioli and chilli jam.
"If it can be made here, we are making it," says Jane. "Also we have a dedicated gluten-free pan with its own filtration system and hot box.
The main section of the menu boasts homemade fish cakes, fish pie, peri peri chicken breast, local sausages with Henry's gravy, salads, grilled fish with caper and herb butter, and even homemade chicken and mushroom or steak and ale pies. Plus, all the sauces, from curry to mushy peas, are made in-house.
"We offer a light bites meal of a half portion for people watching their waistlines, and a seniors' choice where for £7.95 they can have cod or haddock, chips and peas with bread and tea or coffee."
That's in addition to a two-course pre-theatre menu, priced at £15 including a glass of house wine, lager, cider or a soft drink.
The restaurant has a menu for children, and will soon be offering desserts, focussed around their very own gelato from their store next to the restaurant.
"It's time Hunstanton picks it up a little bit," adds Jane. "We've started the ball rolling and I'm hoping it will have a knock-on effect and encourage more people to set up their businesses here or come to see what the town's all about."