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‘It’s simple and nice’ - Food Review: The Fox in Lyng

PUBLISHED: 07:16 12 September 2020 | UPDATED: 07:43 12 September 2020

The Fox pub in Lyng. Picture: The Fox

The Fox pub in Lyng. Picture: The Fox

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Reviewer Donna-Louise Bishop set herself the task of finding a great place for the whole family to eat out. Find out why the she found the perfect spot...

The Fox at Lyng. Pictured is the prawn cocktail. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPThe Fox at Lyng. Pictured is the prawn cocktail. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

As much as I love a night out without the kids, on this particular occasion I wanted to take my little ones out for a special meal.

Due to the continued popularity of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme - despite falling just outside of the catchment time frame - we struggled to find somewhere for the four of us to eat.

Normally our clan is made up of five, so I’m used to not being able to be squeezed in at the last minute, but I decided to leave the toddler with the grandparents.

The Fox at Lyng. Pictured is the delicious garlic bread. Why didn't I order this for me? Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPThe Fox at Lyng. Pictured is the delicious garlic bread. Why didn't I order this for me? Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

I was starting to get worried we wouldn’t find anywhere but thankfully, after a quick call to The Fox in Lyng, a very friendly gentleman managed to find room for us.

This place had been on my radar for a while but this was the first opportunity I’d had to visit.

On paper it ticked all the right boxes for us; extensive children’s menu (not just the after-thought of nuggets and sausages which too many places are guilty of), great word-of-mouth-reviews, seemingly friendly staff, and a nice rural location.

The Fox at Lyng. Pictured is the baked Camembert. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPThe Fox at Lyng. Pictured is the baked Camembert. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

So when we pulled up in the large car park at the back of eatery, we already had high hopes (the eldest even demanded he wore a shirt).

We found our way around to the front (there is a good one-way system in place) and were sat down in a small bar area while our table was given a thorough clean. After we placed our drinks order, we were then seated at our large table in the quaint restaurant.

The tables are far enough apart to adhere to social distancing but that didn’t take away from the ambience of the place. There seemed to be a happy buzz from diners and lovely smells wafting all around us.

The Fox at Lyng. Pictured are the drinks. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPThe Fox at Lyng. Pictured are the drinks. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Our food order was taken quickly, just after our drinks arrived, and we all looked forward to eating.

Soon we had in front of us baked Camembert with red onion chutney and baked bread (£8.50), a prawn cocktail in Marie rose sauce (£7) which for £6 more could have been done as a main course, and garlic bread (£3) for the boys.

The Camembert was the perfect size with just the right amount of creamy, melted cheese to dunk every inch of the deliciously baked bread into it. The chutney was flavoursome too and a great accompaniment.

The Fox at Lyng. Pictured is the burger off the children's menu. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPThe Fox at Lyng. Pictured is the burger off the children's menu. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

My prawn cocktail was very pleasant as well. I’m always interested in how restaurants present such a traditional dish, without it being bland or boring, but this was lovely. A great tasting sauce, a good amount of fresh and tasty prawns, all on top of a crunchy salad with buttered brown bread on the side.

The garlic bread was a hit with the dynamic duo, who I should mentioned at this point are aged seven and five-nearly-six, and one portion went nicely between the two of them. Buttery garlic glittered on the top of the well toasted ciabatta and not a single crumb was left.

Unfortunately, and this is really my only criticism of the whole evening, we had to wait a fair while for our mains to come through. We managed to keep the boys entertained for around 20 minutes, and a member of staff did come and check to see if we needed more drinks, but after half an hour we were all getting a bit restless.

The Fox at Lyng. Pictured is the tempura chicken. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPThe Fox at Lyng. Pictured is the tempura chicken. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

When our food arrived, the waitress did apologise and it was hot and fresh and ready to be enjoyed. I would, on this occasion, just put it down to one of those things as food appeared to be flowing nicely from the kitchen and I couldn’t hear any grumbles of long waits.

Seeing the boys’ eyes light up when their burgers appeared made it worth the wait.

They’d both opted for the 4oz burger and chips, one with cheese and peas and the other plain and with beans (£6.50). As with many places, I expected this to be a pretty ordinary meal but those homemade burgers were really meaty and good quality. The meal looked lovely and the only complaint from my eldest was that the cheese was “too cheesy” - which is never a bad thing in my books.

The Fox at Lyng. Pictured is a burger from the specials board. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPThe Fox at Lyng. Pictured is a burger from the specials board. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

My tempura chicken with vegetable stir fry and sweet chilli noddles (£13) looked and smelt wonderful as it was placed in front of me and the taste certainly matched. The tempura chicken was plentiful and light while the sauce was sticky with a hint of spiciness. The only thing I would have liked more with this dish would have been chunkier and crunchy vegetables as it was dominated by the chicken and noddles.

My partner opted for the burger topped with bacon and brisket from the specials board (£15.50) and it looked very impressive when it arrived. The flavours were rich and tasty and the only problem he had was working out the best way to eat it because it was so big! This was definitely a good value for money meal.

The end of our meal ended up being quite rushed as my eldest, who had fairly recently had his tonsils removed and although was feeling much better that day, started suffering from a sore throat.

A million thank yous to our server who rushed into the kitchen and fast-tracked some chocolate ice cream for him - and because this was a review meal I couldn’t help but notice the lovely presentation complete with a cute fox-shaped shortbread biscuit (£2).

Overall, this was the perfect place for us to enjoy a nice, easy meal with the children. So much so, I wouldn’t hesitate to bring the toddler with us next time we visit.

Food

The food is pleasant and varied. There is something for everyone to enjoy with vegetarian options available too and an extensive children’s menu which includes options such as lasagne and cheesy pasta.

Setting

This is a beautiful building set under the shadow of the nearby church. The restaurant is simple and clean but looks modern and welcoming.

Price

Generally I felt the prices were well matched to the meals. We paid £74.35 for a two-course meal for four, with drinks and one dessert.

Drinks

The boys had an orange squash each at 75p, which is far better than the sickly sweet bottled options most places offer, and I enjoyed a large diet coke for £2.75 while my partner had a pint of Amstel for £4.10. There appeared to be a fairly varied selection behind the small bar to suit most tastes.

Toilets

The toilets were large, clean, and had a good system in place to maintain social distancing.

Accessibility

Wheelchair friendly, it is easy to manoeuvre around the place. There are also a number of vegetarian and gluten free options, and also a vegan dish.

Service

We were blessed with one of the loveliest waitresses in the whole of Norfolk. She was friendly, enthusiastically welcomed the children (which sometimes sadly isn’t always the case when we’ve eaten out), and made sure we were looked after. All of the staff were friendly and welcoming.

Highlight

Being welcomed as a family!

In summary

This is a great little country eatery to enjoy an easy bite or two of well put together food. It’s simple and nice. I am looking forward to a return visit.

Three things to try:

1. The ice cream with a delicate fox-shaped biscuit.

2. Any of the burger options - they are delicious!

3. Local pork sausages.

If you liked that, try these...

1. The Black Swan Inn at Horsham St Faith.

Really decent pub food with a few surprises, The Black Swan is reopen again for sit-in guests as well as takeaways.

2. Marsham Arms at Marsham.

Famed for its steak aged in Himalayan salt chambers, they are offering a 10pc discount on takeaways and are back serving lunch and dinner inside the pub itself.

3. The Hunworth Bell at Hunworth.

A popular little word-of-mouth establishment, the food here is personal and delicious and set within the stunning village on Hunworth, near Holt.

Our food reviews are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited. The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review and bills are paid by the reviewer. The choice of places reviewed is also independent and is not based on venues which do or do not advertise in our publications.


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