The Black Horse, Norwich, restaurant review: ‘This place needs to be raved about’
- Credit: Emily Revell
For breakfast or a Sunday roast, I can safely say this place is one of my favourites.
It seemed like a really good idea to review breakfast, the most important meal of the day, at The Black Horse, yet upon arrival I began to question my decision.
The originality of the beetroot, spinach and potato cake with a poached egg that was listed on their website prior to our visit, had prompted the review – taking breakfast out of the realms of the generic. But its absence from the menu that morning was the cause of my hesitation.
The menu we were instead presented with was limited and lacked individuality.
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Ironically, I went as simple and unoriginal as I possibly could, representing my generation (and its lack of home ownership) with avocado and poached eggs on toast. The bar was set high; it needed to be top notch. My mum had ordered the Veg Breakfast. She owns a house.
Any apprehension subsided once the food arrived and I can, hand on heart, say the Black Horse needs to be raved about.
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Stand-out presentation greeted us, with all elements of the Veg Breakfast stacked on top of a slice of sourdough toast. The garlicky spinach melted in the mouth. Every aspect, from the fried egg to the halloumi, was faultless.
Perfectly cooked, perfectly seasoned, a dream plate. I enjoyed the addition of Siracha on top of my avocado toast – although I don't think it's something I'll try at home.
My eggs were impeccably poached; something I find is rarely the case. If I was really pernickety, I would've liked a tad bit more avocado and slightly less of it to have been brown mush.
None the less impressed with the standard of food, I returned the following weekend for a Sunday Roast. The chicken was amongst the best I've ever tasted: silky smooth and delicately creamy. The roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding again remarkably good. The chicken gravy was traditionally homemade, with lots of flavour, as was the vegetarian version.
Neither succumbed to the processed and instant taste that many unfortunately do.
The only downside was portion size: a small handful of cabbage and three slight potatoes, plus the meat and one Yorkshire, didn't leave us feeling very full. But perhaps a blessing in disguise.
The main menu looks particularly appetising and I will be going back to try it out.
Taking advantage of the weather of late we sat outside in the beer garden on both occasions: extremely quiet, complete with a beautiful pagoda. The interior is well finished, modern yet classic. I've added this place to my list of favourites.
At breakfast, we enjoyed fresh orange juice complete with a fresh slice of orange, in place of our coffees. After ordering, there were problems with the coffee machine; staff handled it well and we were happy to change the order. With the roast we took full advantage of the bar and enjoyed a delightfully crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc and a pint of Heineken, although unenthusiastic boyfriend commented they could do with a wider range of beers.
Staff were polite, chatty and charming. Our waitress was really engaging and immediately felt like a long-lost friend.
Beautifully decked out, the toilets echo the style of the main pub.
The pub has a large, free car park.
Only a 10– to 15–minute walk from the city centre down Earlham Road. I felt like I had been transported to a London suburb.
£6 for avocado on toast and £8 for the Veg Breakfast, which seemed more than good value for money. The roast, on the other hand, was £13.50 for the chicken. Considering other roasts across the city are served with a lot more for a similar price or less, despite the remarkable quality, the limited portions left me feeling it was overpriced. It could be simply rectified by adding in a few more veggies, which would make it excellent value.
Finding this place has been exciting – the highlight has to be the beautiful beer garden, perfect for the summer months ahead.
Sitting outside, enjoying the sunshine and eating healthy, hearty food will always be a winning combination and this place is just that – only they need to serve up a few more vegetables with the roast dinner.
This is an independent review.
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