Big, hearty pies from Norwich pub make dinner a real winner
- Credit: Nick Richards
Nick Richards tried a reheat-at-home meal from The Cottage on Silver Road Norwich
Getting bored of ordering takeways that arrive looking a tad limp slumped against the side of foil containers? I know I am. So on an afternoon walk a couple of weeks ago I spotted a sign in the window of The Cottage on Silver Road advertising takeway Cottage pies and jumped at the chance to order them, especially as 50p from the sale of each pie goes to Silver Parcels foodbank.
Delivery is free in NR1, NR2 and NR3 postcodes.
This is all fairly straight forward - pies are delivered between 2pm and 6pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday and orders need to be in by 9pm the night before.
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Delivery is free. The only very minor gripe is that there is no conformation that delivery will take place as is the way with most takeaways so I had to plan a substitute dinner just in case the pies didn't arrive.
I needn't have been so wary - they arrived at 5pm with the oven already heated up ready to receive them.
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There are currently five pies on the menu, which does change on a weekly basis and all pies are £5.50. I thought that this was spot on in terms of price as they are big. Not big enough to share, but big enough to leave you full to the rafters.
The three on the menu when my wife and I ordered that we didn't chose were haggis and whisky cream, steak and kidney and the veggie option, Moroccan squash and bean stew.
I opted for the smoked haddock chowder pie which was really good. It had massive nuggets of pearly white haddock inside a shortcrust pastry pie in a creamy sauce that was packed out with sweetcorn, potato and onion.
It was really good - the sauce wasn't creamy or gluggy, just right. Having had several bowls of chowder in New England before, this was spot on. And the pastry was perfect too. A recent social media post from the Cottage stated their pies were real pies and not "casseroles with lids on" which some pubs do serve.
These were excellent.
My wife ordered the hog roast pie which was vastly different to mine - it was far drier and had pulled roast pork, apple sauce and stuffing. She said it was delicious and it was packed with filling. These pies are nothing like the puffed up airbags you get in some supermarkets - they are full of filling and flavour and clearly batch-cooked with a sprinkling of TLC.
We also ordered some of the selection of sides - there are four dishes that are all £3 each - Champ mash, maple & thyme roasted heritage carrots, braised red cabbage and beetroot and peas à la Française.
We skipped the cabbage but ordered two big pots of mash which were very nice. The mash is laced with spring onion but isn't over packed with anything like cheese or mustard. Indeed, it didn't seem to have any seasoning and did benefit from a generous grind of both salt and pepper. It was good though and, again, very filling.
The carrots were great too, we thought they'd been roasted in a little red wine. They looked so good on the plate - all different colours from orange to purple to black. Again they were very filling. We ordered two pots of mash and carrots and would probably have been content with just one to share.
The star of the sides was the peas à la Française - garden peas cooked with a hint of a crunch that also contained bacon and lettuce and a creamy sauce. So, so tasty, they went with my fishy pie perfectly.
In addition we ordered a pot of onion gravy (£1) which was thick, smooth and flavoursome.
There is one dessert option - a pecan butterscotch tartlet (£2) which was lovely.
Microwaved for 45 seconds with some squirty cream it was very good. I've made pecan pie before and you can either grind the pecans down to a fine paste or leave them crunchy like The Cottage have done. These tartlets may look small but they pack a seriously nutty punch and rounded off a lovely meal.
The Cottage is in Silver Road, Norwich and currently offers this delivery service three days a week.
You can also order a selection of full-size bottles of wine costing between £12 and £29 which is a nice option to have, however I felt that being realistic about it, most people would probably chose wine themselves from a supermarket at much cheaper prices.
It came to £31 for two pies, two pots of mash, two pots of carrots, one peas, one pot of gravy and two tartlets. At £15.50 each this compares favourably to a pub meal or a takeaway from Waitrose or Marks & Spencer.
There are three benefits this had over a supermarket dine-in meal though - the food is cooked in small batches, it's delivered to your door and you're supporting a local business.
The delivery driver placed the pies on my doorstep and kept his distance while I collected two bags of goodies. All the food comes already cooked, but cold, in recycled packaging so you could always save a portion for the following day.
The pies are the true winners. Hearty, filling and full of flavour, what else could you ask for?
For more information see www.cottagenorwich.com
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Archers, Norwich have a premium Valentines meal for two which you can cook at home. For £25 you get two beef wellingtons, Dauphinoise potatoes, red wine sauce and steamed vegetables. The meal is available for collection or delivery between February 11 and February 13.
Flaming Galah, Norwich have a range of pies to reheat at home and also have a Valentines special with collection available between February 11 and February 13. For £20 you'll get their Cupid Meal box containing two lamb pies, Dauphinoise potatoes, sautéed green beans, red wine gravy, a puff pastry Toblerone cookie dough pie to share and a tub of strawberry clotted cream for two.
Farmyard, Norwich have an @home menu for £22 which can be ordered on a Friday and enjoyed over the weekend. They also have a Valentine's special which offers a three-course meal for £25.
How you can support your favourite restaurant in lockdown
Takeaways - While more places have opted to stay closed for the next few weeks, plenty are still open and offering takeaway meals for delivery or collection.
Vouchers - A valuable way to help businesses, you can buy yourself - or a loved one, as a gift - a voucher now to enjoy when it's safe to do so down the line.
Shop local - Make sure to support restaurant and pub suppliers, including beer, cheese and fruit and vegetables, by shopping local.
Social media - It's not an easy time for many people financially. A simple like on Facebook or follow on Instagram shows support for traders, though, and can help them build exposure.
Don't forget them when they reopen - It might feel like it, but this lockdown isn't forever, and our support should be consistent.
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.