Pulled pork, burger, chips, fried pickles at The Sir Garnet


The recently refurbished Sir Garnet pub on Norwich’s Market Square (formally the Sir Garnet Wollesley) is home of @thebaronofbeef, purveyor of locally-sourced culinary goodness, in the form of the best burgers in Norwich, thin chips, deep fried pickles and daily specials.


I was just about to go for the umami burger (a new addition to the menu), in fact going as far as to order one, then deciding the time for the fifth taste could wait, since pulled pork graced the specials board and it’s a favourite of mine. This fabled burger features miso infused into the meat and kim chi garnish. Next time!

I made the right choice. The fluffy, eggy homemade bun was filled with meltingly tender smoked pork bathed in Carolina-style sweetly sour (or sourly sweet) barbecue sauce, along with the Baron’s classic slaw. Delicious!


The thin chips were, as ever, superb, crispy, moreish and (bar the coming heart attack) the perfect accompaniment. The table next to us nearly abandoned their dinner reservation elsewhere on seeing these chips – they’re that good. They eventually settled on the pork scratchings (yes, homemade), and a promise to return.


I’ve ordered the deep fried pickles twice before. The first time was on the Garnet’s opening night, when “they’re not on the menu yet”. The second, they were off the menu. So these have been a long time coming.

For those who’ve not yet had the delight, the concept is the battering and then deep-frying of still-crunchy pickles. The Baron of Beef pairs his with blue cheese dip. Perhaps the whole concept sounds wrong to you? But they are delicious – crisp, comforting, acid, smooth, mmm…

I’ll confess, when chef asked how these were, he also said he’d been working on them for weeks now. They were an awesome take on the dish, with almost fritter batter. I think they could be even better with a thinner, crisper tempura-style batter, but that would make a very different side.

Okay, this food isn’t perfectly balanced nor five-a-day, but, then, we all go out for dirty American food every so often. You might as well make it to-die-for delicious food every once in a while when you do!

Brunch at No 30 Café


I love brunch – it’s a brilliant invention. Somehow it makes eating the most unhealthy meals seen genuinely good for you. Something to do with ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’: no matter what you have it’s worthwhile…

But better than brunch is a good brunch. Good brunch can be great, and given that the brunch I had at No 30 Café was just good, I guess it was  only mediocre.

I had eggs benedict (back to any unhealthy meal is excused), and excellent Norfolk ham sat atop perfectly fine muffins. The eggs were perfect poached hemispheres, and here the problems began. Poached eggs shouldn’t be perfect, and I’m not really a believer in egg poachers (the gadget, not the profession if there is one). Poached eggs should be wispy, uneven things. They’re pretty difficult to get right, but that may be why when you do they’re surely the best eggs on earth. Light, not heavy. Fresh and runny, not stodgy and hard.

To top this off, the hollandaise, served on the side, meant the experience was one of dipping muffin, egg and ham into pure, yellow, fatty goo. Okay, I know that’s what hollandaise is, but when it’s drizzled on top it’s slightly better disguised.

Lovely loose leaf tea served in a large pot somewhat redeemed these choices, and Tom’s croque madame was genuinely delicious, so I’ll certainly give the place another try. But I’ll be on the lookout for even better places in the meantime.