Sometimes when staying away, I see a dish on a menu, and I think, oh that sounds nice, I want to try that. Regardless of what other starters are there, I find myself deciding to have that dish. This was certainly the experience I had when visiting Norfolk recently. I was in Norwich for a workshop and staying at The Georgian Townhouse on Unthank Road close to the city centre. I have no idea if I had been to Norwich before, I thought I had, possibly on a school trip, but if I had it was over forty years ago. I really don’t think I have been there. I did live in East Anglia in the 1970s and 1980s but moved to the South West in the early 1990s.
The Georgian Townhouse is a really nice hotel, part of small chain of boutique hotels with three hotels in Norfolk, one in Mumbles, Wales, and one in London. The rooms are a real nice mix of modern and old.
I went down to the restaurant, which has all the character of a lovely old pub, I had eaten a nice plate of food the day before, so was looking forward to my second visit to the restaurant.
I looked over the menu, for my starter I decided I would have the pan-fried scallop, crispy pork belly, sweetcorn salsa, burnt apple puree & samphire. I was very tempted by the Pumpkin ravioli, sage butter, roasted pumpkins, sauteed wild mushroom, crispy shallot & pumpkin seeds, however I didn’t want to have pasta for my starter and my main course. I did think about asking if they would do it as a main, but I didn’t want to make a fuss.
The pan-fried scallop and crispy pork belly starter sounded an interesting dish. I wouldn’t expect to have this combination of ingredients in a dish, and I certainly wouldn’t expect to see this kind of dish on the menu of this kind of hotel. However I have had scallops and bacon before, so the combination of pork and scallop isn’t unknown. I’ve not had samphire before so was looking forward to that as well.
The dish arrived and it looked very pretty.
There were two good looking scallops, two pieces of pork belly, the plate was dressed with the sweetcorn salsa and the samphire. Under the scallops and the pork was the burnt apple puree.
The scallops were cooked perfectly, just the right amount of caramelisation, but still fresh and not overcooked. The pork belly was tender, but had some crisp edges. The salsa was nice, and the samphire added contrast to the dish, whilst the burnt apple puree complemented the pork beautifully.
This was delicious, I really enjoyed eating it, and I certainly finished and cleared the plate.