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“Great quality food and friendly service”
Review of The White Pheasant

The White Pheasant
Ranked #2 of 117 Restaurants in Ely
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$17 - US$84
Cuisines: European, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Description: STOP PRESS... We are proud to announce we have received 2 AA rosettes for culinary excellence. Having initially trained at the White Pheasant in 2005, Head Chef Calvin Holland went on to cook at some of the UK's finest multi-rosette & Michelin Star restaurants, only to return to the White Pheasant in August this year as Head Chef and Proprietor.With an emphasis on locally sourced produce alongside award winning wines, this family owned restaurant offers everything from light lunches or a traditional Sunday lunch to the finest A La Carte menu. The epitome of country dining, boasting a beautiful open fire and weathered floorboards, the Pheasant is now taking bookings for Christmas parties with a special menu of exquisite dishes designed for the winter months such as braised cheek of Hereford beef or a Ballotine of Gressingham duck. Menu's & wine lists are all available on line.
Ely, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great quality food and friendly service”
Reviewed 24 July 2014 via mobile

The food is very well presented and cooked with precision and care. The service is friendly and unobtrusive. Will certainly be using this restaurant regularly.

Thank 429DavidHolt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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483 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014 via mobile

I arrived on the premises saturday evening with my wife, and as soon as we walked through the door we were greeted with the up most pleasant smile, immediately we new, having only just walked through the door this was going to be a good night!
Our drinks order was with us within a few minutes, even though the restaurant seemed full to me!
We soon ordered the food, i asked what was recommended, at which the French waiter pointed out the quail and the lamb, which was thoroughly explained, and sold it to me from that instance!
We were then given bread, and much to our suprise, a delicious appetiser of chilled asparagus velouté, which was absolutely delicious, along with the garlic and rosemary bread, which I couldn't stop myself from asking for more.
Within a few minutes we were served the starters, I am so glad the waiter recommended this to me as it is not the usual thing that I would order, but it was something new to me! And absolutely delicious! My wife had the chicken press, which was also presented beautifully, and having stolen some from her, was packed full of flavour.
The mains were as delicious, and we had some wine matched with the meal too, which was the perfect accompaniment!
I had the chocolate brownie for dessert, it was the most gorgeous desert I had eaten for a while, soft, gooey brownie with rasperry sorbet, and a gorgeous smooth hazelnut parfait? What's not to love!
All in all, my meal was one of the best I have ever eaten, with a friendly smile, and service, and a great ambience! We will definitely be back!

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Steveedge123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“What a find!”
Reviewed 19 July 2014 via mobile

We found this place using the AA pub finder app whilst having a few days away in Suffolk and we were blown away by it! The food and service were both exceptional. Every mouthful was followed by a 'wow!' and you must leave room for dessert. The manager made us feel very welcome and clearly a lot of care is put into both the food and service.

1 Thank CLSW19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Cotswolds
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Pretentious and disappointing”
Reviewed 19 July 2014

Having lived in the area for 2 years I thought it time I tried this gastro pub. The boards outside proclaimed it was an award winning venue.
Maybe I arrived on a bad day. My first impressions were extremely favourable. It looked warm and welcoming and the legend on the wall proclaiming that 'people arrive as guests and leave as friends' was encouraging. . It took far too long to take our wine order considering we were the only patrons. However, when it arrived. It was good.
I found the service polite with a formality one would associate with a 5 star London venue.
Maybe things would warm up once we placed our order I thought. My elderly partner hesitantly tended towards the 'Seared Lambs Liver'. I say hesitantly because we have had some bad experiences. In my mind, seared means flash fried on both sides and tenderly moist and pink in the middle. What arrived was well cook throughout. As I had voiced my concerns prior to ordering and had been assured that the chef knew what he was doing, I had not compunction in sending it back after sampling a few mouthfuls of this chalky dry repast .
The gentleman who took our order could barely conceal his irritation. I suggested that possibly the lemon sole might be a better option. 'NO he insisted. You will have the lambs liver!'. I had to strongly insist that I no longer had faith in that particular dish. He relented, with bad humour advising us with great irritation that it would take 'at least 20 mins to prepare'.

No problem I demurred. The dish arrived looking most attractive, was well cooked, moist but highly over seasoned. The delicate Bisque sauce was lost in the saltiness of it all. Such a pity.

For myself I had ordered a plain sirloin steak. Not cheap at £22 but I expected something very special. Not so. It was not unpleasant but certainly not memorable. On the meagre side. Possibly not more than 180-200 grams with some rocket salad. I had declined chips and I was presented with some very nice broccoli. It was OK but not worth the price.
The cheese and biscuits arrived inexplicably with Marmite biscuits! This is a highly acquired taste I would think. Why not some simple water biscuits? Or even bread. Speaking of bread it was presented with a great flourish. 'Homemade Rosemary infused etc etc. ....I found it unpleasantly oily. Instead of some plain farm butter we got a quenelle of over salted, garlic flavoured butter like substance. Very unpleasant. I ordered two Machiato coffee with a special request of some single cream on the side.
I was soundly corrected by the patronising French gentleman that if I wanted cream I surely meant an Espresso. But I don't want an Espresso I said , I wanted a double Machiato . I don't care if he did not approve. If I wanted a herbal tea with double cream and was prepared to pay for it that is what I should have received. I realized that as a customer what I wanted did not count. So I settled for what HE felt I should have served with a curled lip of unfriendly Gaelic contempt! I will not return.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank paprikaTheCotswolds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gary H, Owner at The White Pheasant, responded to this review, 23 July 2014
Dear Paprikathecotswolds. I was saddened to read your recent review of our restaurant
there's several points I'd like to address, after speaking to all the staff on duty that particular day.

Your headline "pretentious", definition "attempting to impress by affecting greater
importance or merit than is actually possessed". We do possess 2AA rosettes
for culinary excellence awarded to us by a professional food critic just
two months ago the highest award a restaurant can gain on its first visit.
We also have achieved a trip advisor certificate of excellence 2014, which
is given to outstanding hospitality businesses that have received praise and
recognition in reviews by TripAdvisor travellers, as you can see from the
reviews above & below your own. We seem to have impressed quite a few people
over the short period we have been here, new customers, expert food critics
& some very well known local chefs. Now I'm not sure whether you are
"pretending" to be a culinary expert with the long list of alleged issues
with your meal on Saturday lunchtime, but having spoken to our Manager &
Chef that were on duty, their side of story differs somewhat from your own.
Apart from the lambs liver that was returned by your partner, none of these
other issues were raised during your lunch service, & it's a real shame that
you didn't give us the opportunity to make amends for things not being to
your taste on the day, but chose to do it on trip advisor instead.

1) We like our customers to feel relaxed & not rushed & enjoy the
overall experience, that's why you were left to peruse the wine list.

2) In the opinion of the Chef, the lamb's liver was cooked to
perfection it was seared for approx 20 seconds & basted in foaming butter
for 20 seconds. He took a photo to show me when I returned as he was
dumfounded that it was sent back.

3) The lemon sole, which you were advised would take 15 minutes to
prepare, was gently seasoned and is served with samphire a sea vegetable
which is naturally salty, & the bisque is very strong & flavoursome as it is
heavily reduced. A customer actually asked to see the Chef that same
Saturday evening, a gentleman that has eaten in some of our country's finest
establishments, & told chef that it was "magnificent" something that we have
heard on more than one occasion.

4) The locally sourced sirloin steaks are weighed & are approx 230/250
grams. (8/9 oz)

5) We don't have "marmite biscuits" we do however offer charcoal
biscuits with our English cheese selection as that is what our highly
experienced Chef believes goes best with the current selection of cheese,
however had you have mentioned that they weren't to your taste, we also
carry a selection of water & wheat biscuits, that you would have been more
than welcome to have as an alternative, if they were more to your taste.

6) Our freshly baked complimentary homemade breads were milk loaf and
garlic & rosemary foccacia. The foccacia is a recipe containing olive oil,
so is going to have an oily texture. Unfortunately again not to your own
palette but doesn't make it wrong. Our unsalted butter is beaten & quenelled
& is served with a sprinkle of sea salt on top, & certainly doesn't contain
any garlic.

7) Our French restaurant manager is a stickler for "attention to
detail" & was merely double checking the coffee's that you had requested
as it seemed a bit unusual, just making sure that your order was placed
correctly, & we're sorry if you felt he appeared unfriendly for doing so.
Not sure where you're going with the curled lip & "gaelic contempt" though,
it seems a bit personal towards him & very harsh.

8) As a recently established business we need to hear positive constructive criticism, it helps us to improve the overall experience for our diners, sadly on this occasion we didn't seem to get this from yourself.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newmarket, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Great food. Wish I'd found this place sooner.”
Reviewed 12 July 2014

Being local in the area, and a bit of a foodie, we had heard some good comments about The White Pheasant. However I was happy with our local restaurant and initially reluctant to give The White Pheasant a try. However after being nagged by the misses, and meeting the chef, Calvin, at a Charity dinner, I thought we would give it a try and I am so glad we did.

We went for the chef's taster menu and and opted to have matched wines. Every dish was perfectly cooked, and well presented. Wines were great also. I have since returned a further two times and chosen the taster menu on each occasion. I have only eaten the same dish once (a dessert), and every dish I've had has been lovely.

We have eaten in a number of 1, 2, and 3 Michelin starred restaurants in the last 12 months, and I can say that the food at the White Pheasant is proper good quality fine dinning. The restaurant has just been awarded 2AA rosettes, as I understand it the highest possible rating awarded by the AA for a new establishment. In my view the food here is comfortably 3AA rosette, and better than what I have experienced in some Michelin starred restaurants. Considering that this restaurant has only been open since October, and the chef is only 25 years old, its a pretty astonishing achievement.

As a local I am looking forward to the White Pheasant continuing to receive further awards and would not be surprised if it draws attention of the Michelin inspectors in the future.

I whole heartedly recommend this place. You will not be disappointed.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Stuart H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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