We ate at the Normandy Arms this week, after an interval of six years! Our last visit (in 2008 when the pub was under different ownership) was disappointing, both in terms of food and service.
There was nothing disappointing about our recent visit - in fact, it was outstanding.
From the moment we walked through the door, we were met with a friendly welcome by a lovely Hungarian waitress, who looked after us very attentively throughout the meal.
As for the food, I can say that we were very impressed with the quality and presentation. My trio of salmon starter was delicious. Smoked salmon, salmon fillet and a salmon fishcake were presented with a trio of accompaniments - mustard dressing, tartare sauce and celeriac remoulade. The different textures and flavours were superb and a great beginning to the meal.
My guinea fowl was presented like an impressionist painting. I'm not in the habit of photographing my food to post it on Facebook but was almost tempted to by the dish in front of me. It looked and tasted stunning.
I succumbed to the cherry and almond dessert, a sort of posh Bakewell tart, with lovely thick creme Anglaise, real cherries and buttermilk sorbet. First class.
My wife's potted crab and rib-eye steak with Bearnaise sauce was pronounced excellent, so we were two very happy diners.
From the warm welcome, the attentive service, the nice touch of the chef bringing us dessert and stopping for a chat, to the pleasant ambiance of the restaurant and even the excellent home made tomato bread, the evening was a great success. At £40 a head including 2 large glasses of wine, a glass of dessert wine and coffees, we also felt it was very good value for such a high standard of cuisine.
Very highly recommended. We'll be back next year!
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