Following on from my last review we’re still in the locale of Hunstanton. I myself have returned from holiday and due to the whirlwind nature of my life (sarcasm intended) have only just sat down to write up my second review for our time there. This time a little further out in the coastal village of Brancaster at the White Horse. I’ve known about the restaurant for many years and upon entering had a severe case of déjà vu leading me to believe that I may have once visited as a child as I have a vivid remembrance of the bar billiard’s table that we were seated next to.
To put this visit in context Myself and Annie had planned at some point during our stay in Hunstanton to visit the orange tree in Thornham as we had done the year before on our first holiday together and at the behest of my parents we were to join them there for lunch, last Wednesday. However, on their arrival they found that the bar was full so instead the white horse was quickly decided to be our next option (more on the orange tree later). As my parents had arrived at the orange tree first we were a full twenty minutes late to meet them at our next chosen pitstop, however that did not stop us from admiring the view that we were faced with upon parking up. The White Horse sits in front of an area that more closely resembles marshland but is a quintessentially British view and despite looking a little ‘bleak’ still maintains some strange essence of beauty that can’t quite be explained.
We entered the restaurant from the front but making sure to notice the lovely terrace (below) that backed onto the eatery however this was not for us as we had doggo in tow who unfortunately can’t be trusted in such places so instead it was the bar for us. Upon first glance, the outside and entranceway of the White Horse looks like any other traditional seaside pub come restaurant. However, it is upon closer inspection, that one sees the beauty of the place, the little touches. Such as the lovely bar layout and fine selection of drinks (such an annoyance I was driving) to the snug an ununiform chairs and tables that adorn the eating area. Upon sitting down, we were reminded of how late we were and that we should probably order fairly quickly. Upon perusal of the bar menu there was a small yet select choice. It being the standard for reviewing I knew that I would want to sample both meat and fish. This meant that there was little choice for me. As everyone around me had ordered seafaring dishes that left me with the one meat option of any substance which was the burger (I know, how unexceptional) however I knew I was not to be disappointed as me and Annie agreed to share this along with a platter of prawns which was the other item that had caught my eye. Food was swiftly ordered and we settled in to while away the drizzly British day in comfort and style.
A short while later food had arrived. I was presented with a burger of magnificent proportions and on cutting in half so me and Annie could share saw that it was cooked to perfection. The first bite told me everything I needed to know. delicately seasoned, well cooked and the onion rings that were served with it were a touch different, being much thinner and delicate than most and giving a satisfying crunch to the burger. When embarking upon the prawns I found myself having supreme difficulty in the act of deshelling them which usually can indicate an overcooked prawn but the flesh was juicy and delicious however I felt a little more could have been done with them to bring in some exciting and different flavours as they were they were rather plain but delicious nonetheless. As my fork worked its way around my fellow guest’s dishes it happened upon the find of the night, Tempura battered Oysters. As I’ve mentioned before seafood is a love for me, not so much fish but seafood I usually can’t enough off. The one exception to this being, oysters. the few times I’ve tried them have made me wretch and everything about them from texture to taste does not agree with me, that was until I tried these. First, I must applaud the presentation, little parcels of tempura nesting in their previously inhabited shells looked magnificent on the plate. The tempura batter worked perfectly to add another layer of flavour to the oyster and reduce that sickly salty taste and managed to make the texture more appealing at the same time. Add this to a dollop of sweet chilli sauce and it’s a mouthful made in heaven, 10/10, will try again. Next was my mother’s tempura soft shell crab however with the last mouthful of tempura goodness this paled in comparison the crab was perfectly fine but tasted a little bland and the garnishes of avocado and tomato and onion salsa made little mark on the palette. Finally, it was the turn of my father’s linguine and prawns (I’m sure the dish had a fancier title however it was on the specials board so I’ll be damned if I can remember) this was very pleasant and the prawns were cooked to perfection.
The service was a little lacking, not to say that the service was bad it’s just simply that there was little of it. The servers we did have were attentive and one even stopped for a chat (with the dog) however I did have to place a very simple drinks order twice at one point after waiting 20 minutes without its arrival. We sat pleasantly for a time allowing our dinner to go down but as this was lunchtime there was little room for dessert (besides, Annie and myself were saving ourselves for a later culinary excursion. follow me to check my next review for that one 😉 ) so the bill was promptly paid and while I cannot give you an exact value for money guide as the bill was (kindly) snatched away by my father. I can say that it is purported to be very good value for money especially considering its location and quality of fresh seafood.
Therefore, in summary I’d like to give the white horse a 4 for their food, all very well cooked however felt that some of the dishes could have been a little bit more imaginatively flavoured. For service, a 3. As I said that which we received was very adequate and attentive however a few slip-ups were to be noted. And finally, for atmosphere I rate 4, this was more for the surroundings and décor of the restaurant than for anything else but found the atmosphere very friendly with what seemed like a good mixture of diners and locals. So that leaves us a total of 11 a respectful score for such a wonderful seaside restaurant. Please make sure to leave a comment, or even better give me a follow to check out my next review which will take place on the evening of the very day we lunched at The White Horse.