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Restaurant review: Bishops of Chapel Street, King's Lynn

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Last week the restaurant scene in West Norfolk was given the huge fillip of one of its number (the Old Bank in Snettisham) being given the accolade of best local restaurant in the UK by the Good Food Guide.

It underlined just how strong the competition is out there with a plethora of restaurants offering first-class dining across the borough.

But that very strength makes it a very competitive market place.

We went along to one of the newer ones to enter the race, Bishops of Chapel Street, in Lynn.

The pub opened in May this year by award-winning chef, and multi-site pub operator, Geoff Jones, along with his wife Joan McGowan.

The 15th-century grade-II listed site has been operating as a pub since 1714 and underwent a major and lengthy re-fit and rebrand earlier this year.

Previously it was the Lattice House, where at one-time it was part of Wetherspoons.

Staff told me that they had been pretty happy how things had gone in its first quarter but that things could be a little slow.

Friday and Saturday evenings were not surprisingly the busiest times. Discounts were being offered to NHS and borough council workers in an effort to tempt them in lunchtimes.

Menu highlights include chicken liver pate served with spiced apple compote and chargrilled toasted brioche to start, a main course of baked fillet ofsalmon served on lemon thyme baby potatoes, with buttered kale and tarragon buerre blanc and Geoff’s famous bread and butter pudding for dessert.

The Bishop's cheese and bacon beef burger (caramelised onion and rosemary burger with streaky bacon and cheese served with salad and French fries) costs £12.50.

I went for the soup of the day for starters, cauliflower, cheese and chives (£5.50) and I can honestly say it was delicious. One of the best soups I've had in a restaurant for a long time, so a good start.

My companion had the sauteed king prawns (£5.95) and was also happy.

On to the mains and for me, the chargrilled Hertford 8oz rib-eye steak (£19.95).

This came with sauteed mushrooms, onions, vine tomatoes, hand-cut chips and pepper sauce.

This was very good. the mushroom and tomatoes were fresh and really complemented the steak, which came exactly as I requested it, medium rare.

The good portion of chunky chips made it a filling meal.

My wife had pork chop (£12.50), which sounded a rather unexciting pick but also impressed. The generous chop was very much complemented by the black pudding mash, which was brilliant.

There was more than enough greenery offered as accompaniment to make it a good value meal.

For dessert (£5.95), I finished with strawberry and cream cheesecake while my wife had mixed berry Eton mess (without the intended strawberry ice cream due to a mishap in the freezer).

The Eton mess really scored here. Delicious.

We didn't drink wine, which is cosmopolitan in character featuring tipples from around the world and starts from a reasonable £16.50 a bottle. In fact, the only alcohol I had was a half of rather undrinkable Wainwrights bitter, but I'll let them off that for what was a very enjoyable Saturday lunchtime.

We Love West Norfolk and we love it because it offers so much both to visitors and to residents and Bishops of Chapel Street is adding to that.

Mark Leslie

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