I am an excellent eater – Everyone has a talent, that one special thing that sets them apart. Me, I’m an eater (Seriously if you knew the line of great cooks I come from, you wouldn’t blame me) I would do a great job in Man vs. Food, except obviously we’d have to call it Woman vs. Food. But I’m also a bit of a food snob, I can admit it! I can barely make toast (The great cook gene didn’t make it as far as me) but that hasn’t stopped me from being a London snob; thinking that great food exists mainly in this great capital. But despite all the snobbishness, I can always put away a good meal and especially when the food is as good as it is in Blackrock Grill, all the way on the eastern tip of England – overlooking the Norfolk coast.
It’s far too cold for this coastal view nonsense though and so our very large party is just glad to be out of the wind and into this buzzing orange and black restaurant, here for a Saturday night while visiting the family on the east Coast. We’ve been warned to save stomach room and I do always mean to do just that but then I just get hungry and break the self-imposed fast during the day. More fool me.
The menu is a simple all-inclusive, breads to dip in garlicky olive oil, starter, main and dessert for one set price. Between us, we order all of the starters on offer – the Pumpkin soup is pronounced a hit (Smugly, I refuse, pumpkin soup will be heavy and prevent excessive grill eating). I’ve never been able to resist a Prawn cocktail (Calling it retro is just an insult, Prawn cocktail should always be in vogue) and it’s simple, tangy and fresh. You might even say it’s palate cleansing. But given what was to come, I should probably have had the salad. I never learn.
You know you’re very luckily that I even took photos at all – when the sizzlingly hot stones started coming out along with trays and trays of fresh meats and seafood (You can choose as much as you can eat of Lamb, Beef, Salmon and Scallops), I was one step away from just letting you find out about this place yourselves and just concentrating on my food. Selfless, that’s me.
So you’ll excuse me for the usual poor quality of photos – I was drooling. This also means I wasn’t listening when they told us about the stones – its some kind of lava rock that retains heat for quite a while and lets you cook your food on it. Did you really want more info than that?
I often cook salmon at home (The easiest food to cook, like ever, and makes me look posh) so I focussed on the scallops and lamb. The scallops were quite possibly the largest and freshest I have ever tasted and I’m a girl who’s grown up by the sea her whole life – first in Malaysia, Singapore and then New Zealand. The lamb was tender and didn’t need any kind of accompaniment, even though these were in plentiful supply – chips, salad and even some stir fried beansprouts (I didn’t bother with those).
At this point conversation ceased as everyone just tucked in – truly the mark of a good meal! Conversation is overrated when there’s good food on the table.
Several replenishments later, when people are able to pause and chat, we’re through with our stones and turn our attentions to the dessert menu. I’ve clearly not had enough of the hot rock experience and plump for the Black rock fondue – White Choc & Rum, Milk Chocolate & Grand Marnier with fruit, doughnuts and marshmallow to dunk. I haven’t really chosen well – I can barely taste the alcoholic components of the fondue and the dunkers are too stodgy after all that wonderful lamb and scallops sloshing around in me.
Others fared better with their choices, but one thing was clear – desserts are simply not an option after you’ve gorged on some of the finest and best seafood and meats around.
So my night out at the Blackrock Grill has put me and my food snobbery firmly in it’s place. Excepting the fabulous feasts my mother-in-law rustles up in Lowestoft, this is some of the best food to be had in Norfolk! What are you waiting for?