It might come as something of a surprise to discover that in spite of my status as a Norfolk-based foodie, I have never been to any of the Flying Kiwi Inns. I know. It’s hard enough for me to fathom, so goodness knows what you think!
In a move to rectify the situation, I recently made a visit to The White Hart in Hingham (not to be confused with Ingham) to celebrate The Chap’s birthday with his parents.
Even though the sun was beaming down on the Norfolk countryside, it was absolutely bitter in the wind so we were grateful to find the pub warm and inviting, with comfortable shabby chic furniture and eclectic wall decor. Most importantly, there was a wood burner going too, so we thawed out pretty quickly.
We were swiftly shown to our table by the efficient and friendly waiting staff and sat beneath a huge Union Flag by Vivienne Westwood. It was quite a talking point with The Chap’s parents and our discussions about art and fashion carried on well after we had ordered our meals!
Making my mind up
My initial thoughts were that the Sunday lunch menu wasn’t exhaustive – although there was a selection of roast dinners, there was just one vegetarian option on offer. While I’m not a veggie, I’m also not a massive fan of meat, or roasts for that matter. I have to really be in the mood for it, so I ended up plumping for the mushroom gnocchi, while everyone else had a roast.
We didn’t have long to wait for our meals, with the food appearing within around 15 minutes – just enough time to finish a debate about art!
While the gnocchi was nice, with lots of mushrooms in the creamy sauce, the dish didn’t really taste of very much. There was a hint of rosemary and perhaps of basil, but very little else. I was anticipating maybe onions or garlic in the sauce, or maybe an unhealthy dose of cheese, but the sauce mainly tasted of cream. I will admit that I don’t have the most subtle palate, but I did find it hard to identify any particular flavours.
The roasts, on the other hand, gave me a pang of food envy. Sampling the top-side, I was positively jealous. The beef was really well cooked, with crunchy roast potatoes and tasty gravy.
Of course, a celebratory lunch wouldn’t be complete without a dessert and there was a great selection to choose from, with creme brulee, Pimm’s jelly and at least ten different ice-cream flavours.
Feeling decadent, I opted for the brownie sundae and was delighted when it appeared. Brownies, creamy vanilla ice-cream, vanilla whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Unfortunately my eyes were bigger than my belly and the generous helping of brownie left me defeated and The Chap had to help me finish!
To make the most of the afternoon, we finished up with teas and coffees and have to admit that I was really disappointed with the presentation. My tea came out in a small cup, black, without the bag and it was very weak. It’s only a small gripe, but it would have been nice to have had it served in a pot, so I could take the bag out when I wanted to and have a nice strong cuppa.
In spite of being a little disappointed, I will make a disclaimer at this juncture. The meal wasn’t bad at all and neither was the service, I just had very high expectations based on word of mouth. If my expectations hadn’t been so high, I’m sure I would have been thrilled. The two-course menu was only £17 too, so it was excellent value for money and will certainly recommend it on that account.