Number 10 in Lavenham is '10 out of 10', Colin’s Restaurant Column
|Author: Colin Walters||Published: 30th October 2015 10:55|
Number 10 in Lavenham
Number 10 Restaurant Review, Lavenham, Colin’s Restaurant Column
10 out of 10
The editor dropped me a line when I was away in Dubai to ask if I’d like to go to Number 10 in Lavenham?
“What to give my opinion on how the country is being run?” I asked.
“No, to review the Number 10 restaurant in Lavenham” he responded.
Tucked away off the High Street in Lavenham, Number 10 is housed in one of those stunningly beautiful Suffolk Tudor buildings with wooden beams and full of atmosphere. The restaurant is split into three parts with an area that can be used for private dining (up to about 12 people) a bar area with a few tables and a main restaurant area beautifully decorated in a “world” theme with lots of interesting ancient maps on the walls. In fact the décor is cleverly unusual all over. The ladies loo is particularly entertaining (don’t ask me what I was doing in there but see if you can spot the brilliant feature in the picture on the wall!!) There is also a lot of cricket memorabilia which would always appeal to Kev and me.
The menu is just as I always like it, enough variety to offer an interesting choice but not so large that you can’t make one. The menu changes on a regular basis to accommodate seasonal availability.
Conveniently for the reviewer we all chose different starters. Wife Lorna had a very creamy baked Camembert with Aga baked bread (all of the bread is home-baked in the restaurant and stunningly lovely too!) Kev’s wife Ruthie had some very gamey Pan Seared Pigeon Breasts and Kev had deliciously delicate Crab Cakes with stunning spiced mango mayonnaise. I ordered Devilled Chicken Livers with home baked toast and salad (all the starters came with a crunchy fresh salad). Now I don’t know if the chef had been reading my previous reviews and my love of Indian food but his version of “devilled” was a “Madras” strength sauce round some of the most gorgeously tender chicken livers, almost melt in the mouth. It was stunning despite causing me to leak copiously from the forehead from the strength of the sauce (much to the rest of table’s amusement). I highly recommend ordering this dish if you like chicken livers and/or curried sauces but also recommend you hint at what strength you want the spiciness of your sauce or you might get a surprise.
Number 10's fabulous interior
Another nice thing about 10 is that the vegetables are included in the very reasonable costs of each main dish. So often the bill mounts rapidly once you add spuds and a few of your five a day. Ruthie and Kev both went fishy, Kev receiving what could only be described as a “tower” of fish pie… Salmon, Haddock, Cod and Prawns in a creamy sauce then topped with a huge pile of mashed potato. Judging by the fact that it disappeared in under 3 minutes, there was not a scrap left on the plate and that he had a huge grin on his face at the finish, I guess you could say Kev enjoyed his main meal. Ruthie had the most delicately cooked Peppered Salmon in a Dill and Cream sauce with some roasted new potatoes and perfectly cooked (still slightly al dente) vegetables. Lorna ordered one of her favourites Stuffed Field Mushrooms in breadcrumbs with salad and bread and I went for one of my favourites Pork Cassoulet (pork loin and sausage stew slow cooked with beans in a tomato and garlic sauce) served with homemade bread, not seen often enough on British menus but a staple of French brasseries up and down that lovely country. As I was enjoying the wonderful ambience, the perfect flavours and good company it felt like I was on holiday and eating at one of those fabulous local restaurants found in every French village.
Although we were all fairly well full by now, the sweet menu options proved too hard to resist (well apart from Lorna who settled for a Café Latte). Ruthie had just the most perfectly cooked (slightly crunchy on the outside but meltingly soft in) Chocolate Fudge Brownie in rich chocolate sauce with ice cream; Kev had a beautifully light Crunchy Lemon Sponge Pudding with custard which again disappeared at rapid rate resulting in a very satisfied grin and I had a delightfully light (beautiful pastry) Apple Strudel with ice cream.
For a meal for four, including a round of drinks and bottle of very acceptable house red, the bill came to a remarkably cheap £112. We enjoyed our dinner so much that we’ve already booked the private dining area for our annual gathering of the ancients (over 50’s cricketers and wives) annual Christmas get together.
In the words of the inimitable Mr Goodman of Come Dancing fame Number 10 in Lavenham is definitely worth a “10 from Len”!