The Fire Station has been open for just over a year now and sits within a renovated – you guessed it – fire station! I’ve popped in on a few occasions for coffee, or something a little stronger, but we haven’t ever eaten there. If I’m completely honest, we’ve heard very mixed reviews - some great with happy and returning customers and some not so great; but keen to find out for ourselves, the manager kindly booked us in for lunch one Sunday.
The building is beautiful, both inside and out, with huge windows, an open front (when the weather is good) and lots of booth seating, bar tables and a private dining area fit for celebrations with family and friends. The bar is the focal point adorned with many spirits and wines and a ladder which I desperately fancied a climb on – just because!
We pored oved the menu with a jug of water (for me) and a Hugo cocktail (for him) consisting of gin, elderflower, cucumber and mint. I had a sip of course, and I can confirm, it was a good way to start Sunday fun-day!
Whilst our mains were cooking, we both tucked into starters. I had the hummus, dukkah and flatbread (£5.50). Never again will I ever be able to eat hummus without it being seriously pimped up. A dukkah is basically a mix of herbs, spices and nuts and this one boasted coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peanuts, chickpeas and sumac, served on top of hummus with the most perfect flatbread alongside. It was a very generous portion indeed, and I’d even go as far as saying you could order an extra flatbread and share the hummus (yes, that’s right, I actually just said ‘share’!).
Kingsley chose the charred king prawns with gremolata (£8) which he really enjoyed, especially the charred flavour, but we did think this dish was just missing a certain something – like a hunk of ciabatta bread. Here the menu is inspired by fireside cooking and so much of the food is cooked over charcoal and they use herbs and spices to create a more interesting menu with flavours you might not find elsewhere.
Being a Sunday, I decided to go for a roast dinner: The slow roast Waveney valley pork belly (£14 - with ALL the sides). Kingsley couldn’t resist a burger so chose the Old Spot pork & chorizo burger with bacon and pickled fennel (£12.50). Let me start with the roast…there was absolutely nothing I could fault. As you know by now, I do love a place that serves Yorkshire puds with all roasts (tick); the roast potatoes are particularly important to me and these rivalled the ones Kingsley makes at home (and that’s saying something); it came with buttered greens (you just can’t beat the simple things smothered in butter); and the pork belly came as a roulade which meant plentiful crackling and tender meat packed with flavour (cumin seeds and fennel seeds in this case). It certainly went down a treat and I really liked that they had managed to inject their flavourful personality into the traditional roast dinner. Ooh and I also need to mention the gravy which was super rich and absolutely heavenly.
Kingsley almost made me fall off my chair when he first tucked into the salad that accompanied his burger and said how delicious the dressing was. I had to double check it was actually my husband sat opposite me and not a vegan incognito. It was just a few seconds later when he bit into the centrepiece and told me how full of flavour it was and that even the bun was a good ‘un. The only thing that could have been better were the chips which looked fabulous but weren’t at all crispy on the outside.
My roast was so big that Kingsley had to help me out. I could have battled my way though and eaten the lot, but I’d already spied sticky toffee pudding on the menu for dessert, so I knew I had to save a smidgen of room.
So, with a little bit of help, we both cleared our plates, had a ten minute breather and then ordered our next and final course. As mentioned, I ordered my favourite of all time – sticky toffee pudding & brown butter & pecan ice cream (£5.50). It didn’t disappoint, there was plenty of sticky toffee sauce and the pecan ice cream was a great match. Kingsley had a spoonful and wondered how I could eat something that sickly, but I explained just how easy it was (and was quietly pleased it was too much for him so he wouldn’t keep reaching over for another spoonful).
Kingsley had the dark chocolate & salted caramel tart (£5.50) served with clotted cream. Rather than pastry, this was a thick, crunchy biscuit base (which in my opinion was better than pastry and Kingsley put up no arguments either). It was demolished without a second thought.
I think it’s fair to say, we had a thoroughly good experience at The Fire Station. The service was great, the food was super tasty (and there was plenty of it) and the menu offers something a bit more interesting than usual. You needn’t pig out as much as we did, two courses would be quite enough for anyone normal, bit if you have an appetite like ours, then why not go all out and have all three?!
Have you had brunch at The Fire Station? Is it worth adding to my list for the future?