Restaurant review, Fynn Valley Café Terrace: Local ingredients give extra flavour to eatery’s dishes
- Credit: Fynn Valley Cafe Terrace
Nicola Warren tries lunch at the golf club.
On the Monday before Christmas, my husband Phil and I decided to take a break from festive food and head for lunch at Fynn Valley Café Terrace in Witnesham.
We'd reviewed the golf club's previous restaurant - the Valley - five years ago and were hoping the food would be on a par at their new eatery.
The Café Terrace, which opened at the end of 2018, was a finalist for Best Newcomer at the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards, so we were hopeful.
When we went in, we were really impressed with this new building (the old restaurant and changing rooms have been converted into houses).
It's light and airy and with a nod to the old restaurant with its beamed ceiling.
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We'd booked a table, but it wasn't busy, so we were told to pick one from the middle of the restaurant.
We chose one fairly near the large windows and doors, so we could enjoy the view of the terrace and the golf club beyond.
It took a little while to get our menus, so much so that I wondered whether we were supposed to have picked them up ourselves.
After getting those and placing our drinks order, the server asked if we wanted a jug of water too, which we said yes to, although it never arrived.
There's an extensive menu here, including sandwiches, tapas plates, brunch and lunch and burgers and sides. Breakfast is also served between 9am and 11.30am.
The tapas plates, which cost £4.50 each or £15 for four, sounded interesting - baked camembert with truffled honey and chargrilled bread, salt cod croquette with dill mayonnaise, homemade meatballs in a tomato sauce with shaved parmesan and roasted beetroot hummus with aged balsamic and grilled flat bread, for example.
But I really fancied a burger, so I settled on the halloumi burger.
Phil was considering the proper fish burger, but he likes to order something a bit different from what I'm having, so once I'd said I'd like a burger he decided to have the mac & cheese. He asked for buttermilk chicken and Suffolk Blue cheese as extras (the other option was salt beef).
Other local cheeses, as well as local meat and eggs, also feature on the menu.
We didn't have long to wait until our food arrived and Phil said the tang of the Suffolk Blue gave the macaroni cheese a richer flavour. The battered buttermilk chicken had a tasty, crisp coating surrounding the succulent chicken strips.
The toasted brioche bun containing my burger was huge so I took the top off and made a start on it with a knife and fork.
The burger consisted of a generous slice of halloumi, which had been grilled, a garlic butter flat mushroom (I confess I couldn't taste the garlic, but it may have been disguised by the kick of heat from the harissa mayo), and lettuce and tomato.
On the menu, it said it would come with thick-cut chips and coleslaw, but I actually received salted fries. I enjoyed these slightly crisp, golden fries, but it would have been nice if I'd been told about the change of side before I'd ordered. The home-made coleslaw was a nice addition to the dish.
We were fairly full after those, so rather than choose one of the desserts of the day - which included treacle tart - I ordered a brownie from the counter to take back to the office with me.
That afternoon, I halved it with my colleague Steve after a tea run, and we agreed this rich and fudgy treat, covered with a generous dusting of icing sugar, was delicious.
Phil and I would certainly come back - the food was as good as it was in the old restaurant, if not better. Pizzas are available in the summer from the outdoor pizza oven and it would be great to sit on the terrace and enjoy the food - and the views - once again.
There's an extensive array of drinks to choose from, including bottled and draught beer, gins and spirits, champagne and prosecco, wine, soft drinks and hot drinks.
The drinks include locally made products, such as James White Juices from just up the road in Ashbocking, Aspall Cyder, Greene King East Coast IPA and Suffolk Gin.
Gluten-free beers, and low-alcohol and alcohol-free beers, are also available.
While the servers were helpful enough, the menus took a little while to be brought to our table, the jug of water wasn't brought over, and we weren't told about the fries replacing the thick-cut chips.
The menu includes breakfast and lunch options for children aged under 12, including baked beans on toast and meatballs and pasta. Breakfast costs from £3 and lunch from £3.50.
There's a large car park right outside the building as well as an overflow car park on the other side of the access road.
The mac & cheese. Phil would definitely recommend ordering it with the additional Suffolk Blue cheese to give it more depth of flavour.
Tasty food, including local produce, enjoyed looking out on to picturesque views.