Restaurant claims prestigious title

A VILLAGE restaurateur has achieved something that the likes of Jamie Oliver and Gary Rhodes could not after a scooping a prestigious national accolade.

Dave Gooderham

A VILLAGE restaurateur has achieved something that the likes of Jamie Oliver and Gary Rhodes could not after a scooping a prestigious national accolade.

While the celebrity chefs and hundreds of others failed in the annual accolades from renowned restaurant website toptable.co.uk, Barry Kappes is celebrating after his restaurant was unexpectedly crowned the “hidden gem” of the year.

Mr Kappes, owner of The Case Restaurant in Assington, near Sudbury, has taken pride of place alongside culinary greats such as Michel Roux and Martin Wishart who also won awards.

But there was less success for Oliver and Rhodes who failed to scoop the crown of most popular chef, both losing out to Marcus Wareing.

Mr Kappes said he was delighted, if a little surprised, by the accolade which came about after website members raved about the “faultless” service and food.

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He said: “The award is fantastic news and the fact that it covers the entire UK is quite an accolade. I think our success is more about consistency than anything else.

“We have been here a long time so we have been able to build up a reputation and hopefully this is the reaction to that. It is a prestigious award but I didn't actually know we had a chance.”

The Case was named the greatest “hidden gem” pipping Villa Romana in Fareham, Hampshire, and Bully's Restaurant in Cardiff to the award.

Mr Kappes added: “It is great to be described as a hidden gem and we know there are still so many local people who don't know we are here. This can be a bit frustrating at times but hopefully this award will help.”

Toptable.com bills itself as Europe's largest online restaurant reservation service. The website's Top 100 Restaurant Awards are based entirely on the views of the three million diners who have booked with the site over the past year.

A spokesman for the website said: “The Kappes family took over The Case in 1986 when it was just a quiet Suffolk country establishment.

“Ten years on, they've completely refurbished this Sudbury gem and transformed into a lovely modern restaurant with rooms.”

SAMPLE MENU

n Navarin of lamb - made with diced lamb, root vegetables and tomato served with new potatoes & fresh herb dumplings.

n Red thai chicken curry - breast of corn fed chicken with a creamy coconut and red pepper curry sauce accompanied by jasmine rice and sesame toast.

n Venison, apricot and mushroom pie - cooked in a rich red wine sauce and crowned with all butter puff pastry and hand cut chips, baby corn and carrots.