Everything you need to know about the new food offering at The Angel, Bury St Edmunds
PUBLISHED: 19:30 25 June 2019
New executive chef Scott Taylor says he can't wait for customers to try out the new menu and experience the new-look restaurant.
The Angel Hotel's recent refurbishment has become a talking point in Bury St Edmunds - especially the Eaterie restaurant, with its plush, crushed velvet banquettes, and cheeky artwork.
But draw your eyes away from the walls. Peel your hands from the tactile textiles. And take a look at the menu, the handiwork of Scott Taylor, who has this year joined the hotel as its executive chef…with big plans afoot to re-position The Angel as one of the best places to eat in the town.
Scott's no stranger to Suffolk kitchens, having headed up The Courtyard at Elveden and the trendy Ice Cookery School and café. Here, at The Angel, he's been given a carte blanche. The opportunity to rebuild the whole kitchen and to establish a brigade of his own choosing, cooking what he says is "food people want to eat. I don't want fine dining. I just want it to be really nice, tasty plates."
Everything's being made from scratch by the team, down to the daily baked bread, jams and chutneys used on the afternoon teas. And Scott's drafted in a long list of trusted local suppliers he's worked with for years, from James the fish guy in Felixstowe, to gamekeepers at the Elveden Estate.
Menus will change almost daily depending on what's in season and what's in its prime.
"I'm really excited to be here," says Scott, who lights up when he talks about the edible landscape he has planned for the hotel, with the new concept bar and restaurant menus to be officially launched at the beginning of July. "I'm delighted to be running my own kitchen again to be honest. I'm so happy I could bring in my own kitchen team. I'm lucky that every single person, I've picked. They want to work with me. They want to learn and we're just going to evolve over time. They have as much input in the menus as me. We'll speak to the butcher, speak to the fishmonger, get the best quality ingredients in and say 'right, this is what we're going to do today'. I love not being tied to the same menu. We won't have something that'll be sent off to the prints to last for three months. We have to keep moving."
Service runs all day, beginning at breakfast with freshly baked pastries, Suffolk yoghurt and fruit (soon to be the kitchen's own), a full proper cooked English breakfast complete with award-winning Fruit Pig black pudding, and baked goods, from cakes and biscuits to muffins, which will be served all day.
The lounge menu (from July 1) is available from 10am to 10pm, with express lunches at £20 for three courses Monday to Thursday, as well as pre-theatre dining, and it's the lack of pretension that Scott wants to get across.
"Our new lounge and restaurant are beautiful with nice seating and waitress service. You can sit and have really nice nibbles and wine, chat away, maybe roll into having afternoon tea - make a day of it. There's no pressure. I want it to be really relaxed."
Perfect for sharing, says Scott, will be platters of charcuterie (which he eventually hopes to make in-house), with homemade bread, the best olive oil and 12-year-old balsamic vinegar. "Everything on the platter will be the best we can get. It's about finding good quality, not doing a lot with it and saying, 'there you go, enjoy'. The new bar has been so busy, I want to do more little bits can nibble at with drinks on a Saturday night too."
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The changing main menu focusses on flavour. Think slow-cooked chicken with gnocchi, slip soles with new potatoes and steamed tenderstem sourced from just around the corner, smoked mackerel rillettes, chicken liver parfait.
"We've also had some beautiful Jacob's lamb rump with seasonal vegetables, flat iron steaks and some amazing 36 day matured ribeye steaks which I've served with onions slowly cooked for two hours in beef dripping, stuffed with bone marrow. It's not showy. It's really good comfort food.
"On the desserts recently we've had banana fondant. Everyone gets bored of chocolate fondant, but this one is lovely with malted banana. And we've had a strawberry mojito dessert with rum and lime. It's the kind of thing you'd pick when you want a dessert but not something super sweet. It was a strawberry sorbet with rum and lime granita and mint foam, served with a big shard of white chocolate so you could scoop it all up. It was super yummy. Our mango cheesecake was also absolutely beautiful, with mango sorbet. All the ice creams are homemade in-house. Everything is, even down to the petit fours. We're making macaron, pate de fruit, homemade fudge and truffles."
Around 90% of the menu, says Scott, will be gluten and dairy-free by default, with full vegan and vegetarian menus available all the time.
What about afternoon tea?
"It's going to be a speciality of ours and will change all the time. At the moment we've got a selection of sandwiches, homemade sausage rolls, compressed watermelon with burnt feta and a little tomato and burrata salad, and homemade buttermilk scones with homemade jam and clotted cream. The cakes include a macaron, chocolate orange mirror cake, lemon raspberry and poppy seed drizzle cake with meringue and crushed raspberries through it, homemade quick cinnamon doughnuts, and coffee choux buns with a crunchy glaze." The tea is £19 per person.
"I'm very passionate about it (afternoon tea) I've done a lot of pastry work. It's my thing and it's something special to me. But it should come at a price where you can do it every week. I want people to come and eat it in the lounge and have a great time with fantastic tea and bubbles. It will change weekly.
"I can't wait to see where we can take the food. It's a big job but when I was choosing it I couldn't resist. This is probably the most iconic hotel in Bury and I want to do it justice."