Bury St Edmunds: Pea Porridge restaurant wins Michelin Guide recognition

OWNERS of a tucked-away restaurant which offers something a little bit different are “delighted” to have received two prestigious awards.

After just over a year of trading, Pea Porridge, in Bury St Edmunds, has been awarded the accolade of Best Rated Newcomer in the UK outside of London, in the Harden’s UK Restaurant Guide 2011.

The restaurant, in Cannon Street, has also won a Bib Gourmand rating in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2011.

Justin Sharp, who owns Pea Porridge with wife Jurga, said: “To receive a Bib Gourmand after just a year, it’s just the pinnacle really.

“The guide is still seen as the restaurant-goers bible. And to win the best-rated newcomer award is a real achievement as well.

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“It’s never our goal to win accolades – it’s first and foremost about having a successful business that’s thriving and busy. But the accolades help and we are proud of them.”

In the Harden’s guide, it said the small restaurant was “already making waves with the sheer consistency and quality of what it offers”.

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It added: “This is one of those restaurants which really has taken to heart the mantra of buying the finest produce of the moment and turning it into the finest dishes possible.”.

Mr Sharp, 34, is the chef, and his wife, also 34, works in the front of house.

He said he liked to class Pea Porridge as a “rustic bistro” which sometimes served food that was a little bit different to what you could get from other restaurants locally.

Mr Sharp said: “We try to utilise the more forgotten cuts, if you like.”

One of the regular dishes is snails, bacon and bone marrow. A lot of game is also served.

Mr Sharp said: “Being in an area with quite a big farming community, I think people are pleased to come to us and find things like bone marrow, plus other lesser-known and forgotten cuts, on the menu.”

Mr Sharp said the atmosphere at Pea Porridge – named after the green that used to be there – was laid back and all about making people feel right at home.

The couple have run restaurants before, but this is the first business they have owned themselves.

It won the Harden’s award after it was rated by visitors to the restaurant.

The Bib Gourmand is awarded to establishments that represent good food at moderate prices.

For more information about the restaurant, visit www.peaporridge.co.uk

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