We’ve just returned from our lunch at Michelin-starred Neptune in Old Hunstanton near King’s Lynn in Norfolk, and what a lovely meal it was.
They offer a £32 two-course lunch deal, which we opted for: poached salmon mousse, crab sauce, rocket, and soused mackerel, little gem, caper & beetroot dressing for starters; confit of Goosnargh duck leg, mushroom, hispi cabbage, potato rösti, as well as fillet of hake, baked leeks, charlotte potatoes, courgette & samphire.
We loved the atmosphere of this 18th century former coaching inn from the moment we entered. Everything here says ‘small, family-run venue’.
Chef Kevin Mangeolles previously worked as Chef Poissonière for Pierre Koffman at London’s famed two Michelin-starred La Tante Claire and gained his first own Michelin star at The George Hotel on the Isle of Wight, from where he and his wife Jacki relocated to Norfolk to open the Neptune in 2007. They’ve retained their Michelin star since 2009.
The starters arrived after about 15 minutes. We enjoyed the overall taste of the mousse with crab sauce and were pleasantly surprised that there were large bits of crab meat involved, even though the texture of the mousse was not ideal, a bit like a meat loaf. However, the soused mackerel was absolutely out of this world, one of the best dishes we’ve had in a while.
The confit duck leg was also exceptionally flavoursome and we greatly appreciated that it was not dripping in oil, like these sort of dishes usually do. This more than made up for the fact that the rösti and the mushroom were hugely disappointing in terms of taste and texture. Considering that the chef is known for his expertise with seafood it came as no surprise that the fillet of hake was outstanding. The texture of the leeks was unimpressive, but the samphire was a true revelation. I never understood the fascination with the green little fellers, but boy oh boy were these ones tasty! I can only guess that they must have been marinaded and steamed.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal. 4.5 out of 5 in our book. We’ll aim to be back.