New Ipswich café offers one of the best value Sunday roasts in Suffolk
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
The chef is also making a cracking breakfast using local sausages, bacon and eggs, homemade bread and homemade beans.
A Suffolk chef passionate about local produce has just opened the doors to a new café in Ipswich.
Richard Podd, who has worked in various locations in the county, welcomed the first diners to On The Huh in January. It replaces what was Jackie's café, at 3A St Peter's Street.
Despite being open just a few weeks, On The Huh has already gained a steady following for its Sunday roasts, where it's just £12.50 for beef or £10 for the vegan option including a beer, glass of wine or soft drink, with the option to add a starter and dessert for only £2.50 per additional course.
It's pretty hard to miss the new venue, where there are plans to soon open one evening a week. In a nod to the county, Richard's had the pillars of the property painted in Suffolk pink, while the name is a saying known to many local folk. "On The Huh relates to the fact it's food from a different angle," Richard says. "I wanted something off the wall- a bit like me, and something that people in Suffolk would recognise."
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Richard's committed to supporting as many small businesses as he can via the eatery. Meat comes from M&M Butchers in Stowupland, who he's had a great relationship with for a long time. Fruit and veg are direct from Ipswich Market and Global Fruits. And he's currently working on sourcing even more local ingredients for his kitchens, from East Anglian flour for his homemade scones, bread and pastry, to organic milk, cream and butter.
"My ethos is to use local and to make everything myself," he says proudly. "That's what sets me apart. I'm making everything, down to the stocks to the sauces to the pastry for the sausage rolls. I'm baking bread every day, so if you come in and have a bacon sandwich that can be on my bread. And I'm making my own falafels and smoky beans too."
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Mornings begin with Richard's cracking breakfast - available all day and priced at £10 for the whole hog, or £8 for a vegan-friendly version.
"For that £10 you're getting two free-range eggs from Orwell Local Foods, two bacon (which is dry cure and thick cut so you're almost getting double what you would anywhere else), two sausages made to a recipe the butcher's used for over 30 years, a field mushroom, a whole roasted vine tomato, my homemade smoky beans and my homemade bread. I think it's great."
The vegan breakfast comprises homemade falafel, spinach, roasted mushroom, tomato, beans and homemade bread.
If you fancy lighter bites, you can opt for homemade beans on toast, poached eggs on toast, bacon sandwiches and other café staples.
Popping in for a quick mug of something hot (they use Coffeelink coffee)? While he's not really focussing on cakes, Richard is rustling up a rota of changing daily made scones and pork and vegan sausage rolls, as well as quiches to snack on.
Lunch could be soup of the day, jacket potatoes or any of the above, but where he's setting himself apart is with the aforementioned roasts, which should probably be booked in advance.
"I've been cooking roasts for years and I know I make a good one," the chef says. "I make the gravy with stock from the bones- I don't cheat and use powders. And I've bought huge muffin tins to do my Yorkshire puddings."
Diners can choose the vegan Wellington, most recently mushroom and beetroot, enveloped in Richard's own rosemary scented vegan pastry. Or stick to good old roast beef.
"That comes with roasties, cauliflower cheese (you can't beat it) and three to four types of vegetables depending on what's good on the market. I just had rainbow carrots on, in all different colours, they were lovely. The meat is Red Poll from M&M Butchers. He's been around for over 30 years now and when he started up a lot of his friends were farmers - two or three of them only deal with him. You can literally walk a few hundred metres from the shop in Stowupland and see the cows there eating the grass outside nine months of the year or in the winter, inside eating grain grown on the farm!"
A starter (usually soup) and dessert (currently crumble) are additional options, and all roasts come with a drink. "I think it's pretty damn good value for money."
In the next few weeks (keep your eye on the On The Huh Facebook page) Richard will be launching dining on Friday nights too, likely with a focus on fish. "When I was a kid everyone talked about 'fish Friday'," he says, "but noone I knew seemed to do it! That will be my first foray into evenings. We'll probably start from lunchtime and stay open. The idea is I'll only do fish on a Friday. It will all come in fresh ad once it's gone, it's gone. So customers will have to book, or get in early!"
On The Huh is open from 8.30am to 3pm Wednesday to Saturday and 11am to 3pm Sundays.