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Review: The Cadogan Arms, Ingham - ‘Solid, if not spectacular, gastro pub grub in a welcoming setting’

PUBLISHED: 11:01 26 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:01 26 November 2018

Liz's starter at the Cadogan Arms - smoked mozzarella, chorizo arancini, chilli ketchup. Picture: LIZ HEATH

Liz's starter at the Cadogan Arms - smoked mozzarella, chorizo arancini, chilli ketchup. Picture: LIZ HEATH

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Mark Heath and his wife Liz visited The Cadogan Arms in Ingham, near Bury St Edmunds, for a Saturday night dinner. Here’s what they made of it.

Mark's starter at the Cadogan Arms - pulled beef and crispy cod cheek. Picture: MARK HEATHMark's starter at the Cadogan Arms - pulled beef and crispy cod cheek. Picture: MARK HEATH

Food

The Cadogan Arms is part of the same group as the well-repected One Bull in Bury St Edmunds and The Crown in Hartest, so we had high expectations heading out to the one AA rosette restaurant on a busy Saturday night.

And the first thing which hits you when you walk in is the cosy, welcoming feel - sofas, and well spaced tables, make for an excellent first impression.

We settled down into a corner table for two – with faithful hound Benson in tow once again – ordered a couple of pints of the delicious Estrella (on tap) and mulled our choices.

First thing to note - no bread on offer while you browse the menu. It’s a nice touch which other establishments of a similar size and standing do provide, and it was definitely missed here.

Anyway, to business. For starters, I ordered the pulled beef and crispy cod cheeks, served with tartare sauce, from the specials menu, while my better half went for the intriguing smoked mozzarella and chorizo arancini with chilli ketchup.

I was interested to see how the beef would work with the cod, and I was pleasantly surprised. The saltiness of the beef was nicely offset by the sweetness of the cod, while the crispy crumb added welcome texture. But the beef was perhaps a little oversalted – for my taste at least – and could have done with being a touch hotter.

Liz's main at the Cadogan Arms - buttermilk chicken burger, skinny fries and pickled celery. Picture: LIZ HEATHLiz's main at the Cadogan Arms - buttermilk chicken burger, skinny fries and pickled celery. Picture: LIZ HEATH

As for Liz, it was the first time she’d tried arancini and she wasn’t disappointed. The smokiness of the mozzarella and spiciness of the chorizo complemented each other nicely, while the chilli ketchup added a pleasant mild heat. Her only complaint was there wasn’t more of it!

Onto the mains, where I’d ordered the steak pudding with colcannon and steamed greens with gravy, while my dining companion went for the buttermilk chicken burger with skinny fries, pickled celery and remoulade.

If Liz had been the happier with her starter, the roles were reversed here.

Few things are better, on a cold winter’s night, than a good honest steak pie and mash, and my pudding was a winner. The suet pastry was tasty without being too heavy, while the filling was meaty and of good quality. The colcannon added a nice, understated, onion flavour to the proceedings, and the gravy brought everything together. Delicious.

Liz’s burger, meanwhile, was a substantial portion and not one for people watching their carbs! A nice, but not amazing, dish. The remoulade added an extra richness which the dish really didn’t need – Liz felt the burger would have been better accompanied with a crisp green salad to help cut through some of the heavier textures and cleanse the palate.

And thus we arrived at desserts. There was briefly talk of sharing one, but that was quickly overruled when the dessert menu arrived boasting both sticky toffee pudding, served with caramel ice cream, and an apple and berry crumble, served with custard!

Both classic winter puddings, so how did they fare? Well, my crumble was perfectly adequate without being outstanding. Decent, fruity filling, not too sweet, and a crumble topping which could have done with being, for want of a better word, a bit more crumbly and crunchier.

Mark's main at the Cadogan Arns - steak pudding, colcannon, steamed greens and gravy. Picture: MARK HEATHMark's main at the Cadogan Arns - steak pudding, colcannon, steamed greens and gravy. Picture: MARK HEATH

Sticky toffee pudding, meanwhile, is one of my Liz’s all-time favourite desserts, so she was judging from a position of great experience. The Cagodan’s version was tasty, but the pudding itself was on the luke-warm side and could’ve done with being hotter – a recurring issue afer my starter.

With that, our meal was done and we headed off into the Suffolk night having enjoyed a decent meal – but not one that will live long in the memory.

Service

Friendly enough, but a little slow and wary of our dog, which is a bit unsettling for a ‘dog-friendly’ establishment.

The speed of service could have accounted for a couple of our dishes being less than piping hot, while we ended up paying at the bar rather than waiting for the bill to arrive. That said, it was a busy Saturday night.

Liz's dessert at the Cadogan Arms - sticky toffee pudding and caramel ice cream. Picture: LIZ HEATHLiz's dessert at the Cadogan Arms - sticky toffee pudding and caramel ice cream. Picture: LIZ HEATH

Drinks

A good range of beers and wines, at reasonable prices. The Cadogan is part of The Brewshed micro-brewery, based in Bury, and offers its eponymous ale on tap at the bar. A popular choice.

Ambiance

As previously stated, The Cadogan offers a cosy and friendly welcome. The sofas look comfy and inviting, while the tables are spaced out enough that you don’t feel like you’re an univited guest on other people’s conversations, and drinkers and diners aren’t in each other’s space.

Parking

Mark's dessert at the Cadogan Arms - apple and berry crumble with custard. Picture: MARK HEATHMark's dessert at the Cadogan Arms - apple and berry crumble with custard. Picture: MARK HEATH

A large car park at the front and side of the property should mean that you can park comfortably at all but the very busiest of times.

Price

My starter was £7.50, one of the most expensive on the menu, while both mains were £13.50. Pretty much spot on for the quality of the food and the setting, certainly not overpriced.

Highlight

Liz would say her arancini starter, while I enjoyed my steak pudding.

Summary

Solid, if not spectacular, gastro pub grub in a welcoming setting.

A good choice if you fancy an impromptu lunch or dinner out, but don’t expect to be wowed.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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