Suffolk restaurant named second best in country

A SUFFOLK restaurant has beat off competition from the likes of The Ritz and Martin Wishart's Edinburgh eaterie in a prestigious national dining competition.

Russell Claydon

A SUFFOLK restaurant has beat off competition from the likes of The Ritz in a prestigious national dining competition.

After being unearthed as the country's 'hidden gem' in the poll last year, The Case Restaurant with Rooms at Assington, near Sudbury, has tasted further success in a Top 100 Restaurants list.

The village eatery on the A134 has scooped the runner-up spot across two categories of the awards, based on diner reviews over the past year.

The Case, run by husband and wife team Barry and Linda Kappes, scooped second place in the Top Diner Rated and Best Value sections of the competition.

The Suffolk restaurant had to go head-to-head for votes with venues staffed by Michelin-starred chefs, including Martin Wishart, to land their place.

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Mr Kappes, 61, speaking on hearing the news on a winter break in Lanzarote yesterday, said: “It is absolutely fantastic considering what is behind them and what is behind us.

“I think we score with being a very personal service, going the extra mile.”

Their seasonal menu, which utilises local produce as well as the finest tastes from across Europe, was recognised as being the second best value for money in the country.

Since the venue, taken over and renovated by the family in 1986, won last year's category guests flocking to taste their food have included England and West Ham defender Matthew Upson.

Mr Kappes, who heads up the kitchen alongside his son Antony, 26, said: “It was very much a surprise last year and more so this time.”

He added the family will be toasting their success on their trip before they reopen for business on Saturday, January 23.

Gidleigh Park Restaurant in Chagford, Devon, pipped The Case to the top of the tree in the coveted Top Diner Rated award. The two Michelin-starred restaurant earned rave reviews from toptable members for its amazing food, faultless service and stunning location.

The 10 categories are judged entirely on the ratings of the three million foodies who booked and dined at one of 5,000 restaurants during 2009. The awards reveal Italian was the most searched cuisine, followed by Indian and French, with English coming 10th.

A typical two course meal from the � la carte menu at The Case Restaurant with Rooms:

Starter: Shitake and button mushrooms saut�ed with garlic and cream over toasted brioche - �5.55.

Main: Slow roasted (4hour) pork belly crowned with homemade apple chutney, served with vegetable timbale and diced

rosemary roast potatoes, sherry jus - �15.95.