A few weeks ago, Paulo and I decided to visit Jimmy’s Farm in Wherstead on our way back to Cambridge from Ipswich. We had lunch at the restaurant and it definitely exceeded our expectations.
Even though the restaurant itself is impressive (it’s located in a beautiful converted barn), I expected the food to be basic and decent fare with lots of fresh ingredients, especially pork. It was indeed all of this, but I noticed that there was a real expertise in the presentation and flavours of the dishes.
We were seated not too far from the kitchen and I was impressed that there was a very professional person on the pass. Everything ran very smoothly and the dishes were served at the right pace and temperature. I almost felt like I was in a fine dining restaurant with a proper chef rather than a farm restaurant. It turns out I wasn’t too far off the mark because I later found out that there is a new chef at the helm, Jon Gay, one of East Anglia’s youngest head chefs. I can only commend Jimmy’s Farm for recruiting such a fine chef and he is definitely elevating the restaurant to new heights.
The menu was very appetising and there were some tempting specials on the board. There were some pork based dishes, which we made a point to order as we were on a rare breed pig farm after all. My starter was from the menu: Jimmy’s farmhouse pâté with sweet onion chutney. It was served on a slate and came with fresh granary bread. It was a large portion, big enough for 2.
Paulo chose the potted ham hock with pistachios and toasted brioche from the specials board. It was beautifully presented and the flavour of the pork was superior. The crispy salad on the side added taste, colour and texture.
My main was Jimmy’s free range, rare breed sausages and creamy mashed potato finished with a classic onion gravy. Sausages and mash are one of my favourite comfort foods and this one went beyond a standard version of this dish. The onion gravy was superb. I was so impressed with the sausages I headed straight to the butcher after my meal and stocked up on all of their varieties.
Paulo once again chose from the specials board: wild garlic and somerset brie tart with buttered new potatoes and wild herb and brazil nut pesto. Even though this is a rare breed pig farm, there were some impressive non-meat dishes and this was one of them.
As my pâté starter was so filling, I didn’t have room for dessert. Paulo ordered the lemon posset with shortbread biscuits. The lemon posset was creamy and tangy, nicely balanced by the sweetness of the biscuits.
We were pleasantly surprised that we could enjoy such high quality cuisine in a casual, non-fussy setting. This lunchtime experience at Jimmy’s Restaurant offered us the best of both worlds.
The owners, managers or staff did not invite me to visit this establishment and were unaware that my experience would be the basis of a written review. It is based on my experience at my own cost and I did not receive compensation for my review.
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