Deopham: Nick’s Diner
If you haven't heard of Nick's Diner where have you been? COLIN WILSON visits a South Norfolk favourite building on a proud tradition.
Mention Nick's Diner to some residents of South Norfolk and they still haven't heard of it – incredible! Admittedly, it is tucked away in the tiny village of Deopham, but that really is no excuse, having been trading for over 25 years, this is an institution for the initiated in the detection of an outstanding beef burger.
Having taken over Nick's Diner in 2011 from its founders, Craig and Sara Armitage have continued the successful format, while further improving the overall experience with a wider menu, additional seating and an even friendlier welcome.
Over the years, whether dining for two, with friends or with family, we have tried most permutations of a 'Nick' burger, 150g of beef reared and produced locally by Shropham butcher D.J. Barnard and made on the premises. Globe-trotting from the French Nick, smothered in garlic mushrooms, to the North Atlantic Nick, with a generous accompaniment of prawns in seafood sauce, to a Mexican Nick, topped with chilli, plus many more.
On this dining occasion we veered from our trusty favourites and ordered a new addition to the menu, Blue Nick, topped with blue cheese sauce and streaky bacon, and a Black Pepper Nick, as the name suggests, dowsed with a delicious hot pepper sauce, both accompanied with a generous portion of skinny fries and a fresh lively salad, plus a side order of onion rings.
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Absolutely no complaints there — both were polished off and two new favourites were added to the list for future visits.
On to desserts and here comes another quandary – to choose an ice-cream sundae, or pancakes with a variety of toppings, or the more hearty options including nutty apple crumble or bread and butter pudding. On this visit we went off in differing directions, one with pancakes, drizzled with butterscotch sauce and cream, and the other with the crumble served with a good helping of custard. Again, both were a roaring success – as always.
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While the burgers are the main reason many people visit Nick's Diner, the menu does include some alternatives, including chicken stroganoff and king prawn creole, along with a good selection of starters, where the options include scampi dips, chicken satay, and a new addition of 'devil' prawns, to name just a few, plus a changing 'specials' board.
If you are visiting with young diners there is a good choice of children's meals, including scaled-down versions of the favourite burgers, as well as chicken goujons, pork sausages and fish fingers, all served with fries, and either salad or baked beans, plus the ice-cream sundaes for smiles all round.
The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed and is a firm favourite on our eating-out map and one where we will be sure to make a return visit very soon.
Open: Tues-Thurs from 6pm; Fri-Sat from 5pm; Sun 12pm-3.30pm and from 6pm. Booking is strongly recommended.
Prices: Starters from �2.50, burgers from �8.25, desserts from �1.50-�4.50
Vegetarian options: Some choices, but limited
Wheelchair access: Yes