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Cheese, wine, charcuterie -it’s all on the menu at this new Norfolk restaurant

PUBLISHED: 06:49 05 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:01 05 October 2018

Mike and Sam outside their new shop and restaurant The Hungry Ewe  Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Mike and Sam outside their new shop and restaurant The Hungry Ewe Picture: Ella Wilkinson

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Business duo celebrate award and open a new restaurant in Wroxham.

The owners of the Scrummy Pig in Wroxham have more than one reason to celebrate this month.

Not only were Mike Fish and business partner Sam Tate named Proudly Norfolk’s Food and Drink Champion 2018, but the pair have just opened the doors to a tasty new business – The Hungry Ewe.

If you’ve got a penchant for cheese and wine, the eatery (based in a former hairdressers in Hoveton) is definitely going to float your boat Mike says.

“We’d had the idea for a couple of years after doing wines and cheeses in the Scrummy Pig. There was a real demand for cheese and we found we could sell it so easily that got us thinking!”

Selection of chutneys at The Hungry Ewe  Picture: Ella WilkinsonSelection of chutneys at The Hungry Ewe Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Currently in a ‘soft opening’ stage, with a bar due to be installed at the end of October, the Hungry Ewe is hoped to become a big part of the local dining scene- and all without any cooking!

“What we’re offering,” Mike reveals, “is cheeseboards, charcuterie and pates, served with things like honey and nuts and fruit. We’ll have wine, real ale or gin flights paired with the cheeses. And desserts will be quite fun – individual cheesecakes served with sugars and sauces and fruits and ice cream to dip and flavour them.”

Mike says he wants to “raise the bar in Wroxham” at the Hungry Ewe, which currently has room for 22 diners on the ground floor, and 12 outside, with plans to expand upstairs in phase two of the development.

“That will be really exciting, because we’ll be able to do things like fondues and raclette up there!”

Selection of biscuits at The Hungry Ewe  Picture: Ella WilkinsonSelection of biscuits at The Hungry Ewe Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Cheeses from all over the world feature on the menus in the restaurant, alongside a Norfolk, and English board. Bringing a local touch to the platters is important, says Mike, but they’re not afraid to bring in elements from out of the county, or even out of the UK, to enhance the edible experience of their customers.

“So we’ll have wine from all over the place – a lot of people prefer French and Italian wines so we have those, but we’ll also be selling Winbirri wines, and wine from Flint. When people are on holiday around here they want to try local products, but while we wanted to keep a link with what we do up the road [at the Scrummy Pig] we didn’t want to mirror it and water it down.”

Expect to find across the menu beautifully creamy butter from Nortons Dairy, bread from the Pye Bakery, seasonal fruits changing throughout the year (the pears poached in cognac sound yummy and other accompaniments which could switch at a whim to keep the offering fresh.

Cured meats and salamis are sourced from Marsh Pig and the Norfolk Charcuterie Company, with delectable pates such as Black Magic (studded with Italian black truffle) featuring too.

Many items from the menu will be available to buy from the retail area of The Hungry Ewe, alongside very special products from further afield.

At the moment the restaurant is open seven days a week.

Just up the road is the recently award-winning Scrummy Pig.

Mike and Sam took on the business three years ago after their other operation (The Norfolk Sausage Company) suffered devastating fire damage.

“We’d been supplying the restaurant at Wroxham with sausages for quite a while,” Mike says. “The owner invited us up, we had a look around and he asked if we wanted to take over.

“We took over in October 2015 and it soon became apparent people were after Norfolk produce. We decided to kick out anything not Norfolk, and today have about 95% Norfolk produce. We’ve got lots of mustards, and beers, jams, chutneys, Crush oils, gins and spirits – everything.

“We were completely shocked,” he says of the Champion award.

“We didn’t even know we were up for nomination. The first we heard of it was Anna Stevenson walking in through the doors with the award. We were really surprised and, given the previous winners, very chuffed.”

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