West Runton – Hole in One

The Hole in One bar in West Runton, situated by the Links Country Park Hotel on the North Norfolk coast.

The bar had one real ale which was Woodforde’s Wherry. It’s all a bit generic and bland for my liking, but it could have been worse I suppose and been a Greene King IPA.

This is better, the Adnams Blackshore Stout which had some rich flavours, including a caramel taste. The dispense was dreadful though, there’s no need to swirl the glass to get a head on any beer, let alone this stout. The swirling simply sent the beer over the top of the glass and wasted their product.

The menus need replacing, they’re in poor condition. And the bar has had this marvellous idea to offer a two for one deal on some of their meals, which is ideal if you’ve come to dine alone. The menu is also perhaps too big logistically for the size of the venue, it’s inevitably going to lead to service time issues.

I noticed that the chefs hadn’t burdened themselves with the presentation of the fish and chips. And it’s evident that the fryers needed cleaning judging by the carbonised particles which came with the fish. However, the fish batter did actually seem fresh and the quality of the cod was also fine, so the core ingredients appeared to be entirely acceptable. The fries were also fine and were served at the appropriate temperature and the peas were acceptable, if rather boring. The tartare sauce may also have been homemade, or at least, it tasted fine.

Incidentally, I’m not entirely convinced about the bar’s policy on dogs, as they have freedom to roam across the dining area and there were barking dogs during my visit.

The service was way below standard, with a wait for food of 68 minutes, which in any restaurant should warrant a staff member alerting the customer to the problem at some stage during the proceedings. The menu size clearly caused problems for the kitchen, trying to cook pizzas, fish, ciabattas and grilled items all at the same time in a limited size area isn’t likely to really work.

For anyone on holiday this isn’t a bad place at all, the slow service isn’t going to make much difference and I’m sure it isn’t usually that long a wait for food anyway. For individuals though there’s limited value given the pricing structure and for groups above four in size I’m not entirely sure that the kitchen could cope with the volume.