6 months ago

The Iconoclast FEB 2018


PERFECT FOR VALENTINE’S DAY The Restaurant With two Gregg’s outlets in Bury St Edmunds, I almost feel a little spoilt for choice whilst researching this review. One restaurant is contemporary, slick and minimalist, the other grand, inviting and decadent. The smooth black exterior, with palatial panes of crystal clear glass opening up to the palace of pastry, or the grand, mahogany panels lining a traditional structure, adorned with braced windows teasing the warm, enticing pies within. Opting for the more chic outlet, the thrown double doors unveil loud, danceable music - instantly raising the atmosphere and mood of the patrons. Sided by delicious sandwiches and beverages to the left, breads to the right, the jewellery cabinet of baked goods and confections is flanked by ever more perfect foodstuffs. Sausage Roll The classic. Never shall a fault be found, with the pastry as crisp and light as ever, each bite provides the perfect ratio of delightful, exquisitely seasoned sausage and fluffy bouncing pastry. On today’s visit, however, the temperature was poor. Mildly above tepid, the absence of heat significantly impacted the overall experience of one of the 2.5 million sausage rolls sold each year. With this undesired cooling, the binding between the pork and the pastry was weakened; now each bite became more of a flaky sandwich than a delightful hot bake. Despite this incredibly disappointing shortcoming, the sausage roll - as ever - stole my heart. A true gem. A baked diamond. 5/5 Steak and Cheese Melt A perplexing little roll. The steak is crisp as it visibly pours out of each end; the eye sits favourably upon this clear explosion of filling. Biting in, the suspense is brutal. The flavour is bizarre: tangy from the cheese, earthy from the baked meat but the texture is perplexing. As the buttery, combined fluid explores my mouth, I find myself underwhelmed and a little short changed. Unable to establish what is exactly going on, the complexity of this bake provides nothing but confusion. When a seasoned Gregg’s reviewer cannot even identify the flavour palette at play, something is definitely amiss. A confusion, a disappointment; a mistake. 1.5/5

Steak Bake A modern miracle. A twist on the traditional pasty: this flattened pie of thick, flavourful gravy and perfectly cooked, tear apart beef composes a delightful symphony of the senses. One problem, though, is the ratio. Each bite unleashes a tsunami of scolding sauce, some flows onto the pastry, some onto the finger - instantly blistering the innocent flesh. Although a major problem with the bake format, the taste more than balances this downside. First, the undeniably dense meatiness of the sauce: viscous, peppery and moreish. The beef, served in chunk format, is fresh and light, easily shredding on the incisor. Again peppery, although drenched with a pure, husky overtone. Delightful. 4/5 Chicken Bake The little brother to the steak overlord. Undeniably the inferior bake, the sauce - although creamy and indulgent - still falls flat. Exciting and engaging, yet disappointing as time goes on. A pleasurable bake; one that will certainly satisfy hunger, but - if acquainted with the full Gregg’s menu - is definitely a step down. The chicken does not come in chunk format, instead is served as pulled pieces of reconstituted meat: salty and flavourful, however completely doused in this unimposing sauce. An uninspiring bake, it serves the purpose of nourishment but will never live up to the steak alternative. 2.5/5 Limited Edition Spicy Chicken and Pepperoni Bake Unorthodox. Renegade. Maverick. The only way this bake can be labelled. Scrapping the traditional bake structure, this sturdier, denser pastry forms a thick shell over the filling; sprinkled with cheese aloft the exterior, the appearance is exciting. The first bite is heavenly, pouring out the divine orange filling. The Gregg’s production kitchen struck gold with this one. Pepperoni - albeit sparse - was sharp and notably spicy, chicken - again scarce - was succulent and indulgent, sauce honed and precise. A work of art, an avant-garde flare on a simple classic. Revolutionary. 5/5