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Eaterie secures 'top fish restaurant' accolade

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:59 06 July 2010

Mike and Tina Pemberton

Mike and Tina Pemberton

A Norfolk restaurant has been awarded a top accolade in a prestigious food guide.

The Café at Brovey Lair is listed in the national Good Food Guide 2010, but more significantly is named by the guide as "the best fish restaurant in the UK.

A Norfolk restaurant has been awarded a top accolade in a prestigious food guide.

The Café at Brovey Lair is listed in the national Good Food Guide 2010, but more significantly is named by the guide as “the best fish restaurant in the UK.”

Tucked away on a country lane in the central Norfolk village of Ovington near Watton, The Café at Brovey Lair is based in an early 1970's style architect-designed house surrounded by extensive gardens.

The contemporary styled restaurant has only five tables adjoining a surprisingly small kitchen, where anything from sea bass , swordfish, tuna, sea bream, turbot, scallops and tiger prawns are cooked on a tepan grill in front of the evening's guests.

Full glass doors open onto a patio and swimming pool with extensive lawns, shrubbery and trees beyond.

This is where chef Tina Pemberton, who runs the café with husband Mike, welcomes her guests with stunning fish-only meals that are tailor-made to their individual requirements.

It is mother-of-two Tina's skill and flair with fresh fish cookery and her technique of cleverly blending flavours that have won her a place for the sixth time in the nationwide Good Food Guide 2010.

Tina, does all the cooking herself and admits to having no formal training, is particularly proud that the Guide's editor has listed the Brovey Lair as the “best fish restaurant in the UK”. The restaurant also scores an impressive six points.

“We are quite honoured by these accolades and it is wonderful to be given such high nationwide recommendation,” said Mr Pemberton.

Meals at Brovey Lair are £47.50 per head for a four-course dinner but the Good Food Guide reports the Pembertons' claim to offer a “totally unique experience starting with a telephone discussion of the diners' likes and dislikes” before she plans the fixed-menu for that night.

The Guide says: “Tina handles multiple flavours with assurance, turning out stir-fried sesame-coated chilli king prawns on a bean shoot salad with mint and coriander. This is followed by Portabello and oyster mushroom soup with miso and Japanese sea vegetables.

“For the main course Indian-spiced loin of wild halibut is baked with tamarind and coconut and comes served with French beans stir-fried in pomegranate molasses, roasted red peppers, aubergine and basmati rice with pine nuts and cardamona.”

Bitter chocolate mocha ruffle torte is served for desert.

Tina says her top culinary tip when cooking fish to take it off the heat before its cooked through .

“It must never be allowed to overcook. I have returned more fish dishes to the kitchen than I've eaten first time around. Fast, fresh and full of flavour is my mantra. Allow lots of time to prep so you can enjoy the company of your guests,” she said.

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