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Culture: Food with editor Barry Peters - Taking the Bull by the horns

The One Bull - open once more
The One Bull - open once more

Like a phoenix from the ashes, The One Bull has re-opened its doors after being licked by the flames of disaster and, as Barry Peters reports, is back to doing what it does best

I was on duty the night The One Bull was threatened in one of the worst fires Bury St Edmunds has seen in recent times.

Barry Peters' ham hock Scotch egg starter
Barry Peters' ham hock Scotch egg starter

Cycle King bore the brunt of that horrible evening back in late September but the old timbers of The One Bull next door came in for a particularly tough time.

Walking back through the front door of the gastro pub on Monday night, I was very happy indeed. The One Bull is a key part of the fabric of the town and David Marjoram, wife Roxane and their team have got great food down to a fine art.

The pub is very much the same as before the fire – inviting bar area, cosy sofas, classy restaurant area – but you can sense it’s had a serious amount of work carried out and everything is shiny and new.

But what about the food?

Hake fillet with polenta
Hake fillet with polenta

Crackling with apple sauce (£3.50) is one thing I never tire of seeing on a menu and The One Bull version is not greasy at all, and it’s okay to have something naughty once in a while, right? My partner dived into the light as a feather goat’s cheese souffle with pickled beets and crispy shallots (£6) to start while I had the ham hock scotch egg, mustard soldiers and piccalilli (£6.50). Both were packed with flavour and beautifully presented, and prepared us well for the lovely mains.

I love fish, so the hake fillet, buckwheat polenta, black cabbage salsa and kale (£16) sounded sublime – and it lived up to the promise. The fish was flaky and the skin crisp, while the polenta balanced out the fish nicely. My partner plumped for fish, too – a special on the day of bream fillet, with sprouting broccoli, potato rosti and salsa verde (£14.50). Again, the fish was cooked perfectly and expertly teamed with the flavour bursting salsa verde.

One thing I love about The One Bull, being keen on marketing and branding, is the way they use The One Bull logo throughout. Even the gratis bottle of still or sparkling water has the pub name etched into the glass – a nice touch.

Desserts did sound gorgeous – passion fruit tart, white chocolate & raspberry ice cream almost tempted me and don’t even get me started on the £7 cheeseboard. But I settled for a decent Americano and said a big thank you to our waitress Becky who had been very attentive but never intrusive.

It’s great news for Bury that The One Bull is back up and running and that corner of Angel Hill is almost back to business as usual. And it’s telling that while we dined, the clientele of what looked like regulars were added to with young and old alike – one dining party included a babe in arms which is always a welcome sign of a pub which knows its market.

We’ll be back – and soon.

The One Bull, 25 Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds; 01284 848220; theonebull.co.uk; info@theonebull.co.uk

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