A couple of years ago, not many people would have bet on the A1034 between South Cave and Market Weighton becoming a key culinary route through East Yorkshire. Yet today this pleasant but unremarkable eight-mile stretch of minor road can boast a multiple award winning gastropub in the shape of the Star at Sancton. There has also been the relocation of Hull’s popular Boar’s Nest to the Rudston Walk hotel and now the arrival of Drewton’s at the Drewton Estate. If this pattern continues the A1034 may well soon find itself renamed Restaurant Row or possibly Gastronaut Gulch.
Drewton’s farm shop opened in late 2010 and its offering of local produce, in-store butchered meat and top artisan produce proved an instant hit with foodies. It was purpose-built behind a farmhouse on the Drewton estate and is about two miles north of South Cave. Its handsome barn-style buildings include a café area, kitchen shop and a dedicated dining room which is where that fine dining happens. It’s on Saturday nights only for the time being, until a reputation is established and a regular clientele is enticed into the countryside.
One issue they will need to address is the lack of a reception area. When you arrive for the Supper Club – as Saturday nights have been dubbed – you enter and are immediately seated at your table. The option of starting the evening with a drink in the bar while you peruse the menu would be very welcome.
That minor gripe aside, the rest of the experience is wonderful. The 30-odd seater dining room has a wood floor, stone walls and a kind of bistro feel. But it’s nicely lit, with chalk boards and arty photos on the walls and a pleasant jazz-tinged soundtrack. Our waitress Sara (who proved to be a credit to the place) brought us a flaky, crusty fresh-baked half loaf. We dipped chunks into an accompanying oil and balsamic reduction and got our chance to unwind and debate the menu.
Not that there is too much to discuss. Four starters, four mains and four desserts is the sensibly minimal choice and every one of them is a either a British classic or a British classic with a twist. Local produce is identified throughout. Chef Adam Banks, who has a decade of working in various local kitchens behind him, has designed a simple, tempting menu. Each option reads as well as the next.
We choose spicy beef and tomato soup (a deep, beefy taste but a tad over-blitzed in the blender) and a superb plate of seared scallops with black pudding and avocado and chilli salsa. The avocado and chilli went surprisingly well with the perfectly cooked scallops and the tender, yielding, made-on-the-premises black pudding. There were also sun-dried tomatoes scattered around which deserved equal billing as they stood their ground well against the other ingredients. At £5.25 and £6.50 respectively both were decent portions and good value.
Mains were a rib eye of Yorkshire beef with grilled tomatoes, field mushrooms, chunky chips (stacked Jenga-style, predictably) and béarnaise sauce. This was a solid return for anyone’s £17.55. Plus we had Drewton’s estate roasted partridge with roasted vegetables and cranberry jus. The estate is best-known for its game and was ably represented by this sample, a moist bird with plenty of meat on it. The delicious roasted vegetables included peppers, courgette and new potatoes and the jus was laced with a juicy whole cranberries. At a very reasonable £15.45, it would have been dish of the night, but then desserts arrived.
The Baileys and toffee cheesecake went down a treat. But a sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream won the day by a comfortable couple of laps. I can’t say it was the best sticky toffee pudding in the world (after all there may be a better one served somewhere in Mongolia that I don’t know about) but it was certainly the best one I’ve ever had. It had everything – stickiness, softness, tack from the melted dates and, as the ice cream finally melted over the last of it, a small fight broke out over who would get the final spoonful (I won thanks to a deftly executed headlock). Pay heed, Drewton’s, because that STP will bring people back for more.
Desserts were £5 to £7.65 and with wines starting from around £19 the whole evening delivered six solid dishes, one bottle of red and two full bellies for a relatively reasonable £75.
The Saturday Supper Club at Drewton’s is currently an experiment in cautious expansion by this new-found but canny venture. Going by the experience we had, I hope it’s an experiment that finds favour with the public. Locally-sourced food this good is a very welcome addition to East Yorkshire’s culinary map and Drewton’s Supper Club may well become another memorable stopping point along the A1034’s nascent gastronomic route.
The Drewton Estate South Cave, near Brough, East Yorkshire HU15 2AG.
Open: Saturday nights only 6.30pm to 10pm.
Tel: 01430 425079.