The Village Maid is part of a growing chain of family owned pubs under the Moss & Co group. It is located in a quiet village of Lound, Lowestoft on the border of Norfolk and Suffolk. They serve lunch and dinner and you won’t miss it as it is just across the main road from The Mardle and Lound Lakes.
We were looking for a dog friendly pub for lunch after a long drive and found The Village Maid by chance. Furry friends were only allowed in the bar area and a special area of the restaurant. We were greeted and shown to a table in the corner of the restaurant. This worked for us as it gave us more privacy and with less foot traffic, our dog was able to relax.
We ordered from the lunch specials menu as well as the standard. Here is what we had:
Slow Braised Beef Short Rib served with sweet potato mash, rainbow chard, pomegranate molasses, sugar snap peas and jus (a thin gravy made from meat juice).
The beef ribs towered over the already generous portion of sweet potato mash accompanied by a generous portion of steamed green vegetables. The platter was then doused with pomegranate molasses and meat juice and topped with crispy deep fried carrots.
The ribs were well done and falling off the bone although not overly cooked so they were still very juicy. The slightly tangy taste of the pomegranate molasses sauce perfectly complemented the sweet potato mash. The mash was well riced and smooth with no coarse bits fibre which would suggest that the sweet potatoes were from a young crop. The overall presentation and taste were excellent and the ribs was a very filling dish as a main for lunch.
Morrocan Aubergine & Chickpea Curry served with flatbread, steamed rice and mint yoghurt on the side
This was one of the vegetarian/vegan choice on the lunch menu. Served with steamed rice and flatbread the curry was less curried and more tomato-based. Unfortunately this was overall rather disappointing. Had it been a tagine-style with cous cous, or a a proper curry with rice and naan, it would have been more authentic.
The flat bread was not fresh and therefore was too dry. It was slightly improved by the tomato sauce of the ‘curry’. The rice was standard American long grain which was unfortunately not the best option for rice and ‘curry’.
Served with a mint yoghurt the overall presentation was enticing and pretty, although let down by the rather confused mix of styles and cultures.
Southern Fried Chicken and Ribs (from Specials menu) served with skinny fries and house slaw.
Southern Fried Chicken and Ribs are a difficult thing to get wrong and thankfully, here, the chef did well. The Southern Fried Chicken strips were coated in what appears to be panko crumbs vs the typical bread crumbs. This gave the chicken strips a more golden hue and a more definitive crunch which was very welcome, although a slightly drier texture.
The BBQ’d pork ribs were a half rack, well marinated and broiled and smothered with BBQ sauce served with house coleslaw and fries. The ribs were done perfectly, with the meat falling off the bone easily and tasted as you would imagine, smothered in smoked barbecue sauce.
The coleslaw although looked deceivingly small was a more than sufficient portion and the red cabbage and carrots with hints of herb gave it a nice taste and flavour. The fries were wonderfully crispy, fried evenly and well seasoned with salt. All in all perfect company for the chicken strips and bbq ribs.
The Village Maid is a modern, clean and airy space with attentive and welcoming service. The pub was in much of the same vein as the many modern stylish up-market versions of gastro-pubs located all over the South west and it was a pleasant find in East Anglia.
It was clearly a regular for many locals and it was surprisingly busy on a weekday with much of the restaurant occupied throughout the lunch session. There was also an outside space at the rear of the pub for the cooler more relaxed evenings.
Address: 71 The St, Lound, Lowestoft NR32 5LP
Overall, we would definitely recommend a stop if you’re in the area. The food and relaxed ambience made The Village Maid a worthy and welcoming stop in a pretty spot of East Anglia.