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“High prices, pretentious menu, un-inspiring service.”
Review of Market Bistro

Market Bistro
Ranked #1 of 186 Restaurants in King's Lynn
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $14 - $27
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Families with children, Local cuisine, Large groups, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Small, family run, informal bistro with an emphasis on casual dining using local, sustainable produce. Owned and loved by chef owner Richard and his wife Lucy.
Norwich, England, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“High prices, pretentious menu, un-inspiring service.”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

We visited Market Bistro on a Saturday night as a party of 7 for a family member's birthday having heard good things.
The decor is satisfactory, but perhaps a little cold. Menus were printed A4 sheets of paper displayed on nasty looking clip boards-one of which was dirty and sticky. These aesthetic points would be forgiven if the food and service were qualified by the price. However, paying £8.95 for a starter that consisted of only TWO flavourless scallops and 2 spoonfuls of confit/broccoli-is in my view disgraceful.
My choice of main was the 'pork belly' with black sausage and pancetta. Whilst the pork belly and black sausage were tasty, it was not worth £16.95- the 'pancetta' was the same as the 'bacon' served with my started (I thought Pancetta was lardons of salt cured bacon?) and the veg was both minimal, un-inspiring and bland. Other members of the party had the ox bourguignon-which was very tender and tasty, but portions were once again very small.

The service was adequate but by no means relative to the prices of the food. We were not asked 'is everything okay?' during the starter, empty bottles/glasses were not removed from the table, the staff were not well informed regarding the specials, and the overall lack of attention to detail was disappointing. I'm aware this may seem trivial... but again, when you pay £7-9 for a starter and £15+ for a main course you expect the service to be spot on. Although, having complained about two of the starters they were deducted from the bill.

The restaurant is claiming to be a laid back bistro, however, it is charging 'high class' prices for food that is by no means 'high class', presented in a pretentious manner, which has no love, substance or feeling behind it. King's Lynn has few restaurants, and the fact that we were the last customers present at 10.15 on a Saturday night says it all.


All in all, a disappointing and expensive experience; would not recommend.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
5 Thank Edward S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mbkl2010, Owner at Market Bistro, responded to this review, November 6, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review our bistro. Unfortunately because we were not made aware of your unhappiness on the evening by yourself or your parents we were unable to resolve the situation to your satisfaction.
Our team member did however inform us that you had made comments regarding two of your starters, these were immediately removed from your bill as our main role as owners of this business is to make sure that our customers leave happy. I would like to take this opportunity however to clarify a few things about the starter you choose from our specials board. The scallops had been delivered to us that very morning and had been hand dived, we don't agree with serving scallops have been dredged off the sea bed by a trawler. Because they are hand dived they are not cheap but we are prepared to pay more because of our beliefs regarding sustainability. That is the case with all of our produce, we pride ourselves on buying free range or rare breed meat, only serve sustainable fish and we think it is very important to support local farmers and businesses and unfortunately this does mean that our raw ingredients are not cheap. Our prices here at the bistro range from £3.50 for a starter and £8.50 for a main course, I think it’s extremely unfair that you have exaggerated the prices in your review. You also failed to mention that your hand dived scallops came with a cauliflower puree, steamed romanesco florets, bacon powder, free range crispy pancetta and a pork jus, not confit broccoli as you stated. This is also true of the pork dish you ordered, which consisted of belly, cheek (you failed to mention this part), black pudding and pancetta all from free range, rare breed pigs.
It really disappoints us to read such reviews, especially as it is not factually correct and extremely harsh in its rating. We are aware that we are not going to please all of the people all of the time, and we undertand that some people believe they recieve better value by eating in high street chain restaurants rather that small, family run, independants. However, we find it really upsetting that you were not prepared to raise these issues with us in person and instead decide to try and sabotage our good reputation by leaving a "terrible" review on here.
If you would like to discuss this matter further please do not hesiate to telephone me at the bistro.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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637 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
King's Lynn, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Brilliant yet again”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

We always try and go to Market Bistro when visiting King's Lynn. Lovely meal starting with the smoked salmon and then the duck. The food was beautifully prepared and presented with excellent service.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Tonyhm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 6 Contributor
140 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“At last Kings Lynn and West Norfolk has somewhere special to eat!”
Reviewed October 30, 2012

I enjoyed a really lovely meal in beautiful surroundings. This part of Kings Lynn is so worth a visit, fantastic old buildings and history and now you have this wonderful restaurant. The food was fresh, largely local and sublimely cooked. Perhaps, with winter on the way a hot pud choice would have rounded it off superbly, but having chosen the crumble, thinking it would be hot, I was blown away by the taste and texture. It is served cold in a kilner jar, custard at the bottom and then apple and blackberry, gently spiced, with the most fantastic crunchy crumble on the top!

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank BBDOM44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Nice find”
Reviewed October 27, 2012 via mobile

Stumbled upon this restaurant today whilst shopping in kings Lynn. Very nice surprise. Good food good service. We will return.

Helpful?
Thank lindamilbank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burwell, Cambs
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“A wonderful birthday treat”
Reviewed October 19, 2012

Myself, my husband and a couple of good friends ate at the Market Bistro last Saturday evening to celebrate my birthday and it did not disappoint me at all. We were seated with menus in the upstairs lounge as we arrived a little early and a very friendly waitress came to take our drinks order and was very patient with us as we deliberated (and changed our minds!) over the food order. The food was excellent and the waitresses recommendations were very good! The main course portions were very generous and we couldn't find room for puddings. When we queried (at the end of the meal) that a couple of the salmon starters has arrived without their quail eggs, we were very pleasantly surprised that one of the starters was deducted from the bill, and some quail eggs were brought to us to try!! The staff are really friendly and very willing to try and ensure that their customers have a good time and a fine dining experience. Thank you Market Bistro for providing me with a lovely birthday meal!

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Evaluna71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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