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Jorge’s Restaurant, 2-3 Orford Street, Red Lion Street, Norwich, NR13TB
So, there I was one Thursday night with an invitation to Jorge’s for a taste of the new Tapas Menu. It was going to be my first experience of this Portuguese restaurant, tucked away in Orford Street, right in front of where Looses cook shop used to reside. And opposite Debenhams – follow the twinkly lights in to alley that hides this hidden gem.
The restaurants lavishly decorated in a moody but trendy dark grey, suiting the wooden tables and comfy chairs, ambient lighting sets for a romantic feel in this 30-seater restaurant. Its big enough for private party’s and the create a good atmosphere but small enough for amazing friendly attentive service. Even the toilets are cool – soft lights, liquids and towels, deep and moody but cool and clean.
(I liked the loo – – it’s a good judging point, so many toilets are left to fester, the best Loos in Norwich are at the Ivy – – Jorge’s is definitely in the top 5 – – not that there’s a list ((Note to myself – – maybe I’ll do a toilet blog!!!)).
Anyway, the place was full and buzzing with happy folk, indulging in all that Jorge’s has to offer – the kitchens slightly open, you get the occasional sneeky peek at the second Jorge – – that’s the head chef not the owner, he’s Portuguese as well and has a whole host of experience. We were met by a friendly Jorge (that’s the owner and front of house, I won’t mention the other Jorge again in fear of confusion) and his wife Eleanor.
They met on a cruise ship where Jorge was working as a sommelier and Eleanor as a photographer. Jorge has worked all over the world including America. First gaining his enthusiasm for cooking from his Mum. The newly married couple settled in Portugal for a while before deciding to come back to Eleanor’s home town, right here in Norwich to open up a restaurant.
With Jorge’s passion for Portuguese food, his front of house experience and his knowledge for amazing wines along with Eleanor’s event and media skills (did I mention Eleanor & Jorge also owned a successful events company in Portugal) – Jorge’s was sure to deliver.
Anyway – – there we were being offered Bullard’s Gin cocktails from their new cocktail menu.
For those of you not in the know Bullard’s was a beer and gin manufacturer in Norwich 100 years ago, they even had a pub opposite Jorge’s before Debenhams was built (see the black and white picture on the wall). They now produce award winning Gins – – including their London Dry, awarded the best Gin in the World.
We then sat down to be indulged in tapas after tapas.
The first was a mixed croquette plate of Salt Cod, Vegetarian oozy cheese (my favourite) and a Portuguese Game croquette (hubby’s favourite). All totally different, all well flavoured and all as fresh as a cucumber. I’d probably go as far as to say it was the best Salt Cod croquette I’ve ever had – they can often be dry and often stale. But these were soft, packed full of cod with a lovely texture.
Then came tiger prawns in a simple sauce of butter and garlic but oooh were they good – they arrived shell on, so you can suck out the brains – – What do you mean that sounds gross, NO that’s delicious!!!
The Clam broth was so good too – a simple stock but so well flavoured and soup-a-licious.
Tip – If you order either the prawns or clams go for some bread on the side to soak up all those delicious juices.
Then came some very sticky wings – sauce to die for, meat falling of the bone and a good ole portion.
The next dish was pork in pickles (Pica Pau), they sometimes use pickled vegetables and a little of the juice to make up the sauce – giving a slight tart flavour, but added to the meat juices and featuring the crunch of the veggies it really was a different and tasty dish (I’m stealing that one).
Lastly, we had a pork steak cooked on their char-grill, a cut known in Portuguese as ‘Presa’ – it’s a cut from the shoulder. Although ribboned with tender fat, its meat is protected from the shoulder bone – making it tender and so well flavoured, after all fat is flavour (it really is, I can’t emphasise that enough). Topped with a Piri Piri sauce, a Portuguese classic.
And if that wasn’t enough we got 2 scrumptious desserts a shot of Nata meringue & cookie mousse and a rich firm chocolate mousse.
Everything without doubt was lovely – Jorge & Eleanor told me that in Portugal dishes are very simple, combining just a few ingredients, letting good quality meat, fish & seafood speak for its self yet adding flavour with maybe a tough of garlic, chilli, olive oil, stock, wine and gentle seasoning – with a coal char grill for that BBQ flavour – that’s perfection in its self.
I’d heard the food was good and it was, I would put it up there with the best restaurants in Norwich, the sort you don’t mind paying a little bit more for because you know the service, quality and dishes are going to be good.
Jorge said feedback and reviews were all good and the only thing that came back occasionally was the prices – we had a little chat about that. And I must admit on first reflection when they first opened I did think they were on the slightly higher side – but then when you think (like last week) I went to a gastro pub and paid £15 for my daughter to have an over cooked burger, which looked more like a meat ball in a bap!!! And when I ordered a £18 steak it came with freezer bag fries plus tough & over cooked meat.
With Jorge’s you are getting quality in a city centre restaurant. Quality ingredients cost money, good chefs cost money, city centre rents costs money and over heads cost lots of money – squid & squid ink, tiger prawns, Iberico ham, steak, clams and the like cost even more money.
Your, simply getting what you pay for. (unlike some places where you’re basically getting a factory produced ready meal cooked by an imp!!! – don’t get me started)
The tapas on the lunch time menu range from £4-7, like Char grilled traditional Chorizo with bread for £6.50, Asparagus & Black-Eyed Beans for £5, the sticky Chicken Wings for £5.50, you can get fries on the side for £3, olives & bread for £3.50 or just bread for £1.50.
Great to share – Great for meetings – Great for Friends, lovers and mothers – great for lunch.
While in the evening you could go for the ‘Terra & Mar’ £39 for 2 to share – Char-grilled steak, Black Pork & Tiger prawns.
Or that tender pork shoulder steak, served with peppers, onion and coriander Salsa for £15.50. Fancy a starter like Fresh Tuna with Almonds & Green Salsa for £6.50 plus there is lots more to choose from including Vegetarian options. Sides, home-made desserts and more.
Plus, not forgetting Jorge is a Sommelier – you’ll find a feast of quality wine, cocktails and other drinkable goodies on the menu including Portuguese Green Wine – – interestingly enough it’s not green, they just use that name to identify the region it’s from.
And if that wasn’t enough to tempt you – they’ll soon be bringing Sunday Brunch*** to Jorge’s – – how’s that.
Jorge’s Love Norwich Food Promotion
10% off our Tapas Lunch Menu
Terms & Conditions: This voucher entitles you to 10% off our Tapas Lunch Menu (Tuesday to Friday). Maximum party size: 4 diners. For one use only. Voucher not valid in conjunction with any other offer.
When booking your table please
quote: 10% LUNCH from Love Norwich Food and
present voucher (show this on your device) on arrival.
I’m a cookery tutor who specialises in Asian. I’ve been asked several times over e mails if I’m Thai, mainly by men with some glimmer of hope. But I’m not Asian in any form other than holding the passion to teach exciting flavours, completely un-English food which it topped with neither custard nor gravy but maybe a flourish of something obscure.
To eat exotic flavours bursting with zing and zang (no, that’s not the puppets from The Big Breakfast). Asian offers lightness, healthiness, punchy flavours, amazing smells, texture and presentation.
A pork chop with cabbage simply doesn’t do the same to the taste buds as a Penang Curry with Coconut Rice with a pickle or two on the side – that’s the perfect balance Asian dishes offer.
Ok I know I’m British and I was brought up with meat and 2 veg but that’s why I love Asian food – – it’s the opposite of what I used to eat as a child and although sometimes I love comfort food, it’s never quite as exciting. The smell of overcooked steamed cauliflower from my granny’s kitchen and the smell of pak choi being tossed in sesame, hoi sin and honey isn’t comparable.
So, as well as teaching Asian cuisine, I eat it, travel it and if someone just happened to offer me a gifted Sushi making workshop I’m THERE –
The thing with food is it’s a never-ending knowledge – you can never learn it all. If you’re a cab driver it might take you a few years but eventually you know every single road, every single short cut and every single traffic light. But with FOOD it’s a continual learning circle – infinity and beyond. So, us chefs and cookery tutors love cookery courses, watching cookery shows and traveling to eat – – – if a chef says his favourite food is a Maccy D – – – RUN!!!
Ciscoes is a well-established (since 2014) Pan Asian restaurant on Ber Street offering` the very best Sushi in Norwich as well as other Japanese and Asian inspired dishes. But if you love sushi and wanted a treat above all sushi treats you could share a £42 Sushi platter (‘Art on a Plate’ or the ‘Sushi Fanatics Platter’) – – it not only looks amazing it tastes amazing too and it’s all topped off with a soft-shell crab – exquisite, visually sensational, tasty and smell-licious.
Plus, NHS, Norwich City Council, students & approved businesses get 10% off certain mid-week days (see website for full details). And you’ll find Ciscoes in Spree Norwich – 2 for 1 mid-week.
Cisco is the owner and head chef previously from Shiki’s – with a vast knowledge of all things sushi with a charm to teach too. Ciscoe’s is short for Francisco, as in Mr Francisco ‘Cisco (for short)’ Papica. He’s originally from the Philippines working his way up from kitchen porter to cheffing all over the world, ending up in Norwich as a Sushi chef. Cisco fancied owning his own restaurant sharing his passion for not only Sushi but other Asian cuisines like Korean, Thai & Vietnamese too. He loves using local ingredients like sourcing his veggies from Norfolk, the fish is delivered fresh from Scotland a couple of times a week and he even has some local Gins on the menu.
They pride themselves on inclusivity – offerings Vegan, vegetarian, & gluten free options as well as making sure they cater to your needs and likes – look out for a colab there doing this summer with River Green Vegetarian, Thorpe.
They also offer 4 Sushi workshops a year (see below for upcoming dates), just short of 2 hours on a Sunday at David Lloyds health club Norwich (use to be Virgin, next to the old skating ring). You sit on a conference type table set up in the restaurant area, with all you need in front of you – ingredient’s, equipment like a take home rolling mat and a shot glass!!!
Ingredients include some sticky seasoned sushi rice, some fresher than fresh fish and some other odds including wasabi and ginger.
We started the class with a shot of the best Saki I’ve ever drunk – I must admit I always have it for cooking but have never paid more than £15 for bottle. I guess, you get what you pay for just like good wine.
Ciscoe went on to demonstrate – Futomaki, then Uramaki which is the rice on the outside variety. Then some Nigiri topped with gorgeous fresh sliced salmon and then a surprise one (I can’t tell you everything).
Then we got our chance to make them – – – of course mine were perfect – Cisco said!!!
Then it was time to taste around 20 pieces of sushi or take home. A good dollop of pickled ginger and a splodge of hot bright vivid green wasabi to top it off.
A fun, informal, tasty, educational, practical hands on activity – perfect with a friend or perfect as a date night plus you get a take-away.
The next Sushi school is on Sunday 8thSeptember, then Sunday 8thDecember 2019 – Tickets are £55 per person or £100 for 2.
Ben is one of the chefs at the Station Smoke House in Hoverton who decided last year to set up ‘The One Food Company’ as a side project. It’s a family business with Bens wife Sharon helping out with the logistics and packaging. While their boys 5 & 7 help out with the taste testing as well as scrumpy-ing away fresh fruit, veggies and herbs in the garden.
There’s three sides to his catering business one is his BBQ inspired sauce, a delicious ‘Smoked Beetroot and Chilli ketchup’ called The One. (See stockist below) It’s a thick umptious sauce full of robust fragrantly smokey flavour with a deep purple colour, a slightly beetroot tone with a gentle kick. It can be used as a marinade or basting sauce for barbeques. Did I say it’s the perfect consistency to dip too – NO, well it is – like really good thick ketchup. Buy it for around £4 – 4.50 per bottle.
The ‘Proper Pizza company’ have also been known to offer this very sauce as a pizza base with other Norfolk ingredients making up the topping – look out for ‘The Norfolk Pizza’.
Then there is his monthly meal club, home delivery meal deals in Norwich. Since starting late last year (2018) Ben has regular customers, but hopes to build up his clients and branch out the delivery’s to other suburbs of Norwich on different weeks.
I tried his zingy Slow Cooked Middle Eastern chicken with Harissa & Orange, a delicious refreshing salad of orange, walnut, cucumber and olive. Plus, a side of Spiced Chickpeas and Honeyed Parsnip which were gorgeous. I even got a side of carrot fritters which worked perfectly with his purple sauce. Everything was packed with amazing Middle Eastern flavours, not too spicy but with a subtle exotic spice spike. All dishes worked gloriously together but also by themselves too – – – – a great balance.
Every month Ben offers up a different meal deal to delight, coming up is a Japanese inspired Miso & Mirin glazed Chicken and a Smoked Brisket Curry all with accompany sides to match. Working in the Smoke House as a chef along with having a passion for Middle Eastern & Asian Spices makes for an exciting menu with a whiff of smoke, which is sure to delight the taste buds.
Meal deals work out to £18 – 22 per meal for two. Which is a lot cheaper than eating out, not much more than buying all the ingredients yourself and on a par with a crappy large pizza. Plus, you ain’t got no cooking, shopping and clearing up to do. You could even say you cooked it yourself and impress someone special on date night!!!
Ben sometimes offers add on’s like Panko Camembert balls with Indian seeds, Mexican dippers or buttermilk brisket bites – to name a few for around £6 (enough for 2 to snack on). And sometimes The One Food Company will run a poll to see what the customers fancy.
The third and final string to Bens catering bow (not included his work as a Chef) is small function catering by the way of events, office meals, party’s etc., when anyone fancy’s say up to 15 or so meals the by way of hot and cold buffets – he’ll cook, deliver and present.
So, if you fancy a Chef to caterer for your ‘do’ – give Ben a call.
Of if you fancy a meal deal every now and then – give Ben a call.
Or if you fancy some of that luscious Smoked Beetroot & Chilli Sauce, see below (don’t give Ben a call!!!).
For years the people behind Norfolk Food & Drink (now Proudly Norfolk) organised Battle of the Banger as part of the yearly food fest. Eight or so local Norfolk butchers would cook up dozens of bangers, cut ‘em in to bites and share with hordes of people, the public would then judge their favourite. Inevitably Archers won, they’re a good sausage but other good sausages are out there and did win occasionally.
But then we were told there would be no more battling bangers after 2018.
We liked battling bangers!!!
There is also Framlingham Sausage Festival – a day of walking, queuing and eating chunks of local butcher’s sausages one after the other all over the town – another great foodie day out with stalls and street food. The whole town comes alive.
Then a few caterers & butchers came up with The Big Sausage Bash, which was held Sunday 12thMay 2019, 10am – 4pm in Aylsham as part of Slow Food Aylsham.
It was a chance to promote the BANGER – the staple for any butcher. Plus all ‘Good foodie Stuff Norfolk’
So, Charlie Hodson (Chef, Cookery Stage Host & Charlies Norfolk Food Hero’s), Sam Bagge (manager at Walsingham Farm Shop),
Johnny & Jason from Coxford Butchers in Aylsham along with help from Aylsham Scouts & the Church came up with this amazing event. Also helping to promote Aylsham, slow food Aylsham and the great British Butcher.
Sausages have been around for over 4000 years originally a way to use up the lesser cuts of pork and encased in intestine skins. Known as bangers, as they would often explode in the pan. We rest them over night now – that stops any unnecessary explosions.
Did you know I won a competition with my recipe for Chocolate Sausage’s – – we’ll I did? See Green & Blacks Cookbook, page 90 for proof.
It was an amazingly sunny day, the village looked beautiful. Blocked off from cars and bustling with food stalls of every description.
Local & Norfolk, of course – –
Bace Foods– vegetarian bean based sauces / dips or fillers.
Old Hall Farm– raw milk, milkshakes, ice-cream & fudge.
Sandringham– Apple Juice
Moon Gazer Ale
Currylicious– Ready-made frozen curries, take-outs and street snacks.
Candi’s Chutney – of all sorts
Rocket Ship Chilli Sauce– mild, medium & head blow off-er
Nova Farina– Gluten Free pea flour and crumbs.
Foundry Drinks– Wild Knight Vodka, Caramel vodka and Gin
Chat Valley Vineyard– Norfolk Wine
Stokes– Sauces inc, ketchup
The Home-Made Doughnut Company– donuts of every flavour inc, bakewell, banoffee & jammie ones.
Chillis Galore– chilli sauce and jelly
Gurbeck– scotch eggs and pastrys
Walsingham Farm Shop– local cheeses
The Tea Lady– jams, chutneys & Marmalades
A De Piff– Spice mixes
Give it some beans– Coffee
Plus, HOT sausages for 50p from Coxford, Walsingham, Papworth and Open Norwich. As well as the standard butcher’s banger was a wild garlic & lemon variety from Walsingham and a Sundried tomato, olive & herb one from Open.
They even had Mr Pig Man himself ‘Tim Allen’ with a trailer of fat piggies to goo-gle over.
One massive factor I’ve learnt increasingly over the last year is Farmers love their animals, (well certainly all the local farmers I’ve met and interviewed) they care about the animal welfare, they name them, they treat them and fuss them.
Those little piggies have a lovely life, happy in the UK with the perfect weather for their skin, happy to fallow in cooling mud and slosh around in muddy puddles. Regularly fed and watered with tasty nibbles. Left to get jiggy with it, left to mother and suckle their young.
It’s a life they have enjoyed before their inevitable fate.
Happy pigs – delicious bacon!
Anyway, back to bangers – – –
Then in the town hall was cookery demos hosted by Charlie and set up from the Cookery Live Team.
I saw a sausage making demo from the Old Hall Farm team including Tilly their Butcher. And she really knows her stuff – the farm has recently opened up a café, the cows are milked next door and they’ll soon be a butchery department where you’ll see the occasional demo and class. Tilly’s also promised to make treacle bacon with their happy pigs.
Plus, Icarus Hines amongst the other butchers and chefs from all over the county demonstrated deliciousness. Plus, unlike other food stages I could mention you can actually try the food – if your quick.
Along with all of that was Dann’s trailer selling ice-creams and milkshakes. The Proudly Norfolk marquee, a police pitch (hello, hello), Feast magazine, Slow Food Aylsham selling salad sides to munch on with your sausage plus they had a refreshment and cake kiosk. If that wasn’t enough some of the local town shops were open like cafes, odd nick-knack’s, crafts and clothes.
AND – they had a truck trailer with bands on over by the pubs.
An amazing venue, tons to do, tons to see, lots to buy, plenty to eat – all together foodie heaven, oink oink.
Money raised went to Cancer Research UK, Hospitality Action UK, Aylsham Church, Scouts & Cluster Group.
So not only FOOD-MAZING also WORTHY.
The organises guessed maybe a thousand or so might attend, but there was an estimated over 3.5k peeps bobbing about.
Sausages ran out in the end, all 800 freshly cooked donuts zoomed past me before I missed out (mistake no.1 – thinking I could grab a donut after a sausage lunch.) My husband missed out on a scotch egg and I missed out on a Lamb Samosa BUT who would have thought the sun would have shined so brilliantly and so many people would flock to the very first sausage bash.
I’ve been told on good authority there is going to be one next Year – – – I’m buying 6 donuts at 10am!!! sitting in a corner at 2pm and eating at least three, maybe four.
So, here’s to next year – may it be as BANGING as 2019.
I might not be up for this task but I wanted to prove there are more independent places to eat in Norwich per square mile than most other cities. Norwich City Centre is 2,047 square miles, meaning you can walk around the outside, cross through the middle and do a dance all in less than an hour.
There I was a few months back and a friend said there wasn’t many independently owned places to eat in Norwich – I nearly choked on my crumpet! It was one of those ‘are you joking’ moments – I mean I could list dozens just of the top of my head.
So, I asked her to choose any street in Norwich – She said St Giles, EASY I said and I endeavoured to list just a few of the fine independently owned foodie heaven places just down that one street – I even forgot a few.
But who wants that when I can list ‘em ALL, every single one by street.
And if I’ve missed any – message me quick and I’ll add em in –
Upper to St Giles Street –
Bread Source – bakery and cafe
Cupcake & Co – café and cakes
Les Guerrigues – French bistro & wine bar
Gali – Fine Dining Indian
Roger Hickman’s – Fine dining
Italia Nostra – Family owned Italian
St Giles Hotel – Art Deco Restaurant & Bar (presently under receivership)
Cherry Leaf – Coffee House
Waffle House – Sweet & Savoury waffles
Al Dente – Italian with home-made pastas & Deli
Pono – Healthy eating salad bar & Smoothies
Coach and Horses – traditional pub with European tapas
The Green House – Vegetarian shop & Cafe
Goel Hillgoing to
Café Britannia on Guild Hall – day time restaurant run by the prison.
The Cellar – wine bar and bistro
Wild Thyme – Vegetarian (upstairs above ***Rainbow health foods)
There’s only one thing I love more than Norwich and that’s Food, that’s why I created Love Norwich Food dedicated to all my foodie passions. On top of that I’m very happy to eat too – – –
Hence My Food and Drink walking tours of Norwich was formed three years ago. Why not celebrate Norwich’s independent food scene it’s incredible, we are already in the top ten shopping destinations in the UK. But it’s the food scene that’s pulling people in from miles around. Our fine city is also pulling the likes of The Ivy, Cosy Club and Bourgee in, cafes are expanding, others are opening their doors and on top of that Norwich Markets edible scene has boomed to pure glory.
The market part of my edible food and drink walking tour has become a firm favourite part of the walk. But what always amazes me is how many people don’t know how incredible the market is for really good food and produce.
One lady said ‘I thought they only served chips’ and promised she wouldn’t be happy until she had tried every single street food vendor on offer, and believe me there are a far few – I know I’ve eaten my way through all of them.
If you don’t believe that Norwich Market is a foodie paradise then let me tempt you with some heavenly words –
“Chiabatta, Kimchi, Laab Mo, Aranchini, Zabaglioni, Octopus, Cannoli, Lachmahan ??, Empanada, Churros, Darjeeling, Galengal, Black Cardamon, Chorizo, Baron Bignold” sounds like French!, well you can get Madeleine’s from Jakey the Bakey if you wanted French. No, I’m speaking Food Heaven, just some of the foods on offer.
Not only do we have the biggest open-air market in the whole of the United Kingdom with around 200 stalls, it’s also been in the same position for over 900 years. During the first World War the council bought up all the pitches putting it in to public ownership. When the City Hall was opened in the 30’s the whole site was cleared to welcome in a crowd of 60’000 people for the opening party. It was all refurbished after that and again in 1976 with the introduction of water & refrigeration, then again in 2006 with a canopy, solid roofs and wider aisles.
When I say you could spend a good few weeks eating your way around the world I wouldn’t be wrong. You can go for steak & frites from the French, Dim sum from the Chinese, Green Curry from the Thai, Samosas from the Indian, Empanadas from the South American, a Kebab from the Turkish, Paella from the Spanish, Lasagne from the Italian and Pizza from the Sicilian. That’s not to mention the copious amounts of other stalls like the traditional buttie brigade and the growing cafes of all sorts including to die for Brownies, jammy Bakewell tarts and moorish pastries, not to mention drinks of every description smoothies, milkshakes, organic coffee, hot chocolate, teas and even local ale. And that’s just the takeaway street food vendors.
Want to sit down, that’s possible too with six or more of the street food vendors having a seating areas, six or more having lean on counters, plus there’s benches at the top of the market, toilets to the side or you can hang al-fresco in the memorial garden. Yes, it’s not padded seats and plump cushions but you get real food at an amazing price, £5 – 6 will get you pretty much anything and that’s anything cooked with love and local ingredients by trained caterers who are passionate about what they do.
A labyrinth of local food shops also awaits you up every A-I avenue and around every corner. From local Lowestoft smoked kippers to locally grown coriander, from exotic blended loose teas & coffee beans to local Norwich porridge. Norwich Market celebrates all things local with just about every local micro supplier being supported, think crush oil, Norwich porridge, vegan Bace sauces, Walsingham pork pies, Marsh Pig salami, Norfolk white lady cheese and more, much more and all in one place.
Let me guide you to the Food – Norwich Market Foodie Stall list
Sir Garnet – The pub on the market place.
The pub opened its doors in 1861 but was built in Medieval days. Lauren Gregory took it over in 2012 with a total refit – passion about local food, she allows people to bring in Market food from Monday to Friday if buying a drink. They also invite in market pop ups, Cocina Mia was the last with more to follow. They also use fish, meat and vegetables all sourced from the market. Including having their own recipe sausage from Pickerings. If that wasn’t enough they stock local ale, Vodka, Whiskey, beer and Gin.
Lauren also produces a quarterly newsletter all about Norwich Market.
Brick Pizza– the one to the side of the market, behind Sir Garnet
Ok, I’m going to say it “Brick make the best pizzas in Norwich”. Tons of locals will back me up – there’s other good pizza out there, I love the Italian on the market that’s good pizza – but Brick is a Brick above. The secret is in the slow proved bread dough. Plus, they make amazing flavours like their selection of white pizzas, try the Carbonara – phooooor. And of-course they bake them in a traditional wood burning pizza oven. Prices from £7 – £12, but get a burrata salad on the side for £6 – the soft mozzarella cheese that is burrata is ‘orgasmic’. Take-away available, outside catering and a trailer. Them ‘Brick-ies’ are good.
To the left of the Aisles –
City Fish / M.P Snelling (1 – 5) – Sam Bemment owns both the fish stalls at the front of the market along with the Seafood Bar (4), local cockles and Whelks, along with prawns and other seafood delights can be bought in little pots from a few quid – help your-self to Marie-Rose sauce and seasonings.
One stall specialised more in shellfish while the other in fish.
For example – ‘March’ will bring you seasonal Crabs, Dover sole, Mackerel, Plaice, Spring Cod and Skate.
The Row before the A
Stall 8(8) – Part of Lakenham Creamery – have had a presence on the market since the 30’s. Chris (the owner since 1992) has a picture of the old Mrs Aldous selling from a cart in front of the Sir Garnet when the new town hall was being built, with a sign saying ‘made with electricity’ How ironic that the latest Ice-Cream fad is made with Liquid Nitrogen!
Lakenham Creamery make two delicious types of ice-cream branded as Aldous & Norfolk Country. Both are made with Marybelle milk. One more classical & one more luxurious and creamy.
No 8 also sell Grey seal Norfolk coffee along with other refreshments and seasonal goodies.
Cuppie Hut(20) – Mel & Kim, met in my village of Bawburgh (it’s not legally mine) at the local school. Mel went to City College to study catering, while Kim has a natural passion for baking. They started of making party cakes six years ago for birthdays, that soon moved on to selling at local fayres, that then expanded to a food truck, then they landed on Norwich Market in 2018. You’ll find an array of cup-cakes, brownies, Bakewell tart (I love the Bakewell) and more with Strangers coffee, hot chocolate and tea along with their infamous hot pots of cake, custard or chocolate sauce and toppings for £4.50. You’ll always find gluten free and vegan. Mel & Kim’s best seller is the Mars bar cornflake tray bake (I second that) for £2.50. Plus, they offer occasional outside catering events.
Indian Feast(21) – a vegetarian selection of Indian pastry, classics like homemade samosas, along with curry’s and chapattis.
Fresh(22) – started life as a smoothie bar and soon developed to also sell Asian classics like noodle bowls. Prices from £5 – try the BBQ Ramin bowl for £5.50.
Bun Box(23) – Run by Norwich City College trained chef Timothy Irvin (past experience includes 1 Michelin* in Mayfair & Norfolk 4* Hotel pastry chef). Bao buns stuffed with amazing flavours like duck, hoisin, sesame and spring onion (my fav), crispy pork belly and (v) mushrooms along with freshly prepared salad and crunchy nut toppings. Prices from £3.50.
Churros and Chorizo(24) – Nick Brew & Hugo Malik met in Spain at the school gates. Whisk forward a bit and not only do they run their market stall but also their catering trailer with over 40 bookings already set for 2019 – another market success story with the boys upgrading to a bigger plot last year to allow more deli space and seating. They stock all sorts of amazing Spanish fayre including olives & chorizo. As well as making the best freshly cooked Churros and chocolate sauce, along with savoury daily changing authentic Spanish goodies. Nick’s a trained professional chef (City College) and Hugo is more front of house with several London bars under his belt.
Try Sobrasada when it’s in stock, it’s like a spreadable chorizo.
J’s Fruit and Vegetables(27) – owned and run by Jason 4thgeneration. He’s been on the market for 45 years since he was helping out at 6 years old. Open six days a week selling the finest fruit and vegetables, and always local if possible.
Follands Organic (30-31)– Robert Folland took over this stall on after being an employee. He now sells local organic fruits and vegetables when possible along with other organic non-food items. There is a team of local growers who all supply to this stall, as well as Easter Organics making up the rest.
For example, March will bring you Mange Tout, Salad greens and Early Peas.
Jakey Le Bakey(32-33) – Now running Fat Maggies at the Rib’s of Beef
Falafel and Friends (34-35 / B40) – Vegetarian street food, every things vegan except the Grilled Halloumi wrap. They even make their own vegan kimchi, buy it jarred for £4.50. Best Sellers – Halloumi wrap for £4.50 or from the top stall a Buffalo chicken burger made with vegetable wheat gluten for £6 including some tasty spiced wedges. Everything’s tasty and filling.
Herbs and Spices(42-43) – Does what it says on the stall! Gareth Butcher and Jane Wirgman have run the stall for 43 years. Selling a multitude of loose spices, buy a minimum of 30g, like cinnamon for 60p, along with health food deli goodies. Fresh chunky ginger and massive bulbs of garlic.
Norwich Providore(44-45) – Run by David father of Steve the Artisan baker who makes all his produce in his bakery in Aylsham. He also owns the Bread source on St Giles. Amazing breads and pastries. Sausage rolls for £2, Brays pork pies for £3 and Swannington’s Scotch eggs £3 plus a few veggie savoury pastries.
Mike, Debs and Sons(46-47) – Mikes been selling fruit and veg for 50 years, from Saturday boy to owner. They have a n plastic policy – meaning they avoid plastic wrapped produce whenever possible and encourage customers to bring their own bags. Local is always at the for-front. Plus, they specialise in worldly foods like chillis, herbs, ginger & turmeric. You’ll get the freshest plumpest bunches of herbs for £1.50 and often locally grown.
Birchley’s Loose Leaf Tea(50-51) – Run by Sam Bircham & Frances Smalley. New to the market in 2018, selling a whole host of proper loose tea along with tea time merchandise and tea pots. Including gift tea and bag boxes. English breakfast tea is their best seller 60g for £2.07. Plus you can buy any cup of tea for £2.
Little Red Roaster(52-53) – Yes, its ROASTER not rooster. Darren’s also the owner of The other two Red Roasters – St Andrews Hill & Grove Road. Known for his great coffee and coffee beans to take away. He also sells a small selection of home-made cakes. A flat white is £2.50 – sit in and read the EDP.
WAS Bia (54-55) – The people behind Bia also opened up The Tipsy Vegan on St Benedicks Street, they are moving on and moving up.
I look forward to what’s coming next.
Chips and Dips (61) – – Lucy’s Two – the one with the battered fish and more. Traditional fried in crisp batter with local potatoes and fish.
Cheeseman(62-63) (ah, hum lady!!!) on the market for 18 years. Selling dozens of cheeses including Norfolk’s very own Mrs Temples, Fielding Cottage, Ferndale Farm and Jane Murrys.
Cheese-lady also sells direct to local restaurants including Hickmans.
And Eat It(64) – Victoria Famer is the head baker specialising in Giant Cookies £2 and Brownies £2.50. Try a ‘Brookie’ it’s a brownie sunk in to a giant cookie for £2.50 “Hello”. Also ‘Freakshakes’ plus Monster Hot Chocolates which are essentially a hot freakshake, all £3.95 eat in or takeaway. Plus, you’ll always find Gluten free brownies.
Delight(74-75) – Yasin hails from Turkey and offers shawarma style kebabs, along with Lahmacun (flat Turkish pizza with minced lamb) and Turkish pastries made with homemade bread for £3. Try the marinated chicken kebab from £5 a market favourite.
A Taste of Punjab(76) – Another 2018 newbie, owned by Sukhdeu Singh making authentic Punjabi favourites like samosas, curries and rice. When I was there a regular picked up the Lamb Curry and rice and said it’s the best authentic curry around £5.50. Plus you can add a poppadum for 50p. All cooked by the resident Bangladesh Chef.
Taste of Shanghai(79) – Ting Zhang is a trained Chef, cooking authentic Chinese food. Like the market favourite Chicken Laksa. All dishes are £3.50 for small and £5 for large. Two locals were grabbing their lunch from Shanghai and said it was the best food on the market. Interesting diverse dishes, lovingly made to order – fresh Chinese at its best.
The Electric Banger Shop(80) – Local market bangers in a local baker’s bun for £3. Almira from Albania took over the stall 3 years ago, but it’s been banging them out for seven. Great value for a long’ole’hot-dog.
Henrys Hog Roast(81) – 18 years old, with the present owner for 8. £3.50 buys you the works with crunchy crackling, stuffing and apple sauce, they use the butchers on the market for their locally reared pork and crusty corner bread.
R.S Baker & Sons limited(83) – Butchers for 90 years old in the same family. All local Suffolk and Norfolk meats.
They offer nose to tail meats like, a pig head for £3.50, trotters for 50p each popular with local Philippinos. As well as all the usuals.
Coral Bay(84) – Jamaican street food run by Sarah & Conery, who also have a stall on Yarmouth Market, along with a trailer for pop up events.
Their Goat curry is a traditional country recipe meaning fresh bone in goat is slow cooked with peppers, onions and carrots with no cooking liquid but plenty of marinade – meaning the pot has to be stirred every 15 minutes, making the sauce thick and sumptuous. Buy it for £6.50
Caribbean dumplings served on a Friday and Saturday.
Dim Sum Place(was Puff & Bean) (90) – run by Yan from China.
Serving home-made dumplings & blending fresh fruit teas, along with my favourite drink bubble tea for £2.95. Popular with Asian UEA students making up 20% of her customers.
Sicily Market(91 /104E) – Sicilian Market run by Rocco from Sicily knocking up the pizzas (from £5.50) and Bruno from Cava in Italy creating the pasta dishes (from £6). Margarita is the market favourite while proper Italian Carbonara (no cream, made with eggs) and Arrabbiata (spiced tomato base pasta) is always on the menu.
Established 3 years ago, but moved to a double stall with seating last summer.
China Wok & Curry Shop(92-93) – readymade noodles and classics like sweet and sour chicken, although the Fried chicken and rice is a market favourite. Owner and chef Xueyrn Uens hails from China and took over 2 years ago. dishes are £4.50 small and £5 large.
Rons(94-95) – third generation since 1953. Getting through up to 90 portions of sausage and chips a day for a bargain £1.60. Traditionally fried fish and chips with all the classics.
Rubys(96) – Emanuele Takaj took over Rubys 2 years ago. But it’s one of the original stalls selling butties. Go for the cheese on toast for £1.30, served on local chunky bread (or beans). Plus, they offer homemade shortcake and scones for a quid.
Reggies (100) – for 75 years. 16 years with the present owner Richard. Specialising in Baps, pies and rolls.
Pickerings (102) – second generation, on the market for 30 years. Run by Nathan Pickering and his partner Georgina.
They sell up to 30 tubs of tradition dripping a week.
But they specialise in sausages with over 20 to choose from on any one day including house made Chorizo, Boerewors & Andalouse (????). All at buy 2 lb get 1lb free.
Nathan makes all the produce in Lenwade where they also boil hams, smoke their own sausages and cure their own bacon, using only local meat.
As well as being an online supplier, shipping Pickering sausages all over the country they also supply local restaurants like The Waffle House & Sir Garnet.
Pauls Butchers(112-113) – local game including wild duck, all Norfolk meats, goose eggs 2 for £5 and local free-range eggs. Paul also supply’s meat to some of the vendors on the market.
Established 30 years ago as ‘John’s’ but been Paul’s for 20.
Lucys Chips(114) – is one of 2 stalls this is the one with the chip & dips, Lucy 2 has the full works. Now owned by 2 brothers for the last 2 years, it’s been Lucy’s since 1971.
Cones from £1.20 – with curry sauce or gravy being the favourites.
Lucy’s chips can get through up to 10 sacks of fresh Norfolk potatoes on a good day. Bread from Ketts Hill Bakery.
Watch out for the specials – like the deep-fried mince pies at Christmas time.
Mushy Pea Stall(115) – A market classic for yonks – owned by Anita Adcock. Mushy peas with mint sauce a must, but try the Pie, mash, peas and gravy for £3.60 for small / £4.60 for large, minus 60p for no gravy. But they also sell burgers and bacon butties. Along with drinks.
Debs (115) – for 16 years. Specialising in traditional butties using local ham and bread from crusty corner.
Georges Spuds(120) – Run by Marion from Albania. Using Norfolk potatoes, Reepham eggs and local meats. Plus a full English from £4.50.
B’s T’s Snack Bar(121) – For 30 years. Now run my Karen serving plenty of breakfast baps.
Walsingham Farm Shop & Deli(124-125) – offering a whole host of local supplies. From local milk to local jams. Take away pastries or eat in.
Try the Pie, mash and gravy for £6.50
some local goodies from the Deli – Norfolk Apple Juice, Bungay Raw Butter, Norfolk Cordial, Candis Chutney, Norfolk Garden & Garden Pantry Jams, Norfolk Honey, Norfolk Cakes, Baytree Curds, Norwich Porridge, Yare Valley Oils, Crush all sorts & Walsingham packaged goodies.
Katies Cake Box (126) – has now closed.
Cocina Mia(152-153) – Owned and run by Ana Bridgman with catering & hospitality roots. Ana was born in Chilli and moved to Norwich as a young girl. She was brought up with amazing authentic Chilean foods cooked by her mum who now makes the bread for her Steak Sandwich – ‘Pan Amasado = Bread’ – ‘Chacarero = Steak Sarnie’. Plus, a range of South American empanadas, cooked on the market (try the authentic Pino* de Empenada / Spicy beef, with egg and an olive) and zesty fresh salads. Nothing spicy hot (except the Pino*) but you can add Ana’s amazing chilli salsa on the side. The market favourite is the Baked Chicken & Chorizo Empanada.
WHATS an Empanada???? – – A Spanish or Latin American pastry turnover like an amazingly flavoured Cornish pasty, with more of a bread than pastry tasting casing – either baked or Fried. (only the Pino* is fried)
The Orient Express(151/162/163/164) – Asian Supermarket
Sophy’s originally from Cambodia and has a passion for authentic Asian cooking with a background in supermarket retail. selling everything from fresh Korean made kimchi, Thai string beans, green papaya to a myriad of marinades, soya’s, dips and sauces. she also runs Tasty House using as much of her own products as possible.
Tasty House(173) – Asian street food offering a changing selection of authentic Asian dishes, along with organic coffee and other soft drinks. The head chef is a lady called ‘Thdar’ from Burma. Prices around £5 for a main with either rice or noodles.
Also owned by Sophy from the Orient Express, using her Asian mini market ingredients and other goodies from the market.
Lasagneria (175) – Italian born and raised Paolo Grazzini runs this stall, hailing from Nr Florence. Grab a mighty slab of assorted flavoured Lasagne from £5.50. They even offer takeaway party trays for £17 – 30 serving up-to 6. Plus an assortment of cold drinks.
The End Row
Ice Cream Parlour(178) offering local Aldous Ice-cream, Mr Whippys. Plus Vegan ice-cream.
Sir Tobys Beers(182) – Run by Dominic and owner Toby Westgarth. An ‘offie’ of local ales and beers along with local spirits like Bullards Gin, Norfolk Gin, St Giles Gin and Wild Knight Vodka. Stockists of Wildcraft, Why-Not, Boudicca & Wagtail local brewery ale’s. Along with Norfolk wines and Ciders. Plus, a great selection of craft ales from all over the gaff.
They also have ale on tap – buy a litre from £5.
The boys also offer outside catering and events.
Some stalls offer mid-week breakfast from 7am – from a full English, to butties to Norwich Porridge.
Others are open on a Sunday.
The Markets open all year round.
So, as you can see the market is bursting with delicious goodness. If you haven’t been recently – I urge you to ‘do a snake’ – start from the top and walk up and down the aisles.
And if something doesn’t tempt you I’ll eat my hat. (I can always marinade it in kimchi and serve it in local brioche bought from the market of course).
I talked to Kristine Fox who works for Norwich County Council, she’s the lady in charge of it all, when she took over in 2016 they sent out a survey to gauge what the general public wanted. Over 1000 came back with a unanimous amount requesting more street food and local products. Since then the street food vendors have doubled & localism is spread thick and heavy, like custard over pudding (you can get that..
I’ve got a few businesses of which involve being reviewed. I’ve got three holiday barns, along with a cookery school and my Food & Drink walking Tours. Then to top off that I have a guest book full of all sorts of feed-back, e-mail comment forms and occasionally a little note left in one of the barns – – – thankfully most of which are good, honest and legitimate feedback, along with a little bit of useful constructive criticism.
When it’s good, its bloomin lovely – but every now and then you get one that every so much ‘anoys ya’.
Like when someone commented what a great location our holiday barns were in and then marked it 7 out of 10 bringing our score from a perfect 10 to a 9.6. Or the one that marked a negative comment saying ‘it would be helpful to be left some oil’, but I’m not allowed to leave open bottles as part of my grading but I do say in my guest book ‘simply ask for some and I’ll bring it over – that left me a sad face emoji on my review page. Nothing much – but for someone who seeks perfection as the owner, main cleaner, bottle washer and manager I do take it personally.
Even though I should be taking it with a pinch of Maldon sea-salt.
But of course, when the review is a blatant lie, over exaggerated jack-a-nory, or a nasty malicious rant then it can be heart breaking as well as business crippling. Once a review is live it’s hard to get it removed.
And some people’s stilton is another person’s mould!
I heard a guest chef speaking last night and he said he once got a negative reviews because someone pulled up outside, looked at the menu, didn’t like anything on it and drove off – only to go straight on to TA and rant. Not Fare!!!
On the other hand, I do use reviews as a way to make choices. I have without doubt been put off hotels and restaurants by reviews. I’m also cautious to read between the lines and sort the wheat from the chaff. Those midnight pissed up wine reviews, or those ‘I just got kicked out of a club’ reviews or the waitress didn’t kiss my arse enough reviews or my mate bought a café on the same road so I’m going to dish your café review. Or I’m new to this so got all my mates to big me up reviews – – it all happens, we’re dealing with the general public here!!!!
One of my holiday home customers threatened to give me a bad review when I delayed to give him his deposit back until an order came from his company (he got discount for product, but it took over 2 months to receive it) he said ‘well that’s what review sites are for’.
So, we all know some people write reviews out of revenge – luckily the product came and his deposit got returned, as I said it would – nasty little man!
But then there’s the places that really are not up to scratch – a few years ago I had one of the worst meals I’d had in all my life. We took family to the theatre and booked in to a restaurant in the middle of Norfolk. The head chef was the owner, his wife front of house. The menu on their website was different to the one we got that night and the prices were hiked. It was like overcooked 70’d Fanny Craddick food, the desserts were terrible, all decorated with spray cream and a cherry!! The chef walked round the tables at one point, arguing about politics & generally being a (possible drunken) knob. The bill was over £200 and we all walked out feeling violated.
Unfortunately for us, I hadn’t checked it out on Trip advisor or I wouldn’t have been disappointed and I would have been £100 better off and much happier.
Here’s where I have to admit I write for Trip Advisor – it’s all about good food to me, giving people helpful tips and promoting what’s good. I have strict rules to be positive, I don’t want to be nasty and I certainly wouldn’t lie. I’ve been in catering for 30 years – I know what it’s like to be judged, I’ve had people criticise my food and it hurts. People don’t know what it’s like to work in catering, the long hours, the hard work, the delivery the preparation and the service. Some people comment on the silliest of things – sometimes misjudged, sometimes out of ignorance, sometimes delusional. Let’s face it most of the infamous food reviewers & food writers can’t actually cook!
It’s not in a chef’s place to argue – the manager will say the guest is always right, AND THEY ARE so when you cook a steak medium and they moan its under cooked, or they think the lemon tart is too tart, or the chilli is too hot. You just replace it or make it again – it’s all about satisfying your customer – but the customer isn’t always right – we can’t review them! We just smile, serve, handle any issues and take their money. Caterers have to be professional – ranting, arguing, or taking it personally just leads to ‘T’rouble. Walk away – – –
And some peoples delicious tender ‘Tartar’ is another person’s ‘chopped raw steak, with a bloody raw egg on top, errrr’ ‘I thought I ordered steak’ said one customer.
This ‘bad meal experience’ left me in a dilemma, I don’t like to rant, I don’t like to complain, I’m happy to give constructive criticism but I don’t ever want to be one of those TA nutters who let of steam in a bad review – – So I wrote a less than positive review – – – I truly felt, that couple had been serving that food since the 70’s and it simply hadn’t moved with the times, even a decade! Of course, I didn’t say that but I truthfully mentioned I felt it was overpriced, it was over cooked and the menu was dated – as well as pointing out the menu and prices on the website didn’t reflect the menu when you got there. I also requested in a hopefully positive way that walking round the tables for glory was dated and embarrassing.
We used to have to do that at college in 85, I hated it then being the caterer and I hate it now being the customer.
After all people, really should know what they’re going to be getting – it’s not about ripping the customer off, or hashing it all. Not all food places get it right, they don’t always need to be reviewed because they would fail anyway. And not all business that fail are bad – there’s more to running a restaurant than cooking – service, quality, position, management, atmosphere, cleanliness, pricing and advertising all play a part.
Ironically this restaurant featured in a document about ‘how bad reviews on TA effect business’, they have nearly 300 reviews on TA and only 14 are marked terrible, 8 poor and 11 average – so, still doing ok, still open. And what one person thinks is hideous is another person’s beauty. Some people like pizza hut! they’ll que out of the door. Some people like turkey twizzlers while others think tagliatelle is exotic – we don’t all have the same tastes. That’s why mum’s goes to Iceland!
Anyway, I felt guilty writing my first less than positive review (to be honest I gave it poor but then rewrote it and marked it an average) – after all service was good, plenty to choose from on the menu, ok toilets, handy location and the restaurant was decorated well – there’s always positives too and I like to offer a balanced review, even though the food was shocking.
I’m proud that I’ve written over 350 reviews, with nearly 30,000 points, 59 badges, holding the top badge of 150,000 reads & a top contributor badge. Yet, at the same time I don’t like to openly admit I do reviews – I know my professional colleagues, fellow caterers and social media mates would hate me #dontjudgeme
You see, I’ve analysed the psychology regarding the sort of people who review and I’ve come up with a chart –
I won’t go in to it too much but there is a lot of power hungry, control loving, unprofessional, fake foodies that cause all sorts of stress and anguish to businesses and I’d hate anyone to think I was in anyway associated to that small minority of reviewers.
It’s all for the love of food – honest.
Of, course I feel I’m different with over 30 years’ experience and several decades of eating out, along with traveling to eat. Food is all I know! So, it’s just another branch of my foodie life, along with the other branch of being a mystery diner (I won’t go in to that too much either – but if you want an honest professional assessment, I’m your girl #lovenorwichfood)
It’s all very well getting angry at reviews and taking it personally but reviews are also good for keeping up standards. They can boost a business as much as damage it. My holiday barns are graded every year – I know I can’t let my standards slide, the white gloves come out and the nitty gritty is analysed with a monocle! – Literally!!!
So, let’s say the waiter picks his nose (like I saw last month in a café, no I didn’t dish it on TA, I told his mum (the owner)) and half the menu items are sold out (like some where I went a few weeks ago, I accepted it) and the toilets haven’t been cleaned for ever (that’s a big part of mystery dining assessments) and the food is past its sell by date (seen that too – send it back talk to the manager) and there is maggots in the bacon (ok, it was a cauliflower, yes, I talked to the boss, mistakes happen) – – maybe if all this happens and you get no joy from the management, Trip Advisor is useful as a monitor.
If it’s bad there really is nowhere to hide with social media, review sites and ‘boomerang’! – and that can be very useful to the consumer.
It was only yesterday that I got sent a Trip Advisor review request from a food business mailing list. And I was happy to oblige – – I’d been there several times, I loved it and writing a review helps people make choices, it promotes the business – it helps Norwich, it helps our economy, it helps local people, local employees and local businesses.
Alcamista coffee shop is zooming up the trip advisor scale and rightly so, the brand is cool, the coffee amazing, the shop neat, the service friendly.
No1 on Trip advisor is The Grosvenor Fish and Chip shop, a regular stop on my Food and Drink Walking tours of Norwich. It’s not ‘no 1’ for nothing, it’s because 100’s of people love it – the menu is amazing, who else makes Wako Taco, the branding, restaurant, service, cleanliness and efficiency is all top notch, plus you can take em to the Birdcage across the road or eat on one of those funky chairs outside.
They do it all right. 1642 people have rated it excellent – even then there is a few marked terrible, mainly from people complaining the food is cooked in beef fat. As I said you can’t please everybody.
Someone’s fish is another person’s smelly feet.
When it’s good – its good.
But maybe when its bad – it is bad.
Even when its good it can be slightly bad and even when its bad it can be kind of alright.
Maybe it just needs to be monitored, there should be no lies, no nastiness or vendettas and certainly no ruining hard working business. And even then, we should take it all with a pinch of salt. Preferably salt and vinegar.
I love it – I hate it – but either way review sites aint going nowhere.
Read between the lines, grab the constructive criticism and do your best.
And even when your best isn’t good enough – just brush it off.
I give this blog 10/10 – – – yer, that’s my review!!!!
I’m launching a monthly competition to be run on my social media accounts (click on the links) – it’s easy peasy and you may be rewarded with a local prize from market goodies to local ice-cream.
9 months – 9 tasty food prizes for 2019
Join meon Instagram @love_norwich_food
Follow me – follow the prize – share & tag a friend
One random winner will be picked by the prize company at the end of the month.
MARCH= 1 posted NorwichSpree Book2019
Get money off (%) or 241 deals on local businesses including Namaste, Nanna Mexican, Last Pub Standing, Sir Garnet & tons more, plus days out, fast food, sports and treatments.
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MAY = 6 x 500ml tubs of DANN’S ICE-CREAM– deliciously smooth local ice-cream made on the farm with their own milk. Choose your flavours from Wild Strawberry, to Honeycomb, from Salted Caramel to my fav Banoffee (to name a few).
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***If you’re a local company who fancy’s donating something yummy for some free promotion – contact me
Norfolk’s known for yellow fields of mustard, a coast line full of seafood and farms full of cows, with which the purest of creamy milk makes the best cheeses in the UK.
But that yellow stuff isn’t always mustard, in-fact 9 out of 10 times its rapeseed – the beautiful crop that makes cold pressed rapeseed oil. It grows particularly well in East Anglia and we have some mighty fine produces of that beautiful yellow sun-kissed oil.
Cold pressed rapeseed oil has 50% less saturated fats than olive oil. But has a flavour that compliments both savoury and sweet dishes. It goes particularly well with Asian foods, as it has a subtle nutty flavour – without the intolerances of nut oils.
That’s why the Japanese are importing gallons of the stuff, along with British tea and other such goodies. (we don’t even grow tea!!!)
Also known as rape, oilseed or canola and produced all over the world, we produce slightly more than America but Canada and China are the prolific producers. Rapeseed is a bright yellow flowering member of the Brassica family of which mustard, sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage (including kale) are members.
I taste tested Yare Valley oil, it’s not that I really needed too because I’ve been buying the stuff on and off for years – way back when I first used it to make my Light Carrot Cake, a recipe that featured in my back then weekly EDP recipe column. I’ve always been an advocator of using local ingredients in my recipes, so Norfolk’s very own Yare Valley oil was an obvious choice – that along with the fact that it has a richer colour than any other rapeseed oil out there.
Their Rapeseed oil is mechanically pressed and then twice filtered – high in Omega 3 (6 & 9) for cardiovascular health plus a good measure of Vitamin E containing antioxidant & disease fighting property’s – – Yes, oil can be healthy, as long as you’re not drinking it by the pint or even half pint!
Plus, unlike olive oil which has little micro particles that burn at high temperatures, cold pressed rapeseed oil can stand more of the heat. Not to be mixed up with bog standard supermarket rapeseed oil which has been heat treated defusing the goodness and a whole lot of the taste.
make a selection of oils and infusions, some of which I have never tasted before, making taste testing more of a pleasure.
The basic is fabulous for cooking, dressing and drizzling but they also make a ‘butter’ flavoured oil, which has all the qualities of the standard one with a rich buttery flavour. Amazing for hollandaise, aoli, drizzling and dipping.
The infusions are to die for too – the madras has a curry flavour, great to dip, drizzle or pan fry your Asian delights.
Truffle oil – – well I’m sold on truffle, but this is the best truffle oil I’ve encounter. The smell is divine, the taste incredible. I love truffle oil drizzled on to cream based soups (especially celeriac), embellished on to pasta, cooked in to ravioli or simply tossed over anything.
Who wouldn’t want smooth truffle mash – – – well, here’s an idea if you ‘rice’ your potatoes, drizzle on a generous amount of butter oil followed by truffle oil, mix, season to taste and #foodgasum #fact
While I’m at it, here is some information on Yare Valley farm –
Surlingham is just a 15-minute drive from Norwich City centre they have a farm shop selling not only their oils but their potatoes and all sorts of home grown seasonal crops.
‘Tele Patisserie’ has taken over the café – serving his amazing cakes and bakes along with some authentic Portuguese dishes. I’ve been told the Portuguese soup is amazing. I know the cakes are and I’m a sucker for Natas (Portuguese egg custard tarts, but better than the British ones – layers of crispy puff pastry with creamy smooth egg yellow crème patisserie).
But if you don’t pick up a bottle from the farm shop, Yare Valley are always out there at local trade fares including the Norfolk show, as well as being stocked all over the place including Jarrold’s.
Plus, you can buy on line – oils from £2.99, dressing from £3.75 and infusions from £2.99. Plus, gift packs from £10 (free delivery over £21)
Fancy making a cake with good local oil
instead of butter ?
Light Carrot Cake
There’s nothing quite like a homemade cake, especially when it’s edging on guilt free. Packed with Autumn Carrots, dried fruit and low in fat and sugar. Made with local rapeseed oil.
Light Carrot Cake
Makes 8 – 10 slices in a 2 lb loaf tin*
2 eggs – large or medium
200 g caster sugar
125 ml cold pressed rapeseed
150 g grated carrots (180g un-peeled)
175 g plain flour – sieved with the dry below
Tip teaspoon ground ginger
Tip teaspoon mixed spice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon / 5 g bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon / 5 g baking powder
100 g currants or sultanas
Pre -heat an oven gas 4 / 1700c
Whisk the eggs and the sugar in a bowl until very light, creamy and pale in colour.
Whisk in the oil.
Stir in the carrots.
Gently stir in the dry ingredients (except currants) until well mixed, but still light and smooth.
Lastly stir in the currants.
Spoon in to a greased 2 lb loaf tin or other suitable tin. (The cake will rise.)
Bake on the middle shelf for 50 – 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out of the center clean.
Cool in the tin for 20 minutes before turning out.
Add 60 g of nuts to the mix like walnuts, almonds or pistachios.
Replace the currants with either sultanas or raisins.
Serve plain, dusted with icing sugar or spread with a cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon frosting. Or replace the lemon juice for lime or orange juice or mango or peach puree.
Or top with cream cheese, icing sugar and finely diced stem ginger with some of the syrup.
Pancakes day is on my birthday this year March 5th– which is a bit of a bummer as I like to go out for a proper din din and not make copious amounts of pancakes for all my family to ravish in 20 minutes.
The family favourite is seafood crepes, a creamy thick cheesy béchamel with salmon, smoked haddock & king prawns topped with a poached egg if I can be bothered. Then we work our way through the pile of thin proper pancakes with banana, maple, lemon, sugar, toffee and vanilla ice-cream – but not always all together.
Sometimes I make a banana dog like they used to serve in ‘Pizza One Pancakes Too’ – – do you remember my favourite restaurant in Norwich, which is now a Zizzi’s on the corner of Tombland.
When I was pregnant with my daughter I went for the Norfolk Curried Turkey, with banana Pizza and of course always finished with a banana dog. They used to have a wheel of fortune, it was SPUN before you paid the bill – you got a chance of getting money off or even getting it for free – I never won but I loved that place. We went on the last week and took home a menu – a prized possession, one day to be framed.
The ‘Banana Dog’ was a crepe wrapped around a whole banana, with light brown sugar, drizzled with sauce and served with a scoop of the good stuff
I even found while renovating Lodge Farm a menu from an old independent café called ‘Bill’s’ in Norwich, who also sold pancakes back in the 60’s – 70’s.
There’s all sorts of pancakes, like the Indian Dosa, the Vietnamese crispy rice pancake, the Japanese corn, spring onion and cheese griddles pancake topped with Japanese mayo and seaweed but UK wise you’ll find fluffy American Pancakes, sometimes made with buttermilk, which are also Scotch pancakes – fluffy little round pan-fried cakes made with self-raising flour, hence the fluff! Then the French Crepe, the flat frying pan sized ones made with plain flour, milk and eggs.
The only real pancake place in Norwich now is the amazing ‘Christopher’s Crepes’, a food trailer opposite Patisserie Valerie, just outside the Virgin Lounge. He makes amazing fillings and always cooks them fresh – with a huge following, people rave about him on my cookery courses. He’ll also do events and can cope admirably with any que.
Last night I was invited to ‘Bills’ (not the 70’s one) for a gifted Pancake fest. They’ve just had a fit out and it really does look amazing, cosy and chic. A lot of young lifestyle bloggers and me were sat in the private dining area upstairs. Actually, Mr Fry Up inspector was there, so good to meet him in person and everyone was very friendly and bubbly, especially after a few!
A massive table for around 12 with an impending chandelier hovering grandly above us. Comfy chairs and rustic charm made for a friendly warm atmosphere. ‘Bill’s’ want you to have a good time, relax, enjoy and stay a while.
We were offered 2 pancakes to try off their 11 days of Pancake menu, plus a cocktail. There was already a cocktail on the table for each of us – so shame to say I ended up a little sizzled.
They offer one savoury, but it is a good-en – Fluffy Sweetcorn pancakes (2 x scotch style) with poached eggs, feta, avocado, chillis and sauce. Apart from it being slightly under seasoned it was incredibly tasty. (£9.95)
Then there was a selection of sweet ones including a vegan one with coconut ice-cream and mango sauce. A banana, salted caramel ice-cream with chocolate sauce one & a berry one with a generous jug of white chocolate sauce to pour over. All at £5.95.
You can also get any cocktail for an extra £4 – – that’s too tempting to miss.
The cocktails were very good – I should know I tasted 3. Including the Coconut and Rum Margarita, served with a slice of lime and an estercion (even spell check doesn’t recognise it) flower.
But where else can you get pancakes in Norwichthis fine Shove Tuesday.
Café 33– Fruity, yogurt, maple American Pancakes (£8), or add bacon for £1.50
Franks Bar– Sweet or savoury American pancakes on their breakfast menu (£7.50)
Zaks– £5.95 for buttermilk fruity American style pancakes for breakfast or dessert.
Yummy Yummy, off Dereham road opposite Lidl offer a pancake menu according to Trip Advisor. (A Polish café, opens from 3pm most days)
Wild Thyme– Vegetarian restaurant offers the odd pancake (not confirmed) – re-opened the end of Feb.
Plus, this coming Tuesday evening Namastevegetarian South Indian, are offering a £10 unlimited Dosa pancake (a savoury large flat lentil flour pancake served with curry or dhal) along with unlimited Udal (a savoury lentil donut).
So – get your fix of pancakes this coming Tuesday and if you want to pancake inhere’s a few of my recipes – – –
Pancake Mix (6 big ones – 8)
100 g plain flour – sieved
1 large egg
300 ml / 1/2 pint any milk
vegetable oil to fry
Sift the flour in to a big mixing bowl.
Crack the egg in the center.
Add a good splash of milk and start whisking at the same time as pouring in the remaining milk.
Continue whisking until you get a smooth batter.
Tips on cooking Pancakes–
Allow the batter to rest for 20 minutes or so (only if you have time).
Heat a non-stick pancake pan or large frying pan.
Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil, swirling round so all the pan is oiled.
Pour any remaining oil back in to batter and whisk in straight away.
When the pan is very hot but NOT smoking.
Tilt the pan up so the bottom is on the heat and the top of the pan’s back is leaning towards you.
Pour a ladle full of batter in the top of the pan so it runs down, move the pan around so a layer of batter is formed.
Place back on to the heat.
Allow to dry and cook underneath before prodding with a palate knife or heatproof plastic spatula, go round the edge of the pancake lifting the sides away from the pan, shake the pan so the pancake is loose.
Cook the honey in a frying pan until it caramelizes and turns a golden amber colour. (2 – 3 minutes)
Turn the heat right down and stir in the butter along with the juice.
Add the Cointreau and bring to a simmer.
Fold the pancakes in to quarters and lay in the sauce, spoon over the sauce – warm the pancakes through and serve.
Three Savoury Filling Ideas (2)
Baked Ricotta, Spinach and Lemon– 1 tub ricotta, 2 handfuls of fresh washed spinach wilted in a little oil and butter, 1 lemon juiced – simply mix together. Divide in to two pancakes, place in an ovenproof dish, pour over 100 ml double cream and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. (Top with some grated Parmesan for added flavour).
Stuffed Chorizo, Tomato and Baked Aubergine– roast a whole pricked aubergine in the oven for an hour, on a tray. Remove and scrap out all the flesh. Meanwhile fry of 1 small diced onion in a little oil, along with 3 cm fo chorizo cut in to small dice, 1 clove garlic and 2 plum tomatoes diced. Add the aubergine and a handful of chopped basil. Cooking for 3 – 4 minutes. Season to taste and stuff in to two pancakes.
Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese and Dill– Mix a tub of cream cheese with 60 g diced smoked salmon, a squeeze of lemon and a tablespoon chopped dill. Season to taste and serve cold spread over two pancakes and then roll.