Published: Thursday 24th Mar 2016
Written by: Matt Frost
On a beautiful Saturday lunchtime we wandered up from the bustling market place in Norwich to Upper St Giles, and Roger Hickman’s restaurant. It is somewhere that we had wanted to eat for a while having heard some great reviews, and a child free afternoon gave us the perfect opportunity!
On entering the restaurant we were greeted with a friendly smile and were shown to our table. The restaurant is small, homely, and it felt like being in someone’s front room! The restaurant is bright, clean cut with white linen and sympathetic décor. Seated and salivating we were presented with the lunch menu, and more importantly the drinks menu, which were both housed in branded leather, and offered us either a set or tasting menu.
Given it was lunch we decided to take the set menu, although the taster menu with the flight of wine looked very appealing! We will tackle that on our next visit, which we are already planning with family and friends!Having ordered our meals we were brought some fresh, homemade bread, and a small taster of white bean soup with truffle oil. This was packed full of flavour, and the bread was still warm! To kick off I started with the Soused Mackerel, Rhubarb and Pistachio. My good lady decided on the Roast Artichoke with Dukkah and Lemon Yoghurt. My dish arrived and looked vibrant with the crimson Rhubarb contrasting beautifully with the pale tones of the Mackerel. The sharpness of the rhubarb, and the home pickled onion working perfectly with the delicate nature of the mackerel. My wife’s starter was earthly in colour, texture and in taste. The layers of textures given by the dukkah, an Egyptian condiment, and the artichoke itself made it a fantastic start to the meal.
For main we both took the Venison Loin with Braised Red Cabbage, Curley Kale and Blackberry Gel. This was presented beautifully and the Venison was so succulent and melted in the mouth. The Red Cabbage and Kale were perfectly cooked, and the tartness of the Blackberry Gel was a perfect accompaniment to the cut of meat. Delicious!Feeling more than comfortable in our surroundings we decided to take desserts. Our eyes were turned by the Chocolate Mousse with Cherries and Pistachios and the Selection of Cheeses.
This ended our meal perfectly, the Chocolate Mousse was decadent & moreish and the Selection of Cheeses were accompanied by a great choice of biscuits.To finish our experience we had coffee and petit fours, and why not!The wine selection offered variety and my favourite white, a light citrus noted Picpoul de Pinet from the Languedoc. My lunch date took a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with a real punch of gooseberry.
All in all it was a really fantastic experience from the moment we arrived to the moment we left. It was an intimate environment, the waitresses were attentive, but not over bearing and we were able to enjoy our meals and the company without feeling pressured. The three course set menu was well priced, as was the wine. The quality of the food was excellent, and we are already looking forward to our next visit! Another gourmet gem in the Fine City of Norwich!