December 6 2013 Latest news:
Monday, May 13, 2013
Something very unusual happened when DEREK JAMES took his wife Bridgette to Roger Hickman’s Restaurant in Norwich to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
I could tell she was struggling but I never thought I would see her put her spoon and fork down...and admit defeat.
For the first time in living memory my wife had left a piece of chocolate on her plate. “I just can’t,” she said. “I can’t finish it. I am stumped!”
She puffed out her cheeks, sighed and sat back in her chair. Left on the plate was a lonely slice of chocolate.
The dessert we had both chosen, following two substantial courses, was the following:
Chocolate fondant with Greek yoghurt sorbet, coffee anglaise and chocolate and peanut mousse.
It tasted as good as it sounds and Roger Hickman had achieved a first.
He had served up a delicious dessert which my wife, who has had a lifelong love affair with chocolate and has had a daily chocolate fix for most of our married life, couldn’t finish.
“I am so sorry,” she told our waitress, “but I just can’t manage that last piece of chocolate.”
This was the woman who has eaten at least one Kitkat and four squares of Lindt 70 per cent a day since we were married in 1970.
We had decided to push the boat out and mark our 43rd wedding anniversary by visiting this restaurant under the Hickman name for the first time.
The last time we called in, several years ago, it was run by the top chef, the legendary David Adlard, so did it match his high standards? He had set the bar pretty high.
Was this still among the best restaurants not only in Norwich but across Norfolk?
The answer to both questions is yes.
The former head chef Roger Hickman has made this stylish and elegant restaurant his own and serves up food to savour. Meals you will remember. Food which challenges the tastebuds.
Ambitious and original courses which have the hallmark of a talented chef in control of his kitchen stamped all over them. Not afraid to try something different.
For a weekday night Hickman’s in Upper St Giles was busy with people of all ages. It was good to see several families eating together - adding to the atmosphere.
We were offered a taster menu from £55 or the table d’hote dinner menu which costs £34 for two courses or £42 for three courses.
The three courses we chose from the table d’hote menu were all rather special. They looked good and tasted better.
I started with pan fried salmon which was a delight, the fish was fantastic and I then had loin of venison which came with a individual tasty little venison pie (and braised red cabbage.)
My wife selected the pigeon breasts followed by the pan fried sea bass which was also delicious.
Much thought had gone into preparing these dishes along with the appetisers and palette cleansing dishes which were served during the meal.
It all came together so well.
And as for the dessert - it was magnificent. I am proud to say I finished mine. Every last morsel.
It used to be the case that the more up-market the restaurant, the less food was served on the plate. Not so in Hickman’s.
If you are looking for top class food served in friendly surroundings then head for Hickman’s - a place we can all be proud of.
We see them on the television most weeks but Norwich can be proud of its very own its very own master chef - by the name of Roger Hickman.
The bill for the two of us, with wine and sparkling water, came to just over £100. It was worth every penny.
ROGER HICKMAN’S RESTAURANT
Upper St Giles Street
t Open: Tues-Sat lunch 12pm-2.30pm; dinner: 7pm-10pm
t Prices: Lunch from £18 and dinner from £34.
t Vegetarian: Yes
t Wheelchair access: Yes