Norwich: The Kitchen
This small intimate restaurant intrigued me, with mixed reports I wanted to try it for myself, so booked in for a table to the two-level venue on the city end of St Benedicts Street.
This small intimate restaurant intrigued me, with mixed reports I wanted to try it for myself, so booked in for a table of three and ventured on a week night to the two-level venue on the city end of St Benedicts Street.
We were sat at our table, after a little mix up about numbers, and given the menus to peruse. I was impressed by the approach - a local produce organic affair with tasty ingredients and some interesting menu options which included rabbit and crab. However there were only about five starter choices, nine main choices (with two not available) and a few dessert options, so I actually found it quite difficult in finding something I really wanted.
Despite an approximate 40 minute wait before being asked for our order, we decided to avoid starters and went straight for the main course.
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I chose slow cooked barbecue ribs (£8.95) which were baked in their “special” sauce and had a side dish of kitchen potatoes stove-backed with Rosemary and paprika.
My veggie friend went for the homemade courgette and spinach quiche with Binham Blue cheese service with new potatoes and salad (£9.95) while friend number three opted for Norfolk butternut squash and ricotta risotto (£9.95).
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Despite the long wait to order we didn't have a bad wait for the food and all looked freshly prepared. My ribs were amazing and I had a big pile, along with the tasty potatoes. However, I had nothing else on my plate apart from the ribs and potatoes, no token gesture of salad, which was a little disappointing.
But I think I definitely got the best deal. My friend's butternut squash, although she said it was nice, was very small on the portion size and she was left feeling hungry. The quiche option was again nice but not mind blowing. Yet we still liked what the restaurant was trying to do with supporting local food.
The desserts were fine, although the rhubarb crumble was some kind of homage to ginger and that's pretty much all you could taste, and the crème brulee, again all pleasant but the top was still warm so not crusty and I felt my chocolate brownie (£3.95 for each dessert) was the winner. However the organic vanilla ice cream was amazing.
I think I'd visit The Kitchen again because they're doing something many fail on - providing fresh local ingredients at a reasonable price and aiming to offer some slightly different options (rabbit) to try. However, my friends and I - along with many other reports - felt they slightly let themselves down on the service, but it is still a funky little venue, a clean bright environment and a new place in Norwich to dine out.
With a few tweaks - including a bit more risotto - I think this makes a good addition to the Norwich eating scene.
t The Kitchen, 17 St Benedicts Street, Norwich, 01603 625777, www.norwichkitchen.co.uk
t Price: Starters about £5, mains £8.95 or £9.95, desserts £3.95
t Open: Tues-Sat 11am-11pm.
t Disabled access: Yes