Blue's Kitchen review: 'A brilliant new addition to Norwich'
- Credit: James Randle
Blue's Kitchen recently launched at The Rosebery pub in Norwich, promising big flavours with a selection of sharing plates and grills to choose from. Louisa Baldwin headed along to try it out.
The launch of Blue's Kitchen at The Rosebery at the start of December couldn't have come at a better time, with the introduction of Tier 2 restrictions and need for substantial meals meaning the food offering at pubs is more important than ever before.
The NR3 postcode is regarded by many as the best area to drink in Norwich, but it is now excelling when it comes to food too and many pubs are diversifying by getting a local food business to run their kitchen.
I visited on a Wednesday night with my boyfriend and as he has a dairy allergy the friendly waitress brought out a marked menu of all the things he could eat or that could be adapted.
To start we shared the jerk chicken shish kebab with smoked aioli, banana ketchup, purple slaw and flatbread (£8.50) and it was gigantic.
The flatbread was warm and comforting and we ripped it off in pieces, after quickly abandoning knives and forks, and wrapped it around the tender chicken chunks.
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It was a Caribbean and Middle Eastern fusion and the banana ketchup was tangy and sweet and balanced well with the sharp slaw - it was very messy to eat but completely worth it.
For my main, I went for the braised Norfolk beef cheek with mash, chianti sauce, marmalade carrot and beef crumb (£15), which was presented beautifully.
It was a pyramid of pure bliss and the perfect winter comfort food, with a generous slab of beef encased in sticky sauce and the meat melted in my mouth and was packed with flavour.
The mash was indulgent with plenty of butter, the carrot soft, while still having a bite, and the rich gravy married all the flavours together.
My boyfriend ordered the Blue's mixed grill with flat iron steak, hickory barbecue ribs and jerk chicken shish with fries (£19), which he upgraded to a portion of chilli salt Chinese fries with satay and sweet chilli sauce for £2.
The mixed grill normally comes with peppercorn sauce too, but this was taken off as it contains dairy.
He loved it and I tried the steak and the ribs, not the chicken as it was the same as the starter, and both were wonderfully tender.
The barbecue ribs had a sticky glaze and fell off the bone and the steak was cooked perfectly.
The fries, which are also gluten free and vegan, were a burst of flavour and the satay was very moreish and balanced well with the fresh spring onions and chillies.
We were both so stuffed that we couldn't manage a dessert, but the options were a Morello cherry frangipane tart and a dark chocolate and praline delice (both £7.50).
The Rosebery is a really lovely pub with stylish décor, while still maintaining a cosy feel, and it is open-plan so it's easy for customers to socially distance.
It cost £44.50 for the sharing plate, two mains and loaded fries, which we felt matched the quality of the food.
All the drinks are ordered separately through the bar staff and we had two Lindemans Kriek cherry beers each, which came in a branded glass, and they were delicious and priced at £3.80 each. There is also a great range of keg, cask and botted beers, wines and soft drinks.
The toilets were spotlessly clean and it looked like they have been recently refurbished.
The Rosebery is all on one level and there is an accessible toilet so I don't imagine there would be any issues.
The servers for both Blue's Kitchen and The Rosebery were very helpful and friendly and also great with allergens.
The beef was incredible and I would definitely go back and order it again.
A brilliant new addition to Norwich and I want to go back and try all the sharing plates.
Our food reviews are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited. The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review and bills are paid by the reviewer. The choice of places reviewed is also independent and is not based on venues which do or do not advertise in our publications.
If you like that try these...
1. Danomey Kitchen at The Stanley, Norwich
Danomey Kitchen recently launched at nearby pub The Stanley and offers a range of innovative small plates and mains with brunches at weekends.
2. Steak in the Stix at The Ratcatchers, Cawston
If you love steak then look no further, with options including a 30 ounce porterhouse and a 20 ounce chateaubriand to share, with a range of sides and nibbles too.
3. Blue Joanna, Norwich
Since opening in Unthank Road in 2015, Blue Joanna has built up a big following and is packed out most nights. It serves a range of small plates including Korean blue tacos, barbecue and marmalade ribs and grilled aubergine with sweet chilli and miso.