What did our food reviewer make of a takeaway from Urban Eatery?
- Credit: Lauren Cope
The Urban Eatery has been on my Norwich bucket list for some time.
Founder Freddie Griggs, formerly of Bishop's Dining Room, is among those who have left fine dining kitchens for street food set-ups, benefitting from the flexibility that residencies in pubs can offer.
Its rotating menu is a fusion of flavours from around the world, combined in thoughtful, innovative dishes.
We ordered delivery in a 45-minute slot on a Saturday night from its base at the Fat Cat and Canary on Thorpe Road, from which they offer £3 delivery to postcodes NR1, 2, 3 and 7.
First in the basket was a dish I’d been eyeing up for weeks - the slow-braised Norfolk pork belly, served with an Ajitama egg (a soy-seasoned, gooey ramen egg), kimchi fried rice and Sriracha cream (£12.50).
It was joined by the shin of beef, smoky mash, celeriac cream, mustard kale and gravy (£12.50).
At the time of ordering - the menu has since changed - there were four sides, and we chose the loaded Japanese fries (£5), with had miso-cured egg yolk grated on top, and the beef confit carrots with herbs (£4). For good measure, I threw in a £1 pot of home-made kimchi.
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We massively over-ordered. If your eyes are going to be bigger than your belly anywhere, you're unlikely to regret it with the Urban Eatery, though. Dishes and rich and indulgent, while two mains would have been plenty, we soldiered on regardless.
The melting meat and crispy skin of the pork belly was a highlight - the unctuous egg yolk was beautiful with the salty pork.
The kimchi fried rice, with its sriracha cream, was velvety smooth and brought a kick of heat, and a little went a long way for me - it’s beautiful but very rich.
I had expected it to the stand-out dish for me, but my favourite was actually the glossy, tender shin of beef.
It was intensely smoky with the mash, the gravy was rich and the mustard kale gave a cleaner, lighter bite. Two really great mains.
The fries were crispy and fresh and carrots were sweet and charred, with a hint of aniseed.
The kimchi is also worth noting, too - it was better than most supermarket varieties and even some I’ve had out. If you’re a fan it might be worth getting a couple of pots.
We later discovered two bread rolls and whipped butter in our bag, which we had the next day. The whipped butter was exceptional - it was salty and moreish, and we slathered it on everything in sight.
For dessert we had the sticky toffee pudding (£6), which was enormous, and came with both cream and orange and whiskey custard, a nice touch.
We also had the cheese selection (£8), accompanied by crackers and chutney, which gave me my first taste of Norfolk’s creamy and earthy Baron Bigod.
They also gave us two bite-sized pieces of their scotch bonnet nemesis, a chocolate brownie with an unexpected heat.
We ordered using the Tudoo app, which many local restaurants are signing up to. It’s user-friendly and updates you when your food is on the way. Our driver left it on our doorstep, and was very friendly and chatty.
Our meal came to £52, which given the portion sizes and extra touches, like the bread rolls and pudding options, felt like great value.
If you’re after a straightforward dish or simple classic, Urban Eatery might not be to your tastes. But if you’re after flavour-packed dishes off an innovative menu, you won’t be disappointed. It's different, and it's memorable. Its menu has changed in the last few weeks, so I'm already eyeing up my next selection.
If you like that, try these
The Xo Kitchen at The Artichoke, Norwich - The Xo Kitchen has built up a reputation for innovative dishes and bold flavours.
Socius, Burnham Market - On the coast, Socius is a popular restaurant focusing on memorable food in a relaxing setting.
The Kimchi, Norwich - If kimchi and Korean flavours are up your street, try Norwich's The Kimchi, offering authentic dishes.
How you can support your favourite restaurant in lockdown
Takeaways - While more places have opted to stay closed for the next few weeks, plenty are still open and offering takeaway meals for delivery or collection.
Vouchers - A valuable way to help businesses, you can buy yourself - or a loved one, as a gift - a voucher now to enjoy when it's safe to do so down the line.
Shop local - Make sure to support restaurant and pub suppliers, including beer, cheese and fruit and vegetables, by shopping local.
Social media - It's not an easy time for many people financially. A simple like on Facebook or follow on Instagram shows support for traders, though, and can help them build exposure.
Don't forget them when they reopen - It might feel like it, but this lockdown isn't forever, and our support should be consistent.
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.