I like the Côte Brasserie, Norwich the minute I walk in the door; the sounds of piano notes and acid jazz float across the room and blend perfectly with the Art Deco décor. We're seated in the conservatory with a perfect view of Exchange Street and relax with a glass of Kir Royale in hand. It is early on a Sunday, just before the start of the lunch time rush and we're enjoying an early meal before an afternoon of dancing.
We begin with starters, chicken liver parfait for me and steak tartare for Stephen. Stephen had in fact chosen his starter before we even arrived and is very excited to try it.
The chicken liver parfait is served with toasted brioche and spiced apple chutney. It is delicious and passes my test of a good parfait - it is smooth and creamy and I polish off the remaining parfait with a fork after my brioche is finished.
Stephen is not disappointed by his steak tartare. He says it doesn't feel like he is eating raw meat and he can't decide whether he prefers to accompany it with Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce more but it's just as good without. His verdict? He will definitely have it again. "It's just nice", says the man of few words.
For his main course, Stephen chooses the seasonal rump of lamb served with Jersey Royal potatoes, English asparagus and mint Hollandaise. The lamb arrives perfectly cooked and Stephen is immediately pleased with his choice of main. When pressed, my South African husband of few words agrees that "it was very nice". I am not certain he quite understands what our objective is today.
I decide on a 7oz fillet served with Roquefort butter. I am not eating a lot of meat these days and as a result have been craving a good steak. I'm very pleased with the presentation of my dish and am pleased to see that the portion looks to be of a manageable size.
The steak is delicious, seared on the outside and red on the inside. The meat is tender and tasty as a fillet should be and is perfectly matched with the Roquefort butter. The fillet is served with frites which are lovely too, crispy and salty, but admittedly I don't manage too many.
Despite feeling quite full by this time, we decide that the desserts look too good to pass up. I decide to go for something new that I've never tried before and choose frozen summer berries served in warm white chocolate sauce. I'm delighted by the mix of frozen berries and melted chocolate on my tongue and experience a delicious explosion of flavour as the tart berries blend with the sweet flavour of the chocolate. The dessert is wonderfully light and definitely the right choice.
Stephen chooses the lemon sorbet and helpfully tells me that it is "very lemony" but that was not a bad thing apparently. He polishes it off and declares that he has quite enjoyed his meal.
I like Côte Brasserie and they are already our brunch establishment of choice but our lovely meal at Côte Brasserie Norwich has enticed me to return for lunch and evening meals too.
With a thumbs up from Stephen and a happy, satisfied nod from me, it was time to put on our dancing shoes.
Côte Brasserie, Norwich
29 Exchange St,
We visited Côte Brasserie as part of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, one of the UK’s longest-running and largest international arts festivals featuring film, dance, contemporary music and a host of other events.
I’d like to thank Visit Norwich, Look Sideways–East and Côte Brasserie, Norwich for inviting me to try out the menu. Our visit was complimentary and as always, all views, enthusiasm and gluttony are entirely my own.