East Twenty Six, Norwich, restaurant review: ‘Go and try every single thing on the menu right now’
PUBLISHED: 10:00 23 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:32 23 August 2017
East Twenty Six has quickly become a Norwich favourite.
I always find it hard to write a review for a place like East Twenty Six. It deserves tremendous praise and it’s difficult to do it justice. Opened by the same team as The Iron House and serving world-inspired, modern tapas, it is a foodie haven.
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After one visit it became a family favourite for us. They consistently produce an array of unique flavours that words cannot describe - and that’s exactly what I say to anyone that asks for a recommendation in Norwich, because it’s top of my list.
The menu regularly changes, although I’m going to start with a staple on the menu, their stand-out dish – the smoked aubergine chips, tempura battered and served with rocket and chilli mayonnaise - the soft aubergine centre is loosely hugged by the crispy, thin batter and when smothered in chilli mayo are ridiculously rich and moreish. Expect fireworks on the palate.
Another classic is Papas arrugadas, Canarian wrinkly potatoes topped with a hot pepper and garlic sauce, so simple but beautifully executed, tangy and filling, in the most indulgent way.
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A new addition was the soba noodle and smoked courgette salad with a citrus miso vinaigrette, I’ve been trying to experiment with miso at home, so was excited to try it. The overall essence was pleasant and enjoyable – it tasted so virtuous. Although fresh and light it was an extremely large serving, I would have it again but as a stand-alone for lunch with a side of bread.
Moving on to meat and fish, the charcoal roasted bavette steak, served medium rare with chimichurri sauce, melts in the mouth. It is, “The best steak I’ve ever tasted” according to my father, which is high praise from a massive meat fanatic.
The crab and crayfish steamed dumplings are delectable, filled to the brim, delicate and fluffy. The Portugese squid, bean and sausage stew is also out of this world.
I couldn’t resist ordering the hand cut chips; they are out of this world - crisp and golden on the outside yet silky smooth on the inside. I’d like to give a quick mention to their side serving of bread and olives, which again, captures that East Twenty Six essence, it’s dense and full of gusto (how do they do it?!)
They have some magnificent desserts, but I can never resist a scoop of almond milk and Amaretti sorbet which is basically like a vanilla Mini Milk for grown ups.
It’s not just food East Twenty Six are monopolising, they have an equally impressive cocktail list and wine selection – it’s ideal for a drink and a small nibble at the bar. I am always tempted by the unusual cocktails but can never resist a glass of the world’s best wine, Sauvignon Blanc from Land Made Yealands.
Glass fronted, seating upstairs is quite spectacular but personally you can’t beat the downstairs for me. It’s intimate, romantic and sleek. On a sunny day sitting outside is great, it’s set back enough that you aren’t immediately noticeable to passers by but can easily people watch.
The staff are always polite and friendly.
The bill can rack up pretty quickly, the tapas dishes range from roughly £4 to £9 and a 250ml carafe of wine is just shy of £8, which is probably why some self-control should be exercised.
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Situated on the ever-popular Exchange Street, it’s a stone’s throw from the city and St Benedict’s Street.
St Andrew’s multi-storey is at the end of the road, but it’s well within walking distance of any of the main city centre car parks.
On the second floor, the toilets are clean and beautifully decorated.
The food, hands down! This place has a multitude of things going for it but most importantly the quality and originality of the dishes they serve
I may never know how they create and balance their flavours but that’s okay just as long as they carry on exactly how they are. Promise me you’ll go and try every single thing on the menu right now...
This is an independent review.
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