Warwick St Social, Norwich, restaurant review: ‘I was blown away’
PUBLISHED: 11:10 25 October 2017 | UPDATED: 08:08 26 October 2017
Is Warwick St Social all it’s cracked up to be?
Warwick St Social has a special place in my heart; it was where my boyfriend, Dom and I had our first date. We hadn’t been back since but our expectations were high, so high in fact that we ambitiously decided to tackle four courses.
I couldn’t resist ordering the goats’ cheese and caramelised onion bread to nibble on. It came freshly baked, warm from the oven and dripping in cheese and onion. It tasted like hot dogs on Bonfire Night and was faultless,
To start Dom enjoyed the duo of pork - pancetta wrapped pork tenderloin and Ras El Hanout belly pork. The accompanying crackling was chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside, the overall flavour of the dish was perfectly smokey. The belly pork was soft and succulent and had an edge on the tenderloin.
I opted for the textures of beetroot and duo of Binham blue with raspberry and beetroot puree. The beetroot was luscious but not overpowering, recently I’ve had my fair share of beetroot themed starters and this was by far the best. The colours were vibrant and the crispy crumbed Binham Blue was satisfying, salty and held little grease - although I felt the Binham flavour was lost slightly. The sweet tangs of the raspberry puree didn’t detract from the savoury and added a sharpness that worked especially well with the cheese.
Next were the mains, across the table was confit Gressingham duck leg with truffle purée potato, braised red cabbage, confit beetroot, ‘Our Farm’ kale and red wine jus. The duck skin was exceptional - both crunchy and tender, there was a slight bit of gristle but that’s expected of a leg. The red cabbage and tartness of the beetroot were a match made in heaven.
For the first time in a long time, I was spoilt for choice, with two vegetarian mains that both sounded delicious. Sadly the goats’ cheese and caramelized onion gallette lost out to the basil gnocchi, glazed shallot, honey baked beetroot, charred swede and broccoli brown butter. If I’m being very pernickety the dish petered slightly in comparison to the beetroot starter. The pesto-like gnocchi was flawless and married well with the swede. There were one too many shallots, three giant pieces made up the largest component of the meal and it was just too oniony. That being said a small piece of shallot on the fork worked well with each element to create light and refreshing flavours.
To finish, we shared a coffee panna cotta, white chocolate mousse, chocolate gel and amaretto crème fraiche sorbet. Dessert for me is a take it or leave it affair but this was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had, if they were all like this I could be a convert. The panna cotta was rich with strong coffee and perfectly set. Although the sorbet flavour was lost, the white chocolate mousse was in another league.
Plenty of choice, with a strong wine list. I had the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Dom had East Coast IPA.
It is pricey but the quality more than reflects that. The portions are on the smaller side but we were surprised to leave very full.
Spacious, well-designed and clean.
Slightly out of the city, off Unthank Road, it’s possible you could miss it. We walked from the city centre and it took us the best part of half an hour.
There isn’t a car park but some available parking on the street - make sure to read signs though to avoid getting a ticket.
The staff were nice and unassuming, you almost forgot they were there but were helpful if needed.
The place is swanky in design but when we first arrived, at 7pm on a Thursday it was nearly empty and lacked atmosphere, feeling quiet and eerie, but by 8pm the place was rammed and came to life with chatter.
It has to be the goats’ cheese and caramelised onion bread - it was gorgeous.
I was blown away by the quality and artistry of the food - certainly lives up to its name and décor.
This is an independent review.
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