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The Iron House, Norwich, restaurant review: ‘The perfect setting to indulge’

PUBLISHED: 11:46 04 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:50 04 October 2017

Iron House. Photo: Emily Revell.

Iron House. Photo: Emily Revell.

Emily Revell.

Will The Iron House live up to expectations?

Bread and olives at the Iron House. Photo: Emily Revell. Bread and olives at the Iron House. Photo: Emily Revell.

Food

I have been to The Iron House a few times previously; I had a quinoa spring roll once that I still dream about and have nipped in late in the evening just for a dessert. It’s a place that always draws me in - with it’s 19th century building, characterful decor and large windows.

The Iron House often takes the rap for being slightly on the stingy side when it comes to portions.

They offer a selection of different sized plates: small being ideal for starters, medium needing the addition of a side or two, and a large sufficing as a main.

Our slightly ambitious ordering of two medium plates each, a side of chips, and bread and olives left us feeling very full and in no way hard-done-by.

MORE: The White Horse, Brancaster Staithe, restaurant review: ‘Breathtaking’

Beetroot salad at the Iron House. Photo: Emily Revell. Beetroot salad at the Iron House. Photo: Emily Revell.

The bread was dense and fluffy and the olives moreish in sweet oniony flavoured oil – which tasted even better with the bread dipped in it.

The buttermilk tempura halloumi with crushed peas was divine. The halloumi was tender and gooey, the batter salty and it’s a genius vegetarian take on battered fish.

The crushed peas were essentially posh mushy peas, delicate in texture but brackish and robust in flavour, they were a highlight for both of us.

The heritage beetroot salad with orange dressing was light and virtuous. It was very heavy on the beetroot… but what did I expect?

I was a little disappointed by the panzanella salad which I was hoping would be like one I’d had at sister restaurant, East Twenty Six previously.

Instead it was a few strips of cucumber with lettuce leaves and a sprinkle of rock hard croutons. The lack of dressing made it a little dry and deficient in flavour.

Panzella salad at the Iron House. Photo: Emily Revell. Panzella salad at the Iron House. Photo: Emily Revell.

Granted, this was perhaps a more traditional take but it paled in comparison to my expectations, that said I still ate it all.

The spiced falafel burger with flat bread could also be improved. The patty was crumbly and dense in texture. It was slightly stodgy and the spice struggled to battle against the chickpeas.

It may seem like I’m being critical but, all in all, the food is of a high standard and very enjoyable. It does just fall short in some areas when compared to its counterpart, East Twenty Six.

All is forgiven, though, for the loveliness of an evening at the Iron House and it is just that!

Drink

We enjoyed a bottle of my favourite, Sauvingnon Blanc Land Made, Yealands. The bottle cost £23 which seemed reasonable enough.

Halloumi and peas at the Iron House. Photo: Emily Revell. Halloumi and peas at the Iron House. Photo: Emily Revell.

They do have an impressive wine list and it’s the perfect setting to indulge.

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Loos

Although slightly hard to find at first the toilets are upstairs and beautifully decorated.

Service

Delightful. We were served by multiple different people, all of whom were attentive and chatty, without making you feel like you had to invite them to sit down.

Atmosphere

Falafel burger at the Iron House. Photo: Emily Revell. Falafel burger at the Iron House. Photo: Emily Revell.

The place has a cosmopolitan feel but is also as comforting as sitting in your living room. You can while away hours and we did, arriving at 6:30pm and not leaving until nearer 10pm. There are multiple different seating areas but we choose the sleek bar.

Price

Depends. If you are nipping in for a light bite or a snack it’s reasonable enough for the quality, however I can understand why it may seem to some like they aren’t getting much for their money.

Location

On the corner of St John Maddermarket, it’s a stone’s throw from St Benedicts and not far from Tombland.

Parking

St Andrews multi-storey is closest but walkable from most city centre parking.

Highlight

The wine, the atmosphere and the bread dipped in oil!

In summary

It’s a wonderful place to go for a nice evening out. If you want to enjoy an experience, relax, and indulge then it’s perfect. The menu changes regularly so there is always something new and a little bit unique to try and I have already returned for breakfast!

This is an independent review.

To see all of our food reviews click here.

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