Jorge's review: Delicious black pork but with a hefty price tag
PUBLISHED: 16:02 17 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:41 19 April 2019
With a trip to Lisbon on the horizon Geraldine Scott tried out Norwich's new Portuguese restaurant to get a taste of what was in store.
My boyfriend and I are off on our first trip away together at the end of the month - a long weekend in Lisbon - so when we spotted Jorge's tucked away in Norwich's Orford Yard we thought it would be a good way to tease our pallets ready to compare with the real deal.
When Jorge's opened in October last year it took the place of the well-loved Orford Flat Iron steakhouse.
Slightly hidden in Orford Yard off Red Lion Street, it had the feel of one of those slightly off the beaten track gems it would be easy to miss - but you'd regret it if you did.
As you step inside the setting is intimate, with a view straight into the kitchen.
Having looked at the menu beforehand we were excited to try some Mozambique tiger prawns.
But unfortunately when we arrived we were told the regular menu was off - which to be fair to Jorge's it does say on their website, but it would have been handy to know this when booking.
Instead, we could choose five tapas dishes from a choice of seven, at £19.50.
It wasn't clear to begin with whether this was for us both, or £19.50 a head. It ended up being the latter.
Plus a bottle of wine from the Douro region at £26. The wine at Jorge's is not cheap, this was on the low end of the price range.
We opted for mussels in a spicy sauce, fried chorizo, a potato salad, marinated sardines, and black pork secretos.
The food was delicious, there was no denying that, and the portions larger than that of a general tapas dish.
The mussels were fresh and full of flavour, with a spice which gave them a kick.
And the sardines had a citrus zing to them as they fell apart in your mouth.
But the real triumph was the pork secretos - the most tender and flavoursome pork we'd ever tasted, so much so we asked for seconds, and got them!
The fried chorizo and potato salad, while tasty, were much like a dish you would get anywhere else - enjoyable but nothing special.
We were also served up warm bread, oils, and olives which helped satisfy our appetites.
The problem was with the portion sizes when put against the price.
When we looked at the sardines there were just four, and only a four pieces of chorizo were provided too.
For £40 we would have expected to have more of a selection and a larger portion size.
So with room left for dessert I decided to try, on the waiter's recommendation, the Jorge's special (£5.50) - a soft meringue pudding with custard and a creamy, delicious texture.
Josh went for a reasonable coffee and Portuguese tart deal, at £4.50, which hit the spot.
Our visit to Jorge's felt like one of those restaurants you stumble on while abroad - you don't know the etiquette, or really what you're ordering, but you just cross your fingers and hope you've done it right.
We had and the food was a mixture of perfectly nice and delicious. We'd return to Jorge's but if you're going to give it a try best go just after pay day, as you may not leave with much change from £100.
Small and intimate with a good view into the kitchen.
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Really cosy and welcoming, with lots of enjoyment around you.
Friendly and polite, helpful, if a little erratic.
A good selection of wines but quite expensive, with the cheapest bottle at £19.
Steps inside so maybe difficult for those with accessibility issues.
Basic, clean - what you'd expect.
In the city centre so plenty of car parks about, and right next to main bus stops.
£82.50 (including 10pc service charge)
The black pork - worth going back just for that.
A lovely addition to Norwich's independent restaurant line up, but maybe for a treat rather than a regular haunt.
Three dishes to try
1. Black pork secretos - included in the £19.50 per head tapas deal or £15.50 as a main (served with french fries or sweet potato fries). Beautifully cooked, tender, with a distinct taste.
2. Jorge's special - At £5.50 this was a good value part of our meal, zingy lemon mixed with creamy meringue make a match in heaven.
3. Portuguese tart - A classic, at £4.50 with a cup of coffee. A textbook example with a flakey, crispy casea nd smooth egg custard nestled in the middle.
Value for money
On our night it was a set menu at £19.50 a head. On the regular menu mains start at £14.50 up to £29.
If you like that, try these
• Wild Thyme - Another Norwich independent classic, just back after a fire forced it to close for a year, deserves a strong comeback.
• The Workshop - If tapas-style dining is your thing The Workshop in Norwich serves up Mediterranean variations.
• The Gunton Arms - Head out of the city and get some country air, and country fare.
This is an independent review.