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Wild Thyme review: Still top of its game after devastating fire

PUBLISHED: 15:17 18 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:36 19 March 2019

Sticky aubergine steak, tomato, herb and pomegranate bulgar wheat, tzatziki, coriander and cashew sala, warm pitta bread and Mediterranean white bean and tomato stew with tahini, dressed greens, feta, smoked almond dukkha and bread Credit: James Randle

Sticky aubergine steak, tomato, herb and pomegranate bulgar wheat, tzatziki, coriander and cashew sala, warm pitta bread and Mediterranean white bean and tomato stew with tahini, dressed greens, feta, smoked almond dukkha and bread Credit: James Randle

Archant

I headed to the newly reopened Wild Thyme vegetarian restaurant in Norwich following a fire which closed the restaurant for almost a year.

Wild Thyme in Norwich Credit: Louisa BaldwinWild Thyme in Norwich Credit: Louisa Baldwin

Food

The popular veggie and vegan spot had a legion of fans, including plenty of meat eaters, before a fire at neighbouring Rainbow Wholefoods last April caused extensive smoke damage.

Just under a year later, and through sheer perseverance of owner Pip Wilkinson, the restaurant has reopened with a fresh look and revised menu, with plenty of customer favourites still there.

I had visited Wild Thyme once before and was really impressed with the quality of the food so I went along with high hopes that it would still be of a good standard.

The interior at Wild Thyme Credit: Wild ThymeThe interior at Wild Thyme Credit: Wild Thyme

To start we ordered black garlic roasted cauliflower, spring onion, green chilli, coriander, pistachio and basil chutney (£6.50) and sweetcorn and polenta fritters, toasted coconut with tomato and cardamon dip (£6.50).

The cauliflower dish was an allotment of vibrant flavours and vegetables and me and my fellow diner grabbed our forks and got stuck in.

The combination of textures with the crunchy pistachio, fiery chilly and al dente cauliflower was a joy and the basil chutney and spring onion gave it a kick.

The sweetcorn and polenta fritters were sweet and tangy, combining well with the coconut, but I personally would have preferred a barbecue dip as the tomato and cardamon accompaniment made the dish a little soggy.

Sweetcorn and polenta fritters, toasted coconut with tomato and cardamon dip Credit: James RandleSweetcorn and polenta fritters, toasted coconut with tomato and cardamon dip Credit: James Randle

For our main courses we ordered the sticky aubergine steak with tomato, herb and pomegranate bulgar wheat, tzatziki, coriander and cashew salsa and warm pitta bread (£9.50) and Mediterranean, white bean and tomato stew with tahini dressed greens, feta, smoked almond dukkha and bread (also £9.50).

The sticky aubergine was perfectly crisp on the outside and squidgy and indulgent on the inside with a scoop of moreish coriander and cashew salsa on top and the presentation was slick.

On its own it wouldn’t have been filling enough for a main course but when combined with the bulgar wheat and pitta bread it was just right and we definitely didn’t miss the meat.

The stew was the perfect winter warmer on a cold evening and the beans and dukkha topped with feta gave a creamy and tangy flavour which I smashed onto the slabs of garlic bread with my knife.

Black garlic roasted cauliflower, spring onion, green chilli, coriander, pistachio and basil chutney Credit: James RandleBlack garlic roasted cauliflower, spring onion, green chilli, coriander, pistachio and basil chutney Credit: James Randle

Alongside our mains we had a side of sweet potato and thyme wedges (£3.50) which were crispy and packed with flavour and punchy homemade kimchi (£2.50).

But the real star of the show was the raw vegan chocolate orange and coconut cheesecake with Italian orange sorbet (£6) which I would go back to the restaurant for just to eat on its own.

The cheesecake was heavenly and by only using a thin layer of coconut on the bottom it didn’t overpower the chocolate and was perfectly balanced.

The tangy blood orange sorbet took the dessert to the next level and I ate it faster than Bruce Bogtrotter with a chocolate cake in Matilda.

Sticky aubergine steak, tomato, herb and pomegranate bulgar wheat, tzatziki, coriander and cashew sala, warm pitta bread Credit: James RandleSticky aubergine steak, tomato, herb and pomegranate bulgar wheat, tzatziki, coriander and cashew sala, warm pitta bread Credit: James Randle

Wild Thyme is back with a bang and is still top of its game for vegetarian and vegan food in the city.

READ MORE: The Gull Inn review: Crowd-pleasing dishes - just don’t order the burger

Setting

Mediterranean white bean and tomato stew with tahini, dressed greens, feta, smoked almond dukkha and bread Credit: James RandleMediterranean white bean and tomato stew with tahini, dressed greens, feta, smoked almond dukkha and bread Credit: James Randle

Tucked away in Labour in Vain Yard, it provides the perfect haven to getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Ambiance

The restaurant is in the roof of the building and open beams and a large open-plan dining area creates a relaxed atmosphere.

Raw vegan chocolate orange and coconut cheesecake with Italian orange sorbet Credit: James RandleRaw vegan chocolate orange and coconut cheesecake with Italian orange sorbet Credit: James Randle

It is also great to see they are supporting another local business with Plant Den pots on all of the tables.

Service

The service was excellent and staff were passionate and recommended dishes from the menu. They also quickly responded to any requests although they wouldn’t tell us the vegan mayonnaise recipe as it is the chef’s secret.

Drinks

The alcoholic offering is pretty standard but the juices and smoothies are really tasty. We ordered a orange. carrot and ginger juice (£3) which was sweet and punchy and the homemade lemonade (£3) tasted very fresh.

Accessibility

There is one flight of stairs getting up to the restaurant but the restaurant is all across one level.

Toilets

Spotlessly clean and they have been given a fresh lick of paint.

Parking

Plenty of parking nearby with the nearest car park at St Giles multi-storey car park just up the road.

Price

£47.50 for drinks and three courses, with a shared dessert, for two with sides.

Highlight

The vegan cheesecake with blood orange sorbet is the best dessert I’ve eaten in Norwich.

In summary

Wild Thyme is back with a bang and is still top of its game for vegetarian and vegan food in the city.

This is an independent review.

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