St Andrews Brewhouse, Norwich, restaurant review: “a venue worth visiting”
- Credit: Archant
A pub, a brewery and a restaurant - St Andrews Brew House combines all three. But does it work?
As a microbrewery, there is an industrial theme that runs throughout St Andrews Brewhouse. with plenty of exposed piping and brickwork.
And rather than hiding away the brewing process from customers, it has instead been turned into a design feature.
The large brewing vats are on display behind a glass panel next to the bar area, which adds to the overall aesthetic.
While the restaurant is separated from the bar, it maintains a relaxed atmosphere and is ideal for a date or a meal with friends.
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For starters - or 'British Tapas' as it's called on the menu - the brew house offers a variety of dishes including vegan options.
I went with the pork and chipotle scotch egg, which was served warm with a sweet peach ketchup. It was delicious. I was surprised that the peach complimented the rest of the dish so well, adding an unexpected level of flavour.
Whilst it appeared the most popular main is the chuck steak burger we decided to try the braised short rib of beef, served with creamy mash and bourguignon sauce and the beef pie, made with brew house ale braised beef, served with vegetables. The rib of beef was packed with flavour but the meat was slightly chewy and I couldn't finish on account of jaw ache.
I was let-down by my side order of roasted sweet potato with buttermilk aioli, spring onion and chilli, which was very dry and although exactly as described on the menu had no redeeming qualities.
On the flip side, both dishes offered very generous portion sizes and we were left feeling full.
Despite there being plenty of seating for couples and groups, our table-for-two did present some problems. Had we have just been having our drinks, it would've been perfect, but add in a cutlery crate, candle and a jug of water and there was barely any room left for the food. Luckily the table next to us was spare and we ended up putting some of our plates on it.
It's no surprise that this is where the Brew House comes into its own. Standing out from other pubs in the city with
more than 30 different types of ale, lager, and craft beer on offer - both on tap and in cans.
The pub's own ales are definitely worth trying, and the majority are under £4 for a pint.
For non-beer drinkers, there's also an extensive wine list.
Sadly, I was driving, but did sample the Brew House Pale Ale, which is a light hoppy brew, with a dry, citrus finish.
The industrial theme continues in the reasonably clean toilets, meaning they can get away with a bit of rust on the sink...
St Andrews and Castle Mall car parks are both located just around the corner and are a few minutes walk away. St Benedict's Street is also just down the road and offers on-street parking during the evenings.
The pub is located in one of the more picturesque areas of the city centre and is perfectly situated for a drink before or after any, if not all city activities!
The staff were attentive, and a jug of water is brought over as soon as you sit down, which is a nice touch.
The food came out quickly, and there was little waiting time between the starter and main course. However, it was a Wednesday evening and the restaurant was not particularly busy.
For two drinks, two starters, two mains and a side, we paid £44, which felt reasonable given the amount of food on the plate.
The majority of main courses cost around £10. For £18 there's also the option to have a board of starters, which looks ideal for a lunch-time visit with friends. Starters cost between £4 to £6.50, and puddings are just £5.
As is the trend in most quirky bars and pubs these days, it's no longer enough to deliver a receipt on a simple dish.
The Brew House has opted for serving your bill inside a book - we had a copy of Water Babies - which left us slight bemused.
With large windows looking out onto St George's Street, St Andrews Brew House is an ideal location to watch the world go by. And even at its busiest periods, the pub maintains a relaxed atmosphere. A huge selection of ales combined with decent quality food makes this a venue worth visiting.