Don Txoko brings a taste of Northern Spain to Norwich

A selection of dishes on offer at Don Txoko in Norwich

Don Txoko brings a taste of Northern Spain to Norwich with the help of its bespoke grill affectionately named ‘Fat Elvis’. - Credit: Sabrina Johnson

Going to a restaurant has always felt like a treat. And, after months of home-cooked meals, takeaways and discovering exactly what that unlabelled container in the depths of the freezer contained, dining out has gained a whole new significance.

The easing of restrictions has meant we have been able to visit al fresco venues since mid-April, but the British weather has not been kind of late, making it more of an endurance test than a joy. 

So it was with great excitement, a few days after indoor hospitality reopened on May 17, that we left extra layers at home and headed to Don Txoko on St Benedicts Street. 

One of a number of restaurants on the currently pedestrianised street, Don Txoko aims to brings a taste of Northern Spain to Norwich with the help of its bespoke grill, affectionately named Fat Elvis.

There's a choice of tapas dishes, cheese and charcuterie, or an impressive cold cabinet offering dry-aged sirloin or Txuleton rib cuts of Galician Blond steak, which are priced up by weight (£8 to £9 per 100g).

The Iberico pork secreto at Don Txoko

The Iberico pork secreto at Don Txoko - Credit: Sabrina Johnson

After browsing the menu we went for the Iberico pork secreto (£17) and the grilled red mullet (£17). Served medium rare, finely sliced and alongside a green salad, the pork was melt in the mouth tender and almost buttery in its richness.

Apparently, it gets its secrecto named because butchers used to keep the cut back for themselves. I can see why. With some equally moreish and very satisfying patatas bravas (£3.50) on the side, I was a happy customer.

Butterflied red mullet at Don Txoko

Butterflied red mullet at Don Txoko - Credit: Sabrina Johnson

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Across the table, the butterflied red mullet was beautifully cooked, served on a bed of peppers, tomatoes and onions with drops of aioli. It had a lovely smokiness to it.

Burnt Basque cheesecake at Don Txoko

Burnt Basque cheesecake at Don Txoko - Credit: Sabrina Johnson

For dessert there was a choice between burnt Basque cheesecake (£4.50) and Pantxineta (£4.50), an almond puff pastry tart, with a set white custard filling, so to cover all bases we ordered one of each.

The cheesecake was light in texture, came with a diced fruit compote and drizzled in a sherry glaze.

Pantxineta, an almond puff pastry tart, with a set white custard filling

Pantxineta, an almond puff pastry tart, with a set white custard filling - Credit: Sabrina Johnson

On the Pantxineta front, if you like toasted almonds, orange and custard, you’ll like this. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the description but what came was a light pastry tart, filled with a firm custard, which was unlike anything I’ve had before and quite different to vanilla British custard or creme patisserie.

There were clean plates all around which speaks for itself.

While still polishing off our deserts the staff bought us some complimentary sherry, the same delicious one which was used in the cheesecake glaze, to the point where I will be hunting down a bottle.

Setting

Don Txoko is located on St Benedicts street opposite St Lawrence's church, in Norwich. The restaurant is fairly small but also has an outdoor seating area.

As diners, we felt very safe. You are invited to sign in to track and trace on arrival, all staff wear masks and the door was kept open for ventilation.

Value

The bill for the two of us, including a couple of glass of wine, came to £55.50. Tapas dishes average £4.50, with mains coming in between £9 and £17. 

Steaks are sold by weight and are £8 to £9 per 100g. Desserts are £4.50. Considering the quality of produce, the deliciousness of the food and the excellent service, all in all, we felt it was pretty good value.

Drinks

A good wine menu, beer on tap and a few cocktails available too. 

Toilets

Two toilets, clean but quite small, which might be an issue if you need a little more space.

Accessibility

Don Txoko is a fairly small restaurant. The majority of the space is on one level, although as mentioned the toilets are very small, which could pose problems.

It's in the city centre so accessible by bus and train, and St Andrew's is your nearest multi-storey car park.

Service

Excellent. From the moment we arrived the staff were friendly, attentive and clearly passionate about the food on offer. The complimentary sherry was also a lovely touch.

Highlight

A tough call between the delicious Iberico pork and the sherry, which tasted like raisin flavoured honey. In general, it was great to see restaurants welcoming customers inside again.

In summary

Don Txoko is a lovely little place in one of Norwich's most densely populated areas when it comes to places to eat, and it easily holds its own.

The front of house staff are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the food they are serving, and the kitchen team is sending out some delicious dishes.

Our food reviews are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited. The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review and bills are paid by the reviewer. The choice of places reviewed is also independent and is not based on venues which do or do not advertise in our publications.

If you like that, try this

  • Jorge's restaurant, Orford Yard - Jorge's Portuguese restaurant offers, among a varied menu, churrasco dishes, which are barbecue cooked in its Berta charcoal oven.
  • Blue Joanna, Unthank Road - Blue Joanna's menu includes smaller, sharing dishes, but they are particularly known for their Korean blue tacos. 
  • Churros for the People, Norwich market - On the market, Churros for the People offers Spanish dishes including chorizo sandwiches, a Spanish tortilla box and, of course, churros.