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Louis' Deli, Norwich, restaurant review: "If you love cheese, this is the place for you!"

PUBLISHED: 11:59 11 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:19 12 February 2019

Baked camembert  Picture: Evangeline Williams

Baked camembert Picture: Evangeline Williams

Archant

Sample simple French fare including a 'roulette' board of over 10 cheeses here.

A cheese and charcuterie platter  Picture: Evangeline WilliamsA cheese and charcuterie platter Picture: Evangeline Williams

Food

Last summer, French-inspired shop and deli Les Garrigues temporarily shut its doors. As a frequent cheese and wine night hostess, and huge fan of tasting boards and charcuterie, I was gutted to have never crossed it off my list of places to eat in Norwich. That was until it merged with Louis’ Deli on St. Giles street, home to some of the city’s much-loved independent shops and cafes.

Feeling lucky to have gotten another shot at experiencing this little piece of France, there was no messing around with our choice of dishes. We went straight for the baked camembert with chutney, apple compote and cherries (£8.95) to start. The sweet and tangy cherries were a perfect pairing for the creamy silk-like camembert. There was definitely a home-made feel to the chutney and apple sauce as they were not overly sweet or gloopy which can sometimes be the case. A warning: you will run out of bread very quickly - we ordered more than our fair share.

Next, (yep, you guessed it) more cheese! The mixed charcuterie and cheese board (£15.95) was recommended as the best way to sample the mildest to the wildest flavours. The board came with a selection of blue cheese, goats’ cheese and soft brie from a range of locations, such as Corsica and Burgundy. There were also local options thrown into the mix, such as Baron Bigod and Norfolk White Lady.

This bottle of wine was superb  Picture: Evangeline WilliamsThis bottle of wine was superb Picture: Evangeline Williams

The mixed board are presented in a snail formation, so the flavours get more intense as you go - and like mixing a playlist together, you never put the best at the beginning. It became a game of cheese roulette, you never knew what you were going to get. Surprisingly, out of 15 cheeses, there was only one very strong blue cheese I would not revisit as it was too earthy and sour for my taste.

The meats were all taken from a selection of saucisson. Each pork medallion was unique and cured delicately. The rich and smoky varieties were best paired with a milder, nuttier cheese. Then, we ordered rillettes de porc with cornichons, salad and warm bread (£5.50) to balance out the richness of the mixed board. The cold and mild flavour was very welcome after the cheese roulette.

The real showstopper was a beautiful hand-selected red wine, it was 80% merlot and is named after its place of origin, Chateau de Lescours St. Emilion. Les Garrigues owner, Damien, described the wine as “pure liquid pleasure” and told us that just a sip transports him back to France. At £30, it was slightly more expensive than we wanted to spend but with an introduction like that, it would be rude not to.

A blackboard shows the dishes of the day at Louis'A blackboard shows the dishes of the day at Louis'

Setting

As a venue, Louis’ Deli wears many hats, whether you need a caffeine and cake break, pre-dinner drinks, or a solution to your cheese cravings - you’re covered.

Ambiance

Casual and cosy, although the opening hours prevented us from staying past 6pm. There was a clear signal from the staff that it was time to wind down as the lights dimmed, tables were cleared and music faded.

Service

We didn’t feel rushed to choose what we wanted and all our food arrived promptly. However, we would have liked names of the meats and cheeses on the mixed board in case we wanted to make a purchase in the future.

Drinks

A wide variety of soft drinks, tea, and coffee as well as over 50 wines (ask for wine suggestions for best food pairings).

Accessibility

Louis’ Deli is a small space meaning it would be tricky to navigate as a wheelchair user. However, the tables aren’t fixed down to the floor so this issue could be easily remedied.

Toilets

One large gender neutral toilet with hand soap and moisturiser.

Parking

To park on Upper St. Giles street you require a permit, but there’s always the trusty St. Giles street car park.

Price

Total spend was £58.85, but almost half of this cost was the bottle of wine which we paid £30 for.

Highlight

Trying the Chateau de Lescours St. Emilion merlot, after it being described as “pure liquid pleasure” by the resident wine expert - he wasn’t wrong.

In summary

Leave the dress code at the door and clear your afternoon schedule - indulging at Louis’ Deli is an event in itself rather than a precursor to other activities. You won’t want to move an inch after treating your tastebuds to authentic french inspired deli treats and tasting boards.

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