It is one of the top-rated restaurants in Norwich - but how good is its takeaway?
- Credit: Archant
It is rated one of Norwich’s top 10 restaurants on TripAdvisor and serves Asian-inspired street food, but how do the dishes at Blue Joanna measure up when ordered as a takeaway?
Since opening in Unthank Road in 2015, Blue Joanna has gone from a hidden gem to the city’s worst kept secret and almost every night of the week, before coronavirus, it was fully booked and buzzing with activity.
Located at the heart of the Golden Triangle, it has become hugely popular with students and young professionals in the area for its laid-back atmosphere, tapas-style street food and cocktails.
After remaining closed for two months due to lockdown, at the end of May they launched a takeaway service on Tuesday to Saturday evenings.
They are accepting pre-orders only, which need to be made at least a day in advance, and it is collection only from the restaurant.
I ordered with my boyfriend for a Friday night and we did it all through the website, which was all very simple with the takeaway menu on there too. Customers can also call or message on social media.
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We were given a set collection time and when we arrived we let a member of staff know we were there at the door and then waited outside, where there was also a hand sanitiser station.
All the tapas dishes were served in plastic containers and the cocktails in coffee cups with lids on, to make sure there is no spillages on the way home, and ice inside.
We ordered their signature Korean blue tacos (£8), which include two soft blue corn tortillas, Asian slaw, Sriracha lime dressing and pickled cucumber, and we chose beef as our filling - the other options are pork, chicken, jackfruit and tofu.
You get plenty of filling, without it being so stuffed you can’t hold it, and the tender shredded beef melted in the mouth.
Its slight saltiness and soft texture married perfectly with the tangy and crunchy slaw and lime dressing drizzled over the top. The dish is a masterclass in fusion food as Korea meets Mexico in the best possible way.
We also ordered the grilled aubergine with sweet chilli and miso (£4), which came with four slices, and it cut through like butter just how it should.
Aubergine can easily become chewy and tasteless if cooked wrong but it was done perfectly and the sauce and sesame seeds sprinkled on top made it incredibly moreish.
Another tapas dish we ordered was the wasabi and gin battered prawns with citrus mayonnaise, which, for £6, may seem a little on the pricier side, but you really get what you pay for.
The chubby prawns they use are top quality and the green-tinged batter with wasabi had a real kick and combined well with the cooling mayonnaise, which was served in a separate pot.
We also had the crispy pork belly with picked cucumber and red miso mayonnaise (£6) - the meat had a golden brown skin and again worked well with yet another flavoured mayonnaise.
As an accompaniment to our taco feast, we went for the sweet potato fries with miso mayonnaise (£4). It was a huge helping served in a brown paper bag and the skin-on chips were charred without being burnt on the outside and soft inside. Absolutely delicious.
We ended up laying the three mayonnaise varieties from all our dishes in the middle of the table so we could dunk the fries in all three.
We ordered the plum wine and ginger spritzer, with plum wine, ginger liqueur, lime and soda, and the Singapore sling, with gin, Benedictine, Maraschino, pineapple juice and bitters.
At £6 each we felt the price was very reasonable and it was hugely satisfying to drink a proper cocktail again after resorting to supermarket pre-mixed cans over the last few months. While the spritzer was sweet with a kick, the Singapore sling was tropical and boozy.
It cost £40 for five dishes and two cocktails between two which we felt was fair for the quality of the food.
The tacos are their most popular dish for a reason and they pack a serious punch of flavour.
As we had a set collection time it was very easy to get our food and the staff were very friendly and adhered to social distancing.
This Norwich gem has stayed top of its game even in lockdown. Make sure where possible to support them and your local restaurants during this turbulent time.
If you like that try these...
1. The Kimchi
The Kimchi opened in Brigg Street late last year and serves everything from Korean fried chicken (their own version of KFC) to barbecue dishes.
They have now started running a delivery and collection service which has proved very popular.
2. Moco Kitchen
The owners of Moco Kitchen food van have adapted during lockdown after all their upcoming events were cancelled due to coronavirus.
They are delivering tacos and bao buns, with free delivery from NR1 to NR3, and they are also opening a cafe called Connaught Kitchen in Connaught Road, off Dereham Road, soon.
3. Jive Kitchen
Also in Norwich, on Exchange Street, Jive are now offering DIY taco kits for collection or delivery, with a choice of beef brisket, roast chicken or butternut squash.
They also do DIY nacho kits and a range of cocktails including a margarita and berry sour.
Blue Joanna can be found at 103 Unthank Road, and its website is www.bluejoanna.co.uk
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