'I already want to go back' - What our reviewer thought of Norwich's Yard
- Credit: Archant
These days, unless a business deems itself too exclusive or cool for social media, which to be honest is offputting, everywhere is on Instagram.
For restaurants, it's a promotional gift, the chance to curate your image, celebrate lots of people enjoying your venue and show off a bit.
Since it opened in July, Yard on Pottergate in Norwich has been tempting me with a constant Instagram feed of dreamy looking pasta dishes, effortlessly cool cocktails and lots of snaps of people enjoying said delights in Yard's courtyard.
So I was excited to see if the new restaurant-come bar's reality lived up to what it promised.
Visiting Yard on a Thursday evening, we sat downstairs in the basement bar as upstairs was full and outside, the sky was threatening rain.
Yard bills itself as a pasta, cocktail and beer bar, offering a mixture of very affordable dishes which start at £3.50 for sides and £10 for the most expensive pasta dish. Cocktails are £8.
After taking a look at the menu we went for a side of burrata with Nocellara oil (£5.50), pappardelle with beef shin ragu (£9.50) and rigatoni with sausage, creme fraiche and fennel (£7.50).
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Everything arrived together and we tucked in.
The burrata, an Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream, with Nocellara oil was a delight. If you've never tried burrata before imagine cutting into a ball of mozzarella and the outer skin giving way to a creamy soft centre, which when paired with great olive oil is both very indulgent and delicious.
Alongside the burrata, I opted for the pappardelle with beef shin ragu which came with a healthy topping of grated parmesan. The pasta was al-dente and coated in a rich ragu made of melt-in-the-mouth beef.
It was delicious and the clean plate spoke for itself.
Across the table was the rigatoni with sausage, creme fraiche and fennel which again came with a healthy topping of grated parmesan. There is the option on the menu to have your dish served without parmesan, otherwise, it's standard.
Again the pasta was perfectly cooked and came with a sauce which included sausage meat and fennel - overall it was a very delicately flavoured dish.
There are two dessert options at Yard, either an ice cream filled brioche bun or tiramisu. So, in the interest of carrying out a comprehensive review, we ordered one of each.
Tiramisu, with its potentially sickly mix of coffee, cream and booze is not for everyone, but Yard's, very generously sized, version is a delight. When I say, generous, I do mean generous and I did end up taking half of it home in a takeaway box but the creamy dessert was lovely.
Across the table, there was a choice of ice cream flavours to fill the brioche bun. My friend opted for salter caramel and described the result as a toasted ice cream sandwich.
Located on Pottergate, from the outside Yard's proportions are deceiving but behind a small exterior is an upstairs indoor dining area, a courtyard and a basement bar.
Exceptional, sides range in price from £3.50 for sourdough and whipped garlic butter to £6.50 for burrata and fresh peas. Pasta dishes are priced between £4.50 and £10. Cocktails are all £8 and wine and beer prices are pretty standard. A bill for two, including two cocktails, came to £49.
There's a cocktail menu of signature drinks or classics upon request otherwise there's a drinks menu with wine by the glass or bottle, beer or cider.
There's a staircase to access the basement bar and a couple of steps to negotiate to reach the toilets through the courtyard. Your nearest car park is St Andrews.
I cannot fault the service. The staff were friendly and attentive without being overbearing and knowledgeable about the menu.
All the dishes were delicious but the burrata was a real treat.
I am sometimes wary of places that have a strong Instagram game for fear that they may be all style over substance but Yard lives up to what it promises. Since going I've recommended to several people and I can't wait to go back myself to try more of the menu.
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:
- Benoli, Orford Street - Benoli is an Italian restaurant which was opened by Masterchef finalist Oliver Boon. It serves home-made, delicate pasta dishes with clever combinations, and has become a sought-after spot.
- The Bridge, Fye Bridge Street - The restaurant opened in October 2020, hoping to bring authentic flavours of Tuscany to Norwich through dishes including wild boar ragù with pasta and wild boar slow-cooked in tomato sauce.
- Al Dente, St Giles Street - a fresh pasta bar giving you the chance to design your own dish.