First look inside popular street food business' new Norwich restaurant
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
The owners of a street food business once resident in a Norwich pub have taken the leap into running their own premises.
XO Kitchen has been serving Asian-inspired street food from the Artichoke pub in NR3 since July 2019.
Led and owned by manager Dani Mason, 35, and head chef Jimmy Preston, 41, the couple established XO Kitchen as a creative culinary force in the city that drew admiration from foodies.
Ms Mason, from Norwich, said: "It was great to start off at the Artichoke.This allowed us to become a slick operation without taking the risk and expense of owning our own place."
But the couple always dreamed of having their own space and when the chance came up, they had to take it.
Ms Mason added: "It happened quicker than expected. We were approached by the owners and weren't sure at first but decided it was the perfect location."
Now settled in St George Street, XO Kitchen opened its doors last week and has been busy ever since.
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"It's been absolutely amazing" said Ms Mason, adding: "People have been so supportive since we've opened. Lunch times have been unbelievably busy which we didn't expect.
"It took us seven weeks of hard graft to prepare for the opening and we've worked hard to make the place our own.
"We've created a beautiful monster and put our souls into the place. We're proud of what we've done and are thankful for our amazing team who helped us become who we are."
The new restaurant is open Tuesday to Saturday, serving food all day. They offer a range of different Asian-inspired dishes all delivered with Mr Preston's unique spin and flair, who has spent 25 years working as a chef.
XO Kitchen has grown from its original crew of three to a team of 14 staff, and are quickly establishing its reputation among other great venues in the area.
Ms Mason said: "We have the Playhouse and The Last nearby, as well as the Dog House and Norwich University of Arts. It is a lovely place to be in.
"We've had really great feedback so far and there is a lovely vibe about the place. We're feeling quite blessed."