When I’m escaping London for a UK weekend away, one of my favourite places to go is Norwich. Due to the fact it’s the main hub in East Anglia, you’ll find everything there – including a host of amazing independent restaurants and cafes, many of which have some truly fantastic gluten free options.
This past weekend I made a new discovery, which I am beyond pleased with. North is the newer sister site to (another favourite of mine) Frank’s Bar, and offers its visitors the same relaxed and friendly atmosphere alongside a delicious menu that caters to dietary needs including gluten free and vegetarian/vegan. The food choices are different to those at Frank’s, although I have to say I think I prefer the menu here; plus, while Frank’s does have a good variety of gf options, North has even more.
Because there were so many amazing looking options, my boyfriend and I got a bit carried away ordering; and when it all arrived it could barely fit on the table (don’t judge us). You can’t beat a good platter, so we went for the one filled with succulent Parma ham, hearty slices of nutty Manchego cheese, fresh black and green olives, lettuce and a homemade tomato chutney. The chutney was more like a salsa, but delicious nonetheless. The platter also comes with focaccia, but it’s no issue for them to swap this for toasted gluten free bread instead.
Also there to pleasure our taste buds was THE most delectable chickpea tagine, and such a generous portion that it was plenty for two, let alone one. Softly cooked chickpeas were mixed in with a perfectly seasoned chunky tomato sauce, olives and beautifully fresh feta cheese to make the ideal hearty and warming dish to help warm us up after the chill outside. Again, this is usually served with pitta but they can swap this out for gf bread (ideal for mopping up the leftover sauce). Last but not least, we tucked into chips with harissa mayo dip – this is on the menu on Frank’s and is something I always order without fail. The chips are more like crispy wedges rather than fries, and the delicious dip has a good amount of flavour without being too spicy for my sensitive tum.
By this point there was literally no space left in our stomachs, but I’d got excited about the last slice of a gluten free strawberry and dark chocolate cake I’d spied on the way in (there was also a gf Blueberry cake on offer); and there was no way I was letting that pass. I have to admit that despite it looking beautiful and the flavour combo being great, its overall texture was, disappointingly, a little dry. However, we came in at the very end of the day, so it may be that it was more moist at the start, and we simply missed it in its morning prime!
The whole meal including drinks came to £12 each which, for the amount and quality of food, along with the wonderful atmosphere, made it one of the best meals I’ve had in a long while. I hope Frank’s is prepared for a good dose of sibling rivalry, because North has certainly made its mark.