Anyone that’s taken a wander down Norwich’s St Benedicts Street recently will have noticed a new addition at number 4. It’s called Flathouse and specialises in producing fresh flatbreads.
As someone that sees lunch as a social event and an opportunity for culinary adventures, I thought I’d better try it out and then spread the word to the rest of the world.
Well, the first impressions are good – as you can see from the picture to the right, it has an eclectic feel. The white walls are decorated with bright images of Norwich icons, such as Norwich Cathedral and Norwich Castle. They’re eye catching but not obtrusive and set off the dark furnishings, creating an almost smart casual style (if buildings can have such a thing).
The service was good too – it was fairly busy, but the waitress was happy for two of us to take the remaining table in the window, which was meant for six – allowing for plenty of people watching. She was also very patient with us, in spite of having to come back to the table at least three times to take our order because we were too busy talking to make a decision.
The menu itself is varied and very tempting. With a variety of appetisers, flatbreads, salads and specials, we wanted to try a bit of everything. In the end, we opted to share a Dips and Flats platter and a salad with baked chevre goats cheese and figs.
The taste test
The food appeared within half an hour (probably because most of the order was cold) and was nicely presented (as pictured). The Dips and Flats platter came with flat, soda and rye breads, accompanied by oil and balsamic vinegar, baba ganoush and hummus, all of which were very tasty. It was hard to decide which bread I liked the most, but the flatbread, with its was slightly fresh, slightly chewy texture, won over the rye bread, in spite of its complex flavour.
And so, to the salad. I was very impressed – accompanying the cheese and figs was a selection of mixed leaves, with cranberries and pine nuts. The cheese itself was divine – rich, with a soft texture and delicate goats cheese flavour. The sweetness of the figs and the tart cranberries cut through the dairy, providing contrasting and complementary flavours, while the pine nuts were creamy, but added to the varying textures of the dish.
As you can probably tell, I was rather pleased with my latest discovery. The only downside might be that is quite expensive for everyday dining, but the ingredients were of such a high quality that I really didn’t mind. In total, the bill came to £18.60 for two, including drinks.
To check out the menu and find out more about the Flathouse’s suppliers, visit their website.