I’ve been a fan of Shiki on Norwich’s Tombland for many years now, but haven’t ever had the opportunity to try lunch there. So when a friend recently suggested we do just that, I jumped at the chance.
Specialising in authentic Japanese cuisine, it is one of the best places to get sushi, noodles and Japanese curry in Norfolk. It also has a great value lunch menu available until 2.30pm, so I was keen to find out more.
As you might have guessed, it was packed when we turned up at 2pm, meaning we had a 20 minute wait for a table. Having not visited Shiki for lunch before, I made the case for waiting though. I do have a blog to write after all!
We were shown to our table and ordered drinks quickly, but it took me a few moments to decide what to eat. Having settled on chicken katsu curry while we waited, seeing the menu threw me off balance. Did I want a bento box, sushi, curry or a ramen?
On a snap decision, I picked the interesting sounding ramen gyoza, a noodle soup with pork dumplings. And in true Shiki style, I wasn’t disappointed.
Shortly after ordering, miso soup appeared. It was just what I needed to take the edge off of my hunger and stop me eating too quickly. And when the food arrived I was stunned by how much turned up. There was a large bowl of pork and noodles in fragrant broth, accompanied by a chilli spice mix, soy for dipping and three impressive looking gyoza, all beautifully presented on a dark wood tray.
Lightly fried on the outside and filled with delicately flavoured, moist pork mince, the gyoza were incredible and unlike anything I’d had before. I could honestly eat them by the bucketload. The ramen was warming and hearty too, especially on a cold, bright February afternoon. The pork was tasty and tender, the noodles were plentiful and the broth was salty and delicious. I added a little of the chilli mix to try to clear up my cold and it certainly added a kick to the flavours.
As you can tell, I very much enjoyed the experience. The service was swift, but not rushed, the food excellent and the restaurant itself cozy and welcoming. Best of all, it was very good value. The ramen gyoza was £6.95 and I was stuffed afterwards – I went home and had a little nap afterwards.
Find out more about Shiki on its website.