Full disclosure: I was invited along to give a review.
Some of the keen-eyed among you might have noticed that I had a bit of a bad dining experience in Norwich in March.
Well, actually, it can’t be called a dining experience, because I walked out before I actually got served…
Needless to say, said-outlet very rapidly closed, only to be replaced by No.79 Bar & Charcuterie on Unthank Road in August.
Now, because it is one of the closest eateries to The Chap’s abode, it only seemed right that we patronise it with our presence in mid-September to see if the service had improved.
Upon arrival, it looked significantly different to the previous establishment, with a new layout and furniture. Although it is a bit sparse, it really reminded me of the tapas bars I visited in Madrid, with high stools, exposed wood and a well-stocked bar. So far, so good!
We were instantly greeted by Jasper behind the bar, who was very patient with my endless questions about the various types of wine and gin. I think he must have been quite relieved when I eventually settled on Norfolk Gin. Although the review isn’t about that, I will quickly take a tangent to say that it’s really rather lovely. It has a flavour like cardamom, which was unusual but very refreshing with tonic.
Taking our menus to the big table at the back, I will confess that I was distracted from the dining experience by the presence of a very friendly black cat called William. He was keen to have a cuddle, and did everything he could to prevent me from reading the menu. Apparently he belongs to a neighbour and it’s nigh-on impossible to keep him out, but he made a cozy addition to the proceedings!
Thankfully, because the menu wasn’t too long, we very quickly realised that our only option was the Ultimate Board, because it had a little bit of everything. Meats, cheeses and breads. Heaven.
We were pretty blown away when it came out. We thought it might be quite small, and not enough for two (we’d already planned on dessert), but there was tons of food. The main board was filled with several slices of bresaola, fennel salami, chilli beef jerky, garlic salami and pate, plus tart pickles to cut through the rich meat. The chutney was incredible too – sweet and sharp fruit.
The fennel salami was absolutely incredible – melt-in-the-mouth meat that was so soft and tender. I am going to have to get me some more from Marsh Pig because I can’t get enough of it.
And that’s before I get to the cheese, with goats’, blue, mozzarella, a hard, almost Parmesan cheese – and so many more. I have actually lost track of exactly what was there. There was so much to enjoy. It was hard to walk away from it.
The bread board was delicious too. Fresh focaccia, pesto bread, toasted focaccia thins and crackers. I would pretty much live on the pesto bread if I could – all basily and oily and perfect with the meat.
For once, we didn’t have dessert either. We didn’t have the room to squeeze it in! They do serve small platters, if you’re looking for something to pick at – which we will certainly be doing again some time soon!