Restaurant review: Delia's, Norwich
PUBLISHED: 13:33 11 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:33 11 July 2017
Steve Adams 2017
In the heart of Norwich, at the home of the Canaries, is legendary chef Delia Smith's gourmet restaurant
As many a Norwich City football club fan will tell you, Carrow Road isn’t always the place you head for a celebration. But tonight was different. With my other half having handed in his dissertation earlier in the week, three years of studying had come to an end and so we put on the glad rags and headed out to Delia’s restaurant for what promised to be a really special evening.
Delia’s is only open to the public on a Friday and Saturday evening, so as we parked up and wandered around the stadium to the entrance we felt it was a treat to visit the restaurant of a real Norwich food hero not to mention one of the Britain’s most treasured chefs. I remember my mother taking me through Delia’s complete How to Cook books trying to prepare me for adulthood.
Delia’s restaurant is simple elegance. Clean white walls, spot lighting and exotic flower arrangements give such a touch of class to the occasion; you soon forget that you are in fact inside a football stadium.
As we waited for our table, sitting at the bar sampling the sticky nuts and spiced olives, there was an air of quiet sophistication, as others around us sipped champagne. This was certainly the right place to come for a celebration.
We were shown to our table by a wonderfully polite waitress and offered aromatic homemade bread to nibble as we perused the menu. And what a menu.
I began with suppli from head chef Nigel Ramsbottom’s early days at The Famous Walnut Tree Inn; croquettes made with al dente risotto, mozzarella, Parmesan and basil, deep fried and served on a bed of chunky tomato and thyme sauce.
Nathan chose seared smoked salmon with guacamole, a dish Nigel served to Delia at his house, which she clearly loved. Sticking with seafood he followed this with grilled sea bass with a warm puy lentil salsa, buttered new potatoes and a spring leaf salad.
Ever the traditionalist I chose char-grilled entrecôte steak with crème fraiche and cracked black pepper sauce, served with hand-cut chunky chips and side salad.
Portions were generous; my suppli were the size of two large eggs and Nathan had been served a substantial slice of salmon that could easily be a main course on a lunch menu. The suppli were simple, creamy and delicious and the tangy salsa set them off wonderfully. Nathan’s salmon was thick cut and perfectly cooked; it simply melted in the mouth. Complementing the fish was a warm, fresh salad, and chilled piquant guacamole.
After a short break and a refill of our glasses our main courses were served. Portion sizes didn’t fail to impress here either. Nathan’s thick-cut sea bass nestled perfectly on an ample lentil salsa and my steak was tender and still juicy despite still being, at my request, well done. The addition of the crème fraiche and pepper sauce created flavour and moisture and several of my chips got dipped into it too! Content not to leave any of the lovely steak on my plate, I sacrificed a couple of chips in order to leave room for dessert.
I was glad I left room, because there was no way I could resist ordering the melting chocolate pudding with clotted cream for dessert, while Nathan opted for the pear frangipane tart, after seeing the table next to us enjoy theirs so much.
Despite being pretty full by this point we both devoured our sumptuous dishes. I think I actually let out a small sigh of joy as I cut into the middle of my pudding and watched the chocolate fudge sauce ooze out.
Our meal was made complete with a cup of de-caffeinated tea for me and an Americano for him, with complementary petit fours, two milk chocolate covered praline and peanuts, two raspberry and white chocolate.
After paying the bill and collecting our coats from the friendly staff at the entrance, we left the sophisticated cocoon we had spent our evening in, and rolled our very full tummies down the stairs and back out to the cool Norwich air.
We both agreed there could have been few places nicer to celebrate such a moment in our lives, and would recommend it for anyone wanting to treat themselves to a truly special meal.
Expect to pay
£35.75 per person for the seasonal menu
Includes nibbles on arrival, three courses, filter coffee and something sweet
Friday and Saturday evenings from 7pm