On one of our visits recently to Norwich we booked a table at Roger Hickman’s Restaurant. We were celebrating our daughters birthday and were at the last minute joined by our other daughter from London, so a full family outing.
A little background information first. We have previously dined and blogged (check the October 2009 archives) at Adlard’s a Norwich favourite and had a fantastic meal. Roger has taken over the Adlard’s premises and put his own name over the door earlier this year. We met Roger last year at the food festival (also blogged with a picture of Roger at the cookery theatre) and were impressed by his demonstration. At the time he was working at the Holkham estate another popular Norfolk foodie destination. When we found out about Roger’s opening of his own restaurant we decided to book a table.
On the Saturday evening the restaurant was full and had a good atmosphere. We had decided to celebrate in style and opted for the Taster Menu(follow the link) for the table. We had also seen some of the excellent reviews on Trip Advisor regarding the menu, which helped our choice. Taster menu’s are always a good way of letting the chef show you his skills and allowing a varied selection of dishes. To say we were not dissapointed is an understatement. The quality of ingredients, preparation and presentation were all fantastic. I could go into detail about the individual dishes which are highlighted on the ‘Taster Menu’ link above but put briefly it is a dining experience I would highly recommend.
Unfortunately I was without my camera so appologies for using the web site stock pictures but these definately represent the surroundings and food better than I could on my box brownie.
On this occasion the accolades are spot on. Roger is on top of his craft and presents an excellent dining experience in Norwich. Our new favourite in the area and we shall definately return.
This is the last post of our weekend in Norwich and by pure coincidence on our recent visit it was the last days of the Norfolk Food Festival. Foodie events had been organised over the county starting from the 19th of September and culminated in Norwich with the mighty ‘Battle of the Bangers’ and a food theatre in the central Forum building. The public were asked to sample and vote for their favourite sausage from a range of local butchers cooked from a series of stalls outside the Forum. The variety and quality of the bangers was fantastic and although we did not get to know the eventual vote winner, we loved the bangers from the Walsingham Farms Shop Partnership, hope they did take the honours.
The highlight of the event for me was the John Lewis sponsored cookery theatre inside the Forum with an impressive stage, cameras, large monitors for the close-ups and a line up of top local chefs. The main presentation we managed to see was by Roger Hickman from The Victoria at Holkham. Roger’s presentation was the preparation of three game dishes consisting of duck, pigeon and venison supplied from the Holkham estate. Each dish used seasonal and locally sourced produce and Roger’s presentation was both interesting and inspiring and his passion and talent for his cooking shone through. During the event several chefs had contributed to and were promoting the ‘Mealmakers’ recipe book in aid of the Princes Trust in Norfolk and for a humble five pounds was a deserving cause worth supporting and I look forward to trying some of the recipes from my copy. How easy the professionals make it look and three stunning dishes were prepared and demonstrated in approximately 40 minutes. Talking to Roger at the end of the presentation it was a pleasant surprise to find that he was involved with the original ‘Adlards’ restaurant another local favourite sadly now closed and missed. Roger originates from Garforth near Leeds ….. Well not much of a surprise there !!
Not quite a retrospective but an attempt to play catch up and get back to some regular posts. Where to start is a dilemma January or April, the latter being the start of the ‘Troffers’ journey and this web site, how time passes? Remembering foodie events from January to April 2008 is hazy but the highlights are memorable. Italy is always a favourite and a February ski trip to Breuil Cervinia discovered the Copa Pan a lively après ski bar with a excellent restaurant downstairs serving great pasta and local dishes. Not sure which months, but two local…ish favourites were visited, the Yorke Arms at Ramsgill in Nidderdale which in my opinion has the most consistent, quality dining experience and Sunday lunch is a must. The Sun Inn at Kirkby Lonsdale is also becoming an old friend which never disappoints. Some highlights from April and May are still in the Archives and things get going again in late June. Sirmione starts our summer with two of my favourite Italian ristorante / trattoria’s both located in what in my opinion is one of the most romantic locations ever … Sirmione on the base of Lake Garda. Antica Trattoria La Speranzina (www.lasperanzina.it) was visited on our wedding anniversary for the tasting menu which can be either from the land or lake/sea and either is an experience not to miss. When all the elements of atmosphere, quality food, wine and attentive service are put together in a special location it becomes a memorable evening and this was it. On the Saturday for dinner we visited another old favourite Ristorante Signori (www.ristorantesignori.it) again with a table at the lake side and were treated to another excellent dining experience this time with a firework display on the other side of the lake at Desanzano after the sunset. I have posted a few pictures but take a look at the web site links. After northern Italy we were soon in Portugal visiting our old friend Diogo at the Palladium in Guia for his prawn piri-piri washed down with Lancers rose, I am sure we posted this earlier along with Pier One at Villamoura and O’Teodosio again at Guia. Our fellow troffers Dawn and Gurdev then joined us for the rest of the holiday where we had a few days left in Portugal and then drove down to Seville. The culmination of the tour was two nights at the Hacienda Benazuza – El Bulli hotel in Sanlucar la Mayor (www.elbullihotel.com) to dine in Ferran Adria’s La Alqueria restaurant. Again this has been covered earlier by Dawn but to say the 28 course tasting menu was an experience which will probably never be equalled. To finish the experience memorable meals were had in Seville and a strange location involving Planes, trains and boats all at a little seafood restaurant on Faro harbour.
Moving on to autumn and winter one of our regular visits to Norwich coincided with the local food festival and highlights were the food theatre, local growers displays and a well attended sausage competition? A return visit to Adlard’s (www.adlards.co.uk) did not disappoint and the presentation and quality of food were excellent. Two thousand and ate was definitely a year of foodie experiences but despite all the great restaurants visited a mention has to go to the culinary talents of friends and fellow troffers which has provided some fantastic dining moments at respective homes throughout the year.