Review of the Perowne Room restaurant at the Royal Norwich

Published:
8:00 PM February 10, 2022



I visited The Stables at Royal Norwich Golf Club almost exactly two years ago – a month before Covid paid for meals outside our own kitchens.

I was impressed. Set in the beautifully manicured hilly terrain of Weston Longville Golf Course, directly across from Roarr Dinosaur Adventure where we spent a lot of time with our kids when they were younger, it served great food.

And it’s beautiful. The contemporary, glass-fronted dining room in the stables can rival any other “big boy” in town.

So it didn’t take too much persuasion to keep me coming back, this time to sample the Perowne Room, the new dining experience at Royal Norwich.

While The Stables is Grand Designs-esque with its clean, modern lines, the Perowne Room can be compared more to Downton Abbey – a nod to the club’s history.

Dropping off our coats with a member of staff, we walked through the large doors into an antechamber, where giant dominoes sat on a coffee table, ready to entertain guests after dinner. Our eyes drawn to the grand staircase and, beyond, the dining room.

It was pretty quiet when we arrived just after 7 p.m., but the space, with its pastel tones, heavy curtains, pretty moldings, and crackling fire, was quickly filled with revelers. Couples on a “date”. A 50th birthday party (they were having a great time). Groups of friends.


Salt cod croquette
– Credit: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

Looking at the succinct menu, it was clear that the kitchen wanted to flex its culinary muscles – while paying homage to the seasons. Hare, Jerusalem artichoke, partridge and citrus fruits occupy the first places.

Which makes the price, £29 for three courses with an amuse-bouche and bread, all the more surprising. A shot.

To start, the kitchen sent a cold salt croquette, bound with tarragon and old-fashioned mustard, topped with a garlic aioli. It was perfectly crispy, without a hint of fat, and packed with punch, igniting our taste buds.

It was quickly followed by a piece of warm, plump sourdough with crispy edges and whipped butter. Now we were really hungry!

Accompanied by a crisp white Burgundy Adnams, I started my “real meal” with a golden-skinned partridge breast, served with a creamy Jerusalem artichoke puree, parsnip chips and crushed hazelnuts. The flavor was rich, yet subtle. Each ingredient allowed to shine. My only criticism of this dish, and the whole meal, was that the partridge was overcooked.


Salmon Staithe Smokehouse at Perowne Hall

Staithe Smoked Salmon
– Credit: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis


Partridge with Jerusalem artichoke, hazelnuts and parsnip crisps

Partridge with Jerusalem artichoke, hazelnuts and parsnip crisps
– Credit: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

Mr J’s starter got a big boost. Sliced ​​salmon from Staith Smokehouse, with dashes of sour cream, cucumber pickles and chunky crackers to scoop it all up. Really fresh.

I was blown away by my main course, which had an extra £5. Beef tenderloin is, let’s face it, the least interesting cut. It doesn’t have those delicious fatty ribbons running through it to give it a beefy “pow”. Leaders need to be smart. Bring flavor to the meat, without harming it in itself.

And the kitchen had really done this tenderloin justice. The cut itself was buttery and blushed pink, with a nicely seasoned exterior (I suspect it was sous vide cooked and finished on the burners). Now let’s talk about the toppings. A sticky rectangle of pankoed and fried beef cheek. A carrot marinated for acidity. A deep dark roasted carrot topped with fragrant, seedy dukkah. And the most amazing salsa macha. Native to South America, this particular condiment is rarely found outside the home. It combines a mix of dried chilies/chillies (especially smoked chipotle) ​​with all sorts of goodies – seeds, peanuts, garlic. The salsa here was perfect, subtly smoky and fragrant, but with a creeping, lingering heat. Not a shy dish at all.


Beef tenderloin with grilled carrot, dukkah and salsa macha at the Perowne Room

Beef tenderloin with grilled carrot, dukkah and salsa macha
– Credit: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis


Monkfish with baby potatoes, chicken jus and leeks

Monkfish with baby potatoes, chicken jus and leeks
– Credit: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

On the other side of the table, a tender monkfish, served on baby potatoes with a smooth chicken juice cut with leek oil and grated fried leeks. No complaints here either.

We finished with an orange passion fruit pie, and the Perowne Room affogato.

I fell for the pie. Often, the tangy, tart nature of passion fruit is missing from puddings.

Here the fruit was in full swing. The pie was covered in a sweet orange custard, topped with a delicate, juicy and bright passion fruit jelly. As for the passion fruit sorbet? It made my lips pucker up like I’d dipped into a Sherbet Dib Dab. I liked it.

The affogato was also successful and consisted of chocolate mousse topped with sweet crumbs and silky coffee ice cream.


Orange and passion fruit tart at the Perowne Room

Orange and passion fruit tart
– Credit: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis


The Perowne Hall affogato

The Perowne Hall affogato
– Credit: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

A footnote of the meal with coffee and hot chocolate, was a few pieces of chocolate fudge (it ate like chocolate caramel to me).

This is food worth getting out of Norwich city center. Bold flavors put on plates by chefs who clearly know what they are doing. The service was also attentive – they quickly swept up the mess I had made with the butter!

Again, at under £30 per person, it’s surprisingly good value. Booking is essential at royalnorwich.co.uk

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