The Hexagon Restaurant Review in Norwich 2022

We asked the hostess about the intriguing name of this relatively new bistro in Lower Goat Lane in Norwich.

The answer was something obvious to any Francophile and perhaps also to anyone with enough common sense to pick up the atlas.

France itself of course looks like a hexagon, its tips being roughly marked by Nice in the southeast, the Mediterranean and Atlantic ends of the Spanish border, the Breton peninsula and Dunkirk up there in the upper left.

The Hexagon French bistro in Lower Goat Lane, Norwich.
– Credit: Stuart Anderson

Wondering what form the meal itself would take, we sat in a small nook by the window.

Cooking smells filled the entire space as the chef busied himself in a kitchen open to view and curiously divided into two sections on either side of the staircase.

There were candles on the tables and French music playing in the background – it all felt like we had passed the English Channel itself.

The hostess presented the menu, limited to a few choices for each course and entirely in French.

Carrot soup with red lentils (£9) at L'Hexagone in Norwich.

Carrot soup with red lentils (£9) at L’Hexagone in Norwich.
– Credit: Stuart Anderson

For a starter I had the Lentil Carrot Soup (£9) – carrot and lentil soup. It was wonderfully hot and full of flavor. There was no bread to go with it – perhaps this is so you have to focus on the taste of the soup itself – if so, it worked.

My wife Bec went for the prawn skewers with parsley (£10). This dish looked and smelled great.

Shrimp skewers (£10) at L'Hexagone in Norwich.

Shrimp skewers with parsley and pastis (£10) at L’Hexagone in Norwich.
– Credit: Stuart Anderson

There were two skewers each with three lightly fried prawns, seasoned with parsley, served on a bed of salad and slices of toast. The prawns were delicious and juicy and the bread was crispy.

Hungry for more, we looked forward to our dishes. I opted for the steak frites – steak-frites – of which there were three variations – the bavette (flank steak), the entrecôte (which is cut between the ribs) and the filet, which comes from the lower middle of the back.

Entrecôte steak frites (£22) and a tall glass of Côtes du Rhône red wine at L'Hexagone in Norwich.

Entrecôte steak frites (£22) and a tall glass of Côtes du Rhône red wine at L’Hexagone in Norwich.
– Credit: Stuart Anderson

I chose the entrecote (£22), which was outstanding. It was the kind of steak that sticks in your mind long after the plate is empty. The medium-rare meat was perfectly cooked, red inside and very tender, and not too salty. Steak isn’t my usual choice when dining out, but I’d be glad I didn’t miss it this time around, and it’s a dish I’d happily order again.

The fries – and there were plenty of them – were equally over-brown – they must take ages to prepare.

The cod fillet, new potatoes, cherry tomatoes, olives, basil (£22) at L'Hexagone in Norwich.

The cod fillet, new potatoes, cherry tomatoes, olives, basil (£22) at L’Hexagone in Norwich.
– Credit: Stuart Anderson

For his main course, Bec chose the cod fillet (£22). This cod fillet arrived on a plate loaded with new potatoes, tomatoes, fresh black olives and a slice of lemon.

Succulent cod wafers fell out when she picked them up, and luckily, since she doesn’t like olives, I was able to remove them at the end. She said she wished the fish had been served a little warmer, but that was about the only criticism either of us could have all evening.

We both went ahead and ordered dessert – I chose the chocolate mousse (£7) – a chocolate mousse served in a small glass.

Chocolate mousse from L'Hexagone in Norwich.

Chocolate mousse (£7) at L’Hexagone in Norwich.
– Credit: Stuart Anderson

There were fine chocolate flakes decorating the top of the mousse, which was smooth and incredibly satisfying.

Bec chose the creme brulee (£7) which was so good she said she wanted to have a funeral for her once it was all gone. The top layer of hardened caramelized sugar was crispy and the custard underneath was melt in your mouth and tasted like vanilla.

Creme brulee (£7) at L'Hexagone in Norwich.

Creme brulee (£7) at L’Hexagone in Norwich.
– Credit: Stuart Anderson

The idea of ​​this bistro seems to be: top quality ingredients used to make simple and very French dishes very well.

The couple behind L’Hexagone do a great job and the passion and talent they have for their craft is evident – their restaurant is clearly shaping up to be a winner.

The upstairs dining room at The Hexagon in Norwich.

The upstairs dining room at The Hexagon in Norwich.
– Credit: Stuart Anderson

Prepare to be transported to the mainland! The hosts do a great job of conjuring up the ambiance, character and flavors of a typical French bistro, and what better Norwich for that than the ‘Old World’ surroundings of Lower Goat Lane?

A rack on the wall just as you enter is stocked with wine, and the black painted walls give the place a cozy yet modern feel.

There are only a few places to sit downstairs and a modest dining room filled with candlelit tables upstairs.

There is beer, soft drinks and coffee on the menu, but we opted for wine to accompany our meals. I had a large glass of a Cotes du Rhône red called Les Galets (£9) which was delicious, and Bec opted for a Caze Blanque Savignon Blanco (large glass for £8).

Our total food bill came to £77 and the wines pushed our total bill to over £100. It’s a lot more than I’m used to spending but for great quality food I’d still say it’s good value – £22 each for main courses, starters and desserts under £10.

There is only one toilet on the first floor which is clean and tidy. It is fully functional and as you would expect.

It’s an old building in the Norwich Lanes so there isn’t much space and as stated the toilets are upstairs. But there are no steps when you enter downstairs and I’m sure the hosts would do their best to accommodate anyone with special needs.

Our hostess was charming and attentive and answered all our questions perfectly. We did not feel inadequate at all due to our lack of French. We didn’t have to wait too long between courses – perfect service.

It seems unfair to pick just one item, the whole experience of dining at L’Hexagone and enjoying the food, wine and ambience was a delight.

If you like it, try these…

Saporita, Norwich
A fresh take on pizza is taken at this family run restaurant near St Andrews Hill, also in Norwich Lanes.

Perowne Hall, Weston Longville
Located on the Royal Norfolk Golf Course, this fine dining restaurant sources its ingredients from Swannington Farm in Fork, Baron Bigod, Norfolk Quail and Staithe Smokehouse.

Butterfly Cafe, Norwich
There’s a great community vibe at this King Street Cafe, serving hearty breakfasts all day.

Our food opinions are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the place during their visit. The establishment is unaware of our visit, is not informed of our intention to write a review, and the bills are paid by the reviewer. The choice of places reviewed is also independent and not based on places that do or do not advertise in our publications.

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