I’m pleased to note that my Norwich market series is continuing with some pace, this time with James, my lunch-time dining companion of what is now over 25 years. We’ve managed to stick to the same two places for the bulk of that time, namely Grosvenor and Lucy’s Chips, with few diversions. However, we’ve decided to be brave and branch out using the same randomly selected market stall plan that Nathan and I had been doing.
Above is the double stall setup that Norwich Fresh have at the market, but there’s also a separate juice bar opposite which we may tackle on a separate occasion. I liked the clarity of the menu board, it’s clearly laid out and makes it obvious what is available.
There are 17 different options on the menu, although some of them were marked with small stickers as sold out. There’s a choice between two styles, the Fusion Ramen and the Fusion Rice Bowl. I decided to opt for the Korean Chicken Bowl which is battered fried chicken served with jasmine rice, chicken and vegetable dumplings, boiled broccoli, spring onion and homemade Korean sweet and sour sauce.
The prices are towards the higher end of the scale for Norwich market, with my option coming to £8. However, the food is freshly made and is well presented, as well as being served as a large portion. The service was friendly and efficient, another market stall with an inviting feel to it. They accept credit and debit cards which made matters easier. Customers are given a ticket number and that’s called out when the food is ready, with mine taking around five minutes to prepare.
James and I are completing our second City of Ale trail tomorrow evening, but we needed to tick off Toby’s Beer from the list during the day as it’s not open later, so we took our food to Toby’s market stall to get a drink with it. This is the very agreeable Big Blue Shoe NEIPA from the excellent Three Blind Mice Brewery.
But, back to the food. Served at the appropriate hot temperature, the food looked colourful and appetising. The broccoli retained some bite, but wasn’t overly hard, with the dumplings being fried to give them a firm exterior. The interior of the dumplings was light and the sauce was rich but not overly sweet. There was sufficient sauce to coat the rice and the battered fried chicken was tender inside, all combining to be a filling and satisfying meal.
James had the chicken dumpling ramen which consisted of wheat noodles in a homemade chicken broth topped with chicken dumplings, a boiled egg, broccoli, spring onion and coriander. He thought that the broth was a bit thin and lacking in richness of flavour, slightly jealous that I had picked a better option.
James has a better eye for photography than me so I might get him to take future photos (although he can faff about a bit taking them if I’m being honest), this is his food alongside the IPA Galaxy Ella & Vic Secret from Three Blind Mice Brewery.
Back to the food from Norwich Fresh, I very much enjoyed my food and felt that it was worth the cost. A depth of flavour to the sauce, tender chicken and the fried dumplings added positively to the whole arrangement. The service was friendly, the menus were clear and the stall seemed clean and organised. All very lovely. Oh, and although James tried to rig the random selection of market stall to ensure we did Lucy’s Chips for the next eight visits, I was able to oversee the random number generation and can confirm it was done fairly (and as a spoiler, it’s not Lucy’s next).