Farmyard, Norwich

We had three days in Norwich and hoped to eat lots of lovely things. Mr Never Likes Anything/Thinks Nothing is Really Good Enough vetoed a lot of our researched options, so we went with the flow. We’d read good things about Farmyard - described as ’ Bistronomy - Fine produce not fine dining.
We work directly with farmers and producers to supply us with the best our region has to offer.’ Everywhere we go, we’re looking for good local food, not a Michelin star. This place happens to have one (I think - three rosettes?). This too was vetoed but somehow on a longish walk to a different restaurant on the same road, we didn’t spot our target place and I sat down on a bench - outside Farmyard. Mr etc looked at the menu again and said Let’s go in. Wow

I forgot the bit where the woman standing near the till came out to ask, are you thinking of coming in, cos our kitchen stops taking orders in ten minutes. We said we would decide in five. And we did. She led us to a table - I liked the fact that the place didn’t have a lot of tables - nice distance between each one, not loud, no music to compete with, an open window to the kitchen (I could see them painstakingly plating and putting things on plates just so) and just generally not a fussy, should have worn something nicer, atmosphere. And I liked the fact this all felt like personal attention and not a hardsell.

This is what we had, followed by what we thought.

Grilled octopus. One tentacle…artfully arranged with a rather whimsical display of different promised additions. Mr etc was highly amused/scornful. Who takes the time to do this, he asked. Nothing special here and eaten quickly. Octopus, coriander, artichoke, leek, chilli £13

This was salt cod croquettes. We love them when we go to Portugal. These were whipped cod and potato inside, a bit too salty but nice enough. Two small ones. Eaten in a minute maybe. Make them less salty and I’d eat more. Salt cod croquette, chive emulsion, herbs £4

We had planned a lamb tagine at the place we overstepped, so lamb it was for the main course. It was nicely cooked - two small pieces, one slow cooked, one pink. A nice jus and that beigey blog tasted nice and must be the aubergine, who knows. I have no idea what that at the bottom of the screen. Hmmm. Oh yes, leek gratin (not much of the gratin and the leeks al dente) and I think £5. Duo of lamb, aubergine, coriander, harissa, cumin £25.

Now for the dessert. This is where perhaps a complimentary something might have been offered - hindsight, eh? Perhaps my £7 glass of prosecco on the house? But anyway, before any of our food came they bought the dessert out. We weren’t sure what was going on but apparently when we’d been asked Do you want this all together or as it comes, I’d said As it comes. The server hesitated after putting it down, saying I don’t think they meant to serve this first, I can take it away, and I just said she could set it on the empty table beside us. A minute later a chef came out and said Sorry and removed the dessert saying I can put this under the warmer. Warmer? At any rate, that was weird!

The dessert looked just like it had on Instagram. And it tasted lovely, a good combination of flavours and easily enough for two. A deconstructed Snickers bar, Mr etc said. An intensely rich 70% dark chocolate ganache, miso caramel & caramelised peanuts £10. I’d go back for that.

Mr etc proclaimed it was a good meal. I sighed with relief, but added that I was sure tomorrow I’d hear the criticism (yes, it came - too expensive, fussy little portions, not at all local as promised, who do they think they are, blah blah.) I smiled.

We always eat this way - a couple of starters, a side, one main and one dessert between us - the bill was £70. What do you think?


I think anyone who goes to Norwich and finds better than Pizza Express has done well.

Cost does sound a bit ambitious for what you had. But not too far adrift. They’ve got something of a captive market. That’s not to say Norfolk hasnt got decent places but my recollection is that they are all quite a distance from the city.

Love the idea of the deconstructed Snickers. But, generally, I suspect I’d have been with Mr Calam and his comments.

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“In the warmer”. Certainly not the best response. Not sure why you or anybody else would expect something complimentary for such an error in service? Mistakes happen in all industries/ work places, why do people expect restaurants, bars, hotels etc. to dole out freebies for simple mistakes?

Fair enough. I get that, but perhaps a nicer apology? Shrug.

I agree.