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REVIEW: Lust and Liquor, Norwich

Every now and then, Chris and I like to wander into the centre of Norwich for a spot of shopping and we sometimes end up having a few drinks in a bar and grabbing some food. It’s a lovely way to spend a Saturday together. So, when he suggested we do just that last week I was pleased to agree and I KNEW I wanted to go to this new place called ‘Lust and Liquor’ as I’d read a bit about it online and a friend said they’d enjoyed it there.

It’s located in the ‘up and coming’ area of Norwich called St Benedicts; it used to be a complete dive but recently a lot of new, vibrant venues have opened there and it’s fast turning into the place to be for a meal or drinks.

Anyway, I digress. On to the review…

First Impressions
As you walk in, it certainly looks like a bar. However, you are greeted as you enter and it’s obvious that they are expecting you to eat. A slight identity crisis I think.

However, we were there to eat so it didn’t bother me. We were told we had to sit in the bar area to eat as we hadn’t booked but I’d already anticipated that. I asked if there would be any tables in the restaurant at all that night, thinking I could have a few cocktails and wait for a table but I was told no, they were fully booked. Imagine my surprise, then, when another couple walked in and said they hadn’t booked but wanted to eat and they were escorted to a table in the restaurant! Not a good start…

The decor is a generic ‘trendy’ bar with metal buckets for cutlery etc, nothing out of the ordinary. Apart from the bar, that is. The whole bar is covered in copper which is patinated beautifully; definitely a talking point for me! Overall, first impressions get 6/10

The service was good. Our main waitress for the night said it was only her second shift so there were a few awkward moments and we found it hard to attract her attention but overall she was very friendly and when we asked for something it was brought to us promptly. 8/10

The Food (and Drink!)
When we arrived we saw it was ‘happy hour’ which means 2 for 1 on cocktails and that suited us just fine! Chris had a ‘Lust and Liquor Mojito’ and I had ‘Tommy’s Margarita’. They were both delicious; they took a little time to arrive but we could see the single barman making cocktails was very busy.

Lust and Liquor serve a south-american themed menu and I was impressed with the range of items on offer. After much deliberation, we decided to start with nachos which were topped with cheese, sour cream, salsa and guacamole.

The toppings were lovely; in particular, the guacamole (labelled as ‘home made’) was very tasty. However, that’s where the positives end. I expect nachos to be hot but these certainly weren’t. I think they were supposed to be, as the very small amount of cheese that was added looked like it had been melted a while ago but by the time it got to me, it was all stone cold. The cold cheese just glued the nachos together, making it rather difficult to eat.

For my main, I had the cajun chicken burritos which were served with fries, coleslaw and corn on the cob. Unfortunately, this was just as disappointing as the nachos. The lukewarm chicken didn’t taste like it had ever seen any cajun spices and the corn was stone cold. The coleslaw had cumin in it, which is not to my taste, but was otherwise nice and the chips at least were hot and crisp (apart from a few soggy ones in the bottom.)

Chris had the ‘Lust and Liquor Burger’. You’d think when you give your name to a dish you’d go out of the way to make it amazing but I’m afraid not here… The burger was apparently good, but nothing special.

Now, I’m not sure if any desserts were available but if they were then we certainly weren’t offered any. Not to worry though, we ordered another couple of drinks instead! This time Chris had the ‘Yellowbird Daiquiri’ and I had a ‘Boilermaker’ which was a shot of Mount Gay rum and a bottle of Anchor Steam beer. The menu told us that a boilermaker should be served with the beer in a glass and the rum in another shot glass; the drinker should drop the shot into the beer and drink all in one. Imagine my surprise when it came as a bottle and a separate shot. No downing allowed here then!

All in all, I have to say the food was a poor show with the only redeeming feature being the nice cocktails. 5/10

Value for Money
All in, our trip to Lust and Liquor cost just shy of £40. I don’t think that would be bad at all if the food was half decent. Sort that out and I think the prices would be great! 8/10

I’m afraid I cannot give a restaurant a good overall score when the food was as bad as this. As a cocktail bar, I would use it frequently but as a restaurant? I won’t be rushing back. I’m afraid, Lust and Liquor, you are all talk and no trousers! A disappointing 5/10 overall.

Thanks for reading! If you’ve been here and want to express your opinions, then please let me know! I have heard other people saying good things so this could have just been a ‘bad night’ though their Facebook page tells me that others do agree with me.

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