Recently, the lovely people from Côte Brasserie invited me to review their new restaurant in Norwich and I’m really glad they did! I took a friend with me and we had a lovely time; in fact, I’m just about to plan another visit myself.
As usual, I’ll split my review into sections and score each one, with one overall score. This should hopefully give you an idea of what it’s like to dine in Côte Brasserie.
On entering, you could easily be forgiven for thinking you’d been transported to a high-class French bistro. The decor is lovely, with subtle details that really make it shine such as the ‘aged’ mirrors around the dining area and the beautiful tiled floor. The whole thing screams quality and really sets the scene for a lovely meal. Lovely, squeaky clean toilets too although they could do with a new toilet seat that’s not wobbly. A few scuffs in the paintwork around the restaurant but that’s to be expected with a large amount of traffic. 9/10
I found the staff at Côte Brasserie to be really lovely. They were attentive and friendly, without being too much of a nuisance. The only negative is that at one point I thought I could be at a Greek wedding with the amount of things being dropped and smashed. I don’t mind the odd accident, but it must have happened at least 3 times during the meal. Perhaps some rubber plates would be a good idea! 8/10
The Food and Drink
On entering, we were given some complimentary filtered water in a beautiful bottle. I thought this was a lovely touch and was very appreciated. The bottle of Lagarde Rouge we ordered was very good and I would definitely recommend it; bursting with fruity flavour and very easy to drink. Some might say the only problem with the wine list is that they are all French but hey, that person is not me!
To start, I ordered the Warm Tiger Prawn Salad and my friend had the Calamari. Both looked and tasted delicious. The dressing on my salad was particularly good and the prawns were cooked perfectly without being rubbery at all.
I’m a sucker for a steak and since there was a selection on the menu, I decided that’s what I’d go for; I ordered the 10oz Rib-Eye to be cooked medium-rare and my friend ordered the Pan Roasted Pork Belly which was served with a dish of bubbling gratin potatoes.
I must be honest with you, I was a tiny bit disappointed with my steak. Although it was clearly very good quality meat it was overcooked to my taste and I’d say more medium-well than medium-rare. It was also a bit too salty for my taste but I am a bit sensitive to salt so I think it would have been fine for most people. I did enjoy the taste though, as it had some nice charring on the outside. The chips and peppercorn sauce were good, but I think I would have appreciated some mushrooms or some other kind of veg to accompany it.
Judging by the noises coming from the other side of the table, the pork belly was delicious and the potatoes were really good too.
I was getting quite full by this point, but I always like to make sure my reviews are thorough so I forced myself to order a dessert. Do you see the pain I go through for you, readers?!
Being a French restaurant, I expected the desserts to be good and they definitely delivered on that expectation. I ordered the Praline Crepe and my friend had the Tarte au Citron. My crepe was really lovely, a nice soft crepe with a delicious praline filling which was topped with caramel-encased bananas and sweetened cream. A delight of textures and flavours. I’m told the tarte au citron was very tasty too; nice and sharp with the sweetened cream making for a perfect combination of flavours.
Of course, we finished the meal with a latte for me and a pot of tea for my friend. The perfect end to a very enjoyable meal.
All things considered, I think the food and drink was really super. I’ve knocked a point and a half off for the steak, but it receives a very well-deserved 8.5/10
Value For Money
Altogether, the meal came to around £87. For a four-course meal for 2 people with wine, I think that’s pretty good value. It’s not the cheapest in Norwich, but quality isn’t cheap! 9/10
When I consider the whole experience, I think that although there were a couple of things that could have been better, it was still a very enjoyable meal. I will (and I have!) recommend Côte Brasserie to friends and would definitely go there if I found myself in one of the other cities they have a restaurant in. Overall, I have given Côte Brasserie a very well-deserved 8.5/10
Have you been to Côte Brasserie or do you intend on going? Any point to add or question in my review? If so, please comment below!
Disclaimer: I was invited to review this restaurant and some of the meal was kindly paid for by them. As always, I wasn’t expected to write a positive review and all views expressed are my own personal opinions.