Last night I was invited to Roger Hickman’s upstairs Private Dining rooms for a tasty opening. We enjoyed flowing Champagne and delectable canapes. Salt cod croquettes, truffle tartlets, spiced mini bhajis, smoked salmon and a couple of little taster bowls of scrumptious cauliflower brulee and the other of cured mackerel with a smooth horseradish foam – I know! it’s a hard job enjoying good food, lovely company and sampling amazing hospitality, while standing on the fluffiest of thick lavish carpets. (I swear I wanted to crawl on the floor and rub its fluffy quality – but apparently that’s not socially acceptable!)
A lavishly plush carpeted (stop revelling in the carpet!) Georgian dining room with comfy green velvet like booth table seating, comfortably seating 12 – 14 people, or at a push 16 – all on a massive corner to corner dining table. Offering Roger’s taster menu for a minimum of 8 people for Lunch or dinner Tuesday to Saturday.
But it’s not just a private dining seating area there’s also an open kitchen where you’ll see Roger and his team putting it all together and plating up (technical term!). It’s pure theatre.
And it’s all a very reasonable price – from just over £40 you can have amazingly flavoured food, course after course, with gorgeous bread and smooth deserts, all lovingly prepared with every dish balanced and presented with colour, flavour and texture – I should know I make an annual pilgrimage to RH to indulge in some of the best food in Norwich, with divine service in this unpretentious top Norwich restaurant. It’s all about the food – – and the food delivers year after year.
Lunch tasting Menu = £41, with wine flight £72
Dinner tasting menu = £70, with wine flight £110
Hickman’s has been a restaurant for over 25 years and before that is was a multitude of trades including a fishmonger. It’s been RH for 9 years and before that Roger was the head chef for Addlards for 5.
The new Private dining room (don’t forget the carpet) was David Addlards flat. It’s taken 16 months to finish, when you’ve got a graded property you have to jump over hoops to retain the good looks and charm and it certainly does that with a magnificently large sash window overlooking Upper St Giles. Along with the original fireplace, high ceilings in this big open room. Original art work decorates the walls and some pretty cool wallpaper features on the chimney breast.
Rogers originally from Leeds (I’m saying nothing, my husbands from Leeds – UP NORTH). He did the London thing gaining experience from the likes of Tom Aikins, before moving down to Norfolk. He also did a stint at the Victoria Hotel in Holkham. And while we are name dropping don’t forget Tom Kerridge also worked at Addlards back in the Michelin 1* days.
But if we are talking awards Hickman’s has had them all, as well as being on every best restaurant list possible. People come from all over to indulge in good food and now they can enjoy the sublime experience of private dining.
Not bad for a Lad from Leeds. But then again, all the good Northerners end up down south.
Even if they don’t support Norwich City Football club but feed their players.
By Zena Leech-Calton ©