Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Norse, Harrogate (second visit)

A few days ago, I wrote about a return visit to Leeds' prestigious "The Man Behind The Curtain" which confirmed my opinion that while it is clever, modern food worthy of admiration, it is not food to love.  How wonderful, then, to go back to another venue where every beautifully crafted dish made me want to fall into it face first and lick the plate clean.  That venue is Norse in Harrogate.

I loved it the first time round and there is very little to add in a second piece, such that I probably wouldn't have bothered were it not for the fact that it is such a little gem of a place and really cheered me up after our trip to TMBTC left me wondering if I  just didn't "get" modern food anymore.  I've been lacking an appetite lately anyway and my palate was feeling distinctly jaded by the time we rolled up.

Consider me...un-jaded (if there is such a term).  From start to finish it is almost impossible to pick a highlight.  The moment that the fresh bread arrived at the table with toasted seeds and smoked artichoke puree, we knew that we were in safe hands.

We opted for the seven course tasting menu (with an additional amuse and post dinner chocolates it was, strictly speaking, nine in all) and it was a study in how tasting menus should be.  Every dish was small but perfectly formed.  And see how pretty?

The table was divided as to the best savoury course of the night - was it the buttery turbot with the punchy, herby pickled clams and the rich smoked mussel sauce?  (Apologies for the deterioration in picture quality - the lighting switched to "romantic" at this point)

Or the hogget that just melted in the mouth with the punchiest garlic peas that you ever did see?

My father was adamant that the dessert was the star of the show - a pistachio and rapeseed oil cake licked with skyr and elderflower frosting and served with strawberries and honeycomb.  And, to be fair, you'd go a long way to find something more perfectly delicious, or a prettier symphony of spring pastels.

Four of us ate a superlative meal, we started with a bottle of champagne and then two of the party had a matching wine flight and the bill worked out at £75 a head - amazingly good value for food of such quality.  This is fusion food at its very, very best: the flavour profile is distinctly Scandi, but the ingredients are a parade of the Best of British produce and the two marry together perfectly.

A wonderful night out in a truly wonderful little restaurant.  Thank you, Norse, for rejuvenating my palate and getting me excited about cooking again!


  1. Wow - that sounds great. Being a non foodie, I would never have chosen any of those dishes but they do sound delicious when you put it like that. I suppose that is the beauty of taster menus...

    I'm glad you have got your foodie mojo back! Lxx

  2. Yum! That looks and sounds amazing!