Norse Harrogate Review
When two of Yorkshire’s favourite dining establishments co-exist under the same roof it’s only a matter of time before they outgrew their home. Both Scandi-inspired coffee shop Baltzersens, and Nordic influenced restaurant Norse have for 3 years shared everything from fridge space, storage to kitchen workspace. After a hugely successful Kickstarter Campaign, Norse quickly received the funds needed to expand and move to a new venue. With their own space, Director Paul Rawlinson and Head Chef and Director Simon Jewitt have set about with some fresh, innovative ideas.
After officially opening their doors on the 8th of April we were excited to check out their new 40 seater restaurant just a few minutes’ walk from Harrogate town centre, next to the picturesque Valley Gardens.
We grabbed a quick drink at the bar before sitting down for dinner. The atmosphere in the restaurant is relaxed with a light and airy feel from the restaurant décor. Norse serve a great selection of craft beer and spirits from the drinks menu, however, their new wine preservation system has really enhanced the menu. With more wines now being served by the glass than ever.
We were served two delicious ‘snacks’ at the bar before sitting down to dinner. A winning combination of earthy celeriac chips encasing a creamy whipped smoked curd. The second snack of ‘cod roe cracker’ delivered an intense burst of flavour, getting our taste buds ready for the meal ahead.
Not only is the location new so is the menu. Moving away from the sole offer of a tasting menu to a concept of snacks, small plates, large plates and desserts. Broadening the appeal of the restaurant and proving flexibility to match diner’s appetites. Norse recommend two small plates and one or two large plates per person dependant on how hungry you are.
Our first dish to be served, a deep rich slow cooked hunk of pork cheek, mustard glazed artichoke and a light creamy pumpkin seed puree. Perfectly balanced with each component and its textures complimenting the next.
The next dish to arrive got a ‘wow’ from the table for its beautiful colour and presentation. Perfectly cooked ‘charred’ mackerel with a crisp blowtorched skin and soft silky flesh, served with bright picked rhubarb, chicory, crispy puffed roe scraps and dressed with a parsley oil. This dish tasted just as good as it looked, light and fresh with a healthy feel.
Our vegetarian dish from the smaller plates was a masterclass in showcasing such delicious ingredients. Hasselback potatoes covered in a blanket of rich creamy keens cheddar. Finished with broccoli puree and sprouting broccoli shoots. So moreish, it reminded me of raclette but like the best raclette you’ll ever eat.
My favourite dish of the evening had to be the slow braised Lamb shoulder. Served with beetroot and fennel, an oat crumb to add taste and texture then finished with a cultured cream. Such a perfectly rounded dish.
Onto some of the larger plates next. Firstly a perfectly pan seared fillet of turbot served with charred asparagus, parsley root and a creamy smoked mussel sauce. A beautiful dish, using the best ingredients available and showcasing them to the best of their ability. Yet another showstopper, Yeast glazed short rib of beef. Sticky on the outside and melt in the mouth on the inside. Served with ‘Janssons temptation’, imagine creamy dauphinoise with layers of smoked eel sandwiched in between. This went down an absolute storm with the deep flavours of the short rib of beef.
Four small plates and two large plates, shared between the two of us left just the right amount of room for dessert. Firstly up, a smooth silky chocolate ganache served with a crunchy candied buckwheat, blackcurrant gel and light creamy buttermilk sorbet. Another delicious dessert shortly followed, a deconstructed Skyr yoghurt cheesecake with gin-compressed strawberry, lightly flavoured Tonka bean meringue and strawberry sorbet. Each element of this second dessert was delicious on its own.
With such an excellent evening drawing to a close we couldn’t believe it was literally the second service in Norse Harrogate’s new home. With such a warm friendly atmosphere, great service and show-stopping dishes we can see Norse pushing for even more awards in the not too distant future.
Norse, 28A Swan Road, Harrogate, HG1 2SA – 01423 313400
Some photos taken by Andrew Benge.
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