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Like Torvill and Dean, PB and J, and Jaime and Cersei Lannister, 42 King Street is an inseparable union. While ice, sandwiches and incest bind their counterparts, 42 King Street is a matrimony of cocktails and world tapas. Tere aren’t many restaurants who can satisfy both a discerning hunger and thirst, so it was to be seen if 42 could perform in both arenas.

ATMOSPHERE I have a habit of starting this section like an excerpt from Wuthering Heights, and I ain’t gonna stop now: it was a bleak, rainy Tursday where only shadows seemed to be passing in the wet streets, but inside the cosy little 42, it was warm and snug in a happily European way. It’s easy for the tiny venue to fill up quickly, but it only adds to its relaxed, intimate charm.


Beef Nachos / Mackerel Rillettes / Baked Camembert / Salt & Pepper Squid Tere were a wealth of dishes to choose from, non-conforming to any particular world origin, although with a reference to local ingredients wherever they could be used. Dominic, our host gave us good advice: noticing we’d made a rather carb- orific selection, he suggested we switch out a sausage hash to be replaced with the mackerel rillettes. He explained that most people opted for 2-3 dishes each, but that our selections were particularly generous portions. He wasn’t wrong. Te beef nachos was a towering sculpture of beef chunks, homemade spicy tortillas, deep fried jalapeños (fuggin awesome) and all that other myriad treats you’d expect from the Mexican staple. Te salt and pepper squid was rich in an eggy batter, not a bit chewy,


and came with a salt-rich and tangy Asian sauce with peppers and onions. Te mackerel rillettes were the most delicate of the dishes, but still generously piled against a crispy bruschetta. Te baked camembert with bread and chutney – so simple in its execution, yet so heavenly – is something I probably should have eaten alone with no bra on, such was my enamour. I think the only fault I could find was that the tortillas were a little unsophisticated in their thickness, but I’d be really splitting pubes. We finished pleasantly, but not uncomfortably full with two dishes each.

DRINKS It was – I think – Oliver Twist’s Fagin that said, “you’ve got to drink a cocky or two”, and following Dickens to the letter, I did. I had two Manzanas, the 42 favourite. It’s an appley, ginny affair – fresh as a summer’s day. Dominic is known separately for his dedication to the mixed drink artform as the Norwich Cocktail Club, and it really elevates the drink selection to match the food.

VALUE Our main dishes ranged from £6-£9, which is totally reasonable for the level of full they made me. If you’re feeling the pinch / have a heartier appetite, there’s the option of

doing the student staple of buying bread and oils at £3 to up the intake. Te cocktails are taken as seriously as the food, and they have a price tag to match. You don’t have to have a cocktail – other, cheaper drinks are plentiful, but they are a celebration of us Brits’ much-loved liquor.selection to match the food.

OVERALL 42 has been open 3 years now, and they seem to be opening with a consistency that gives you great confidence in it as a restaurant. Previously, sporadic closures made you yearn for it the first time you walked up to their ‘closed’ sign, but at the second, us fickle creatures look elsewhere. Now, it’s open 10am onwards from Mon-Sat, it’s thriving and it’s on its ‘A’-Game. I’ve been before, and I’ll go again – make sure you do too. Oh wait, what? It’s Valentine’s Day coming up…? Emma R Garwood


Te Big Eat Out is proud to endorse Courtesy Taxis as the safe option for enjoying a couple of drinks and getting back home with ease.




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