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Being from NR3 myself, I’m no stranger to the culinary delights of Magdalen Street, and so when the call came for someone to check out North, the new sister venue to Frank’s Bar, I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off a Saturday night. Situated on the corner of the bridge that isn’t Te Mischief, Te Ribs of Beef, or

the little booze-and-fags shop, it’s positioned nicely for a spot of people watching before embarking on an evening out in the city.

THE ATMOSPHERE We sat by the front windows, which is lovely in the summer with the sun shining in. Te décor is chic, but not pretentious, with cool, retro wallpaper on one side, and interesting pieces of art scattered on the walls throughout. Te staff were happy, friendly and welcoming, and whilst the idea of having a DJ playing whilst you eat may sound invasive and off-putting, the volume was well tempered, and the tracks were well selected, so it worked well and brought the whole ambience of the place to a really nice relaxed-but-cool level.

TO START Drinks first. Obviously. A beer for me, and my girlfriend decided to go for a Raspberry Beret – a whiskey/Cava cocktail, served in a container formally known as a Tropicana bottle, and containing enough alcohol to make a dove cry. It was a tasty, boozy hit, so we decided that we’d better start on the food and ordered some breaded halloumi sticks and secret dip. OK, it wasn’t so much a secret as I didn’t know exactly what was in it apart from tomatoes, but it was delicious as were the cheesy soldiers of joy that we used to scoop up the lot.

34 / September 2016/

MAIN EVENT Te agony of choice was lessened somewhat by a selection of five or six main dishes, all of which were tempting though, which didn’t help. If I was a vegetarian, I’d have gleefully ordered the intriguing-yet-delicious sounding carrot and apple dahl with roasted cauliflower. But I’m not. So I ordered the steak. Norfolk flat iron steak, to be precise, served with rosemary roasted new potatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes, and salad. I must confess that I thought that flat iron steak had something to do with how it was cooked rather than the cut of the meat, but I’ll own up, I didn’t know. One quick Google at the table later advised me that it’s a more traditional cut that’s rapidly coming back into fashion. I enjoyed my tasty, trendy meat immensely, as it really was cooked to perfection with a pink middle and a slight char to the edge. My better half had the sea bream with feta, which came with the same delicious mini-roasties that accompanied my steak. I was slightly reticent to agree when we decided to ‘have a little try’ of each other’s meals, but I have to say that her claim that it was the best fish she had ever had was not unfounded, and a momentary pang of regret crossed my

mind. But then I just had another bite of lovely, lovely steak and everything was OK.

PUD Tere were some tasty looking cakes on show, but feeling quite full we thought we’d split some ice cream. Ice cream straight from a country creamery just over the Suffolk border no less. I’ve had ice cream pertaining to be from a “genuine” dairy before, and I’ve also had the real deal before, and was delighted to find that this was the later. All cow and no bull, as it were. We went with chocolate and double cream and vanilla, and the waitress recommended the passionfruit sorbet so we had a scoop of that as well. She was not wrong, and it was as good as the ice cream, topping off a delicious end to the meal.

OVERALL It’s an enjoyable, affordable, and fun place to go. It’s the perfect place to sit back, have a beer, and order anything from nibbles to full meals depending on your appetite. I’d definitely recommend stopping by and checking it out.



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