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ow does a humble chip shop remain at, or near the lofty position of ‘Number 1 Restaurant in Norwich’ on Trip Advisor for about three solid years? If you haven’t

experienced F’sh at Te Grosvenor for yourself, you’re about to find out. Te city favourite, lingering on the corner of Pottergate and Lower Goat Lane has been serving the city its country’s national dish for over 90 years, but it’s been this last few that have really been its heyday. Benefitting from a playful complete refurb a few years back when former owner’s son, Christian came home from New York to take over the family biz, it breathed new life into this cornerstone dining establishment.


You can write as much about Te Grosvenor’s atmosphere as its culinary offerings; that refurb we spoke about made the chippy look clean, inviting and brimming with flair. Tat sentiment is extended to the Grosvenor staff, who embody this welcoming spirit. At the forefront is Duane, who although was probably having a well-deserved evening off when I went in, is known by many to be the delightful bastion of all that is good customer service. If chippies had a Maître D’, Duane would surely be it. Tere’s always some gentle swing, or jazz, or jive playing when you go in; it’s like stepping

26 /January 2016/

into Goodnight Sweetheart, with the girls usually sporting headscarves to boot. In the bunker, the Grosvenor’s famous downstairs industrial eatery, it’s cosy and compact – there aren’t many places I’d rather be in an air raid. If you were crazy enough to turn down Te Grosvenor’s own dining area, you can always take your grub over to the Birdcage opposite, to add a drop of booze to your meal. Tis relationship between the two Lanes stalwarts has possibly been the making of Te Grosvenor, in part, with weekly ‘Fizz ‘n’ Chips’ nights, and even their first joint Beer and Fish festival going down brilliantly in October last year.

Te first time I tried the Grosvenor’s Wako Taco, I was eating it walking down the street and ill-prepared when its flowing juices rolled down my hand, over my wrist and down towards my elbow. Tere are not many feelings I despise more; it’s akin only to being bum-fingered by a zombie. I’ve disowned other morsels for less, and it’s a testament to the Wako Tako that I’ve not banished it to the food hell of sweet and sour sauce, and badly cooked liver. Te steamed cod is a welcome diversion from deep fried sins, and sits generous and delicious in its pillowy soft taco, with salsa, sour cream, lettuce and cheese. I ate it this time with a mound of chips, which I must say now – are the best chips in town – and Te Grosvenor’s mushy peas, which they MUST lace with crack. Dems good peas. Half the enjoyment of a Grosvenor meal is the condiments at hand: tabasco, American chip spice (again, crack fuelled) and the option of buying various dipping sauces. We opted for garlic-rich mayo. My better half relinquished a bit of her grub for me to try too; where else would you find Shark Bites and Miso Dip than in this big-thinking British gem? Te miso dip was tart and moreish in its yeastiness, and the shark bites were delicate inside their battered coat – a sharp contrast to the vicious strength you associate with the animal.

OVERALL Is there any other place that does what it sets out to do so expertly, stylishly and with more verve than Te Grosvenor? Simple answer: no. Te joy for what they do is so palpable that you could deep fry it. Except that in the case of Te Grosvenor, they wouldn’t just deep fry it – they’d Cajun spice it, steam and then batter, and serve it with a slice of lemon on the side. I never give full 10s, but are they the very best at what they do? One look at Trip Advisor’s top spot should tell you so. Emma R Garwood


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