Jamie's Italian Restaurant in Norwich

 

Ok. So hands up… who hasn’t been to Jamie’s Italian Restaurant in Norwich yet?

If the answer is no, then clearly you’ve got some serious date-night planning to do.

Set in the heart of Norwich, in the beautiful Royal Arcade, it’s gorgeous art nouveau style brings a touch of pure class and elegance to Jamie’s Italian. Just a stone’s throw away from the historic Norwich Castle, I could not think of a more perfect and intimate setting for dining in our fine city.

So imagine my delight when Jamie’s Italian invited me to come along to try their recently updated menu!

 

Jamie's Italian Restaurant in Norwich

 

This week I went along with Dan and a couple of good friends to enjoy an evening of Italian food. We started with a round of cocktails (mocktail for me!) Friends tried a Very Berry and a Vanilla & Lemon Martini, while I opted for a non-alcoholic Ginger Mojito. The mixture of mint, lime, sugar & ginger beer was sheer perfection.

The cocktail and drinks menu is impressive and extensive, meaning that both drinkers and non-drinkers alike will find something to their taste. Being t-total, I often find most restaurants treat alcohol-free options as an afterthought, but that’s certainly not the case at Jamie’s. The non-alcoholic offerings definitely felt that little bit special.

 

Jamie's Italian Restaurant in Norwich

 

Moving swiftly on, we order our starters. Our waiter talked us through the specials and guided me through what was gluten-free on the menu. Unfortunately, gluten-free options were a little lacking in the starter section. Although there were still a couple of tempting sounding courses to try. I decided on the Spicy ‘Nduja Meatballs in a tomato and basil sauce. This was made gluten free by omitting the toasted bread.

While the meatballs themselves were packed with flavour, it felt like the dish was missing something, and unfortunately that something was the bread!!! I think this element probably would have complete the dish, so it was a shame an alternative couldn’t have been offered up to make the dish more substantial. But if you can eat gluten, I would definitely recommend giving this one a try!

 

Jamie's Italian Restaurant in Norwich

 

After the starters, we got another round of drinks in. By this point, the cocktails were flowing and the atmosphere in the restaurant was that great balance between bustling and relaxed. I ordered a Pink Grapefruit Spritz this time – another treat!

I admired how beautifully decorated the dining area was throughout. While the restaurant has been modernised, it still boasts a number of its original 19th century features, giving the surroundings a lot of character.

 

Jamie's Italian Restaurant in Norwich

 

Shortly after our drinks, our mains arrived. Now this was an easy choice for me! I very quickly decided on one of my favourite pasta dishes… Prawn Linguine. Besides, this wasn’t just any linguine, it was Jamie’s Famous Prawn Linguine. Cue paparazzi.

 

Jamie's Italian Restaurant in Norwich

 

Yep, that dish was workin’ it.

While the gluten-free starters were a little limited, I was very impressed with the selection of choices for the main course. I was especially excited at the prospect of FRESH gluten-free pasta. This is not something I had found on a menu since eliminating gluten from my diet. Fresh pasta feels that extra-bit special, and is so much tastier than the dried varieties.

 

Jamie's Italian Restaurant in Norwich

 

I loved everything about this dish – from the garlicky king prawns, to the subtle flavours of fennel and saffron. All finished off with just the right amount of kick from the chilli. Delicious! Or bellissimo! (As the Italians would say.)

 

Jamie's Italian Restaurant in Norwich

 

After an enjoyable two-course meal, we were full to the brim from mountains of pasta. I think my friends may have gone into some form of Carbonara-based coma. So as tempting as dessert looked, we decided it would be safest to pass on the sweet stuff.

Overall, Jamie’s Italian was a wonderfully relaxed and enjoyable dining experience here in Norwich. Go for the hearty Italian food, a great variety of cocktails/mocktails and the beautiful historic setting.

 

Book your table or find out more here.

 

Jamie's Italian Restaurant in Norwich

 

 

Raw Millionaire's Shortbread

 

You know that feeling when you come across the most perfect recipe in the world, and you just HAVE to tell everybody about it? Well a couple of weeks ago, thanks to my latest copy of Good Food magazine, I found these Raw Millionaire’s Shortbread.

For all us gluten + dairy-free peeps out there, finding a recipe that’s as good as the original can often be an impossible find. So when I stumbled across this one, it felt like I’d struck gold big time. It was like winning the bloody lottery. CHA-CHING!

 

Raw Millionaire's Shortbread

 

These vegan, gluten-free chocolatey treats are made with dates, cashews + maple syrup, and are so sticky and moreish, that they rival your everyday Millionaire’s Shortbread. They are also raw, refined-sugar free, and made with all-natural ingredients – so they don’t feel as naughty!

I’ve made these little beauties a few times now, and each time they’ve turned out perfect!

 

Raw Millionaire's Shortbread

 

Raw Millionaire's Shortbread

 

I think these nutrient-rich sweet treats are easy enough to whip up for any occasion, and would be perfect for a bake-sale. I recently made them ahead of time, before some friends came over for dinner. With them already chilling in the fridge, they made for such an easy dessert! All I had to do was cut them up and serve with some vegan ice-cream, and they went down a treat!

I hope you have as much fun making these Raw Millionaire’s Shortbread as I did! Let me know what you think by tagging your creations #heartandbowl, or leaving me a message in the comments below.

 

Raw Millionaire's Shortbread

 

Raw Millionaire’s Shortbread {GF + DF}

Makes: 16

Raw Millionaire’s Shortbread {GF + DF}

Ingredients

    For the base
  • 150g cashew nuts
  • 50g rolled oats
  • 4 large dates, pitted
  • 50g coconut oil, melted
  • For the filling
  • 350g dates, pitted
  • 125ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 25ml maple syrup
  • 150g coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • sea salt
  • For the topping
  • 150g coconut oil
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Grease a 20cm square cake tin and line with baking parchment.
  2. Tip the cashew nuts and oats into a food processer and blitz to crumbs. Add the dates and coconut oil, and blend again. Transfer to the tin and use a spoon to press the nutty mixture into a compact, even layer that covers the base. Chill while you prepare the filling.
  3. For the filling, add the dates, almond milk, maple syrup and coconut oil to a saucepan with a generous pinch of sea salt and bring to a simmer. Boil for 2-3 mins until the dates are really soft, then tip into the blender, add the vanilla extract and blitz to a smooth purée. Add a little more salt if the mixture is too sweet. Pour over the nutty base and spread to the sides of the tin, getting the surface as smooth as possible. Chill while you prepare the topping.
  4. Gently heat the coconut oil in a saucepan until melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa and maple syrup until there are no lumps. Cool for 10 mins, pour over the caramel layer and return to the fridge for at least 3 hrs or until firmly set.
  5. To serve, cut into squares and enjoy!

Notes

These Raw Millionaire's Shortbread will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food

Turtle Bay Norwich

 

For those of you who haven’t walked by Turtle Bay’s new little corner of the city, allow me to introduce you to our latest hot spot! Turtle Bay is all about celebrating the lively, colourful, soulful experiences of the Caribbean – and it’s set to open its doors to Norwich on the 30th August, bringing a new, vibrant and delicious Caribbean dining experience to the city. Think jerk chicken, spicy, slow cooked curries, rice and peas, dreamy desserts and blissful rum cocktails!

 

Turtle Bay Norwich

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On Thursday evening, I was lucky enough to attend a VIP Press Launch before the opening of our very own Turtle Bay here in Norwich. My partner Dan and I, were fortunate to be some of the first in the city to try this new Caribbean experience, and we could not be more excited!

 

Turtle Bay Norwich

 

At 7pm we made our way to Swan Lane, right in the heart of Norwich’s historic lanes, one of my favourite parts of the city! On arrival we were in awe over just how stunning the restaurant was, both inside and out. It really captured the true essence of the Caribbean. Everywhere you looked there were reggae-inspired interiors, and new things to be discovered. With it’s salvaged VW Camper seating area – Norwich definitely hasn’t seen anything like this before! The whole place was vibrant, relaxed and colourful, and it instantly put us in a good mood.

As we entered we were greeted by some of the friendly folks at Turtle Bay, and we were immediately given a rum punch to start the evening. Not being a big drinker, I gave my cocktail to Dan, who was more than happy to nurse a drink in each hand. Being a big rum lover, Dan definitely thought the rum packed a great punch, and he loved the mix of flavours.

 

Turtle Bay Norwich

Turtle Bay Norwich

 

Passing on the rum, I opted for a soft drink, and was made very happy by the choices on offer! As well as an impressive Caribbean Cocktail menu, they also had a whole Caribbean Softs menu, with a huge amount of delicious sounding options! In the end, I landed on the Watermelon Crush (pictured above) – which was so beautifully refreshing!

As we waited for the night of entertainment and dining to begin, I met a few representatives from Turtle Bay who already knew my name, and remembered my blog. We chatted, about the buzz of the new restaurant, and they asked me about Heart + Bowl. It was so lovely of them to take some time to get to know me, and all of the bloggers and press at the event. It gave the evening a really friendly atmosphere, and a personal touch.

 

Turtle Bay Norwich

 

Once everyone had arrived, we were given some nibbles to snack on, including some Curried Chickpeas which were beyond addictive!!! Then we were asked to assemble around the bar for a rum demonstration.

We were talked through the history and inspiration behind Turtle Bay. Their mission? To bring the fun and relaxed Caribbean dining and drinking experience to the UK. With their famous rum, reggae and jerk – they’ve got this down.

 

Turtle Bay Norwich

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After the entertaining rum demonstration we were asked to find a table for the evening of food to begin! Me and Dan picked a nice table by the window near the open street-style kitchen, so we could watch the chefs at work!

Before we got stuck in, one of the managers introduced to us to the ethos behind Turtle Bay’s food. The menu offers a vast choice of bold flavours and rustic dishes, all inspired by the laid back, social outlook of the Caribbean. Dishes are brimming with zesty flavours and spicy hues.

 

Turtle Bay Norwich

Turtle Bay Norwich

 

After the introduction, waiters started to bring out surprise dishes to the guests. The dining area was buzzing with anticipation, excited to see what we were going to try. Reggae music played softly, to get everyone in the mood for the night ahead.

Dan and I were prepared for a night of food, but we could not be prepared for just how much amazing food we would get to try that evening!

 

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Turtle Bay Norwich

 

Firstly we were given a Beach Food Platter, followed by Turtle Bay’s famous Our Curry Goat, followed by Jerk Chicken, and all topped-off with a mixed platter of Puddings! Being a gluten-free eater, there were lots of gluten-free options for me to try, which really put me at ease. All of the food was so hearty and delicious, and was packed full with so much bold flavour. They’re not afraid to add a real spice kick – and I admired them for it!

My personal favourite was the Our Curry Goat (pictured below), served with rice n’ peas! Dan fell in love with the Sweet Corn Fritters on the Beach Food Platter, claiming they were incredibly moorish!

 

Turtle Bay Norwich

Turtle Bay Norwich

 

Overall the whole evening was a completely refreshing, relaxed and memorable dining experience. Turtle Bay brings the heart and soul of the Caribbean – and there’s definitely nothing like it in Norwich. If ever I get the summer, holiday blues, I’ll be sure to head right here to soak up some fun and sun of the Caribbean. I would definitely recommend all Norwich locals and visitors to check it out when it opens from 30th August!

You can book here, OR if you’re feeling lucky – Enter in my free giveaway below!!!

 

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Turtle Bay Norwich

 

WIN DINNER FOR 4 AT NORFOLK’S FIRST TURTLE BAY IN NORWICH!

 

Yes, the kind folks at Turtle Bay have given me this incredible prize to giveaway. We’re offering one lucky winner a

3-course-dinner for 4 with drinks.

Please enter in the rafflecopter below for a chance of winning!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Apologies, but I will be accepting entries from UK residence only.