Mrs Myhill

It was a special occasion and we wanted something special, we had heard of Brummells but had not been before, an oversight we intended to rectify immediately.
We entered the establishment down the side passage, opening into a cute yard, it was very exciting, we were full of expectations of what was beyond the small quirky door. I'm not sure it was entirely what we pictured, but nevertheless, I was breathless when the door opened for us like magic. We were shown after our coats were expertly taken to a cosy little area in front of a real fire, where we were offered the menu and pre-dinner aperitifs. Those who Know Norwich, see Magdalen street as a little past its best, so looking around while sipping on a glass of Champagne
I could not help thinking what an oasis we had found ourselves in, the decor is not so much designed but evolved, full of character, very comfortable and the sort of place where you can always spot something new, knickknacks abounding. The restaurant carpeted (I hate the clang of hard floors in dining rooms) furnished with sizeable tables well spaced apart, dressed with crisp white linen.

Now wholly relaxed, we happily perused the menu, it was going to be difficult to choose, almost everything appealed. We were forced to make our selections when the waiter politely asked if we ready to order. My husband selected pan fried calves liver on a warm vegetable stew followed by  a half lobster shellfish platter I chose the scallops with pomegranate chutney followed by steamed seabass filets with prawn butter & leeks.
Offered the wine list hubby was in his element, the quality we had not seen much outside of the top restaurants in London, he pushed the boat out and opted for a bottle of my favourite Puligny Montrachet befitting the occasion, my birthday.
A little time later we were shown to our table, our drinks carried on a tray, we got comfy while the  napkins were placed in our laps and the mineral water poured.
A little of our wine was poured into a tall bulbous glass, hubby took in the aromas and tasted the grape nectar, I watched as his eyes glisten, he nodded to the waiter, I knew it would be remarkable he is not one shy of sending a less than perfect bottle back.

We feasted on our ambrosial's, fresh and well presented the starter and main spaced with a refreshing pink sorbet. We were well satisfied, the desserts looked appealing but thought the cheese trolley sitting in the corner of the dining room irresistible, It was good to see cheese presented at the right room temperature, often in many places it is served straight from the fridge, not the same at all! The selection proffered represented some local as well as other British and continental cheeses, served with frozen grapes and a wonderful selection of biscuits. Of course we had to wash it down with a glass of vintage port.

After, we requested our coffee and petit fours be served in the lounge area back in front of the fire. Brummells has the most amazing Cognac list, it would have been rude not to partake. We opted for a Hine Antique apiece which rounded off the evening perfectly.

I cannot recommend Brummells too much, we are going too make it our second home.

ONE HUNDRED MAGAZINE

Those who love seafood and have never visited Brummells on Magdalen street are
Truly missing out.  This understated restaurant is where you should take any seafood fanatic for a treat because it is such a pleasure to visit.  The stylish décor, impeccable service and attention to detail at Brummells make it one of the city's finest restaurants-- before you've even ordered.  When you do look at the menu, however you'll find the variety of delicious fish and seafood dishes served up here is quite astounding. To start with, why not try the creamed fish soup with coconut milk, the stewed octopus in in wine and its own black ink or the grilled sardine fillets with chilli oil on a bed of marinated beansprouts?  Then how about moving on to a large skate wing pan-fried with black butter or Canadian lobster grilled with garlic butter or Thermidor?  And if you are a vegetarian, you wont miss out. There is always something tasty and exiting on offer here for veggies as well. This wont be a cheap evening out, but a meal at Brummells will certainly be one to remember.

WWW.REVIEWCENTRE.COM

By raehippychick from Norwich

Norwich has a wealth of many different styles of eateries, from cheap and cheerful to expensive and sumptuous. Along Magdalen Street, a little way past the cathedral and the Maid's Head Hotel is Brummell's Seafood Restaurant, which is definitely in the expensive and sumptuous range.

The frontage is simple and discreet, with the entrance tucked along the side and accessed down a small alleyway, with a small but elegant courtyard. On entering the restaurant you are greeted, usually, by the owner himself, and settled into a snug lounge area with small tables, and in winter an open fire. Over an aperitif enjoy the luxury as you peruse the wonderful menu and wine list. Your biggest problem will be selecting form the delicious range of food on offer. The main emphasis is on seafood, but there is also meat, and of course vegetarians are amply catered for.

After choosing, you are left to relax as your food is prepared, and then any unfinished drinks are taken to your table in the main restaurant.

The restaurant is beautiful, with the expected crisp table linen, glistening glasses and polished cutlery. The room is small, intimate and cosy, without feeling overcrowded, as the owner will not book in too many people at once. The walls abound with paintings, knick knacks and objet d'arts. In fact, there is so much to look at, from farm implements, to unsurprisingly, fish paintings, that should you be unfortunate enough to have a dull dinner companion, there is enough to look at and to spark conversation.

On our last visit we indulged ourselves and really pushed the boat out. To start with we had baby octopus in red wine, and its own ink, and seafood pancakes with cheese and a green aniseed sauce. Both were delicious. The pancakes were small, soft and rich, and they melted in my mouth. The baby octopus was adorably cute (as long as you aren't squeamish of course)! Again, quite a rich starter, but as the portions are small this does not ruin your appetite for the main course. After the starters a small complimentary sorbet arrived to cleanse our palate in preparation for the focal event of the evening.

For the main meal my partner had the top of the range seafood platter, and what sight it was to behold; every type of seafood you could wish for, from oysters to lobster and assorted cold fish served on a bed of ice and garnished with salad. At thirty-five pounds it was definitely not cheap, but for a special night out it is just perfect. The seafood is all extremely fresh, and prepared and laid out beautifully. Each mouthful is sublime! I opted for skate wing with blackened butter (a luscious large portion of skate drizzled in a nutty black butter). The fish peeled away from the bone, just as it should, and tasted fresh and clean.

To accompany our meals we had one portion of salad and one of fresh vegetables. The salad was an abundance of crisp produce, and the vegetables were a selection of just cooked baby corn, mange tout, and new potatoes that still had that slight crunch that I like. Nothing lets a good meal down more than overcooked soggy vegetables, in my opinion.

The portions are good-sized, and they are large enough to satisfy the hungriest of appetites, but not so overwhelming or stodgy that we couldn't fit a small desert in. I chose strawberries with black pepper. Now when I first read this I didn't honestly believe anyone would really put pepper on strawberries, but it's true! My dish of strawberries arrived with a light peppering of black pepper (sorry), and to my surprise the combination of the two tastes was excellent, and it melded well with the meringue and sweetness of the Chantilly cream. My partner had the amaretto chocolate mousse. Again, something I would not normally choose as I don't really like amaretto, but I enjoyed the small taste I was allowed, so much so, that I almost wished I had chosen it too. It is a small serving, but nobody, not even a dedicated chocoholic like myself could eat much of it, as it is so divinely rich.

We have been to Brummell's a few times over the years, and we have never once been let down. Perfectly cosy and warm for cold winter nights with the curtains drawn across the large windows and cooler, but still with the intimacy it is renowned for on summer nights. The patron, is an excellent host! He is attentive to each guests every need, yet not at all intrusive. At times he may seem a little dour when compared to some other waiters and owners we have encountered, but he is quite possibly one of our favourite restaurant owners, and after a leisurely dinner we often sit and chat with him at the bar.

I can definitely recommend Brummell's if you like seafood, as the range on offer is superb; just look at the website to see their ample menus: www.brummells.co.uk. One word of warning. If you do decide to visit, this is not a cheap night out! On one occasion we managed to spend over two hundred pounds in one night. Admittedly, we really pulled no punches and indulged in the most expensive foods, some very fine wine, including a sumptuously sweet dessert wine, liqueur coffees and brandies at the bar. But, for an exceptional night out it really was worth every single penny. Luckily we had just enough money on us for a cab home. After all, at the end of such a magnificent night out the last thing we felt like doing was walking anywhere.


AA GOOD FOOD GUIDE

Making the most of both local and imported produce, Brummells demonstrates what imagination and variety is possible when the boat comes in. The net result is a veritable fish feast: monkfish fritters, lobster claws on spinach, seafood pancakes with Ilchester ale cheese and green aniseed sauce - and that's just for starters. Further ocean delights dominate the mains - seafood platter, skate wing, fillets of hake with crab and oyster sauce and so on. It's a stylish restaurant with a historic rustic setting, many features dating back to the 16th century. The proprietors want you to feel just as at home in a dinner jacket as in casual clothes; be assured of a warm welcome whichever

HARDEN'S UK RESTAURANTS

''Very good fish'' and ''wide selection of seafood'' are unanimously endorsed at this ''atmospheric' venture in an ancient building, even it's ''expensive'', by local standards

AA GOOD FOOD GUIDE

A building dating back to the 11th century is the charming,
intimate setting for this renowned seafood restaurant.
The atmosphere is romantic and the welcome hospitable, setting
the stage for an enjoyable romp through an exciting array of fishy treats.
Stewed cuttlefish in wine and black ink, deep-fried breaded oysters,
and monkfish fritters with roast tomato relish are innovative starters,
while the dozen or so main courses might include Scottish salmon fillet with
a Creole mustard sauce, chargrilled tuna with compote of fruity curry marmalade,
and the more straightforward pan-fried skate wing with black butter, and simply
grilled Dover sole.

AA GOOD FOOD GUIDE

Brummells has the easy-going air of a restaurant where you can feel at home in either a dinner jacket or casual clothes. The large seafood menu generally lives up to expectations, and our inspector was well pleased with a choice of mussels in cream and Muscadet with scallions, followed by expertly steamed monkfish with wild mushrooms and basil compote. The cooking roams the piscine globe for inspiration, from grilled sardines with chilli oil on a bed of marinated bean sprouts to deep-fried breaded rock oysters served with Greek Tzatziki, grilled fillets of Zander with Provencal sauce and Canadian lobster Thermidor. Sauces and preparations may be mixed and matched; there is demonstrable willingness to please. Vegetable selection is equally wide ranging, eight different ones on our visit. Don't miss out on dessert - the caramelised bananas in a warm orange and brandy syrup with vanilla ice cream is warmly recommend.


STEVE MASTERSON-- FOODIE & CRITIC

For those of you who thought that Norwich was a backwater when
it came to style, service and high quality restaurants, read
this review and think again. Tucked away in Magdalen Street is a
haven of peace and conviviality, quietly nestling within its own
private courtyard, Brummell's Restaurant is a vastly
underestimated gem.

The emphasis at Brummell's is understated quality and manners.
Service is the byword, you will be greeted by the proprietor
himself and will immediately find yourself cosseted by his
attention to detail and willingness for your meal to suit your,
and your friends, requirements to the utmost degree.

The decor is again stylish yet calm, the crisp white table linen
and perfectly prepared settings all point to a truly memorable
culinary experience. The very attractively priced and varied
menu will be presented to you in the comfort of the well stocked
bar. Although predominantly a fish restaurant, meat and
vegetarian options are also included. Andrew Brummell's vast
experience and infinite flare will also ensure that, should you
require a dish not published, or wish a dish to be subtly
modified, he is, with ample notice, to fulfil your prerequisites.

After choosing your wine from an expertly compiled and sensibly
sized wine list you will be escorted to your uncluttered and
roomy table. The first sight of your freshly produced,
beautifully presented fare will initiate a satisfying and
enjoyable chain of events. Glasses are filled and replenished
with consummate regularity and your every whim is catered for
without pressure or overbearing attention. The first and second
course are punctuated by a palette tingling, freshly made sorbet
which conditions your taste buds for the following delicacy. The
main course is of ample yet delicately measured proportions and
is finely arranged on the plate so as to be truly captivating.
Sauces and garnishes are delicate and compliment perfectly the
elegantly cooked dish.

The dessert menu is a tightly organised and concise range of
mouth-watering and complementary dishes and coffees to round off
your eating experience.

All of this exquisite service and high quality provisions is
supported by a vast range of liqueurs and spirits, including an
insurmountable collection of the finest cognacs of which Andrew
is justly proud.

Brummell's is summed up in one word 'service'. You will not
receive a cognac in other than the correct glass, you will not
order champagne without it being served at the correct
temperature, your needs are anticipated rather than being a
struggle for attention, your requirements will be attended to
discreetly and without fuss. Treat yourself to real quality at
sensible prices, sample the unique atmosphere sadly lacking in
many eateries both in Norwich and in many other, supposedly,
well appointed cities. The spirit of Andrew Brummell is very
much akin to his famous namesake, Beau Brummell, real name
GEORGE BRYAN BRUMMELL (1778-1840), British dandy, born in
London, who was for many years regarded by court society as a
wit and an authority on all matters of dress and etiquette.
Brummell kept an elegant establishment in London, his legacy
lives on right here in the historic heart of Norwich. Seek it
out.

DINERS CLUB SIGNITURE MAGAZINE

Andrew Brummell chef/patron of Brummells Seafood Restaurant has a devotion to food of all types.  But he is a fish enthusiast  - someone who will happily talk about different varieties, their habitats and their edible qualities until the boats come in!
Names like Parrot fish, African Red Mullet and the common Cuttlefish are tossed off his tongue with the same ease as most of us would deal with Cod or Haddock.
The menu offers comfortable choices like Dover Sole or Lobster  but there is always something unusual to try, Andrew never really knows what will arrive from nearby fish markets, he likes to offer something different prepared in novel ways, 'I don't really want to have what everyone else sells!' he boasts.

ENCORE  - CITY DINING

Imagine eating out in Magdalen Street and finding yourself staring down at a fish on your plate which  just twenty four hours earlier had been happily swimming off the coast of Hawaii!.
Sounds like a fishy tale? But Andrew Brummell, owner of Brummells Seafood Restaurant, is proud of his flexible menu which allows him to add all kinds of exotic seafood delicacies at a moments notice-- depending on what the supplier has on the slab that day.

When
Encore went along, the evening's speciality was Rainbow Runner an unlikely name for a succulent, meaty fish of the Jack family rather like Tuna, whose home waters are the Atlantic Ocean .  But then nearer to home the menu included tender West Norfolk Samphire, whose nickname of 'poor man's asparagus' doesn't nearly do it justice, and good old Cromer crab.

My
piece de resistance?  -  whatever I'm cooking. I suppose says Andrew modestly………...