Friday, 21 November 2014

Wild Thyme, Norwich, Norfolk

After taking a short break from blogging to move house, I'm back. With lots of blogs to write up I thought I’d start with a little gem I discovered in Norwich recently.

With the world population increasing and new emerging middles classes in countries such as China and Brazil, demand for meat has soared. Leading experts cite consequences ranging from rapidly increasing prices, to climate change, and even the potential need to look at test tubes as the solution. As a result, we’re being urged to eat less meat and the recent trend for #meatfreemondays has become very popular. It used to seem that vegetarian food in the UK was an afterthought to most menus, a damp tasting aubergine in a nondescript tomato sauce, now vegetarian food is influenced by flavours form around the world and can be, and often is, exciting and vibrant.

The food is certainly exciting vegetarian fare at Wild Thyme in Norwich. Wild Thyme is nestled in a small courtyard next to a wholefood store (where you’ll find some great gluten free products), in the heart of Norwich. I've been twice in the last couple of months, the first time with some work friends and the second with my wife. Both times I've been hugely impressed. I've enjoyed an excellent salad of goat’s cheese, wild mushrooms and pumpkin which came with a tangy vinaigrette which balanced the dish perfectly. Sweet potato wedges are baked to give sweet gnarly skins with soft centres; so often can sweet potato wedges become sweet crisps or damp mush. I've had the bubble and squeak, packed with veg and topped with a perfect poached egg and piccalilli. Indian spiced pea, potato and peanut cakes are served with a tangy tomato chutney, their crisp exterior hides a tasty filling. It is simple food, superbly executed. It’s great value too, starters (easily enough for lunch) are around the 5.95 mark and mains around 8.95.

The menu is clearly marked with dishes that are gluten free and there’s even gluten free bread available for sandwiches or to dunk in what sound like sumptuous soups. Many of the dishes are vegan too, so would be good for dairy free too. One of my friends said I’ll have to tell my vegetarian friend about this place’… I’d say tell all your friends about this place and let’s all embrace a little less meat without compromising on flavour.