THE NORFOLK, Fremantle
by JENNY D’ANGER:
With a pub lunch in our sights we scurried from Cliff Street towards the Norfolk Hotel like rats through a maze, one umbrella between four, and rain threatening.
Fortunately the heaters were blazing in the covered, atmospheric outdoor courtyard, warming us and drying our damp clothes.
Formerly the daggy, but heritage-listed, Oddfellows Hotel, it underwent a major facelift in time for the America’s Cup, quickly becoming a trendy watering hole.
Between debating whether sports obsession is healthy (two for, two against) or owning a dog is better for mental health we checked out the menu.
Bruschetta ($14) is a dish that is never quite the same depending on the eatery and/or chef (I’m still getting over a place that offered bruschetta with neither tomato nor basil in it). The Norfolk’s came with finely chopped tomato and red onion, fetta and rocket, drizzled with balsamic reduction.
The raw onion really lifted the tomato mix, as did the fetta. It was delicious, but rather a small serve for $14 I thought, looking enviously at my colleagues’ laden plates and my quickly bared one.
Fozzie reckoned his spicy cacciatore pizza ($22), with bacon, chorizo, mushrooms, chili, rocket and goats curd was “thin, and crisp, yet chewy”, making it “pretty close to perfection”.
“While the cheese at times became overwhelming this pizza came within a whisker of one of the best I’ve tasted in the port city,” he intoned.
Belly’s knowledge of beer is scary for someone so young, and he waxed lyrical about the Norfolk’s range of boutique beers, many from WA.
He had no problem with the “cheesiness” of his three-cheese pizza ($22), which quickly disappeared.
Feeling at home with the miserable weather, Scotshanks (completely lame made-up nickname because Stephen is Scottish and tall) reckoned it was a day for soup—in this case spicy cauliflower ($12).
Accompanied by a couple of slabs of thick toast the rich, orange soup came in a bowl the size of a trucker’s steering wheel.
“It had the perfect balance of cream and cauliflower and tasted as fresh as a nun’s cassock—the best soup I’ve had in a restaurant in donkey’s years,” he sighed.
With prompt and pleasant service, in no time we were heading back to the office, ready to tackle what the week would throw at us.
corner South Terrace and Norfolk Street, Fremantle
open 7 days lunch and dinner