‘This is the most exciting opening in the vicinity in recent times.’ You wouldn’t know it as no date is given, but the Time Out quote adorning the front page of the Norfolk Arms website celebrated its seventh birthday in 2013. From E1 to W1, London is full of bars and restaurants that have been coasting for ages on the back of a good review received years earlier. Happily, the Norfolk Arms isn’t one of them; although 2006 no longer qualifies as ‘recent times’, this smaller-than-it-looks corner pub retains its place among the best in the area. Unusually, the speciality is tapas – and pretty authentic tapas at that. The menu is worryingly long, but the kitchen seems to be on top of things. Highlights – all served in very generous portions given the reasonable prices (few of the standard tapas cost more than £5.50) – included a casually creamy tortilla; fennel and blood orange salad with flaked almonds; and deliciously light salt cod and potato croquettes. Only a slightly faded serving of pork belly with paprika struck a bum note in what was otherwise an impressive, enjoyable meal. Staff seem to give priority to diners over drinkers, and few people seem to come here for libations (draught Sagres, Theakston’s XB) alone.
|Venue name:||Norfolk Arms|
28 Leigh Street
|Opening hours:||Open 11am-11pm Mon-Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Fri; noon-4pm Sat. Dinner served 6-10.15pm Mon-Sat. Meals served noon-10.15pm Sun. Tapas served noon-10.15pm daily|
|Transport:||Tube: Euston tube/rail|
|Price:||Main courses £9.50-£13. Tapas £2-£12|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
2.6 / 5
- 5 star:0
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:2
The one good thing I would say is the food was pretty good. A lot of choice of tapas and lots of original choices. However the service was absolutely appalling. We had to chase to get; menus, missing cutlery, forgotten drinks, re-arranging of the table as they did not allow for enough people even though we pre-booked. Plus they did not come round once to offer more drinks. Nothing was pro-active. Worse of all they forgot to bring everything we ordered, and when we enquired the waiter just said "I don't think you ordered that" although he didn't even check. We pointed out that we definitely did and he just walked off. We assumed that he was putting in the order for the missing tapas but after 20 minutes we realised that was not happening. He then came to clear the plates and we realised he was not even going to address the issue of the missing tapas. On the way out he then had the cheek to ask for the full tip (we paid 10% instead of the 12.5% that was suggested on the bill). Frankly they did not deserve any tip, let alone the full suggested tip. Nail in the coffin in respect of service. Shame the service was so bad because the place seemed nice and the food was pretty good so it was really disappointing.
Avoid. Such unpleasant waiters and negativities they wear on face (still they charge service charge) and so on and on..... Really unpleasant experience. I will never go again.
I dined here with three friends on Tues evening and we all thought the food was really good. We chose from the tapas menu and raved about the scoth eggs, warm beetroot and feta salad and ham and cheese croquettes. The atmosphere's laid back and cosy - a nice spot to catch up with friends in an informal environment. Shame some other reviewers didn't have quite the same experience. I've already recommended the Norfolk Arms to a friend and he went there last night and said he thought the food/service were really good.
This corner pub has charm, and my first impression of the Norfolk Arms was quite good. Perhaps we were there during an odd time--we were outnumbered by staff, but they were not interesting in serving us at all (yet they automatically issued a service charge on the bill, though no table service was offered/given). Moreover, we were all grossly overcharged for mediocre wine. Save your money and go elsewhere.
This is not a gastropub. It's much much better - food, ambience and hospitality. But don't tell too many people, please
Snap up exclusive discounts in London
Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...