Brix & Bones

Norwich , Norfolk

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Above a betting shop in the city centre, this Norwich newcomer is a blinder. Brix & Bones is about powerful, expert, generous open-fire cooking, the sort that also requires leathery aprons, muted lighting, cracking drinks, and a pacey soundtrack. Ask for a seat at the bar, the better to watch dinner emerge while chatting to the engaging, informed team. Flavours roar out, from snacks through to dessert. Share a board of Cobble Lane charcuterie and maybe some focaccia, made daily in-house and served with bone-marrow butter and a sharp, smoky raspberry compote. Oyster flambadou could follow, the shellfish basted with drops of fiery beef fat and topped with minerally sea purslane, or go for the bursting layers of flavour in activated-charcoal tacos with sweet slow-cooked lamb, anchovy, mustard crumb, tempura shallots and pickled grapes. Steaks ordered by weight, immense chops and whole fish are licked with flame, slicked with the melted fat of 85-day aged Limousin beef, then seared, smoked, seasoned and spiced as befits each item. Line-caught mackerel is reverse-butterflied to cook evenly and comes with a bright chamomile kombucha vinaigrette, foraged sea- blite and freshening green apple. There’s abundant love for B&B's bone-marrow fudge doughnuts, while goat's-cheese ice cream with beetroot molasses will please the less sweet of tooth – although a light, clean finish is delivered by a scarlet strawberry sorbet kicked to the next taste level by pink peppercorn and mint. Wines are suitably bold: the savoury, black fruit notes of a northern Rhône Syrah (Domaine Gérard) or the lush complexities of pure Sangiovese (Brunello di Montalcino Il Palazzone) could ice an already on-fire cake.