The Norfolk, Surry Hills

There has been a pub here for as long as I can remember. But of what I can remember, I can only visualise blue tiles and a ‘local’ pub feel.
I was intrigued when my sister suggested we meet up there for dinner one evening and forwarded me a copy of their menu. It seemed to have a slight Mexican feel, with soft shelled tacos, mexican taco soup, and lots of other snacky items.
The place was buzzing on a Wednesday evening, but we managed secure bar stools underneath a busted light, which made reading the menu difficult.
You may have guessed by now what our picks off the menu were.

A teacup of mulled wine was $8, or you could puck up a hot toddy from $7. The mulled wine was delicious, with cinnamon and orange peel. There is still a little kick left in the wine!

The deep fried pickles ($7.50) have a light tempura-like batter on them. It is an interesting mix of salty vinegar versus hot and crispy. These were served with a tartare sauce which seemed to be freshly made with bits of cucumber in it. By the time we ate the last pickle, the outside coating had become cold and soggy.

Next to arrive was the pork belly mini burger with coleslaw and fries ($7.50). The bun is toasted a shiny golden brown, like a brioche. It is misleadingly tiny, making you think that you can pop the whole lot on your mouth in one go. Carving it into two was tricky, but it was a lovely combination of mouth meltingly soft pork, crispy crackling, creamy coleslaw and sweet crispy bun. Yum! This came with a serving of crinkle cut fries, which apart from being crispy were fairly unmemorable.
We dipped them into the tartare sauce served with the pickles.

The Norfolk, Surry Hills, a photo by A Sydney Foodie on Flickr.

The third dish on our initial order is the Mexican tortilla soup ($). I jumped up and down in excitement when I saw the tortilla chips. This is the first time I’ve seen them in Australia!

In California whenever you go into a Mexican diner, you get a basket of these deep fried squares of yesterday’s tortillas with some salsa as a starter. I remember them being really moreish and hard to resist.

Here, I think you are supposed to dip the tortilla chips in the soup, or break them up and eat them like croutons. The soup itself was slightly spicy, but reminded me of a minestrone soup. There were strips of chicken, tomatoes and small chilli pieces, but overall I could have done without.

So, we reviewed the stomach situation, and decided we had a little more room.

There is a deal with the soft tacos: you can buy four for $20, or they are $5.50 each. Taco Tuesdays means they are $3 each.

Tacos @ The Norfolk, a photo by A Sydney Foodie on Flickr.

We ordered one pork taco, and one fish. My sister commented that she found the pork meat very salty which I didn’t notice at all. On the other hand, the accompanying pickles were terribly salty to me, but not on her radar!

The fish was bright red, which was unexpected, but had a lovely combination of spice, crunch and creaminess. I’ll order this one again!

There is a good range of Don Julio sipping tequila behind the bar, so I look forward to visiting again on Tequila Friday!

The Norfolk pub
305 Cleveland Street, Redfern/Surry Hills NSW
Tel (02) 9699 3177

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