Adlards closed on Saturday 22nd September 2007 after 17 years. Owner David Adlard retiried to open a bed and breakfast place, while the plans of head chef Roger Hickman were unclear when I spoke to him in September 2007. I rated it 14/20. The notes below are of historical interest only.
The restaurant was in a parade of shops near Norwich cathedral. The split level dining room was brightly lit and had a simple feel, with walls cluttered by an assortment of modern art. Bread was made on the premises, and slices of both white bread with herbs and brown bread were very good (16/20). The wine list was excellent, and featured both good growers and fair mark-ups e.g. Cuvee Frederich Emile 2000 from Alsace was £45. Service was friendly if a little casual for a place aiming at this level. Dishes were freshly prepared and arrived at a leisurely pace.
An amuse bouche of leek soup topped with herbs was enjoyable but was rather lacking in intensity (14/20). A salad of langoustines and leeks was very prettily presented. Langoustines were correctly cooked though not dazzlingly fresh, and the salad elements were tender e.g. good pea shoots. I am not sure that leeks would be my choice for a match to langoustines; they were fresh and tender, but are inherently not the most exciting salad ingredient (15/20). A salad of crab had brown crab meat with a poached quail egg and a clever lemon grass mousse which worked well, the lemon grass flavour nicely controlled. The crab itself seemed ordinary to me (14/20).
My pork loin dish hinted at cassoulet, featuring as it did chickpeas and chorizo stew with belly pork. The chickpeas were tender and the stewed pork was tasty, but the pork loin was a fraction hard and chewy, as if overcooked a little (15/20). Halibut was roasted and had good flavour, resting on a thin, crisp rosti and a bed of peas and caramelised onions, along with a simple veloute (15/20).
Cheese was a mix of French and British; a local cheese supplier is used, and cheeses were in good rather than great condition, but certainly were better than in many UK restaurants. Cashel blue, Ticklemore and Tomme de Savoie were very pleasant as well as a Pont L'Eveque (15/20).
A fig tart had good pastry and was served piping hot. Personally I wondered whether something like apple or pear might be more appealing given than figs are inevitably not like the perfect ones you get in the Mediterranean, but the tart was certainly well made, topped with a little chocolate sorbet (14/20). This was better than a coffee and hazelnut cake, whose pastry cream was sickly sweet, while a roll of chocolate with cream inside was too thick in places (12/20). Coffee was decent (14/20). Starters were £10-£12, mains £19-£21, cheese £10 and desserts £9, with coffee £3.25.