To understand the title, one needs to look at some history for this establishment.
When we moved into the area some decade ago, the food at the Norway was dire. My sister, who would probably enjoy dog food (if you didn't tell her) on a rare visit, simply refused to finish her meal! And that is really bad! Some 6/7 years ago all that changed.
The arrival of an excellent chef coupled with new managers, completely transformed the place. Many culinary events were put in place and were hugely successful. One such event, Norway Night still remains and continues to be a popular regional event.
During this time, there were separate menus for the restaurant and the bar. The overall food quality was excellent regardless of where one ate. If anything, the only drawback for the restaurant (from the demand on the kitchen's point of view) was the extremely large menu choice.
The departure of the excellent managers, Charlie & Carol Edgeler (who now run the Jubilee Inn in Pelynt, near Looe), left a huge gap in front of house . The replacement management unfortunately succeeded in losing many fine staff as well as alienating their previously core customers.The food however continued to be of a good standard until the chef departed.
In 2012, a new manager was appointed and a new level of enthusiasm returned. The revamp of the somewhat tired reataurant decor has created a more agreeable dining atmosphere although the food quality seriously deteriorated, and many of the Norway's base clientele have evaporated.
This can be seen by reviews of the Norway during the past year (with some of the so-called excellent comments being, I suspect, the result of some "boosting" going on).
The arrival, therefore, of Dale McIntosh to the Norway gave rise to cautious optimism and it is against that background, that we returned to "test the waters"..........
Cooking in front of house, as the opportunity to see the choices available, creates a pleasant confidence in one's choice. The menu was limited but delightful in range with some original touches. We tasted the poached salmon and langoustine terrine which came exquisitely presented. The salmon was perfect and the terrine tasteful were it not for the presence some extremely hard (possibly tooth damaging) inclusions. These were subsequently identified by the chef as "pork scratchings" (?) The three of us who tried it,found this to be unwelcome. The razor clams however were reported to be excellent.
I chose the fillets of venison and beef. The beef was a little tougher in texture than I would have liked but perfectly cooked as was the venison, which was excellent. The dish came with beautiful baby vegetables and an outstanding sauce. The chef kindly modified my wife's choice of scallops, to her liking, and she declared it, perfect.
Rarely do we have desserts, but we were tempted by the choice available. Two of us had the sticky toffee pudding in mind but unfortunately they had run out. We were given the opportunity of a hot chocolate pudding instead which, we were glad to say, that we accepted. It was totally scrumptious.
In short, a quite excellent meal and if this standard is maintained, there will be an extremely happy return fpr the many who have abandonned this establishment for some time. One also hopes that this quality will find its way into the bar menu.
One word about the service. Our young waiter (who was a delightful in every respect) had little of no knowledge about the dishes that were being served and in consequence, had to return to the chef to get answers to questions. With the limited menu, it would be nice if the staff could be thoroughly briefed, saving time and effort for everyone.
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