Trip Advisor Top Fish and Chips at Grosvenor Fish Bar in Norwich, Norfolk

First for Fish & Chips in Norwich

The Norfolk local EDP newspaper recently reported on an interesting Top Ten of Trip Advisor restaurant reviews in Norwich. To locals, it was probably unsurprising that a fish and chip shop came first, namely, the renowned Grosvenor Fish Bar.

I once saw a queue of some 100 people stretching back 50 yards from their entrance down the street on Fireworks night.

Grosvenor Fish Bar, Norwich
Grosvenor Fish Bar, Norwich

It has attracted over 1500+nearly faultless Trip Advisor reviews, consistently rating it 4-5 out of 5 (1200+ gave it top marks), ranking it #1 of over 600 restaurants in Norwich!

Fish & Chips have been served for 90 years on the site. You can even bring in your own drink without corkage charges or have your fish and chips delivered to you at the Birdcage Pub opposite. Alternatively, you can enjoy your take-out in the summer and sit on the St Gregory’s green alongside or enjoy the 1940s reminiscent 70-seater vintage decor dining area downstairs.

Hints of humour and twists on tradition have been injected into their menu which includes Bass with Sass or Big Mack, Shark Bites or Loony Toony tuna, from their Specials menu, priced at £3.50-£5.50. More familiar items like battered saveloy sausage, pies, peas, burgers, chip butty, or chips and curry sauce are there too. Vegetarians and pescatarians need to be aware that the chips are fried in beef dripping, as many chefs recommend:

“Beef dripping or lard … is the ultimate chip cooking fat because it gives a crisper, tastier result” – The Guardian, ‘How to fry perfect chips

The limited space in the old building would make offering a separate meat-free fryer option for veggie chips difficult. Salads and steamed fish are on the menu, though. The current proprietor is the son of an Italian-born, Welsh-raised, lifelong restaurateur, whose father also ran a fish and chip shop in South Wales,

The current proprietor and co-owner with Duane Dibartolomeo is the son of an Italian-born, Welsh-raised, lifelong restaurateur, whose own father also ran a fish and chip shop in South Wales, frequented by Tom Jones. Christian Motta says:

“We try to place importance on service and ambience as much as the food, along with trying to keep prices down”


Grosvenor Fish Bar

2014 – Best fish and chip shop in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire

2017 – Co-owner, Duane Dibartolomeo, as 2017 VisitEngland Awards for Excellence Tourism Superstar

Ratings summary

  • Quality: 9/10 – Consistent quality without pretension, no ‘posh’ chips here!
  • Choice: 9/10 – Good range of food and drink, plenty of choice
  • Speed: 7/10 – Can get very busy so only let down by its popularity
  • Service: 8/10 – Friendly staff
  • Value: 9/10 – Great value and portion sizes
  • Atmosphere: 8/10 – Downstairs dining takes you back to the War years!

Restaurant details

Grosvenor Fish Bar
28 Lower Goat Lane

Telephone: 01603 625855

Opening times: Mon-Sat: 10:45am – 7:30pm (or later); Sun: closed

Social Media: Facebook | Twitter

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Cafe Pacifico, Mexican Restaurant Review, Covent Garden, London

Cafe Pacifico Mexican, Covent Garden, London

Traditional Mexican fare in London’s West End

We managed to arrive unbooked at Cafe Pacifico, a long-established, former banana warehouse, Mexican restaurant/cantina despite it being 6pm on a Friday and get a table. Within half-an-hour, the place was packed and the bar buzzing. We sat straight down at an, unfortunately, poorly-lit table, the last between the main floor and the people drinking at the bar, waiting for tables. Fortunately, the drinks list was enticing from the well-stocked bar.

Diverse Drinks Menu

Pear Ocho Reposado Tequila cocktail, Cafe Pacifico Mexican, Covent Garden, London
Pear Ocho Reposado Tequila cocktail

We polished off quick Margaritas and a Mexican CabSav/Malbec (2014) which was very smooth and drinkable, meaning I had 3 fairly-priced glasses (although the size was not mentioned on the drinks menu) whilst my fellow diner had a cold Corona, followed by a house cocktail special – the Pear Ocho (Ocho reposado Tequila with peppery mulled spices, cloudy apple juice, triple sec etc), whilst I finished with an Añejo Tequila. Oh, we also ate!

Good food, but not aspiring to greatness

Whilst there was certainly a great drinks list, the Mexican food was good too. It wasn’t pretentious (dressing-up street or cantina food as a la carte) but nor was it an amorphous merged mess either, which some Mexican chains and low-end independents can be, thinking that piling it high in poor lighting under the shadow of a free sombrero will disguise a lack of originality and care in plating-up. Instead, the dishes were cleanly presented and clearly separated, either on the plate or in accompanying small bowls.

Quesadilla, Cafe Pacifico Mexican, Covent Garden, London
Quesadilla, Cafe Pacifico Mexican

There were fun sharing options too, with the Antojitos platter for two at £13.75 including Quesadillas, Flautas, Empanadas and crispy crunchy Prawns Tempura in a nice light batter. The Jalapeño Poppers filled with cheese were only mild rather than a medium-hot that I prefer but still tangy with the melted cheese inside complementing the pepper’s bitter skin and breaded crunch.

The roughly £11-each Burrito and Chimichangas, that we had, were both very pleasant. I felt the ground beef burrito had a more robust flavour, but the chicken chimichanga was, nevertheless, fresh and tasty, and a contrast with other stronger flavours. Nothing was too hot (though I perhaps should have asked for optional increased heat and spice), and there were plenty of sides and sauces to dip or daub to add heat or coolness, as desired.

Next time I plan to try the Boquerones Fritos al Chili and the Pan-fried fresh Sea Bass on banana leaves with sun-dried tomato salsa sounds like a fresh option on a Mexican menu.


We finished with Churros dipped in a rich spicy chocolate sauce that had a gentle kick. The waiter spoke Spanish, as did I, so the service was friendly and bilingual; when we needed another member of staff they were easy to get hold of and friendly. The staff looked very busy and quick on their feet. Despite being sat next to a family table with several kids, it was not disturbing as the overall atmosphere was loud and bustling, but not so that you couldn’t hear yourself.

Ratings summary

Quality: Nothing to complain about, nothing to rave about, just reliably good food
Rating 8 out of 10

Choice: Good range of food and drink, plenty of variety including from 20-60% vegetarian options per food category
Rating 8 out of 10

Speed: Quick and efficient serving
Rating 8 out of 10

Service: Courteous and friendly
Rating 8 out of 10

Value: ‘Optional’ 12.5% service charge added to bill even for 2 people dining. Pear Ocho felt overpriced (albeit with ‘free’ mug). 25% off and 2-for-1 selected Margaritas on Sundays &  Mondays (check offer is current)
Rating 7 out of 10

Atmosphere: More of a bustling cantina than up-market romantic dining, great for an after-work do, or birthday party
Rating 6 out of 10

Access: A half-dozen steps up to raised-ground floor entry but no lift or ramp, narrow mobility passage between tables.
Rating 6 out of 10


Restaurant details

Cafe Pacifico
5 Langley Street
Covent Garden

Telephone: 020 7379 7728

Opening times: Mon-Sat: 12pm-11:45pm; Sun 12pm-10:45pm

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Bookings, Menu & More Reviews

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