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Monday, April 23, 2012

The Norfolk, Surry Hills

deep fried pickle at The Norfolk Surry Hills

If life is marked by epiphanies, then this is one of mine. The deep-fried pickle. Oh god yes. It's the glorious combination of crunchy batter wrapped around a pickled gherkin. Ingenious. Why? Because even as an aficionado of all things deep-fried, there is only so much greasy batter my war-torn arteries can take. And that's when the pickle comes in - a sweet and acidic bullet that doubles as both a palate cleanser and digestive aide. Hello deep-fried pickle. I'll have more of you.

deep fried pickle at The Norfolk Surry Hills
Deep-fried pickles with ranch dipping sauce $7.50

The deep-fried pickles are easily my favourite menu item of the night, although we reckon that a dash of chilli in the ranch dipping sauce would have made this even better.

We're at the Norfolk Hotel on a Monday night, here to check out their $4 mini burger bar. The specials don't start until 6pm, giving us a great excuse to 'research' more of their snack menu.

macaroni and cheese poppers at The Norfolk Surry Hills
Mac n cheese poppers $11.50

The mac n cheese poppers are just what we expect - large red peppers stuffed with macaroni and cheese and then battered and deep-fried. There's a welcome chilli kick to these but the puddle of aioli only adds to the deep-fried richness, and the macaroni and cheese mix seems a little lacking in cheesiness and general seasoning too.

avocado bomb at The Norfolk Surry Hills
Avocado bomb $11.50
Fried avocado, corn salsa, sweet potato crisps, corn tostadas

On the other hand, I wasn't quite sure what to expect with the avocado bomb. How do you deep-fry avocado? You cut it in half, batter it, and deep-fry it of course.

deep-fried avocado at The Norfolk Surry Hills
Deep fried avocado

It's a hand-grenade of gluttonous excess, the creamy avocado retaining its shape despite the baptism in hot oil. The panfried corn salsa is a little oily, especially when you have deep-fried avocado, sweet potato strings and deep-fried tostadas to contend with, and I'm left wanting for a squeeze of lime, some fresh pico de gallo salsa or hey there deep-fried pickle, you'll do!

mini burger menu at The Norfolk Surry Hills
$4 mini burgers on Mondays 6pm-10pm

There are seven mini burgers on the Monday $4 menu, and we spend a little time narrowing down our options.

killer hamburgers at The Norfolk Surry Hills
When burgers attack

Who are we kidding. We order them all!

macaroni and cheese burger at The Norfolk Surry Hills
Mac n cheese burger $4

The mac n cheese makes an encore appearance in a burger, a patty of pasta and cheese sauce crumbed and deep-fried to create Suze's clear favourite. This is pure carb-on-carb action, with a little extra cheese for good measure. It's not as heavy as you'd think, but I am pining for extra salt.

fried chicken burger at The Norfolk Surry Hills
Fried chicken burger $4

The fried chicken burger looks eerily similar to the version at The Abercrombie, combining fried chicken with a red cabbage slaw. There's quite a bit of spice in the batter here, and a slice of gooey cheese doesn't go astray.

fishburger cheeseburger pork belly burger and slow cooked burger at The Norfolk Surry Hills
Clockwise from top left: Feelin o fish burger $4; Beef cheeseburger $4;
Pork belly burger $4 and El Nino burger $4

The burger parade continues thick and fast as we make our way through the remaining cavalcade. We plough our way through the cheeseburger with pickles, the pork belly burger with hidden bits of crackling, the El Nino burger with shredded slow-cooked beef, and the cutely named Feelin o fish burger.

chicken katsu burger at The Norfolk Surry Hills
Chicken katsu burger $4

My pick of the lot is the chicken katsu burger, a fillet of crumbed chicken sandwiched with wasabi mayo, a little cheese and wispy shreds of nori seaweed sheets.

On tap they have Monteith's cider and Kosciuszko pale ale and they even have Patron XO Cafe behind the bar. But that's another story. Tequila later.

The Norfolk Surry Hills

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The Norfolk on Urbanspoon

The Norfolk on Cleveland
305 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9699 3177

Opening hours:
Bistro open Monday to Sunday 12pm-10pm

Daily specials (as at 23 April 2012)
Monday $4 mini burger bar
Tuesday $3 tacos all night
Wednesday $10 steak
Thursday $12 rib night
Friday $10 margaritas and $5 tequila shots 6pm-8pm
Saturday free bar snack with every cocktail jug
Sunday $10 Bloody Marys

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Surry Hills - The Carrington
Surry Hills - El Loco
Pub grub - The Abercrombie, Chippendale
23 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/23/2012 12:40:00 am


  • At 4/23/2012 12:46 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    HAHA tequilla later? No Helen, NOW!

  • At 4/23/2012 1:10 am, Blogger Milktea Eats said…

    those burgers look adorable! must make my way down there soon! ive had my eyes on their rib for a while now!

  • At 4/23/2012 8:50 am, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    Carb on carb with cheese!?!? Crazy!

  • At 4/23/2012 9:09 am, Anonymous Vivian - vxdollface said…

    so many deep fried things :O haha not sure i would be able to stomach those but the mini burgers look great! my two picks would of been mac n cheese and the chicken katsu :)

  • At 4/23/2012 10:01 am, Anonymous gastronomous anonymous said…

    i love their deep fried pickles! love the sound of the burgers too! think i may have to go back and visit soon :)

  • At 4/23/2012 10:19 am, Blogger Jacq said…

    I could so go for a mac n cheese burger right now!

  • At 4/23/2012 10:21 am, Anonymous Matt said…

    Did you happen to make it to The Norfolk in time for their Easter special?


    It was actually pretty good!

  • At 4/23/2012 10:48 am, Blogger Phuoc'n Delicious said…

    Oh my... I think my heart just stopped a little. So much deep fried action going on here.. The mini burgers are a steal at that price!

  • At 4/23/2012 11:31 am, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    $4 mini boogers sound like a good excuse to try everything!
    Love the blue fingernails holding up the deep-fried pickles too. :-)

  • At 4/23/2012 11:31 am, Blogger Mel said…

    Wow, that's A LOT of deep-fried! I really want to try the deep-fried pickles here, LOVE pickles so much. And I'm intrigued by the Mac n Cheese Burger....never seen that anywhere before.

  • At 4/23/2012 12:03 pm, Anonymous JB said…

    OMG! Look at all those sliders! And the avocado bomb!

  • At 4/23/2012 1:34 pm, Anonymous Eha said…

    A simple 'NO'! A simple 'NEVER'! And I shall as politely as possible desist about a lot more :D ! Now, Helen, what would you expect from a doctor and a nutritionist!!!! We do live in a democratic country, I believe?

  • At 4/23/2012 2:44 pm, Blogger L said…

    Fried pickles! Cute little burgers! Am so there XD

  • At 4/23/2012 3:46 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    As you know, I'm not much of a deep-fried-loving person, but dear LORD I would go in for deep fried pickles. Oh pickles, is there anything you can't do?

  • At 4/23/2012 7:32 pm, Anonymous Chopinand @ ChopinandMysaucepan said…

    Dear Helen,

    I am presuming that hero shot with the psychedelic blue nail polish is you because you are the quintessential Sydney food blog.

    Only YOU can pull off a hero shot like that bearing beautiful teeth marks on a deep fried tempura pickle! *Bows down in salute*

  • At 4/23/2012 11:11 pm, Anonymous tania@mykitchenstories said…

    It is good isnt it. I didnt try the pickles but was pleased with what I had. Great pics

  • At 4/23/2012 11:42 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    @milkteaxx - Me too. Keen to check out their ribs as well :)

    @gastronomous anonymous - The deep fried pickles were so much awesome!

    @Matt - We did see the Hot Cross Bun Slider but didn't have room after all those burgers! Plus I'm not sure about raisin buns and rabbit! lol

    @Joey - Why thanks! /curtseys

    @MissPiggy - The Abercrombie has deep-fried mac n cheese balls but hey you can put anything in a burger bun, right?

    @Hannah - Success! It just takes a pickle to win you over to Team Deep Fried. lol

    @Chopinand - Or should I call you Sherlock? lol. And there I was feeling a fool for stopping mid-bite and getting my camera out again just for an innards shot. lol

  • At 4/24/2012 12:44 am, Anonymous Sara - Belly Rumbles said…

    So much deep fried goodness, I think my heart stopped beating! Wow, need to check out their pickles, and the avo!

  • At 4/24/2012 1:21 pm, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    I often head over to the Norfolk for a clandestine fried pickle! They are divine!

  • At 4/26/2012 1:09 pm, Blogger Brenda said…

    Your post has me craving burgers....funny that ;)

  • At 4/26/2012 9:06 pm, Blogger Fashimi said…

    I love the Norfolk! I live very close to it and always find myself getting a cheeky Friday night margarita and taco.

    I only recently had the deep fried pickles... Oh my goodness! Amazing!

  • At 4/28/2012 9:03 am, Anonymous Jon @ vodkitchen said…

    This looks so good.. especially the little sandwiches... yum! Hope I can try some day!

  • At 5/02/2012 9:07 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    So much deep-fried goodness but my attention is definitely caught by the mac 'n cheese patty!


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