Sylvie Tan explores Norwich culture

Leaving home for university can be daunting, especially for us international students as we have travelled far from home.

Have no fear! Norfolk is often underestimated for being a cultural city filled with lots of authentic shops, restaurants and places to explore, giving you a slice of home as well as an opportunity to explore other cultures.


Let’s start with where we are – UEA!

UEA has around 32 cultural societies. If you’re feeling down and needing someone familiar from home to share some love, the cultural societies are there to support you as well as bring your culture to UEA. It is also a good place to start if you’re interested in immersing yourself into different cultures without having to fly there. An event to point out is the annual Go Global event where students come together for food and performances from over 30 different countries across the globe down to a single night of cultural celebration.

As you can see, there are lots to get involved in at UEA, so immerse yourself in our culturally rich university!


Nothing feels more like home than your mother’s home cooked meal in your belly.

There are lots of restaurants that offer international food so here are a handful of recommended places to explore Norfolk’s culinary scene.

Let’s start off with Chinese food. The Royal Plaza Restaurant offers mainly Sichuan cuisine as well as Shanghai and Cantonese dishes. If you like it hot and spicy, this is the place to be. A less spicy option would be Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse where they serve nice Cantonese stir fry as well as dimsum.

Up in Cromer, there is a hidden gem, the Constantia Cottage Restaurant, that serves Greek cuisine. It is one of the only taverna in Norfolk that entertains customers with traditional bouzouki music. Definitely try the kleftiko when you visit. If you’re looking for a cheeky kebab, then Krasades Taverna in town is all you need to satisfy your cravings.

Shiki is an amazing Japanese dining restaurant near the Norwich cathedral that offers great bento box lunch deals. Soyokaze is another authentic Japanese restaurant that provides the Japanese minimalistic ambience. Be sure to get there early as there are only a few tables for a lunch and dinner services.

Love tacos? Well Jive is the place to be for its 2-for-1 taco Tuesdays. Another good place for Mexican food is Pedro’s Tex-Mex Cantina because you can feast on your cheesy enchiladas while wearing a sombrero!

There are many more to explore!


In terms of shops to buy clothes and trinkets, there are not many in Norfolk as most things are available online these days. However, there are a few shops that sells Asian snacks and treats for those keen.

Oriental Delight is a wholesaler that mostly sells east Asian products. The prices are slightly cheaper here, but it is a longer distance from UEA. In the city, the Orient Express is another popular place to shop at. It offers a variety of Asian food products. Spiceland is the go to for spices and ingredients for south Asian dishes.

Only so much can be mentioned in this article, but don’t let that stop you from experiencing the vibrant and lively cultures in Norfolk. Find comfort in the ones that feel close to home and experience the others. Hopefully, by the time you leave, you would have experienced every slice of its culture, making Norwich your home away from home.

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sylvie tan

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May 2022
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