Thursday, 24 October 2013

Saint's Coffee Bar - Norwich

(Now closed)

23 St Johns Maddermarket

Breakfast served all day
Monday to Friday
8.30am till 3.30pm

9.00am till 4pm

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 Saints Coffee Bar is located on St John's Maddermarket in the city centre.

I was here to try Saints big breakfast.

The breakfast menu is displayed above the counter.

This beautifully presented Cappuccino tasted great.

Salt and pepper is already on the table, ketchup is available on request.

 This breakfast was excellent in so many ways and a real pleasure to eat.

A slice of toast and plenty of butter comes with the cooked breakfast.

I was going to London for the day but as my coach wasn't leaving until mid morning I decided a fry up inspection in Norwich before boarding the coach would be a good plan. My wife had informed me that Saints Coffee Bar on St Johns Maddermarket were now serving a cooked breakfast so on the way to the bus station I headed inside..

Upon entering - It is fairly small inside but nicely laid out with some tables at the front and the counter/kitchen at the rear. There is a large breakfast menu above the counter, place your order here and cutlery, drinks and food will be brought over to the table when it is ready. Each table has salt and pepper, ketchup is available upon request. There was music in the background at just the right volume and a selection of free local magazines to read by the door. I was more than happy to sit and look through Outline magazine whilst enjoying my cappuccino and waiting for my food to arrive. 8/10

Service - I placed my order at the counter and was given the option of three types of bread available for toast and asked if I would like fried or scrambled eggs. The person taking my order brought my cappuccino over which looked amazing with its chocolate sprinkled star on top. Shortly after that the food arrived with some cutlery, I requested some ketchup which was served in a pot containing just the right amount. Yep, this was good service by a friendly staff team who were doing a great job. 8/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 fried eggs, 2 hash browns, mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, beans and a slice of toast & butter. 9/10

Presentation - Everything looked nicely cooked when it arrived and I got a pleasant surprise when I spotted a hidden sea of beans and more bacon underneath the fried eggs. The toast was served on a separate plate with plenty of butter. 8/10

The food - The sausages were good quality with a nice firm meaty texture, the bacon was cooked just right and both tasted excellent. The hash browns were golden crisp and the beans nice and stodgy. I was delighted to see tinned plum tomatoes and these were nicely intact still. The mushrooms were cooked to perfection tasting excellent and both eggs had nice runny yolks, these went nicely with the hot buttered toast. This was a really enjoyable breakfast that had been cooked with care and served piping hot. 9/10

Value for money - £5.99 for a breakfast this good is a real bargain! 9/10

Veggie option - No vegetarian breakfast listed on the menu but I imagine you could have the breakfast without the meat.

Overall - This breakfast really stood out with its good selection of nicely cooked items and the fact that it was served piping hot, thoroughly enjoyable! The staff are friendly and the prices are really reasonable too. A great little breakfast spot in the city centre that is definitely worth visiting. 8.5/10


Saturday, 19 October 2013

Wiveton Hall Cafe - Norfolk

Wiveton Hall
NR25 7TE

Weekend cooked breakfast served
Saturday and Sunday - 9am till 10.30am


Wiveton Hall Cafe is just off the A149 coast road, North of Holt.

Next to the Cafe is the farm shop, this is only open during the summer months.

It was cold when we visited but I imagine in warmer weather sitting outside would be a good option, the views are amazing.

By the main door was further seating, this area was covered.

The interior of this spacious cafe was amazing.

Brightly painted traditional tables and chairs made up this stunning interior.

A large selection of delicious looking cakes were displayed on the counter.

Fresh flowers and sugar dispensers on each table.

This place gets busy so best to reserve a table, we were ok though as this table wasn't going to be needed for a few hours.

Cooked breakfast is available just at weekends.

A small americano coffee cost £1.80

The tea was served in a Wiveton Hall Cafe mug, nice touch!

This tomato ketchup was really nice and much needed with there being no beans on the breakfast.

The Full English Breakfast was rather small.

The sausage was excellent but the bacon seemed overcooked.

The tomato and mushrooms arrived warm.

Nice toast served with real butter.

Vegetarians can have the Full English minus the meat for £5.

My wife and I are busy saving for our trip to Japan next September and one easy way to save more money is going out less at weekends. Knowing we would wake up on Sunday morning with no hangover we decided to get up early and head to the coast. We had seen Wiveton Hall Cafe online and decided to head there for breakfast before visiting Wells. It was a wet and grey morning but a nice drive towards Holt, a few miles further we reached the A149 coast road where we saw a sign for Wiveton Hall. We drove up the small road leading to the cafe, pulled up outside and headed in..

Upon entering - Surrounded by excellent views the cafe and farm shop are both housed inside a converted barn. There are plenty of tables outside, some under a covered area which I can imagine in the warmer months would be a great place to sit and eat. On this cloudy and wet day we headed inside where it was nice and warm and was pleasantly surprised by the sheer size of the cafe and the incredible decor. Vibrant coloured traditional tables and chairs covered in even brighter table clothes sat nicely spaced on top of the bright blue and white flooring. The lower part of the wall surrounding the cafe was painted bright pink and above this was where artists work was being exhibited. There is full table service so take a seat and you will find a menu already on the table along with fresh flowers, cutlery, sugar, salt and pepper, sauces are available too and will arrive with the food. It was a lovely environment to spend time in with a great view and a relaxing feel. 9/10

Service - The staff here are very friendly and helpful, we had left our car headlights on and somebody soon came over to inform us of this. Our order was taken, a vegetarian option was negotiated and egg/toast options were given. The drinks arrived next and after a fairly long wait the food arrived. At the end we went up to the counter and when asked "was everything was ok" my wife mentioned lukewarm tomatoes and mushrooms. We were told that keeping them hot whilst the other items were cooking was a problem for them and we should have told them earlier. We didn't mention it earlier as we had waited so long for the food to arrive we couldn't bare to have it sent back only to wait even longer. Also I like to base my review on what arrives at the table, there are no second attempts on a fry up inspection! My suggestion for this problem would be simply to adjust cooking times so everything is ready at the same time. 7/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 2 rashers of bacon, 1 fried egg, mushrooms, half a tomato and a slice of buttered toast. 5/10

Presentation - This small breakfast was huddled together and nicely placed on the plate. 7/10

The food - The sausage was excellent quality with a really nice texture and taste, the bacon was also excellent but sadly overcooked and very tough. The fried egg looked to have a great yolk but as I cut in most of the yolk was overcoooked. The tomatoes and mushrooms were luke warm so possibly delicious when first served but this moment had passed making for a less enjoyable taste. The toast served with real butter was excellent. 5/10

Value for money - £7.50 for the full English breakfast seemed expensive considering how small it was. 4/10

Veggie option - Not a proper veggie option but the full English minus the meat for £5.

Overall - Lovely place and nice staff but for me the breakfast was too small, overpriced and not particularly enjoyable. Better timing on cooking the different items would improve the breakfast and a proper veggie option would make a nice addition to the menu. 6/10

Monday, 7 October 2013

Ed's Easy Diner - Norwich

Level 1 
Dining Terrace

Breakfast served
Monday to Friday  10am - 11am
Saturday  9am - 11am
Sunday  10am - 11am

All day breakfast also available

Parking available at Chapelfield

Ed's Easy Diner is located in Chapelfield Mall's level 1 dining terrace.

Wait here and somebody will soon be along to show you to a table.

The breakfast menu is quite varied, for a closer look click here 

 You can choose a song on the jukebox for 20p and all of the money goes to charity, nice!

 The 50's diner interior is beautifully finished.

 Quality sauces and a classic sugar dispenser are found on each table.

Filter coffee with refills cost £2.10.

An all day breakfast can be found on the main menu.

 "The Full Ed's" breakfast was a good size and quite nice.

The eggs looked good but I prefer over easy.

 A decent sized hash brown and tasty tomatoes.

 The sausages are served split and the beans in a pot.

This is the vegetarian breakfast.

2 slices of toast and butter cost £1.95

I hadn't planned on a fry up inspection this weekend but after a hangover day at home the previous day me and my wife decided to get some fresh air and visit Ed's Easy Diner which had recently opened in Chapelfield...

Upon entering - A jolly looking cardboard lady greeted us by the entrance informing us to "please wait here to be seated", almost straight away a member of staff showed us to a table, a menu is brought over to the table and there is a full table service. The diner is huge with plenty of seating in the form of booths with red leatherette seating and nice aluminium edged matching red tables. Each table has salt, pepper, serviettes, a classic sugar dispenser and quality branded sauces. Also found on each table is a mini jukebox where for 20p you can select a 1950's rock n roll song, all the money raised from the jukeboxes goes to charity which is fantastic. We had our heads close to the jukebox waiting for the song to play but soon discovered it plays on the main speakers for all to hear. Ed's Easy Diner has been created beautifully and is a lovely and fun environment to dine in, eating breakfast to Bill Hayley's "Rock around the clock" is really something. If I have to be picky though the light above each table felt a bit too low and the fact it was in the middle of a shopping centre made it quite difficult to fully immerse yourself in the whole 1950's experience. 8/10

Service - Once shown to our table the menus arrived, next our order was taken and in reasonable time everything arrived at the table. We were twice asked if we would like coffee or tea refills which was great and when we asked if we could have a mix of white and brown toast this was not a problem. Service was with a smile, extra sauces were offered to us and somebody came back to ensure everything was ok. Once we had finished eating and was thinking about leaving the bill arrived at the perfect time. 9/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 slices of bacon, 2 fried eggs, 1 large hash brown, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms and beans. Toast is available served with butter and preserves as an extra. 8/10

Presentation - The large oval plate was filled nicely with a colourful selection of breakfast items. The beans are served in a pot so you could pour them wherever you want on the plate. The split sausages were a new one on me and to be honest I prefer to see them fully intact. 7/10

The food - The sausages were ok but quite bland and fairly dry, the bacon was sliced very thin but tasted good. I have never had such a large hash brown as the this before but it was piping hot and delicious with a golden crunch. The eggs were sunnyside up resulting in a fine layer of uncooked egg white on top of the yolks, a popular way of being cooked for many but I prefer over easy. The tomatoes were deep red and tasted excellent, the beans served piping hot in a thick sauce and the hot buttered toast was delicious. The highlight for me though was the beautifully cooked and tasty mushrooms. 7/10

Value for money - The Full Ed's breakfast with a slice of buttered toast and coffee refills cost me £11. The large breakfast kept me going all day and the coffee refills makes it feel like your money has gone further. 7/10

Veggie option - Eddie the veggie - £6.95
2 veggie sausages, 2 eggs, hash brown, mushrooms, beans and tomatoes.

Overall - The breakfast is quite nice here but for me the environment and service at Ed's Easy Diner really shone through. I love visiting 1950's themed diners and this place has been fitted beautifully. The jukebox's on each table with a great playlist earning money for charity and the hot drink refills are a great idea. Be sure to give it a look, I know I must return again soon to try out the burger menu. 7.5/10


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Sergeant Sausage - The Earlham Arms

Earlham Road

I stopped in for a delicious pizza at the Earlham Arms a few weeks ago and while I was there I noticed they do a breakfast on Sunday mornings.  I was mightily impressed with the pizza so I thought I would drop in and try out the brekkie…….

A nice fresh paint job and plenty of parking

 It’s normally a bit less wonky than this on the inside

An interesting choice of seating is available

My kind of coffee machine

 My kind of coffee

The breakfast tea was bloomin good too

As was the Orange juice, a snip at only £1.00

A nice simple menu

Ahhhh, breakfast

Juicy, juicy tomato

Make room for the mushrooms

 I love sausages, especially when they are this good

The fresh free range eggs are from High Point Farm

And they're tasty tasty

 Very very tasty

All gone!!

Upon entering   Proprietor Chris Coubrough has done a fantastic job with the refurbishment of the Earlham Arms, turning it from a string of burger joints back into a traditional pub serving local ales and home grown foods.  The theme is stylish and relaxed with the emphasis on being a great place to eat. The place oozes quality, ideal if you want to impress a loved one.  9/10

Service There was one girl serving on the early shift and despite it being very busy she did a brilliant job.  This was real quality service and I couldnt find fault, utterly professional which kind of says something about the whole attitude of this place.  My order was taken efficiently and breakfast soon arrived piping hot on a heated plate. 10/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 2 bacon, hash brown, 2 eggs, mushrooms, tomato, beans, hot buttered toast  9/10

Presentation There are two schools of presentation, throw it on a plate or make it like a work of art that causes your mouth to water just to look at it.  The offering here is the breakfast equivalent of Monet. However When it arrived I thought it looked like a couple of mushrooms had escaped, but if you do a bit of breakfast feng shui, there is a balance thing going on here! 9/10

The food The grilled tomato was packed with taste and the unctuous mushrooms were perfect. Rustically cut and oozing flavour I was delighted to find them on the end of my fork.  If you want to know what an immaculately cooked hash brown tastes like then come here; fluffy and flavoursome in the centre and consummately crispy on the outside every mouthful was an absolute delight. And praise the Lord, the beans were PAN COOKED. I was beginning to give up hope that I would ever find beans cooked anywhere other than a microwave ever again, but this kind of attention to detail makes me a very happy sausage.  Talking of sausages, the one on offer here was of supreme quality. Meaty, with a good herby and peppery flavour it was yummy.  My enquiries have led me to establish that the Earlham Arms get their meats from Cleveleys of Suffolk,so you can be assured you are eating locally sourced food, and the bacon, my my it was good, cooked just right and tasty as f*ck. The toast was totally tasty too, hot and lathered in real butter it had a hint of fried bread about it it was that good.  I was impressed.  10/10

Value for money I paid £6.95 for my breakfast and it was well worth it. With a pot of tea for £2.00 and the tall fresh orange juice for £1.00 the whole experience cost me £9.95 and was definitely money well spent. 9/10

Veggie option The veggie breakfast looked really good. The veggie sausage was nearly as good as its pork equivalent, but less meaty!

Overall   I have to say this is one of the best breakfasts I have eaten during my time with the Frying Squad and in my opinion it's not far from breakfast perfection.  The food was outstanding quality and the ambiance was equally good.  In my notebook breakfasts can be homely and traditional or gourmet and a bit posh and whilst this one swings towards the more salubrious end of the scale, its not in any way pretentious, just firmly there on the plate saying eat me. I'm really looking forward to breakfasting here  again and I think you should look forward to it too. 9/10