Friday, 7 October 2016

Roots - Norwich

6 Pottergate

Breakfast served until 11.30am

I've eaten eggs benedict at Roots before and it was superb, now it was time to return to try the Roots Full English Breakfast.

I sat by the window in the back room, the perfect spot for taking photos. I was the first customer of the day but the tables soon filled up, clearly a popular place.

The large blackboard on the wall lists the local suppliers.

It seemed like an easy task taking photos without being spotted when I first arrived, perhaps the person in the mirror was onto me though!

Drinks menu, sugar, salt and pepper are already on each table.

The reasonably priced breakfast menu features the Roots Full English breakfast but there's no vegetarian version, this is the reason my wife wasn't joining me for breakfast here. 

A good selection of coffee is available at reasonable prices.

I decided to have tea today though, £1.65 for a small pot.

The plate was filled with food but much of the space was taken up by the toast.

Sadly the Heinz bottle wasn't filled with ketchup.

My first thought was how dry everything looked, a portion of beans is definitely needed on this breakfast.

A single sausage was peering out from behind the mushroom.

The meats tasted great but the bacon could have been cooked for a bit longer.

I loved the black pudding, very crumbly but superb flavour.

I've seen better looking fried eggs, they did taste really nice though.

A shame the yolks were semi solid.

Nice big portobello mushrooms and tomatoes that needed more cooking time.

The toast was cut from a quality loaf and served with real butter.

Can't decide between granary or white toast? They serve a slice of each here so dilemma averted!

I've been to Roots for breakfast in the past and thoroughly enjoyed their eggs benedict, I've also on many occasions caught a glimpse of their impressive sausage rolls in their window that I've yet to try. The purpose of this visit though was to try the Roots full English breakfast which has been on their menu for sometime now. My wife didn't fancy joining me on this visit as there's no vegetarian full English available on the menu so I headed inside on my own...

Upon entering - Roots has a fairly small dining area on the ground floor and more seating upstairs. There's also the option of a small courtyard if you prefer sitting outside, I've enjoyed sitting out there in the sunshine myself on a previous visit. There's full table service here so once seated the staff will take care of you. Salt, pepper and sugar are already on the table, cutlery and sauces are brought over after you've ordered. The breakfast menu is served until 11.30am, it features the Roots full English breakfast but there's no vegetarian equivalent, there is however a selection of egg dishes, pancakes and toast. Roots is a pleasant and relaxing environment, there are magazines to read and a large blackboard listing all their local supplies to keep you occupied whilst you wait for your food to arrive. 7/10

Service - I was the first customer through the door making it the perfect opportunity to get some interior photos without arousing suspicion. I took a seat and a breakfast menu was brought over to me, soon after that somebody came along to take my order. I don't recall there being any decision to make regarding breakfast item choices, I later noticed they serve a slice each of granary and white toast here. I waited a good 35 minutes for the food to arrive but I wasn't in a hurry and I did have a pot of tea to keep my company whilst I waited. I requested ketchup and was given an almost empty bottle, nobody returned whilst I was eating to ask if everything was ok but I was served with a smile when I settled the bill at the end. The staff here seemed slightly shy but friendly enough. 6/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 2 bacon, black pudding, 2 eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and 2 slices of toast served with butter. 7/10

Presentation - My first thought was that the breakfast was bigger than I was expecting, I then realised that toast and butter was occupying much of the plate. Visually there were a few things that could have been done much better. The eggs looked a tad messy, the bacon and tomatoes needed more intense heat and the black pudding was really crumbly. On the plus side the toast was a nice colour and the mushrooms looked delicious. 5/10

The Food - Despite a few visual concerns this breakfast did taste really nice and some quality ingredients had clearly been used. The meats (from Cleveleys Butchers according to the blackboard) consisted of a nice firm pork sausage, thick rashers of bacon and a coarse textured black pudding. I would have personally preferred the bacon more browned and a more crispy edge on the black pudding, all the meats tasted really good though. The eggs also had great flavour and a nice deep yellow yolk, however they were semi solid which was a shame as I really needed something moist on this breakfast to make up for the lack of beans. The toast was cut from a pair of quality loaves, a slice each of granary and white that had been toasted for the perfect amount of time. I spread the toast with butter and once more missed there being no beans, I would usually pour them over the toast. Instead I cut up the warm but not really cooked tomatoes and ate them with the toast, the tomatoes were fairly flavoursome. Finally the mushrooms, a pair of delicious portobellos with a rich earthy flavour. 7/10

Value for money - The Roots full English breakfast includes toast and costs £7.95, even with a pot of tea at £1.65 I still had change from £10. 7/10

Veggie option - No veggie full English available but there is eggs Florentine on the menu.

Overall - As full English breakfasts go I did enjoy the flavours on this one and the items were all locally sourced which is always nice to see. Without beans it was far too dry for me though and the presentation could have been a bit better. Still a nice enough breakfast though and a great place to enjoy a spot of breakfast in the city centre. What really interests me about this place is their homemade sausage rolls, I definitely plan to return to try one soon, they look amazing. 6.5/10


  1. I absolutely disagree. I hate beans and they are a very late arrival on the British breakfast scene dating from 1959 at the earliest and not gaining wider acceptance until the late 1960's. This American intruder now forms part of the "British" breakfast without ever being traditional at all.
    Down with sugary, sickly baked beans.

    1. Canned beans were first sold in the UK in 1886. I don't see the issue, Cassoulet is beans with meat, isn't that a fry up?

  2. Ye gods, if you think British baked beans are "sugary and sickly" you should try the American version. I'm pre-diabetic, they're on my forbidden foods list because they load the sauce up with so much carbohydrates.

  3. What a shame, close but no cigar. Definitely needs beans, the black pudding looks great, the sausage looks awful till cut into, nice sourdough toast but there's nothing to mop up!