Monday 15 November 2010

CB2 - Cambridge

5/7 Norfolk Street

A welcome sight when you have been camping out on Norfolk Street

The tea was great and the bubble did eventually pop.

Inside it is warm and welcoming.

Masses of garlic mushrooms but not a baked bean to be seen anywhere.

The thinnest toast i have ever known, it literally shattered when I bit into it.

You can always rest assured that "Last Gang In Town" always put on excellent gigs in Cambridge at The man on the moon on Norfolk Street. I had only had my camper van for 2 weeks and was eager to see what it was like sleeping in it. The Peacocks live at the Man on the moon was a good enough reason to test the camper out. After an excellent gig and a good nights sleep we woke up just in time for CB2 Cafe to open so in we went...

Upon entering - This place reminded me straight away of "Olives" in Norwich, really welcoming and a great atmosphere. It is a busy bar in the evenings but in the mornings it is the perfect place to read the paper over a pot of tea and a fry up. There is a good amount of tables downstairs and even more upstairs. 8/10

Service - Place your order at the counter and everything is bought to you at the table. 8/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, fried egg, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, toast & butter. 6/10

Presentation - Not bad at all but the plate was kind of square and im not a fan of square plates. The wrinkly egg kind of visually stole the limelight and it wasn't too pretty. 6/10

The food - Good quality sausages, fairly standard bacon, a slightly overcooked and wrinkly fried egg, nice tasty grilled tomatoes, a mass of garlic mushrooms that for me were way too overpowering for breakfast. The toast was very strange indeed, the thinnest toast I have ever witnessed in my life, it shattered as soon as you touched it! 6/10

Value for money - I felt £5.75 was fairly reasonable, tea was not included in the price though. 7/10

Veggie option - Yes

Overall - It's a nice place to sit and eat, the staff are friendly and the food is quite nice. Im starting to realise though that these more up market cafes are most likely not the type of place where I will find my perfect fry up. I want fried bread, tinned tomatoes and (as you well know frank) a good serving of beans. If you find yourself camping on Norfolk Street or just passing by CB2 is worth a visit, particularly if you are a big fan of garlic or want to amuse yourself with the shattering toast. 7/10

Monday 8 November 2010

Olives - Norwich

40 Elm Hill

Breakfast served
Monday - Saturday
9am till 12pm

10am till 3pm

Olives can be found on the corner of Norwich's famous and beautiful Elm Hill

It is fully licensed and a great place to sit and read the paper or check your emails.

Branded condiments sit on each table.

The place has a really amazing atmosphere and feels really welcoming.

There is a good varied choice on the breakfast menu.

Good tea is served here.

The toast is served with real butter.

The full breakfast didn't look particularly big but it filled a hole nicely and tasted amazing!

Always a sign of a good fry up!

Situated at the bottom of Elm Hill I must have passed Olives hundreds of times but can honestly say I had never really noticed it. A friend recently recommended it so the other day when I didn't fancy travelling far from home and wasn't excited about the prospect of trying Rendezvous (Anglia Square) or Moonlight Cafe (Magdalen street) I decided to pop in...

Upon entering - As you enter there is a bar/counter straight ahead and a good sized seating area which includes sofas and armchairs as well as seating outside. You immediately feel how laid back and relaxing the place is, people are checking emails on their laptops and reading books on the armchairs, the place is very welcoming. The music being played is at a perfect volume and the decor is pretty much spot on. The tables are clean and have a neat stack of condiments with a menu nestled between them. 9/10

Service - You take a seat and the waiter comes over to take your order, before long the food arrives. The service was very good but service with a smile it was not. 7/10

Contents - 1 free range sausage, 2 rashers of free range bacon, root vegetable hash, fried egg, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and toast & butter. 7/10

Presentation - It looked pleasing to the eye when it arrived. 7/10

The food - Amazing slightly herby free range pork sausage and the best bacon I have ever eaten! The root vegetable hash was a mix of potato, carrot & sweet potato fried and it was delicious. A nicely fried egg, lovely mushrooms and a grilled tomato. The toast was hot when it arrived and came with real butter. 9/10

Value for money - It may seem a bit steep at £7.45 considering it isn't particularly big but what it lacks in size it makes up for in taste. The whole experience of spending time in such a relaxing environment and having eaten such amazing food seemed well worth it. 8/10

Veggie option - Yes and served with haloumi too!

Overall - The place is onto a winner, great environment and amazing food. The place was busy when I visited, I got the impression it was very popular and I can see why. If you don't mind spending a bit extra then give this place a try, I know I will be returning again soon. 8/10

Sunday 7 November 2010

Notcutts Garden Centre - Norwich

Daniels Road

Opening Hours (for breakfast)
Monday - Saturday 9.30am - 11.30am
Sunday 10.30am - 11.30am

The view from the queue is simply stunning!

The coffee is nice and comes with the £5.95 Traditional breakfast

Branded condiments are always a welcome sight.

I never want to see an ocean of beans but less than 40 seemed a bit harsh!

The giant tomato was the centerpiece to this fry up.

I have been to Notcutts so many times over the years and the food in the restaurant always looks delicious. I always normally just end up having a coffee but the time had come to try out their traditional breakfast...

Upon entering - The restaurant is huge with a lot of tables both inside and out. It is almost always busy but you can usually find a table without a problem. The place is always clean and very light, the aircon can be a tad noisy in the summer though. There are no menus on the tables, just a giant one on the wall above where you grab a tray. 7/10

Service - Ok, so once you have made up your mind what you are having join the queue and you will eventually be asked what you would like, the food is on display and served from the counter. The food is handed to you covered with a plastic cloche to keep it hot, it's a good job they do this as you will most likely not sit down for another 5 minutes as you still have to go past the hot drink section and then onto the till. Once you have paid you then need to collect sauces and cutlery before finally sitting down to eat your nice but warm food. The system of queuing, collecting, paying and finding a table has in my opinion always had the drawback of you never get to eat the food whilst it is still hot, it is still a system used in so many (usually large) places though. The staff seem friendly and efficient and are on the ball with clearing dirty tables. 6/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, fried egg, hash brown, mushrooms, giant tomato, approx 40 baked beans and tea or coffee. 7/10

Presentation - Not bad but the random stray mushroom was being squashed to death by the giant tomato that resided by the smallest portion of beans I have ever been served in my life. I should have taken a photo after I had cut into the tomato as the tsunami of juice that flooded the plate was a worrying sight indeed! 7/10

The food - The sausages and bacon were good quality and did taste delicious, as did the giant crispy hash brown. The tomato had good flavour but was bloody enormous and caused quite a flood, the beans were heinz but didn't last long, there was plenty of nice mushrooms and a nicely cooked fried egg. 8/10

Value for money - £5.95 seemed like a fair price considering a hot drink was included. 7/10

Veggie option - Yes

Overall - Good quality food at a fair price but if you like plenty of beans and your food piping hot you may be disappointed. 7/10