Saturday 4 December 2010

Cafe Rouge - Norwich

(This branch now closed but another branch can be found at the rear of Chapelfield Mall)

29 Exchange Street

Opening Hours (for breakfast)
Monday - Sunday 
09.00am - 12.00pm

Nearest parking - St Andrews multi-storey

Bugger, had I not been busy taking this photo I could have grabbed that leftover rasher of bacon whilst nobody was looking.

A bit blurry but gives you an idea of choice and price.

It looked a bit rude to me but the walls have a number of random things painted on them.

The pot of tea contained 6 cups of tea!

The food did taste better than it looked.

The sausage was clearly feeling that its time in the frying pan had been cut short.

We are out on a busy Saturday lunchtime in Norwich full of Christmas shoppers but before anything a fry up is needed. First we try Franks Bar which last time had no spare tables, this time it's the same old story with the only option being to share a table with strangers, we head straight for the door! Next place we try is no 33 on Exchange street but the place is rammed. Just a bit further up Exchange Street is Cafe Rouge, on the occasions we have eaten there before it has been quite nice so in we go...

Upon entering - Inside there is a bar and small seating area at the front and a much larger seating area at the back. Some of the tables at the front are quite small and you have to position everything very carefully on the table. The place looks quite unique but if you have visited a Cafe Rouge elsewhere in the country you soon begin to realise they all look very similar. I have always quite liked the atmosphere in Cafe Rouge, it really does feel unique despite it being part of a chain. 8/10

Service - We arrived just as they were about to stop serving breakfast but they were more than happy to serve us it still. The waitress serving really could not have been any friendly to us, even chatting to us about 50 years of Coronation Street having spotted me reading about it in a magazine. (Yes, I love Coronation Street! Watched it since I was a kid and probably always will) She continued being genuinely helpful and friendly for the duration of our visit, I did however find that her putting pepper onto my breakfast a step too far, some people might like it but I prefer to put my own on. 8/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 2 rashers of bacon, 2 fried eggs, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, toast & butter. 7/10

Presentation - The layout on the plate was good but the way the food looked didn't. The sausage looked like it really needed longer in the pan, as did the bacon. When I first spotted the eggs I wondered if the chef from Jaspers had started working here, they were very close to being "ridiculous fried egg situation" revisited. 5/10

The food - The sausage and bacon despite looking undercooked did taste very nice. Under the rough looking exterior the fried eggs were good too. The mushrooms were amazingly good, perhaps the best so far. Although not a big fan of fresh grilled tomatoes on a fry up these juicy plum variety were really tasty. The toast was not particularly hot when it arrived but it made a great base for the fried eggs. 7/10

Value for money - £6.95 seemed a tad steep considering no drink was included. 6/10

Veggie option - Yes

Overall -. A little bit more effort in making all the food look nice would have been better but considering this was a busy Saturday lunchtime the whole experience was pretty good. When there are no beans or fried bread on the plate I am never going to get close to finding the perfect fry up but I enjoyed the food and the service was great. 7/10


Due to the comment left below I decided to revisit and I must say the breakfast looked much nicer this time round and still tasted great, the service was fantastic too! The price of the breakfast has now incresed to £7.75.


  1. I can confirm the reason the plate looks so anaemic overall is because only the eggs have actually seen a pan. The other items are cooked using an impinger oven, a conveyor belt type double grill oven. This dish as far as I know has actually been cokked and presented against company regulation... The bacon and sausage can be cooked in the impinger (because its very fast and hot) but MUST be griddled a) to achieve griddle taste but more importantly b) to give griddle colour to stop it looking so plae and horrid. same goes for the tomatoes actually (which should be marinated in il and rosemary).

  2. The member of staff responsible for the above incident has since been fired.

  3. Its a nasty chain and no more special than macdonalds, as you can tell they fire people rather than train the properly....

  4. Poor example of the tragic globalisation of the cooked breakfast.

    Can't help but think of heatlamps and microwaves.