Thursday, 3 February 2011

Pumpkin cafe shop - Norwich

Norwich Railway Station

Great if you need a coffee or a packet of crisps.

I was expecting something half decent having been told it would take 20 minutes to cook from fresh.

Inside it is light and spacious but there are only 5 proper tables.

The coffee kept me company while I waited patiently for my breakfast.

It may look colourful but it was overcooked and very bland indeed!

I had spotted the poster advertising cooked breakfast in Pumpkin Cafe's window a week ago as I passed through the train station. Knowing I would be returning a week later I made a mental note to pop in and give it a try...

Upon entering - There is a vast floor space with 5 proper tables spread out in front of the counter, sofa's and coffee tables can be found along the sides though these are not suitable to eat a meal at. I felt a bit like I was being watched by everyone at the edge on the sofa's as I ate my food. Order at the counter and take your food to a table or if it is being cooked someone will bring it over when it is ready. 5/10

Service - The person taking my order was friendly enough as was the person who bought my food over. I was told it would take 20 mins as it was being cooked from fresh, my expectations were high. I had to ask for salt, pepper and ketchup at the counter though, ketchup was given to me but I couldn't believe it when I was told "sorry, we don't have salt & pepper." I have never come across a place till now that sells hot food but does not have any salt or pepper, strange! 5/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, black pudding, scrambled egg, 2 hash brows, baked beans and half a tomato. 7/10

Presentation - It looked ok when it arrived, nicely laid out and colourful. As I looked more closely though I could tell the scrambled egg was well overcooked and the tomato was almost slush. 6/10

The food - I used to eat bangers and mash ready meals quite often at work a couple of years ago and the sausages tasted to me like microwave sausages that lacked any real flavour, the bacon was no better too. The black pudding was also overcooked and I seriously suspect it had just visited the microwave oven as well. Spongy hash browns, rubbery and tasteless scrambled eggs, boiling hot baked beans and a slushy, tasteless tomato completed this dire offering. I strongly suspect that when everything was plated up it was popped back in the microwave for one last blast as I nearly lost the skin on the roof of my mouth with this piping hot but truly tasteless selection. 3/10

Value for money - I can think of much better ways to spend £5.99! 3/10

Veggie option - Yes, eggs on toast.

Overall - This place is great if you fancy a coffee or need to grab a sandwich and crisps before you board your train but the cooked breakfast situation was not good. I didn't mind waiting 20 minutes for something being cooked from fresh but this was just ridiculous as it tasted microwaved and how can anyone selling hot food not provide salt and pepper. Not a pleasant experience! 4/10


  1. Even if you just need to grab a sandwich and crisps before catching the train, several of the other outlets at the station offer a better bet. I've never understood what Pumpkins think they're providing.
    Completely separate from that, you should try the breakfasts at V's Cafe in Reepham if you're ever out that way - well worth it, and almost worth the whole trip out from Norwich.

  2. Yep, V's in Reepham is the best fry up anywhere in Norfolk as far as I'm concerned.

  3. They do a good bacon roll but wouldn't go there for a proper hot breakfast/ meal

  4. I went with my family on 9th July just after six in the evening. There were two young lads serving one of which was called Jay. Me and my husband had two cans of JD and coke. One was warm because they hadn't kept the fridge stocked!!! No offer of a plastic beaker or ice. No where to sit and service was blunt and very unfriendly. I went back in to ask for a glass as I didn't think it looked to good drinking out of a can in a busy station, where I was told I was being rude and no longer welcomed back. Sorry but after that service and rudeness that really is no hardship. Felt as if I had been ganged up by these two young men and was totally outraged when Jay came outside and told my husband to have a word with your missus mate!!! Very nice and professional!!! If you want a nice drink or snack while waiting for your train DON'T go the pumpkin cafe. The service is disgusting.

  5. I've found Pumpkin good for a coffee/a place to warm up when the station is cold and the staff when I've visited have been fine, but more than that is pushing it.

  6. This was the worst possible railway experience of my life - and I've had some bad ones. Surly, un-motivated, jobs-worth staff added to the overall unpleasantness. 0 out of 10.

  7. Anyone know what the Pumpkin Cafe is like in Blackpool North Station? I have a Sun voucher for a free coffee, and not sure whether to try the breakfast after those awful reviews! Mind you, I did have in coffee in Pumpkin some time ago, and I have to say the staff were wonderful!