Monday 28 November 2011

LiteBite Sandwich Bar - Norwich

(Now Closed)

6 Earlham Road shopping centre

01603 456200

Opening times
Monday - Friday
8am till 4.30pm

8am till 2.30pm

8.30am till 2.30pm

Litebite sandwich bar can be found in Earlham Road shopping centre.

The counter had many tasty treats on offer but it was the fry up I was here to try.

There are plenty of seats inside or if you prefer there are seats outside too, perfect if the weather is good or you fancy a cigarette with your coffee.

The large menu behind the counter will help you decide, breakfasts are listed on the left side of the menu.

Quality brand sauces can be found on each table and reggae reggae sauce is available too if you fancy it on your fry up!

A decent mug of tea with tea bag left in so you can go as strong as you want.

Thick slices of buttered toast came with the hunger buster breakfast.

The hunger buster was well worth the £5.50 I paid for it, excellent ingredients are used and it is cooked really nicely!

Just when I thought I was running out of places I hadn't been in Norwich to go for a fry up Litebite sandwich bar leave me a post on my facebook page saying "up for the challenge !!!!!!" Litebite had certainly slipped under my fry up inspection radar, this was possibly due to the fact I don't really ever end up on Earlham Road much anymore. A quick look on google maps revealed that Litebite sandwich bar was in Earlham Road shopping centre, a place I used to visit on a regular basis when I lived in the golden triangle. I purposely waited a few weeks to visit so as not to arouse suspicion, that said though I felt sure the owner was on to me as soon as I walked through the door! Hmm.. maybe I was just feeling a bit paranoid, either way I told the owner I would spread the word so here goes...

Upon entering - There is a long counter to your right as you walk in with a menu behind it so make your choice here and place your order at the counter. Towards the rear is the open plan kitchen area which looks out onto the cafe, this is great as you can see your food being cooked whilst you wait. There are quite a few tables inside and even more outside, each one with a good selection of quality sauces and even a small plant. I thought it was a nice environment to sit in, light, modern and airy. 8/10

Service - The chap serving me was really friendly and chatty even writing down the opening times for me. We discussed many aspects of a fry up from quality of sausages to which bread is best toasted. He went on to tell me how there shouldn't be a time limit on when you can get one which I quite agree with, for this reason he offers them the entire time the cafe is open for, good move! After placing my order I could see my food being cooked in the background, it was bought over as soon as it was ready. A bottle of reggae reggae sauce was also bought over too incase I wanted some. 9/10

Contents - The hunger buster consisted of.. 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 3 hash browns, mushrooms, beans and toast & butter. 7/10

Presentation - To the south of the plate was where the huge double fried egg lay with sausages surrounding it one side and a mountain of hash browns to the other. A colourful mix of bacon mushrooms and beans resided to the north side of the plate. Everything looked delicious and I couldn't wait to tuck in. The stack of thick cut hot buttered toast was looking good too! 8/10

The food - The sausages and bacon were good quality from the butchers and really tasty. The double free range fried egg was cooked really nicely as were the juicy mushrooms. Crunchy hash browns, nice hot beans and finally the thick cut delicious toast and butter. 9/10

Value for money - The hunger buster which came with toast cost just £5.50, a bargain when you consider butchers meat and free range eggs are used. 8/10

Veggie option - Yes, veggie breakfast - £4.50
Read Harry's guest review on the vegetarian breakfast here.

Overall - Between Unthank Road and Heigham Street there has always been a lack of places serving a quality fry up, until now that is. With great service, nice premises and quality food at a good price Litebite is well worth a visit. There was so much on my plate I couldn't finish it which is very rare for me so rest assured you won't leave hungry. A nice addition to the breakfast would have been tomatoes or fried bread but that said the fact that they serve such quality items on the breakfast is a real bonus in itself, nice one Litebite, delicious fry up! 8/10

Saturday 19 November 2011

Polo 24 hour Bar - London

176 Bishopsgate
(opposite Liverpool Street Station)

Open 24 hours

Polo Bar has been on Bishopsgate since 1959

Place your order at the counter as you walk in.

Grab a seat and the food is brought over.

Choose a set breakfast or build your own, I chose no 2.

Quality brand sauces are always a welcome sight.

Tea bag left in so you can decide how strong you want to go and a small plate for the tea bag, nice touch!

The plateful was quite a size and the layout was looking good.

The sausage barrier will keep any" beans touching egg" phobics happy.

It was my fourth visit to Brighton this year for dental implant treatment and this was the final appointment where I was leaving the clinic with some new teeth. After four months of wearing a temporary denture the first thing on my mind was to eat a meal with my new gnashers, no more worrying about that pesky denture popping out between mouthfuls! I left Brighton on the train and headed to Liverpool Street Station to catch the train back to Norwich, to my delight I had an hour before the train left. I spotted the Polo 24 hour bar that I had eaten in a few years back and seemed to remember them serving a decent fry up so in I went ...

Upon entering - There is a list of the set breakfasts on a board outside so you can decide what you want before you even walk through the door. Once inside there is a long counter to your right where you place your order and pay, beside the counter to the left and at the rear of the cafe are places to sit, each table has a menu and condiment stack. Although quite small inside it is a great place to sit and eat, drink or read the paper, it has quite a traditional feel to it and there are many things on the walls to look at whilst you wait for your food to arrive. 8/10

Service - The friendly chap at the counter took my order, cooked it and brought it over with the cutlery. I liked the way the tea was served with the tea bag still in so you decide how strong you want it and a small plate is provided to plop the tea bag onto afterwards. 8/10

Contents - 1 large sausage, 2 bacon, fried egg, black pudding, 2 halves of tomato, mushrooms, beans and thick buttered toast. 8/10

Presentation - It arrived nicely presented on a large plate with the toast on the side and looked great. 8/10

The food - The sausage was decent quality, and slightly herby, the bacon was nicely cooked on the griddle and full of flavour. A nice end wedge of black pudding accompanied the fantastic fried egg and juicy portion of beans. The mushrooms were small and looked possibly tinned at first glance but upon tasting them I realised they may not have been as they were delicious. The tomato was full of flavour and it made a change to be served chunky slices of toast and butter. 8/10

Value for money - The big brekkie (no 2 on the menu) cost me £7.05 which I was more than happy to pay considering I was in the city of London, there was a good amount on the plate and not an economy sausage in sight. 8/10

Veggie option - Yes, £4.65 will get you - veggie sausage, scrambled eggs, beans, tomato and toast & butter. Or if you prefer you can build your own.

Overall - I was impressed and the unique thing about this place is you can eat a fry up here anytime of the day or night! Good service and food at a reasonable price makes this place well worth a visit. 8/10

- Update, July 2015 -

 On a day trip to London I decided to stop by here again and was delighted with another delicious breakfast presented beautifully!

Monday 14 November 2011

The Mulberry - Norwich

111 Unthank Road

Breakfast served 7 days a week
9am - 11.30am

What used to be The Rose Valley on Unthank Road is now The Mulberry.

The breakfast menu is kept simple and everything I saw being served looked really delicious. Click here for the breakfast menu.

Inside it is pretty and kitsch.

It's a really lovely place to sit and spend time in.

It felt like being at a tea party.

Very civilised indeed!

The ketchup was served in a jar.

An up-market fry up served with beans made me very happy.

Everything was stacked and delicious treats lurked underneath.

Back in the early 90's myself and many other friends lived in bedsits along Unthank Road in Norwich, none of us had much money back then so a night in with a bottle of cider used to be a common occurrence. Back then the thought of buying a pint in a pub seemed insane when you could buy a 4 pint bottle of Barnstormer cider from La Chateau for less money. Happy days and good times were had in those bedsit days when it was all about getting drunk whenever you could, nicking crisps from the 24 hour garage and having band practices every week in your tiny bedsit. Time passes by and things change, Unthank Road looks a lot different these days and one of the pubs (The Rose Valley) that was close to my old bedsit has changed too, it is now The Mulberry and upon hearing they serve a decent breakfast I wasted no time in popping along to try it out...

Upon entering - The Mulberry is looking a lot different to last time I had been in when it was The Rose Valley. The first thing you notice is how light it is with it's white walls, floors, bar, tables etc, this is a nice touch as it makes it feel very big and open. Random lampshades hang from the ceiling along with kitsch bunting, wine glasses and bottles contain a fresh flower on each table. Many things from the cups and saucers to the tables and chairs are mismatched and this adds to the feel of the place no end. There is a good selection of places to sit, many by the window that looks onto Unthank Road. Grab a table and somebody will soon be along to take your order, everything you need will be bought over to you so sit back, order a pot of tea and feel like you are at a very civilised tea party whilst you wait for the food to arrive. This place is a delightful place to be in and so different to anywhere else I have visited so far, I liked it a lot! 9/10

Service - The staff here are very friendly, efficient and you can tell they enjoy their job as they serve you with a smile. A menu is bought to your table, your order is taken and the drinks, cutlery and food eventually arrive. Once the food has arrived you will be asked which condiments and sauces you would like. 9/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 2 bacon, 2 fried eggs, 1 large mushroom, half a grilled tomato, beans and toast & butter. 8/10

Presentation - It was stacked high in the middle of the plate and the fried eggs although beautifully cooked did cover what was lurking underneath. I do prefer the traditional "spread out" layout of a fry up but that said the stack suited this one and I loved revealing what was underneath those eggs. 8/10

The food - A really good quality and tasty herby sausage accompanied the juicy thick bacon. A pair of almost perfect fried eggs sat on top of a very tasty tomato and delicious mushroom. Thick juicy beans smothered the hot buttered toast. A real pleasure to eat! 9/10

Value for money - £6.50 was all it cost and when you consider quality of food used and location that is a really reasonable price. 8/10

Veggie option - Yes, £5.25 will get you 2 fried eggs, mushroom, tomatoes, beans, potato rosti and toast & butter.

Overall - Of all the upmarket places I have tried this one is my favourite so far. The amazing food is served at a great price by friendly staff in an environment that is a pleasure to sit in and makes you want to come back again. Well worth a visit, well done The Mulberry! 8.5/10

Monday 7 November 2011

Tudor Rose Cafe - Cambridge

(Now closed)

54 Mill Road

There are a number of cafe's on Mill Road but it was the fried bread on offer at the Tudor Rose cafe that lured me in.

Inside it was quite quirky, it appeared to be cafe by day and Turkish restaurant by night.

This is the seating area towards the rear.

Decisions, decisions...

The classic condiment stack was a welcome sight.

A really good coffee that is included in the price of the breakfast.

It looked great when it arrived and did wonders for my hangover!

Everything tasted great.

If you like tomatoes you will love them here, really fresh, juicy and full of flavour.

Yep, it went down a treat!

The Rocker Covers were playing at The man on the moon in Cambridge, I loved their album and Last gang In Town always put on a really good night so there was no way in the world I was going to miss it! It was one hell of a night but the hangover in the morning needed mending so off we went in search of a fry up. Mill Road was our destination this time and the first place we noticed was Tudor Rose Cafe, we did walk along Mill Road for quite a way looking at other places but nowhere else seemed to be offering fried bread so back to the Tudor Rose we went...

Upon entering - Towards the front of the cafe it is quite narrow with seats to one side and the counter on the other side, there is a larger seating area at the back. There is a definite Turkish theme inside the cafe which in the evening becomes a Turkish restaurant. Each table has condiments and a menu, take a seat and somebody will soon come along to take your order. 7/10

Service - The person taking our order was friendly and efficient, she didn't write the order down and memorised everything including extra items. When everything arrived it was just as we had asked. 8/10

Contents - I went for the set breakfast 1 which consisted of - 1 sausage, bacon, 1 fried egg, fried bread, beans and a mug of coffee. I also ordered 2 extra's - black pudding and mushrooms. 8/10

Presentation - The plateful was full of colour and everything sat nicely on the plate. 7/10

The food - The sausage looked a tad like a frankfurter which initially concerned me, I took a bite and discovered it was but was not bothered at all as it tasted fantastic and certainly beats being served an economy sausage any day. The bacon was perfectly cooked and very tasty, the black pudding was fairly standard but nicely cooked too. The fried bread was golden, light and not dripping in fat, it went perfectly with the great fried egg. Tasty fried mushrooms and a good sized portion of beans finished off this breakfast that was a real pleasure to eat. The coffee that came with the breakfast was very good too. 8/10

Value for money - I paid £3.90 for the set breakfast which came with tea or coffee and added two extra items, black pudding for 90p and mushrooms for £1.00. So in total £5.80 seemed like a great price as the food was great and so was the service. 8/10

Veggie option - Yes, 2 set veggie breakfasts or build your own.

Overall - I would never have expected that being served a frankfurter sausage on a fry up would have left me very happy but here it did and everything went together really well. This place had a very unique feel to it and the friendly service and great prices will ensure I will definitely be returning. 8/10

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Drayton Road Cafe - Norwich

85-87 Drayton Road

Opening times (breakfast available all day)

7am - 3pm

10am - 2pm

Look closer at Bob Basted car sales and you will spot Drayton Road Cafe nestled within it.

Order at the counter in the corner.

Plenty of places to sit at the front of the cafe.

If you chose to sit towards the back things get a tad more up-market with fun table cloths on the tables.

Plenty of breakfast options at reasonable prices, I went for the large breakfast and added black pudding for just 50p extra.

Good quality ingredients are used which is great considering how low the prices are.

Drinks are cheap too but...

The coffee was not great.

Classic condiments but remember to collect salt and pepper satchets when you collect your cutlery from near the counter.

The huge plateful arrived and presentation was good.

The sausages may have looked a bit undercooked but did taste delicious.

Doorstep slices of toast and a good pair of eggs.

Over the years I have sniggered whenever I pass Bob Basted cars on Drayton Road but a couple of years back I noticed Drayton Road Cafe which is pretty much inside the used car lot. Finally the day had arrived to try it out, I had heard good things so was looking forward to my visit...

Upon entering - It is a lot bigger inside than it looks from the outside and there is a vast seating area, the cafe has a very traditional feel to it. You can choose what you want from the blackboard on the right as you walk in or sit and decide at a table as each one also has a menu. Place your order at the counter, pay and grab some cutlery, remember to take some salt & pepper satchets too if you want them. 7/10

Service - Fairly standard and friendly enough, once you have ordered everything will be bought over to you. 7/10

Contents - I chose the large breakfast it consisted of.. 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 fried eggs, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, 1 hash brown, mushrooms, beans and toast & butter. I also ordered black pudding as an extra. 8/10

Presentation - It arrived on a huge plate and the layout was looking good. 8/10

The food - The sausages looked like they could have done with a bit longer in the pan but did taste well nice, the bacon was great too. The fried eggs were cooked nicely, the black pudding was fairly standard as was the hash brown. Nice stodgy beans, tasty tomatoes and mushrooms that were cooked perfectly. It was a nice change to be served nice chunky cut slices of toast with plenty of butter on. 8/10

Value for money - I payed £5.45 for my large breakfast with extra black pudding, good value for money considering quality butchers sausages and free range eggs are used. 50p for extra's was a real bargain too. 8/10

Veggie option - Yes - Sausage, egg, beans, tomato and toast for £3.50

Overall - There are not many cafe's in Drayton/Aylsham Road area so well worth a look if you are passing by. Quality ingredients at a good price too so you can't go far wrong really. I noticed after I had left that they do fried bread so a return visit is on the cards soon. 8/10