Monday 27 February 2012

If you want to make one at home...

I am always visiting different establishments on my search for fry up perfection but sometimes I feel the need to make my own at home. Ella Goodwin has illustrated beautifully how to make a delicious fry up at home, look at more of here amazing work here and be sure to visit her facebook page too.

Click here to view in more detail.

Sunday 26 February 2012

Highway Garden & Leisure - Framingham Pigot

Loddon Road
Framingham Pigot
NW14 7PW

Big Breakfast served daily till 11.30am.

Highway garden & leisure is about a 10 minute drive from Norwich on the A146.

There is a restaurant and coffee shop, both have a vast seating area.

Yep, looks like a great deal!

Salt and pepper are on the tables along with a menu.

Cutlery and sauces are found close to the counter.

Welcome to sauce city!

The filter coffee was great and included in the price of the big breakfast.

First impressions were good.

Real butter for the toast and a great fried egg.

Quality sausages and chunky cut mushrooms.

A weekend without drinking was on the cards and this meant with no hangover I could get up early on Sunday and search for records at the local car boot sale. Having found a few records that I could sell on ebay I headed to Highway Garden & Leisure knowing fry up inspection time had arrived again...

Upon entering - The restaurant is down the ramp to the right as you enter the main entrance, there is a coffee shop too but ignore that and head to the restaurant counter. The restaurant covers a large area and is well spaced out, clean, light and airy. The big breakfast is advertised on posters on the way in and on the menus found on each table. Place your order at the till and pay, your hot drink is given to you and you are informed the breakfast will be brought to your table when it is ready. Be sure to grab some cutlery and sauces before sitting down, salt and pepper is already on the tables. 8/10

Service - The person taking the order at the till seemed friendly enough and the person who bought the breakfast over did too, I was told the plate was hot which was good to hear! 7/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 1 bacon, 1 fried egg, 1 hash brown, half a grilled tomato, mushrooms, beans, toast & butter and a cup of filter coffee. 7/10

Presentation - Everything sat proudly on the plate surrounding the central highlight of the breakfast, those delicious pork sausages. 8/10

The food - That pair of sausages were well nice, good quality, juicy and full of flavour, the bacon was great too. The hash brown was perfectly crispy, quite large and contained onion which is always a bonus. The fried egg was spot on and went nicely with the hot buttered toast. Chunky cut mushrooms and a tasty half tomato were joined by a rich and juicy serving of beans. A real pleasure to eat! 8/10

Value for money - I was well impressed that the big breakfast only cost £4.95, it came with a hot drink, was a real joy to eat and there was plenty of it, absolute bargain! 9/10

Veggie option - Yes, but forgot to check the details, sorry!

Overall - A fiver well spent and an impressive breakfast that I really enjoyed eating. I was relieved to discover the food was bought over when it was ready so it arrives piping hot . Definitely worth a look if you are passing or why not make a special trip out there, you won't be disappointed! 8/10

Monday 20 February 2012

Giraffe - Norwich

409 Chapelfield Plain
Chapelfield Shopping Centre

Full brunch served till 4pm everyday

Taking a photo behind a wall is great if you don't want to be seen, it does get in the way a bit though! Oh, well.. This is Giraffe, part of Chapelfield Shopping Centre in Norwich.

It was a bit tricky getting a photo of the busy downstairs seating area so I took one upstairs instead, both looked quite similar.

I was loving the presentation of everything right away.

Neat and tidy is always best!

A bar in the background and is that sauces I see?

Yep, the best selection of quality sauces I have ever had on the table!!

Sugar presentation perfection!

Damn good cappuccino and presentation to match.

Not exactly a Full English but many elements of it were there on my plate and they looked and tasted amazingly good. This is the Full Brunch, it cost £8.25 and is available till 4pm every day.

The eggs were amazing and went perfectly with the toasted sourdough.

Another week and time for another fry up inspection, this time I had Monday off work so decided to visit somewhere. The only problem was deciding where to go, I shared my dilemma on my facebook page and a friend suggested a poll so my readers could decide. This was a great idea and the place with the highest votes was Giraffe. I had been there for lunch some time ago and remembered the food being nice but now the time had arrived to see how good the breakfast was. The breakfast menu didn't offer a Full English breakfast but the Full Brunch seemed like the nearest thing so I decided to try that...

Upon entering - There is a large selection of tables downstairs and even more upstairs, I also spotted an outside balcony area that most likely becomes quite popular in the summer months. The interior is very contemporary and spacious, each table awaits with cutlery neatly nestled on top of the placemat and a menu sits comfortably with the salt & pepper pots. If you prefer to choose before you enter there are 2 large menus outside. Giraffe's has full table service so wait to be seated and the waiter/waitress will take care of everything. 8/10

Service - The waitress showed me to a table and once I had decided what I wanted she returned to take my order. The first thing to arrive was the most amazingly neat sugar selection I had ever seen followed by what must have been any sauce lovers ultimate dream! Next came the fantastic (though £3.05 is a tad expensive) cappuccino followed by the equally fantastic looking Full Brunch. The waitress checked everything was ok and returned later asking if I would like anything else, I asked her for the bill and she bought it telling me it was ok to take my time as they didn't need the table. The service was not just excellent but very sincere too and when you come across this it is a rare treat. I was planning on leaving a tip but noticed a service charge of 10% is already added to the bill, I guess this is quite common in restaurants but I prefer to have a choice in leaving a tip. 8/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 2 bacon, 2 fried eggs, potato wedges, beans and toasted artisan sourdough & butter. 7/10

Presentation - Presentation is clearly very important at Giraffe, before the food had even arrived the sugar selection, sauces and cappuccino arrived at the table looking very impressive. When the plate of food arrived everything on the plate sat smuggly knowing it couldn't have been better placed, except the sausage maybe, it looked great and didn't need to hide under the bacon. 9/10

The food - A very delicious pork sausage and equally good bacon both cooked just right. A pair of perfect fried eggs that released their nice runny yolk all over the crisp golden toasted sourdough. I am not usually a huge fan of potato products with breakfast but hey this was brunch and the crisp and golden potato wedges did go really nicely dipped into the rich and delicious sea of Heinz baked beans. A truly enjoyable meal! 9/10

Value for money - The Full Brunch cost £8.25, add a cappuccino for £3.05 and not forgetting the 10% service charge and the whole experience cost me £12.45. This is a lot of money to be spending on breakfast but it was really delicious and I was in a restaurant this time, not a cafe. 6/10

Veggie option - Veggie Brunch - £7.95
Free range fried, poached or scrambled eggs, veggie sausages, Heinz baked beans, mushrooms and avocado with toasted artisan sourdough.

Overall - A great experience and although key items that I enjoy such as black pudding, mushrooms and tomatoes were not included it was never claiming to be a Full English. The restaurant interior and service were fantastic, the presentation and attention to detail on everything bought to the table was just incredible. I have visited quite a few restaurant chains on my search and Giraffe has to be the most impressive so far. Not the cheapest breakfast option out there but well worth trying so be sure to give it a look. 8/10

Saturday 11 February 2012

Kenny's Cafe - Norwich

Closed and now re-opened under new management

9 Concorde Road

Kenny's Cafe can be found on Concorde Road.

A large menu above the counter tells you what is on offer.

This is the kitchen behind the counter area.

This is the seating area, in the background a small fire had just been put out in the kitchen!

Towards the rear of the cafe is a slightly different themed seating area.

The cupcake serviette holder was a nice touch, things were looking promising!

The coffee was included in the price of the mega breakfast and was ok.

Oh dear, things were suddenly not looking so good. The eggs were dire and everything was luke warm.

My girlfriend was equally gobsmacked when hers arrived, she sent hers back telling them it wasn't hot so it got blasted in the microwave.

When the breakfast returned from the microwave the eggs were like rubber.

I was left a message on my Fry up inspector facebook page from Kenny's Cafe saying "I should come along as they do a mega breakfast and all day breakfast, and both were very popular." Great I thought, the food must be pretty good and they must be proud of what they are serving to recommend it to me. My girlfriend decided to come along too and try a veggie fry up which was fantastic as I was keen to cover veggie breakfasts a bit more than I had been...

Upon entering - Having found ourselves in the middle of an industrial estate it was a nice surprise when we walked in to find how spacious and nicely decorated the cafe was. There were a good amount of large tables and a separate seating area towards the rear themed slightly differently to the rest. There was a tv and newspapers available to read but it was a bit chilly inside. Behind the counter was a large blackboard displaying everything on offer, cutlery could be found on the counter too. Condiments were on each table and delightful ceramic cupcakes stored folded serviettes. 8/10

Service - It started off well with our order being taken, and various breakfast options being offered, we were told there might be a bit of a long wait on the food but we were in no hurry so not a problem. We took our drinks and found a table, just after that we heard a loud shout of "fire!" and noticed the kitchen was full of smoke, luckily it was put out promptly and normal service was resumed, the smell of burnt plastic was lingering a bit until somebody opened the windows making the already chilly cafe even colder. Just before the food arrived I was offered a newspaper to read, things were looking up! Then the food arrived looking a bit worse for wear and barely warm. I always write about my experience as I find it but my girlfriend wasn't prepared to eat the food luke warm so returned it. A few minutes later it arrived having been blasted in the microwave, this had turned the already sorry looking eggs to a rubber like texture. She mentioned this but the response was "pass, I wasn't in the kitchen" We shortly after that heard this being passed onto the person who had cooked the eggs but there was no mention of it afterwards. 5/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 fried eggs, 2 hash browns, mushrooms, beans, fried bread and tea or coffee. 8/10

Presentation - What can I say.. Those speckly fried eggs were not looking good at all, my first thought was that they had been served upside down but no, the other side was the same. By far the most appalling eggs I have ever been served. The layout of everything else looked ok but the sausages looked like they needed a bit longer in the pan. 4/10

The food - Unfortunately everything arrived lukewarm but here is the rundown.. The sausages although a bit undercooked were ok with an almost hotdog taste to them. The bacon was pretty nice and the fried bread was amazing, not many places get fried bread right but this place had nailed it, crisp and golden but not dripping in oil. The hash browns were not very crispy, the mushrooms were ok as were the beans. The fried eggs as I mentioned earlier were shockingly bad, popped yolks and not very pleasing to the eye at all. 4/10

Value for money - The mega breakfast included a drink cost £5.25 and the veggie breakfast with a drink cost £4.25. Both great prices if you enjoy what you had eaten, we didn't leave too impressed though so.. 5/10

Veggie option - Yes, but no veggie alternative. The same as the mega breakfast without the meat for £4.25, tomatoes can be added as an extra.

Overall - I usually find with most breakfasts that if the fried eggs are good then the rest of it tends to end up being good too, these were sadly the worst fried eggs I have been served since starting this blog. On a positive note the fried bread was amazing and the cafe was nice inside. I went along expecting great things but did leave feeling disappointed. On my search for the perfect fry up experience I have visited many places and eaten some great food. Awful fried eggs and warm food is not really what I was hoping for though. 5/10

- Update -

Sergeant sausage went to investigate Kenny's Cafe for me as i had been told things had improved. It seems the breakfast is much better now, read the Sergeant Sausage report here