Saturday 26 May 2012

Cafe Morello - Norwich

(Now closed)

2-3 Orford Yard
Red Lion Street

Full English served
Monday - Saturday
10.00am - 11.30am

Cafe Morello is located opposite Debenhams in Orford Yard. If you prefer to sit outside there are a plenty of tables to choose from.

It looked like a great offer so I decided to pop in and try it.

The cafe looked fantastic inside, a nice blend of traditional and kitsch.

The full english isn't mentioned inside the menu so unless you spot it on your way in you could easily miss it.

A hot drink comes with the breakfast, I went for coffee.

The toast also comes with the breakfast, you can choose from 2 types of bread and it was nice to have plenty of butter.

Everything was going so well and then the breakfast arrived, it was piping hot but just looked so bland and appeared to have been microwaved.

The bacon was perfectly hot enough but had no crispiness whatsoever. 

Just when I thought I had been everywhere in Norwich City Centre for breakfast the sign outside Cafe Morello stopped me in my tracks. I had always passed the Cafe and thought how nice it looked in the quaint alleyway, I was really looking forward to popping in there for breakfast and decided it would be the next place to visit. A week passed by and the sun was shining as I headed into the city, I could feel myself walking quicker as I approached the cafe, expectations were high as I walked through the door...

Upon entering - There is a counter to your right as you enter where you place your order, cutlery can be found to your left. Place your order and pay at the counter, take some cutlery, choose a table and the food is bought over when it is ready. The light and airy interior is fantastic with a traditional and kitsch feel to it, bunting hangs from the ceiling and spotty table cloths are found on each table. There is plenty to look at with lots of decorative items on the window ledges and pictures on the walls. The windows look out on to the delightful yard outside where more tables can be found. 9/10

Service - As soon as I entered I was greeted with a smile by the friendly lady at the counter, she told me about the breakfast special offer and took my order. I was given the option of tea or coffee and what type of bread I wanted for the toast, I was also asked if I wanted any sauce to which I replied tomato ketchup. I was told where the cutlery was and took my coffee over to a table inside, I thought about sitting outside in the sunshine but needed to get an interior shot so decided against the idea. The toast arrived first and shortly after that the breakfast arrived, the ketchup never made it to the table though. 7/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 2 bacon, scrambled eggs, mushrooms, beans, toast & butter and a tea or coffee. 6/10

Presentation - I was expecting something as stunning as the beautiful cafe to arrive but as soon as the plate was placed in front of me I was visually disappointed. My first thought was that everything looked microwaved, the meat lacked any sign of having been in a frying pan or on a griddle. The food was placed on the plate nicely enough but it just didn't excite me and looked very bland. 4/10

The food - The sausage was over cooked, a bit chewy and had no appealing colour to it at all. The bacon was ok but again didn't look very appealing and was in much need of being crisped up a bit. The scrambled egg was ok but a bit bland and the mushrooms and beans were average. The toast and butter was possibly the best part of the breakfast. 4/10

Value for money - The Full English came with toast & butter and a tea or coffee for £5.15, beans were available as an extra (about 60p I think) so a fair enough price. I can't say I particularly enjoyed the cooked breakfast though so I didn't leave feeling like it was money particularly well spent. 4/10

Veggie option - Yes

Overall - The cafe is beautiful and the staff here are fantastic but for me the breakfast disappointed and this was purely down to the way it was cooked and I suspect they are not equipped to cook it any other way. I imagine this is a great place to come for lunch or coffee and a cake (the cakes on the counter looked delicious!!) which Im sure is there strong point. 5.5/10

Friday 18 May 2012

Westlegate Bar & Bistro - Norwich

- Now closed -
2-8 All Saints Green

Breakfast served
Monday - Saturday
8.00am - 12.00pm

I have had many a cocktail in here over the years but it was time to try the Westlegate Full English.

It is quite big inside with plenty of places to sit.

Fresh flowers on each table was a nice touch.

The menu has been kept simple, vegetarians have been thought of and the prices are really reasonable.

The breakfast is really delicious and worth every penny.

A hot drink is included in the price.

Perfect fried eggs are always a welcome sight.  The tomatoes were a bonus as they were not mentioned on the menu.

Delicious quality sausages and crispy hash browns.

Having recently visited Nottingham and Cambridge I was going to be spending a weekend in Norwich again so was thinking about where I hadn't been for breakfast yet on my search for perfection. Before I had even started really thinking too hard about it I noticed a friends facebook update, it said.. "Just had a breakfast at Westlegate Bistro - £6.25 for the best Full English Brekkie ever!" Having read the facebook update I immediately googled Westlegate Bistro and discovered it was what used to be the The Mustard Lounge, it was time to see how good the Westlegate Full English was...

Upon entering - Inside it is a twist of modern and contemporary with with a vast number of places to sit, there are also sofas if you want to get really comfortable. There was music in the background giving it a quite relaxed feel and I was happy enough sipping my coffee whilst waiting for the food to arrive. You order and pay at the bar and everything is bought over when it is ready. Each table has salt and pepper, you are asked if you want any sauces and these arrive in small pots. 8/10

Service - The lady taking my order was friendly, helpful and efficient bringing everything over when it was ready and ensuring I had everything I needed. Just after I started eating a chap appeared briefly at the bar asking if everything was ok, looking back I did wonder if perhaps he may have seen me on the CCTV taking pics on my phone and wondered if there was a problem. He needn't have worried though it was merely the inspector on his ongoing search for perfection! Just before I left the chef appeared so I made a point of thanking him for the excellent breakfast. 8/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 fried eggs, 2 hash browns, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, toast & butter and either tea or coffee. 9/10

Presentation - I was very happy when I first cast my eyes on the colourful array of food when it arrived. The first thing I spotted was the quality sausages followed by the fact everything sat so nicely and beautifully cooked on the plate. 9/10

The food - The sausages (which I think may have been pork and leek) were really delicious and juicy, as was the beautifully cooked bacon. The fried eggs were perfect and the hash browns were fluffy inside with a crisp outside as they should be. A really nice serving of mushrooms accompanied the tasty tomatoes and a juicy puddle of beans. The toast was spot on and served with real butter and the delicious coffee washed down this fantastic plate of food that had clearly been cooked by somebody with a passion for food. Everything was piping hot too which is always an added bonus. 9/10

Value for money - The delicious Westlegate Full English costs just £6.25 and comes with a hot drink. Tomatoes are not mentioned on the menu but they arrived on the plate too, absolute bargain! 9/10

Veggie option - Yes, Vegetarian sausages, fried eggs, hash browns, mushrooms, beans, toast, a hot drink and possibly tomatoes too! 

Overall - This is a breakfast not to be missed, quality ingredients cooked superbly and at a really reasonable price. There is plenty on the plate and it was a real pleasure to eat, the staff are friendly, the place is spacious and has a nice feel to it. I have discovered some great places in Norwich city centre to eat breakfast and this is one of the best! 9/10

Monday 7 May 2012

The Cosy Teapot - Nottingham

- Now closed -

101 Carrington Street

The Cosy Teapot Cafe is about a minutes walk from Nottingham train station.

The menu contains a fairly good breakfast selection.

Place your order at the counter at the rear of the cafe.

There are a good number of places to sit and the service is fantastic.

A good condiment stack awaits.

The coffee here was spot on.

Each breakfast includes toast and butter.

It may have been voted "Britains greatest greasy spoon" back in 2003 but in 2013 I found the food to be average and a bit of a let down. 

Those eggs were perfect but economy sausages are never a welcome sight.

A good job I am a fan of baked beans!

I needed to visit Nottingham as I wanted to buy a drape for our wedding that was now less than 2 months away. We had noticed that Vince Ray & The Boneshakers were playing at Kreepers so decided to stay overnight, this of course also had the added advantage of having breakfast in Nottingham the following morning. I decided to research cafe's before leaving and found this article on The Cosy Teapot, a cafe I had eaten at quite a few years back. After a great night out we headed to the cafe with quite high expectations, it was fry up inspection time again!

Upon entering - The cafe is fairly big with a good number of tables to choose from, each one was spotlessly clean with a neat cluster of sauces, sugar, salt and pepper. There was a large menu above the counter but if you like to spend time looking at the menu you may be best to do as I did and ask for a menu to sit down to look at. The cafe's walls are covered with paintings, decorative plates, pictures that have been coloured in and 2 huge high up shelves displays 100's of different teapots. The atmosphere in the cafe is quite pleasant with the owner pootling around tidying up and making sure things were clean. Place your order at the counter and everything is bought over when it is ready. 7/10

Service - This is the area that this cafe really excelled at, the service was fantastic and nothing seemed too much trouble to the genuinely friendly owner. When I placed my order he made a tray up with cutlery and drinks and an order number, I went to take the tray but he insisted on bringing it to the table for me. Next he asked if I would like a paper to look at which he then bought over to me. He bought the food over when it was ready occasionally making conversation but also giving us space to enjoy the food. 8/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 fried eggs, 1 hash brown, mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, beans, toast and butter. 8/10

Presentation - Everything was neatly placed on the plate but the sight of economy sausages immediately left me feeling a tad disappointed, the sight of the vast sea of beans left me quite speechless! 6/10

The food - Cheap economy sausages and standard bacon with the rind removed (the rind is my favourite part of the bacon, gutted!) A very pleasant and nicely cooked hash brown, 2 perfect fried eggs and pretty good mushrooms. The tinned tomatoes where a welcome sight and the huge sea of beans were mopped up with the nice enough toast and butter. 6/10

Value for money - The full breakfast costs £5.80, a fair enough price for what it was, a fairly standard no frills cooked breakfast. 6/10

Veggie option - Yes, 3 veggie set breakfasts were available on the menu (see menu pic above)

Overall - The service here is fantastic and the cafe itself is a nice enough place to sit and eat in, it all goes a bit downhill when the food arrives though. The food is cooked perfectly well but there is nothing on the plate that really stands out as being particularly special. I do like rind on my bacon and don't enjoy economy sausages so it wasn't really for me. I did wonder as I left how it had won Britians greatest greasy spoon award in 2003 but that was 10 years ago now and a lot can change in that time. 7/10