Saturday, 2 June 2012

Debenhams - Norwich

Orford Place

Debenhams is easy to spot but it is one of the last places in the City centre I got round to visiting for breakfast.

It was this sign that reminded me about the Debenhams breakfast. Perfect??? Not quite but one of the best of the department store/supermarket breakfasts so far.

Make your way up to the 3rd floor and you will find the restaurant where the breakfast is served.

The modern, clean and spacious restaurant was empty when I arrived as I was the first person through the door when they opened.

There were 10 different items to choose from, you can choose from a 6, 8 or 10 item breakfast, for research purposes I choose the 10 item option.

The cloche was a great idea and ensured the food was still hot when I sat down to eat it.

A large mug of coffee cost £2.30

A slice of either white or brown toast and butter comes with the breakfast.

These are the 10 items I picked, I think I chose wisely.

Not that many places serve fried bread and in Debenhams it was really nice!

I was off to London for the day and had to meet everyone else at 10am as we were getting the 10.45am coach. I usually go on fry up inspections at weekends but knowing on this particular morning I had time to fit one in I decided to give Debenhams a try. I felt sure they opened at 9am but as I soon as I approached the entrance I realised they were still closed and on Tuesday's they didn't open till 9.30. I killed time for 30 minutes knowing I was going to have to be fairly quick, as soon as the doors where unlocked I headed straight for the escalator...

Upon entering - As you reach the 3rd floor on the escalator turn right and you will see the entrance to the restaurant. Inside it is modern, clean and spacious with the counter to your left and the seating area to your right. The breakfast options are clearly listed behind the counter with a choice of 6,8 or 10 item breakfasts to chose from. Order your food and drink at the counter, the food is given to you with a cloche over the plate to keep the food hot. Then pay at the till, collect your drink, take some cutlery, sauces etc and find a table. The layout seems good and flows nicely, I was first in the queue so the food was still hot when I sat down to eat it. 7/10

Service - The same lady served my breakfast asking what items I would like, took my money at the till and made my coffee. She was friendly, efficient and very polite. 8/10

Contents - The 10 different items I noticed were: Sausages, bacon, hash browns, fried bread, mushrooms, real tomatoes, tinned tomatoes, fried eggs, scrambled eggs and beans. Brown and white toast and butter was available too. 9/10

Presentation - Everything sat quite nicely on the plate and the mix of colours looked great together, one of the sausages had split though. 6/10

The food - The sausages were fairly nice, not quite economy but nothing too fancy and the bacon was pretty good. The fried egg was cooked nicely, a tad too runny on top of the yolk but not enough to create a raw egg white tsunami when I cut into it. The best part of this breakfast was the amazing fried bread, a golden crispy triangular delight that crunched nicely when you cut into it. The hash brown was nice and crispy on the outside and fluffy inside, the portobello mushroom was cooked nicely and tasted great. A nice stodgy mound of beans sat in harmony beside 3 fantastic tinned tomatoes. The slice of toast and butter was great wrapped around a slice of bacon and mopped up the tomato juice nicely. 7/10

Value for money - The 10 item breakfast cost £5.75 and included a slice of toast & butter. A mug of coffee cost £2.30. There was a good selection of items on offer and it was quite a pleasure to eat so seemed like a fair enough price to me. 7/10

Veggie option - I didn't spot any veggie alternatives to the meat but perhaps it is cooked to order, don't know for sure though?

Overall - This is the first time I have eaten a "served at the counter" breakfast and sat down to eat it hot still, the use of the cloche is clearly a good idea and seems to work quite nicely. The experience at Debenhams was far better than most other department store restaurants and supermarket cafes that I have visited in the past. Being the first person in there on the morning probably helped a lot and i'm not sure how it would be when really busy. A good restaurant, friendly staff and decent enough food set me up nicely for the rest of the morning, well worth a look. 7/10

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