Sunday 20 January 2013

The Unthank Arms - Norwich

149 Newmarket Street

Breakfast served
Saturday & Sunday only
10.00am till 11.30am

The Unthank Arms has a spacious, traditional victorian interior with plenty of space and a large garden to the rear.

 The breakfast menu is only available at weekends.

The heat from the wood burner was lovely as it was freezing cold outside.

 I was looking forward to trying the sausages!

 I had a coffee whilst waiting for the food to arrive.

 The full works breakfast was huge and looked amazing.

 This is the veggie works breakfast which costs £6.50.

Excellent fried eggs and delicious golden fried bread .

 Unfortunately the mushrooms were cold and undercooked.

The potatoes were served instead of hash browns and were a bit on the hard side.

The sausages were excellent and supplied from a local butcher.

I had been meaning to visit The Unthank Arms for a very long time as I had heard good things about their breakfast. I was reminded again a couple of weeks ago about it and decided to set a date to finally visit. Outside there was still lots of snow on the ground and it was freezing cold, we parked up in the car park behind the pub and headed inside.. 

Upon entering - It is a large and very traditional Victorian pub with plenty of tables to sit at and a large bar in the centre. Lots of natural light floods in through the many windows and it was nice and warm with the wood burner lit, a very nice environment to spend some time in. Order drinks at the bar, mention breakfast and a menu will be bought to your table. After your food order is placed cutlery, sauces and the food will be bought over to your table. 8/10

Service - The staff seemed friendly taking our order and returning to explain that there was no hash browns but fried potatoes could be offered instead. Everything arrived in good time, although we were the only people in the pub. We were asked if everything was ok at the end and the undercooked mushrooms and potaoes were mentioned resulting in the drinks being given free which was nice of them. 8/10

Contents - The Full Works Breakfast consisted of: 2 sausages, 2 bacon, black pudding, 2 fried eggs, fried potato slices, mushrooms, grilled tomato, beans, 1 slice of fried bread and 1 slice of buttered toast. 9/10

Presentation - The large oval plate arrived and everything on the plate looked excellent and nicely laid out. 9/10

The food - The sausages were the best part of the breakfast, thick and meaty with a delicious texture and flavour, the bacon was also very tasty and cooked very nicely. 2 perfect fried eggs with a crisp frilly edge sat on top of a golden slice of excellent fried bread. The tomatoes, beans and slice of buttered toast were nice enough but the mushrooms, black pudding and potatoes were a disappointment.. The first thing I tasted was a mushroom which was cold and barely cooked. The potatoes were cooked but still quite solid in the middle with hardly any crispiness on the outside. The black pudding looked to be good quality and one half tasted great but the other half tasted a bit odd with an earthy taste which i did not enjoy. 5/10

Value for money - The Full Works breakfast cost £8.50 and according to the website comes with free coffee refills. However there is no mention of the refills in the pub and had our drinks not been deducted from the bill I think we may well have been charged for them. The breakfast was very big but wasn't hugely enjoyable so not the best £8.50 I have ever spent. 5/10  

Veggie option -  Yes, the veggie works costs £6.50 and shown in the photo above.

Overall - The pub itself is beautiful and the staff seem friendly enough. I must admit that I felt sure the breakfast here was going to be amazing but sadly this was not the case. It did have some great moments, especially the sausages, bacon, fried eggs and fried bread. But the undercooked mushrooms and potatoes were quite a disappointment, especially when you are spending £8.50 and Norwich has so many other places serving stunning breakfasts for much less money. 7/10  


  1. Looks delicious. One of my favourite pubs when I am in the area, has been for years.

  2. It would be perfectly acceptable to expect a good performance from the Unthank given the food history of the place so I feel somewhat deflated when digesting your review.

    I've eaten in the Unthank many times over the years but have not yet eaten there this side of lunchtime so I must add that I'm not entirely qualified to comment fully.

    Basis your review however it's clear that they've applied restaurant rules to something that doesnt always require it.

    Might sound a touch hauty but I can liken this experience to that I had at the Delauney in London.

    My point being, sometimes less is more with regard to this kind of repast.

    It's interesting to note that the shortfalls were in the potaoes and the mushrooms which one would imagine would be the easier to get right as opposed to others such as the eggs or the sausages.

    I do however have to pick up on one highpoint namely that the items here came in pairs. Two eggs, 2 sausages, two bacon, two slices which addresses one of the holy trinity of fry-up principles namely 'value' (the other two being effort and satisfaction, of course).

    Conversely, the free drinks affair has in a single moment negated any benefit of the item pairs and has of course dented the satisfaction in your experience.

    A solid effort nonetheless.

  3. Just popped here for breakfast (2018), it was decidedly mediocre. Hard eggs, undercooked tomatoes and overly greasy fried bread. Not terrible but not that good, I'd say wait for a free table at the Unthank kitchen instead!

  4. Just went for breakfast here (2018) so thought I'd post an update. It looked less impressive than the one you had and was decidedly mediocre. Nothing terrible but the egg was overcooked, tomatoes were hard and only just warm and the fried bread was rather too greasy. I'd recommend skipping it and waiting for a table at the Unthank kitchen instead!