Sunday 3 March 2013

The Waffle House - Norwich

39 St Giles Street

Breakfast available daily between 10am - 12pm

Limited parking is available on St Giles Street. One hour maximum stay before 6.30pm. Unlimited stay after 6.30pm.

The Waffle House has been on St Giles Street in Norwich for over 30 years.

Some of the tables look onto St Giles Street with further seating towards the rear.

Everything is prepared and cooked in the kitchen overlooking the dining area.

So it's not a full English on offer but some of the key items are served with a waffle so I decided to give it a try.

Maple syrup, sugar salt and pepper are found on each table in earthenware vessels, ketchup is available upon request.

The Waffle House brunch includes a hot drink.

It also included a freshly squeezed orange juice.

Convinced I was not really a fan of waffles I was keen to tuck in.

The bacon was very well done in places but had a great smokey flavour.

I am now a converted waffle fan, they were really good and went nicely with the scrambled eggs.

The tomatoes were cooked nicely and full of flavour.

When I first moved to Norwich in 1987 I lived at the YMCA on St Giles Street for about 3 years. I really enjoyed my time there, it felt a bit like staying in a hotel with cleaners tidying your room whilst you were eating breakfast in the restaurant downstairs. You were given meal tickets each week which could be handed in at the restaurant in exchange for a meal. Most memorable was the breakfast which was always a full English breakfast served 7 days a week, you could choose 5 cooked items and also have fried bread, toast, cereal, tea, coffee and fruit juice. Yep, good times and happy memories but before long I felt the need to be independent and moved into my own bedsit leaving the YMCA behind. During that time though I walked along St Giles Street many times, always passing The Waffle House that seemed very popular and always busy. I only ever ate there once over 20 years ago and can't remember too much about it but very rarely eat a waffle so have never considered myself a fan of them. Quite recently somebody contacted me telling me about The Waffle House brunch that although not a full English was something they had enjoyed and wondered what my thoughts were. The time had arrived to rediscover the waffle..

Upon entering - The Waffle house has some tables by the window at the front with further seating at the back. It has a fresh contemporary feel to it with a slightly rustic twist due to the earthenware crockery. Wait to be seated and you will be shown to a table and looked after by the waitress. A menu is bought over, salt and pepper is on the table and ketchup is available on request. 7/10

Service - Almost as soon as we walked in the waitress showed us to a table giving us the choice of front or rear seating area. She was friendly and helpful offering to enquire in the kitchen about the fresh herb option my wife was considering. It did seem to take quite a long time for the food to arrive but not long enough for it to be a problem. At the end the chef took our payment at the till asking if everything was ok. 7/10

Contents - 1 waffle, 2 slices of smoked bacon, scrambled eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, a hot drink and freshly squeezed orange juice. 6/10

Presentation - The large waffle was cut in half with the scrambled egg placed on top. On top of the scrambled eggs lay 2 slices of bacon looking a bit black along the edges with a slight garnish. Tomatoes and mushrooms sat either side of the waffle. 7/10 

The food - I really enjoyed the waffle with it's great crunch and delicious, slightly cheesy tasting soft centre, it accompanied the nicely cooked scrambled egg beautifully. The bacon although well done in places was good quality with a nice smokey flavour. The mushrooms were excellent and the tomatoes juicy and full of flavour. 7/10

Value for money - Considering the Waffle House brunch includes 2 drinks £8.25 made it a reasonably priced option. 7/10

Veggie option - Yes, but fresh herbs didn't sound too exciting.

Overall - I knew The Waffle House was going to be much different to other places I had visited mainly because they were not offering a full English breakfast but their own waffle based breakfast option. I was keen to discover whether waffles were for me or not and I must say that I can't wait to eat another waffle again now! I would have liked a sausage (at weekends I have discovered this is possible with the "Weekend breakfast" option) and I also think that beans would have made a nice addition and gone well with the waffle. I did really enjoy my meal here and would definitely return again. 7/10

*Update* - March 2013

I couldn't resist returning to try some more waffles and really enjoyed a Chicken and vegetables in mustard and tarragon sauce waffle followed by this amazing Banoffee waffle. Really delicious and I will definitely return to try some more of the menu soon! 

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