Friday 10 May 2013

Rock Ola - Brighton

29 Tidy Street

Opening times
Monday to Friday 
10.30am till 4.30pm

9.30am till 4.30pm

Breakfast served all day

Rock Ola is just a few minutes walk from Brighton train station.

The interior is stunning with so much to look at.

The furniture here is excellent and the seats beautifully upholstered.

Everything blended together perfectly in this small but nicely laid out 1950's style diner.

The jukebox in the corner is free to play.

Through Rock n Roll Alley is an excellent adjoining record shop!

The menu caters for everyone and prices seemed reasonable.

Salt & Pepe along with the squeezy tomato will take care of things once the food arrives!

I usually go for coffee but today I went for tea in a great mug!

I loved the plate too but there was far too many empty spaces on it, tomatoes and mushrooms would have made it look so much more complete. That said though everything on the plate was piping hot and tasted delicious.

The fried egg was stunning and the hash browns golden and crispy.

A quality pork sausage accompanied some nicely browned bacon.

I think the veggie breakfast looked much more complete with the tomatoes. My wife asked for extra tomatoes, a wise move that I wish I had done too.

A slice of toast came with each breakfast served on a fantastic plate. I loved the 1950's style table top patterns!

Some friends living in Brighton were getting married so we had booked a hotel for the night which was very reasonably priced but didn't include breakfast. After an excellent wedding we woke up the following morning feeling really hungover! A walk along Brighton pier didn't seem to shift the hangover very much so we checked out of the hotel thinking food was the way forward and headed to Rock Ola..

Upon entering - The stunning interior of this 1950's style diner will stop you in your tracks as you enter. I am a huge fan of 1950's diners and have seen a few in my time and this one was probably the smallest I have seen so far but the space had been used really wisely and it looked incredible. Brightly coloured walls covered in 1950's memorabilia from record sleeves to an Elvis figurine meant there was no shortage of things to look at. There was a selection of different style tables and chairs to choose from, the chairs were beautifully upholstered in shiny and glittery bright colours with white piping. The tables were solid and chunky with chrome edging and the surfaces had a classic squiggly design. We sat in a booth which was really comfortable but you can also sit at a round table or higher table with stools. Each table has quirky salt and pepper pots, a squeezy ketchup bottle and sugar bowl. There is a free play jukebox playing music that sets the tone perfectly and if you want to buy some vinyl just head through "Rock n roll alley" to the adjoining record store that has a vast selection for sale. Anyway, back to the diner! There is a counter at the rear with a kitchen behind that where the food is cooked, beside the counter is a blackboard displaying the specials on offer. The waitress will bring you over a menu once you are seated and take care of everything bringing drinks, food and cutlery to the table. When you are finished head to the till and pay. This place couldn't have got much better and the added bonus of an adjoining record shop was the icing on the cake! 10/10

Service - The waitress was friendly, helpful and efficient, my wife asked if it was ok to take some photos of the diner and she was very happy for her to do so. We placed our order and my wife requested tomatoes on her veggie breakfast which was not a problem and veggie burger instead of the bacon. When the veggie breakfast arrived bacon had been put on it in error but the waitress said the burgers would also be included once cooked at no extra cost. 9/10

Contents - I went for the "Anytimer breakfast" it contained: 1 sausage, 1 slice of bacon, 1 fried egg, 3 hash browns, beans and a slice of buttered toast. Tomatoes were an option but instead of the beans and you could swap hash brown for chips if you preferred.  4/10

Presentation - Everything on the plate looked great but there was far too much empty plate visable due to lack of contents. 4/10

The food - A good quality pork sausage cooked well and a nicely browned slice of bacon. The hash browns were piping hot and perfectly crispy. The beans were great and the fried egg should be presented with an award, pure genius! The toast was spot on and soaked up the egg yolk nicely. 8/10

Value for money - The Anytimer breakfast cost just £4.95 which in such a stunning environment is a great price. However when the food arrived it did look like it could have done with at least tomatoes and mushrooms to make it look more complete, something I would have happily paid an extra £2 for. 7/10

Veggie option Yes, vegetarians and vegans are well looked after here.
Overall - There was so much I loved about Rock Ola from the stunning interior and great service to the adjoining record store. The food was really good but it would be nice to see a larger anytimer breakfast added to the menu containing an extra sausage, extra slice of bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms. Definitely worth visiting if you are in Brighton and nice to see a veggie option that is as good as the meat option. I will definitely be returning here again as I need to try the huge Elvis burger. 7/10



  1. Brighton has some excellent places for veggie and/or vegan eating - this one looks great and I'll give it a try next time I'm there. Aren't you being a tad harsh with only 4/10 for contents and presentation? That's really low - looked ok to me, though if I'd been the chef I might have tipped some more beans into the gaps for purely aesthetic reasons!

    1. 4 = Not very good which I felt was fair of a breakfast with so few items yet so much empty space on the plate. I could have scored it 5 which = ok but I didn't feel these 2 issues were ok so went for the 4. Everything else about Rock Ola I loved though!!

  2. Something just struck me..."Vegan" on the menu and it gives the impression that it's serving meat?
    Presentation has scope for improvement here, the beans are very much on the edge, just reshuffling the food would get rid of empty space too.