Friday 2 August 2013

Sergeant Sausage: On the trail in West London…

I had been to a gig at the wonderful Somerset House in London and had stayed with a good friend in Surbiton. I was on the look out for a Sunday morning fry up to soak up the Tuaca. The Surbiton brasserie had been recommended to me, but they didn’t quite do a full English so I wandered round the corner to the Café St James, a traditional looking greasy spoon, but shut on a Sunday.  So a quick google of cafes open on Sundays revealed The Nearest Café in Teddington, only a few miles up the road so off I set. Only when I got there it sadly looked pretty closed down.  Beginning to think I wasn’t going to get my breakfast I searched again for somewhere nearby in the vague direction of Norwich and happened upon the Whitton Café.  It felt like the Fry Up God was toying with me that morning.

 On the seventh day….

 A standard arrangement

 32 covers in this functional space

 A good selection of breakfasts

 Tea with a bag in it, and fresh crusty bread and butter

 The Fully Monty

The bubble and squeak was tasty!

A good meaty sausage always tickles my fancy


Upon entering – As I approached I really hoped this was going to be a good one after what felt like going round the zodiac.  I was in the mood for breakfast!  Going through the door and it was a tiled floor, plain walls, uniform formica tables with matching chairs.  A good clean space with the purpose of eating cafe grub written all over it.  A counter with a large menu board hanging over it was at the far end with a kitchen beyond.  Things were moving on up.  8/10

Service – A  friendly nod from the waitress at the counter as I entered and made my way to a table by the window. I sat down and pulled out the menu and boy, what a choice, 5 set breakfasts and 3 specials to choose from, my fry up senses were getting turned on. There could be only one choice though. As if by magic the waitress appeared “Fully Monty. Tea” I exclaimed, and quick as a flash it was with me, accompanied by some good looking rounds of bread and butter. Five minutes later and the breakfast had landed.  9/10

Contents –1 sausage, 3 bacon, 1 egg, fried slice, bubble & squeak, mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, beans, 2 rounds bread & butter, mug of tea  9/10

Presentation – I love a big plate with a good looking breakfast draped over it and this sexy thing wasn’t going to disappoint.  9/10

The food – It was hot stuff, straight from the hot plate on to my plate.  Mushrooms, check, nice and juicy. Decent bacon that tasted good and plenty of it, maybe could have been a little bit leaner. The sausage was more chippendale than chippolata with a good solid texture and well flavoured. Tinned tomatoes, which I’m starting to think I prefer after years of being not so fond. Standard beans, cooked through, and the lack of a hash brown more than adequately covered by the presence of a good fried slice upon which perched a ring fried egg that was more than up to the task. It had a nice yolk that soaked into the slice. What really made me smile was the bubble, a perfect piping hot patty of creamy mashed potato and cabbage with more than a hint of white pepper lending its fragrance, it was outstanding.   9/10

Value for money
– For a good quality breakfast including tea/coffee and bread and butter, and plenty of it, £6.35 is great value for money.  10/10

Veggie option – 3 of them to choose from and all for less than a fiver.

Overall – Going into a completely unknown cafe is always very revealing, fortunately this place had a degree in ass-wiggling. It was busy, knew what it was about and served up a great range of traditional grub at a decent price.  The Inspector knows I’m a fan of Liver and Onion (try the Blinking Owl on the A127 coming out of Southend) but if I’m down this way on lunch duty another time then I’m definitely popping in to try the Whitton take on it.  The proprietors are on to a good thing here and are doing it right. It was certainly a test to get this breakfast, but thanks to the Fry Up God, I believe in miracles.   9/10


  1. Wherever you are in the world, when faced with a breakfast dilemma, it is always a good policy to choose whichever cafe that's actually open is nearest to Norwich.

  2. Went to the Surbiton Brasserie a couple of days ago. Nice enough place but I echo your comments about an incomplete breakfast.
    What I did have tasted very nice though, a decent sausage for once and very good hash browns! Mushrooms did look tinned though but they weren't on my breakfast this time so I did not taste em.
    You also have Nice Cafe, Allegro and Three Peas in a Pod which are nearish if you're back in Surbiton again.

  3. I much prefer to make my own breakfast...I always enjoy it and its never greasy.