Sunday 24 November 2013

Assembly House - Norwich

Theatre Street

Breakfast served 
Monday to Saturday
10am till 12pm

 Back in August I attended the launch of the Norfolk food and drink festival at the Assembly House, it was time to return to try their Full English breakfast.

We were given a choice of three rooms to eat in, we chose the Ivory Room.

 The Ivory Room was fairly posh and a pleasent setting to eat breakfast in.

 The breakfast was quite expensive but sounded great.

This large cappuccino cost £2.95.

Sugar lumps are already on the table along with salt and pepper. You will need to ask for ketchup though.

The cutlery was huge!

The breakfast was beautifully presented.

An overhead shot of this incredible arrangement.

An overcooked quality sausage is a sad sight when you are spending nearly £10.

Thankfully everything else was cooked nicely and tasted excellent.

An unforgettable mushroom experience and delicious thick cut fried bread.

Easy to finish when it tastes this good!

This is the veggie option served with Norfolk rarebit for £8.95

I had been at home feeling unwell for three days and decided it was time to venture outside again lured by the thought of a fry up inspection. I had already decided my next place to visit would be the Assembly House having spotted their breakfast menu recently..

Upon entering - As we entered we were greeted by staff who asked us where we would like to eat, there was a choice of three different dining rooms. We chose the Ivory Room which we could see next to us, it looked well lit with some tables available so seemed a good choice. It displayed lovely art work for sale on the walls and was a very traditional looking room complete with grandfather clock and large fireplace. There was a choice of arm chairs next to coffee tables, sofas and traditional tables and chairs. Each table had a menu, salt, pepper and sugar lumps. Ketchup was available on request and came in a small pot containing a decent amount. There is a full table service so just sit back and everything will be taken care of. 8/10

Service - It was a tale of two halves here and things started really well. The staff greeting us were friendly enough and the young staff taking our orders were professional, efficient and friendly. So far so good we thought until the food arrived at the table brought by a very stern mannered man, my wife requested some toast and ketchup which he went off to get but didn't once smile and almost seemed put out by this. This seemed a bit odd, surely toast and ketchup is not such an odd request when ordering a cooked breakfast and a smile goes a long way. Because of this a 9/10 for service has been reduced to 6/10.

Contents - 1 sausage, 2 bacon, 1 slice of black pudding, 1 fried egg, 1 large flat mushroom, saute potatoes, grilled tomato and half a slice of fried bread. 7/10

Presentaion - The presentation was stunning and everything sat really nicely on the plate, perfection! 10/10

The food - The "Best Norfolk sausage" was sadly overcooked and a bit dry resulting in it's true flavour and texture getting lost. The dry cured bacon on the other hand was cooked beautifully and tasted sensational. The black pudding was quite nice and the saute potatoes piping hot and golden crisp. The tomatoes tasted fantastic and the flavour in that flat mushroom was about as good as it gets, so delicious! The great fried egg went nicely on top of the chunky cut and golden slice of fried bread which was perfectly crisp but not holding too much oil. A really enjoyable breakfast served piping hot but let down slightly by the overcooked sausage. Also with no beans served on this breakfast I found a lot of ketchup is needed to prevent it all being a bit on the dry side. 8/10

Value for money - The Assembly House Full English costs £9.95, if you add toast at £2.25 and a cappuccino at £2.95 then you have spent just over £15. Yes, you are in nice surroundings and the food is great but for a breakfast containing one sausage and no beans I felt I had spent my money much wiser in the past. 4/10

Veggie option - Norfolk rarebit, 2 flat mushrooms, 2 fried eggs, saute potatoes, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms for £8.95. (I don't understand why the fried slice isn't included with the veggie option)

Overall - A stunning looking breakfast that tasted great but add on all the essential extras and you have spent over £15. To me this was too much to spend considering service varied from excellent to surprisingly obtuse, I would expect consistent excellence at that price.  Maybe worth a look if you have the money to spare but my recommended section will give you much better options for your money. 7/10


  1. Sorry for this being a slightly negative comment FUI, but why so long between inspections these days? Are you running out of places to inspect?

    If so, how about expanding the criteria slightly, so that other types of meals can be covered? The Waffle House do some excellent nosh at good prices, though not traditional fry-ups - just to give an example.

    Food for thought anyway...

    1. To be honest it has been down to lack of spare money recently with Christmas coming up but I have a few places lined up for the coming weeks. Looking at other types of food too is a great idea.

  2. I just remembered that the Waffle House is on the blog already (in the "places I have visited" section) Also be sure to follow my facebook page (link at top of page) where I often post other food pics that don't feature on the blog. Cheers!