Tuesday 29 April 2014

Fairland Diner - Wymondham

25 Fairland Street
NR18 0AW

Breakfast served all day

Fairland Diner was the third place I had visited for breakfast in Wymondham.

It has a fairly large dining area with the counter to the rear.

The Florin arcade can be found around the corner.

The interior took me right back to the early 1990's.

 Decent quality ingredients were being used on the breakfasts and the selection seemed ok. I just wish that I had spotted the extra items on offer before ordering!

The Americano was included with the breakfast, you could choose tea if you preferred.

 The condiment stack didn't blow me away..

When this arrived at the table I was much happier!

First came the toast (also included with the breakfast) 

The large full English cost £7 and looked pretty good.

 Great eggs and fairly nice fried bread but the tomato didn't have any flavour at all.

Excellent sausages, nice crisp hash browns and slightly undercooked mushrooms.

I had visited Fairland Diner on a number of occasions for a coffee and noticed the breakfasts being served there looked good. Knowing I would be in Wymondham for the morning with my wife I decided to inspect the breakfast experience at Fairland Diner. I had already visited Station Bistro and The Lemon Tree Cafe in Wymondham, both serving great breakfasts. I headed through the door at Fairland Diner wondering if I would find a third breakfast gem in Wymondham..

Upon entering - As soon as I entered I felt like I had travelled back in time to the early 1990's, everything is clean and nicely arranged but the decor just reminded me of that era, this was not a problem though as I have fond memories of the 1990's. Towards the rear is the counter where you place your order and pay, next decide where you are going to sit. There are plenty of tables to choose from including some out the back in a smaller room and the table by the window in its own little space, perfect for people watching! Each table has a menu, sugar, salt and pepper already on it, a decent selection of quality brand sauces and cutlery arrive shortly after you have ordered. If you are feeling lucky you could always have a quick flutter on the adjoining arcade (The Florin), you can access it from inside the diner just beside the counter. I quite liked the feel of Fairland Diner, it soon got very busy shortly after I arrived and seems like a popular choice in Wymondham. 8/10

Service - I placed my order at the counter and was given my coffee served with a smile. Sauces and cutlery arrived at the table shortly after ordering, next came the breakfast closely followed by the toast. There was a bit of a wait for the food but I could see they were very busy so was happy to wait, an apology was given for the delay when the food arrived and the same chap checked everything was ok a short time later. The breakfast experience certainly went very smoothly here due to the efficiency of the staff who clearly worked really well together as a team. 9/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 fried eggs, 2 hash browns, mushrooms, half a tomato, beans, half a slice of fried bread, 2 slices of buttered toast and a hot drink. 8/10

Presentation - The oval plate was quite small making it fairly tricky to manoeuvre things around, everything looked good though and the excellent fried eggs and quality sausages really stood out. 7/10

The food - The sausages were a good quality pork with a nice firm texture and the bacon was tasty but a little overcooked making it a bit chewy. The fried bread had a nice golden colour and crunch to it but was holding a fair bit of oil. The fried eggs were spot on with perfect runny yolks and the hash browns were cooked nicely with a golden crisp edge. The mushrooms tasted great but were a little underdone and the tomato piping hot but sadly with no flavour at all, the beans were piping hot and the toast was ok.  6/10

Value for money - The large full English cost £7 and included toast and a hot drink, this seemed like a reasonable price to me. 7/10

Veggie option - 2 eggs, 2 hash browns, beans, tomato, mushrooms, fried bread, toast or bread and butter and a tea or coffee for £5.50
Overall - The breakfast here was fairly enjoyable with great sausages and eggs but some parts of it did let it down slightly. I just wish I had spotted the black pudding and bubble and squeak option before ordering, I must return someday to try these! You will certainly find good service and reasonably priced food here and the distinct retro look inside makes it fairly unique too. 7.5/10

Friday 25 April 2014

London Breakfasts

These are the places I've visited in London so far.

Arlo's Restaurant, Balham - Read about it here.

Beppe's Cafe, near Barbican - Read about it here.  

Blighty Coffee, Finsbury Park - Read about it here 

Bridge Cafe, West Acton - Read about it here
(Featured in The Apprentice)

Cafe 1001, Spitalfields - Read about it here.

Cafe 338, Bethnal Green - Read about it here

Cafe Le Jardin, Spitalfields - Read about it here

City Corner Snack Bar - Spitalfields - Read about it here
(Now closed)

Cafe on the lane - South Woodford. Read about it here

Dishoom, Shoreditch - Read about it here.

 E. Pellicci, Bethnal Green - Read about it here

Edith's House, Crouch End - Read about it here.

Fox & Anchor, Barbican - Read about it here 

Frizzante Cafe, Hackney - Read about it here.

Gambardella, Blackheath - Read about it here
(Now closed) 

 George Hotel, Kings Cross - Read about it here

 Giraffe, Heathrow Airport - Read about it here

Glenlyn Hotel, Woodside Park - Read about it here

Hamilton Hall, Liverpool Street - Read about it here

Maggie's Cafe, Lewisham. Read about it here

Mike's Cafe, Notting Hill - Read about it here.

National Hotel, Muswell Hill - Read about it here

Pavilion, Victoria Park - Read about it here.

  Polo Bar, Liverpool Street - Read about it here

Regency Cafe, Pimlico - Read about it here

S&M, Spitalfields - Read about it here 
(Now closed) 

Sam's Cafe, Bethnal Green - Read about it here

Smiths, Farringdon - Read about it here

Terry's Cafe, Borough - Read about it here

The Breakfast Club, Spitalfields - Read about it here

 Barbarella's Cafe, Lambeth - Read about it here

Cafe Par, Clarkenwell - Read about it here

The Daily Grind, Spitalfields - Read about it here
(Now closed) 

The Shepherdess, City Road - read about it here

A new channel 4 show from Betty is looking for people!

A unique opportunity if anyone is interested!!

Thursday 24 April 2014

Sam's Cafe - London

292 Bethnal Green Road
Bethnal Green
E2 0AG

All day breakfast available

Nearest Tube: Bethnal Green

Sam's Cafe is a few minutes walk from the amazing E. Pellicci on Bethnal Green Road.

 Inside it reminded me of Cafe 338 which I had visited a few months back.

There were plenty of reasonably priced breakfast options on the huge menu.

A good selection of vegetarian breakfasts too.

Gingham table cloths, squeezy sauce bottles and a classic sugar pourer, first impressions were good.

 This frothy coffee came with the breakfast.

Toast was included too or you could have bread if you preferred.

I went for set breakfast no 3 with bubble and tomatoes added as extras.

 A generous serving of beans held back by a wall of thickly sliced tomatoes.

The bacon was fairly nice and the egg sat proudly on top of the bubble slab.

The tomatoes were well tasty but quite blackened from the griddle.

The jumbo economy sausage had been slashed many times prior to cooking, I had seen this done before in London at The Shepherdess.

Getting up at silly o' clock on a Saturday morning, travelling to London on the 5am train and then standing in a queue freezing cold for over 2 hours outside a record shop can mean just one thing. Yep, it was Record Store Day again! After finally emerging from Rough Trade East at 9.45am with a bag full of records it was most definitely time for a breakfast. I had decided in advance that I would be visiting Sam's Cafe on Bethnal Green Road, just a few minutes walk away from my favourite ever cafe E. Pellicci..

Upon entering - As soon as I walked in it felt quite familiar, it then dawned on me just how similar it was inside to Cafe 338 further along Bethnal Green Road. Towards the rear was the counter and open plan kitchen, in front of this the fairly large dining area with plenty of nicely spaced out tables. The tables are a decent size which was a good job as the menu's here containing a vast selection of breakfasts are huge! Each table is covered in a gingham table cloth and has a standard selection of condiments, sauces in squeezy bottles and a classic sugar pourer. There is a full table service so simply wait for your order to be taken and pay at the counter before you leave. The atmosphere inside was great with plenty going on around me but with a sense that I had found a fairly peaceful environment to look through my vinyl purchases over a coffee whilst waiting for the food to arrive. 8/10

Service - From the moment I arrived the friendly waitress was on the case ensuring my breakfast experience went as smoothly as possible. She took my drink order and gave me time to look at the menu, moments later the drink arrived and I placed my breakfast order. First the toast and cutlery arrived and shortly after that the breakfast. At the end I paid at the counter and was given a chewit, I hadn't eaten one of those in years! Good, friendly and efficient service is always nice to find and the lady serving me did an excellent job! 9/10

Contents - 1 jumbo sausage, 2 slices of bacon, 1 fried egg, bubble and squeak, 2 slices of black pudding, tomatoes, beans, 2 slices of buttered toast and a coffee. 8/10

Presentation - The breakfast filled the large oval plate quite nicely and some thought had clearly gone into keeping the egg and beans apart from each other. A sea of beans was being held back by a wall of tomatoes and a sausage barrier, to further ensure the beans couldn't touch it the egg was perched high up on the slab of bubble. The sausage had been cut many times before cooking, maybe to ensure a distinct curve once cooked? The tomatoes were quite blackened from the griddle but generally everything looked pretty good to me. 7/10

The food - The sausage was as to be expected from this economy catering type, the bacon was ok and the black pudding nice but quite dry. Thankfully the huge sea of beans balanced the moisture factor quite well. The fried egg had a nice runny yolk and the tomatoes were really ripe and tasty. The star of the show was surely the big slab of bubble, it seems to be an easy breakfast item to find in London and here it didn't disappoint. The toast was served hot with plenty of spread and was perfect wrapped around that bacon. An enjoyable enough breakfast served piping hot that certainly hit the spot after standing in a freezing cold queue for over 2 hours! 7/10

Value for money - The set breakfast no 3 with bubble and tomatoes added as extras also came with toast and a hot drink at £7. I was starving when I arrived but left feeling satisfied for the money, expect big portions here! 8/10

Veggie option - Yes, 4 vegetarian set breakfasts available.

Overall - Certainly a good breakfast option at a fair price and the service is excellent. I would have liked to have seen some fried bread on the menu but can't really complain as all the other key breakfast items were available. One thing that can't be ignored though is the fact that a few minutes up the same road is the stunning E. Pellicci which is a place you just have to visit! If you have already been though and fancy a change then Sam's Cafe is certainly well worth a look! 8/10