Thursday 4 December 2014

Frank's Bar - Norwich

19 Bedford Street

Full English breakfast served on Sunday only between 10am - 6pm

 Frank's Bar can be found on Bedford Street in the City Centre.

 It was tricky to get interior shots but this is upstairs where we sat, there is very little space between the tables so breath in before taking a seat.

The menu is only served on Sundays but offers something for vegetarians and vegans too.

The drinks here are reasonably priced.

This cappucchino was excellent and a decent size too.

 The homemade ketchup is amazing.

 I can't say the breakfast was great though, it had potential but arrived barely warm.

 Great quality sausage and bacon but just one of each.

 I bet the egg, mushroom and tomato tasted great just after it was cooked, sadly when served lukewarm it all seemed quite lifeless.

A great slab of black pudding and some herby beans, both lukewarm though..

My wife was disappointed with her vegetarian breakfast, lukewarm, the main focus was beans and a poached egg with solid yolk.

 Frank's Bar seems to be a firm favourite in Norwich so I decided to return again over 3 years after my last visit. I am continually hearing about how great Frank's Bar is so was really looking forward to returning to see what all the fuss was about. On my last visit I managed to lose all but one photo (read that review here) so this was a good opportunity to take those missing photos again. My wife was keen to try the vegetarian breakfast so with high expectations we headed inside Frank's Bar once again..

Upon entering - We could immediately see how popular this place was with not a single table available downstairs, thankfully there was a table for two available upstairs though. The downstairs area is larger and quite dark, out the back there are plenty more tables and it's much lighter. There were menus already on the table and a small candle, ketchup is available on request and I'm guessing salt and pepper is too. Often in my reviews I mention "nicely spaced out tables" but this didn't seem to be the case here. With another table one side of us and some steps the other side we struggled to squeeze into the space. Once seated we had little if any room to manoeuvre making it fairly uncomfortable. This was quite a shame as despite how busy it was here the atmosphere did seem quite relaxing, just a bit tricky to relax in such a confined space. 7/10

Service - We were offered the last remaining table when we arrived and we didn't have to wait too long before placing our order, quite impressive considering they were full to capacity. The person serving us was friendly and our drinks arrived in good time, we were also asked if we were too hot as we were sitting fairly close to a radiator. The food arrived and we requested some ketchup, there was no salt and pepper on the table though and my wife went to look for some returning with just salt found on a window ledge. Our plates were collected when we had finished eating but there was no mention of "was everything ok" by anyone including the chap we paid on the way out. On this occasion we would have both mentioned that the food wasn't hot enough had we been asked. 5/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 1 slice of bacon, black pudding, saute potatoes, 1 egg, mushroom, tomato, beans and 1 slice of toast with butter 7/10

Presentation - I was quite impressed when it arrived, clearly good quality meats and a nicely fried egg. 8/10

The food - Excellent sausage with nice flavour and firm texture, the bacon was thick cut and the black pudding nice and coarse. The fried egg was cooked in all the right places with a nice runny yolk and the tomato tasted excellent. The mushroom was tasty but quite dry and the beans a bit heavy on the juice. The potatoes were ok and the toast fairly standard. Sadly everything on the plate was lukewarm though, I imagine it hadn't made it from the kitchen to the table in good enough time. 6/10

Value for money - The full English costs £8 and comes with just one of each item. Certainly less value for money than a number of places I can think of nearby offering great breakfasts with double items at the same price or less. The hot drinks menu seemed like great value for money though. 6/10

Veggie option - Roasted tomato and mushroom stack served with halloumi cheese, vegetarian black pudding, saute potatoes, herby beans, 1 egg and 1 slice of toast with butter. £6.50

Overall - Due to it's popularity I was expecting the breakfast here to impress me but served lukewarm it left me disappointed. A great atmosphere here for sure but I like enough space to eat too, for me the tables just seemed way too close together making it quite claustrophobic. I thought the vegan breakfast option was a really nice touch though and it's possibly just down to the sheer volume of customers that food was taking too long to get to the table. Sadly not the amazing breakfast experience I kept hearing about but clearly very popular with many all the same. 6.5/10


  1. All the fancy ingredients in the world don't mean a thing if you can't get the basics right, the food being lukewarm is pretty unforgivable. And herbs in the beans? Sacrilege!

  2. Yep herbs in the beans smacks of trying too hard...just serve good hot food!

  3. You should review some of the places in the Castle Mall i.e BB's just under St Johns Gallery (Level 3) where there used to be a nice large resturant but the majority of the seating area became the new mall management suite back in 2006/7 when the tennant closed I think. Kitchen is now used by mobile solutions who had a shop refit in march and fully took in the old counter and kitchen. Be nice to have a resturant back there again but only if they open it up again and take away that partion that was put on the balcony. If you do decide to review BB's at CM go after January because they are having a full refurbishment to the new brand style and it will be quite smart when done. Food is always nice there thou be intresting to read your take on the place :)

    1. I would happily review any Castle Mall places but can't think of any that serve a full English breakfast. I occasionally stop of at BB's for a coffee and a muffin though.

    2. Sorry it had slipped my mind about the full english, Yes BB's in there is great and will be even better once the refurbishment is completed apparently I overheard that is was gonna be in January. Many years ago I think there were one or two places where you could get an English breakfast but that is going back to when it was in its prime before it changed ownership. In time I imagine there will be some new quality resturants\cafes that will do a full english opening up. Once there new resturant quarter is completed.