Sunday 25 January 2015

Mustard Coffee Bar - Norwich

3 Bridewell Alley 

Opening hours
Monday to Friday - 7.30am till 5pm
Saturday - 8am til 5pm

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This was my second visit for breakfast at Mustard coffee bar

 The sign on the corner of Bridewell Alley will point you in the right direction

The Mustard Full English is a recent addition to their menu

 Place your order at the counter whilst admiring those nice looking cakes

 The seating area is small with just a few tables to choose from 

More comfy seats in this area, perfect if you are just having a coffee

Local artists work is displayed on the walls and available to buy

Stuck for a gift idea? You could always buy a Mustard gift voucher

 Local magazines are available and will keep you occupied whilst you wait for the food to arrive.

If you are feeling artistic grab the sketchbook from the coffee table and get creative

If they like what they see in the sketchbook it gets hung on Mustard washing line!

Flowers are found on each table and the kitchen is up the stairs

A nice cappuccino and during January hot drinks are free if you spend more than £4 on a breakfast.

My wife got to it before I could get a picture of it and this is all she left me..

I thought it would look a bit more special than this and the toast would have been better served on a side plate. That said though if you take the toast off the plate it really highlights how small this breakfast actually is

 A good quality sausage had been overcooked

 A fairly decent fried egg

A nice runny yolk

Very flavoursome tomatoes are always a bonus but so is butter served in a small bowl

With no veggie full English breakfast available my wife chose "No meat in my muffin" but without avocado (she cut through the egg before I had a chance to take the photo). She wasn't particularly impressed with it though, it looked far better on our first visit

This is how "No meat in my muffin" looked on our first visit back in Jan 2014, far more visually impressive!

In January 2014 I visited Mustard Coffee Bar, they didn't serve a full English back then but the breakfast menu was still fairly impressive so I wrote a special feature which can be found here. It was a regular reader of the blog that informed me of Mustard's new breakfast menu featuring a full English breakfast so I wasted no time in visiting with my wife..

Upon entering - The counter is on the right as you enter and further back the fairly compact seating area, the kitchen here is upstairs. You can choose from a handful of tables or the more comfy seats with coffee tables, if you are here for breakfast eating at a table is your best option though. The latest breakfast menu was on the window outside so make your selection, order at the counter and choose a table, each one has salt, pepper and sugar already on it along with some fresh flowers. The food is brought to the table when it is ready along with cutlery and the option of sauces, simply pay on your way out. I liked the look of Mustard Coffee Bar, local artists work is displayed on the walls and is available to buy. If you are feeling artistic then you can draw in the sketchbook found on the coffee table using the pencils provided, if they like your work then it could end up on Mustard washing line with all the other favourites. It was fairly cold inside and the heater beside us was switched off, my wife decided to keep her coat on and as a result of this found it difficult to properly relax. 7/10

Service - All the staff here were friendly and helpful ensuring we had everything we needed and making us feel welcome. 8/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 1 bacon, 1 fried egg, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes and toast & butter. 5/10

Presentation - Expectations were high but soon dashed when the food arrived, it just looked very standard and lacked any special touch or attention to detail. Everything mentioned on the menu was there on the plate but the sausage looked overcooked and the toast perched on the edge of the plate complete with packaged butter. It did occur to me afterwards that had the toast been served on a separate plate it would have highlighted just how small this breakfast actually is. 5/10

The food - A standard slice of bacon and a good quality sausage that was overcooked on one side creating a much tougher texture in places. The fried egg was fairly good and a nice runny yolk appeared when I opened it with my knife. Very tasty tomatoes, great mushrooms and beans that could have done with a bit more sauce reduction. The toast was browned evenly and nice served with real butter. An enjoyable enough breakfast for sure but nothing really stood out as being particularly special and I was thinking about lunch less than an hour later. 7/10

Value for money - The Mustard Full English cost £7.50, during January a hot drink is offered free making it reasonable value for money. If I had paid £7.50 for it without the drink though I would have been questioning how a standard single items breakfast could carry this price tag. I will base the score here on the fact the coffee was included though. 5/10

Veggie option - No veggie full English available. The closest thing was "no meat in my muffin" consisting of English muffin with halloumi, mushrooms, vine tomatoes and avocado topped with a poached egg for £6.50

Overall - A great place for sure with friendly staff and a compact but nice environment with some lovely touches like the sketchbook washing line and local art on display. For me the full English was a bit of a let down though and not particularly filling. With so many places nearby offering a bigger and better breakfast at the same price or less it left me wondering if they need to go back to the drawing board with their full English and create something better that stands out from the crowd and offer a vegetarian one too. 6/10

Sunday 18 January 2015

Olives - Norwich

40 Elm Hill

Breakfast served
Tuesday to Friday - 9am till 3pm
Saturday - 9am till 3pm
(Last food orders 45 minutes before before closing)

It was over four years ago since I had last eaten breakfast at Olives on Norwich's stunning Elm Hill. 

Inside feels warm and welcoming and relaxing.

It can get busy at times, the traffic light in the corner can be used as a guide though.
Green means the kitchen is on top of everything and amber means you may have to wait a bit longer, a great idea!

There is a good selection of breakfasts available on the menu at a reasonable price, I plan on returning to try the breakfast burrito.

I briefly considered a spiced apple warmer but played it safe with my usual, a cappuccino.

We entertained ourselves with a crossword that a previous customer had started but given up on, perfect whilst waiting for the food to arrive!

 I went for the regular cappuccino which came in a good sized mug and the chocolate powder was left on the table too. I enjoyed eating the chocolate sprinkled froth and adding more.

Whilst my wife was buttering her toast I remembered the crucial ketchup photo.

Nice chunky cut toast and real butter came with both breakfasts.

Olive's English breakfast looked quite different to your average breakfast as there were no mushrooms or tomatoes. I later discovered that mushrooms could be added as an extra and you could have your eggs fried if you prefer.

This is what you get for £6.50, Olive's English breakfast.

The bacon was far too crispy for my liking but did taste great and the PB George sausage was excellent.

 The home-made beans had a subtle bbq taste and were so nice.

3 thick slices of delicious black pudding and the best scrambled egg I have ever had the pleasure of eating.

The bubble and squeak was just amazing!

The veggie breakfast came with a veggie sausage, halloumi and also included mushrooms. My wife loved it and said it was one of the best she had ever tasted!

Back in November 2010 I visited Olives for breakfast, that review can be found here. Since then they have changed hands and have a new breakfast menu. I have been contacted on a number of occasions by readers of the blog telling me that I really should return again and how amazing their scrambled eggs are. After some initial confusion over when they were serving breakfast (it is all perfectly clear now on their website) I decided the time had come to return and re-review this popular breakfast venue, my wife joined me to try out the veggie breakfast..

Upon entering - Not much had changed since my previous visit but that was great as we we enjoyed that same welcoming and relaxing environment with a stunning view of Elm Hill. We were given the breakfast menu when we arrived and chose a table by the window, there is full table service and we paid on our way out. Salt and pepper is already on each table and sauces are offered once the food arrives. We found a crossword on the table that kept us entertained whilst waiting for the food to arrive. The traffic light in the corner is great idea, if it is green then you shouldn't have to wait too long for the food, if it glows amber though then there might well be a slightly longer wait. Certainly a really pleasant environment to relax and enjoy breakfast in. 9/10

Service - It was almost full when we arrived but we spotted an empty table by the window, we were greeted, handed some menus and we quickly filled those empty seats. A couple of people served us during our visit, both friendly and very helpful. Drinks arrived first and the lady bringing them over kindly left the chocolate sprinkler for the cappuccino with me, I thoroughly enjoyed sprinkling it over the froth, drinking a bit and adding some more. There was a bit of a wait for the food but it was very busy and well worth the wait once it arrived. We were offered sauces and left in peace to enjoy the food, the plates were cleared away at the end and we were asked if everything was ok. I made an enquiry about those amazing sausages whilst paying on the way out and we were thanked and bid goodbye. 9/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 1 slice of bacon, 3 slices of black pudding, scrambled eggs, bubble & squeak, home-made baked beans, toast and butter. 8/10

Presentation - It looked quite different to your average breakfast due to the scrambled eggs and no tomatoes or mushrooms. What was placed before me looked delicious though and was nicely placed on the plate, the over crispy bacon didn't excite me but everything else did. The toast was served with plenty of real butter on a separate plate. 8/10

The food - The large PB George sausage was excellent, great taste and texture, a perfect breakfast sausage. The bacon may well have been excellent too but to be honest I am not a fan of crispy bacon and this was possibly the crispiest I have ever been served so not really appreciated by me. I have friends who demand their bacon crispy though so just a personal thing and I guess next time I could ask for it to be cooked for less time. The black pudding was thick cut and tasty, the best I have eaten in a long time. The homemade bubble & squeak tasted sensational with a crispy outside and nicely textured inside, again the best I have tasted in a long time. I have always said that my wife cooks the best scrambled eggs but she has a new challenger as the scrambled eggs served here were beautifully creamy and to die for. Somebody told me sometime ago that Olives serve amazing scrambled eggs and I see what they mean now, truly stunning! Home-made beans can be very hit and miss but once again Olives have nailed it with a very subtle bbq flavour and beautifully reduced sauce resulting in an amazing homemade bean experience that works superbly on this breakfast. Thick cut toast is served with plenty of real butter, I popped mine underneath those amazing beans and scrambled eggs. This was such an enjoyable breakfast and a real pleasure to eat, I wasn't a fan of the crispy bacon but everything else was just sensational. 9/10

Value for money - The best £6.50 I have spent in a long time! Extras are available at £1 each. 9/10

Veggie option - Scrambled eggs, veggie sausage, halloumi, mushrooms, bubble and squeak, home-made baked beans and toast& butter. £6.50

Overall - The breakfast here is a bit different from your average full English but what they have created is an incredible taste sensation. There are no tomatoes or mushrooms on the full English but instead you get black pudding and bubble and squeak which are both items I prefer anyway. The flavours in everything compliment each other really nicely, I loved the breakfast here and so did my wife. With a breakfast that tastes this good in a lovely relaxing environment you really can't go wrong, go give them a look! 9/10

- Update, April 2015 - 

Since my previous visit the breakfast had been changed slightly and now includes fried bread, a great addition! The price has increased but the breakfast is well worth every penny as it tastes so damn good!

Everything on the plate was beautifully cooked, great meats, the best scrambled eggs ever and the excellent homemade bubble and squeak make this breakfast a real treat.

 My wife was delighted with her veggie breakfast saying it was easily one of the best in Norwich. Whilst some places offer breakfasts with the meat taken off for vegetarians, at Olives they ensure an alternative is offered making it really special.

- Update, October 2015 - 

It was a wet Friday afternoon in Norwich and my wife and I were really craving an Olives breakfast. The breakfast here is just so tasty, from beginning to end it's a complete pleasure to eat! 

The only downside to this breakfast is the sinking feeling when it has all gone. Definitely one of Norwich's tastiest breakfasts, I can't wait to eat here again soon!

- Update, August 2016 - 

Still recovering from an excellent weekend at Boomtown Fair my wife and I decided a decent breakfast was needed. Olives seemed like a good plan and we were keen to check out their new menu, their breakfasts now include mushrooms and tomatoes!

What a beautiful sight, when the food arrived we were gobsmacked at how amazing everything looked.

I ordered Olive's breakfast which cost £8.50 and added black pudding for an extra 50p. Everything was cooked to perfection and you can now choose fried or poached eggs if you prefer, I was temped to try their fried eggs but couldn't resist scrambled as it's the best ever here. The new additions to the breakfast (tomatoes and mushrooms) were beautifully cooked and full of flavour. This breakfast really couldn't have looked or tasted any better, a top job Olives!

 My wife chose Olive's veggie breakfast which cost £8.50, she was in breakfast heaven!

 - Update, October 2016 - 

A couple of months had passed since our last visit and we couldn't resist returning for another Olives breakfast, this time I finally got to try the breakfast with fried eggs. As always the breakfast looked superb and tasted amazing! I love the way the toast arrives with the breakfast and sauces are already on the table here, as soon as the food arrives you can get stuck in.


My wife tried the vegan breakfast on this visit and she loved it!

 - Update, April 2017 - 

The perfect way to start the Easter weekend! 

 - Update, July 2017 - 

There's been a slight price increase but this breakfast is still worth every penny! The Olives breakfast now costs £9.50 and black pudding is available for an extra 50p. 

The vegan breakfast now costs £9.50.

- Update, October 2017 - 

Having just returned from 3 weeks in Japan I was really craving a full English and this one hit the spot nicely!

An Aerial shot of the Olives breakfast and vegan breakfast. 

- Update, December 2017 - 

The black pudding on the Olives breakfast is now being supplied by the incredible Fruit Pig Company.

- Update, March 2018 - 

The latest version of the menu.

A slice of Fruit Pig white pudding was served with the breakfast today and I loved it! This is something which will eventually become a permanent feature on the breakfast menu.

 A new addition to the vegan breakfast is vegan black pudding.

- Update, September 2018 -

The latest version of the menu.

Fruit pig white pudding is now alongside the black pudding as a permanent addition to the menu. I recommend ordering both!

 - Update, January 2019 -

A great way to start the New Year! Breakfast with Tom from The Fry Up Police, Jim from Salubrious Sauce Co and matthew from Fruit Pig.