Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Jarrolds - Norwich

 5 London Street
Breakfast served
9am till 11am everyday except Sunday

 It had been over 3 years since my first breakfast visit at Jarrolds.

The pantry can be found on the 3rd floor.

The 12 item breakfast seemed like good value for money. Vegetarians prepare to be disappointed though, we asked about the "vegetarian breakfast available" and was told it was everything but the meat. Not a Quorn sausage or potato rosti to be seen here, very disappointing indeed and not really even worth mentioning on the poster.

You will most likely spend time in this area getting frustrated whilst your hot food rapidly looses its heat whilst you queue to collect drinks and pay.

Queue here whilst deciding what items you will choose.

The eggs are cooked to order, a nice touch but it does slow the queue down a lot.

At this point the food is piping hot, from here it's a frantic dash to get to your seat before it has gone cold. There are plenty of obstacles in the way though, queueing for a drink, queueing to pay, grabbing cutlery and finally finding an empty table. A cloche would come in very handy indeed!

Thankfully the dining area is really big so you should find a spare table somewhere.

It's certainly a nice enough environment to dine in though sound levels varied from just right to so noisy I couldn't hear a word my wife was saying!

A lovely view of our fine city through the round window.

 Remember to grab some sauces where you pay, salt and pepper is already on the table.

 All of this was £7.95, just a shame it was warm by the time I sat down.

Presentation wasn't great but it all tasted nice enough.

 The £7.95 deal consisted of this 12 item breakfast.

 A slice of toast and butter

A morning bun

 You may not think it looks that special but this morning bun stole the show, really nice!

And finally a coffee, it is served at the table and you can have a refill.

 I decided to try scrambled and fried eggs, both cooked in front of me.

The mushroom was really nice and the fried bread was spot on.

The sausages were a mid range variety, no award winner but half decent at least.

 Warm beans and pale looking bacon.

 The eggs had an even mix of runny and solid yolk.

I had been to Jarrolds for breakfast back in August 2011 (read that review here) but decided to revisit having recently spotted a poster advertising a 12 item breakfast and vegetarian option. On my last visit I found the queueing process quite frustrating so I was keen to see if anything had changed..

Upon entering - The large dining room is nicely decorated with a good selection of different sized tables. When we first arrived the sound level was pretty good but within 10 minutes I could barely hear what my wife was saying. Before you get to experience any of this though there is a fairly complex and frustrating counter system to negotiate..

There was a poster at the entrance of The Pantry listing the different breakfast offers, a free drink, toast and morning bun were available depending on how many items you had. This poster also mentioned a vegetarian breakfast that turned out to be the breakfast without meat, very disappointing.. Beside this poster is a stack of trays, take one of these to the end of the queue and wait in line to order your cooked breakfast. Before long you will wonder what the special offers where on the poster and notice that the poster is not on display behind the counter, time to dash back to the entrance for another look before returning to the queue again. 

Collect your breakfast and join another queue to collect a cup and saucer for the coffee, grab some sauces and join another queue at the till. It's impossible to speed any of this process up, I just stared at the food on my plate wondering how much heat had been lost. Remember to collect ketchup and cutlery then pay for your food before making a dash for a spare table. I sat down feeling quite tense wondering where my wife was and if there was any heat left in my breakfast. I couldn't help thinking that had I paid first and collected the breakfast afterwards or been given a cloche to put over the breakfast things may have been better. As it stood though it was far from relaxing and fairly frustrating. 3/10

Service - All the staff we encountered seemed fairly friendly and helpful although nobody seemed to know about the Vegetarian breakfast so proudly advertised on the poster by the entrance. We were asked how many eggs we wanted, what other items we required and told where to locate a morning bun. At the drinks counter it was explained that the coffee is served at the table and a refill is available. At the till the lady totted up my bill with a smile and the chap serving the coffee seemed quite delighted to be doing so. 7/10

Contents - On offer at the counter were sausages, bacon, black pudding, hash browns, fried and scrambled eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and beans. Also available was toast, morning buns and a selection of hot drinks. An excellent selection but vegetarians may well despair. 9/10

Presentation - Items are placed on the plate in the order you choose them, the eggs end up on top. 5/10

The food - A fairly decent pair of sausages with a reasonably firm texture and bacon that although quite pale looking tasted ok. The black pudding was a nice enough slab and the mushroom was excellent. The fried bread was excellent, nice and crunchy but not holding too much oil. The scrambled eggs didn't really taste of much and the fried eggs were pretty good with an equal amount of solid and runny yolk. The beans and toast were fairly standard but suffered like everything else from no longer being hot enough, I just couldn't sit down quick enough to eat it due to the amount of queueing required here. My personal highlight of this breakfast was the morning bun, it may have looked quite bland but it tasted really good. 6/10

Value for money - 12 items, a slice of toast, coffee and a morning bun cost me £7.95 .A lot of food for your money and you get to choose what you want on your plate, if it was possible to eat it hot it would be amazing but I just don't think this is possible here. 6/10

Veggie option - No

Overall - The frustrating queueing system let it down for me as did the promise of a veggie option which just didn't exist. If you don't mind sitting down to a warm breakfast with plenty of items to choose from then this is for you. Getting here early could be the answer to eating a hot breakfast and a cloche would help too. My advise would be to collect your coffee cup and cutlery first and then queue up for the cooked items before praying for a rapid time at the till. Possibly worth visiting just for a slice of fried bread and a morning bun though as they were both excellent! 6/10


  1. Thanks for checking it out - that's one to avoid!

  2. The food was nice, but you're right - the queueueueueueuing was a killer. Even at 9am on the dot you get to queue! (PS only Anonymous as can't be bothered to set up another account!)

  3. Used Jarrolds hundreds of times and never disappointed. Great value English breakfast as you can vary the number of items from 4 to 12. Lovely morning buns and cheese scones if you don't want English breakfast

  4. A breakfast should be cooked for you and brought to you fresh. I would deduct 3 points for self service at once. Its never good.