Monday 23 November 2015

Bond Street Cafe - Norwich

Bond Street

Opening hours
Monday to Friday - 7.30am till 2pm
Saturday - 7.00am till 12.30pm

Breakfast served all day


Over 5 years had passed since my first visit to Bond Street Cafe, it still looked exactly the same. 

The menu caters for different sized appetites and vegetarians are looked after here.

Place your order and pay at the counter, don't forget to grab some cutlery and a paper if you fancy a read whilst waiting for your food to arrive.

The interior is bright and spacious, menus are on the wall and breakfasts are served all day.

There's no shortage of sauce here.

A mug of instant coffee costs 90p.

A slice of toast arrived first with some marmalade.

On my first visit I didn't use the marmalade so this time I decided I would, I'd forgotten how nice marmalade on toast was.

The bumper breakfast is served on a huge plate, it was steaming hot and a bargain at just £6.

The jumbo sausage was ok, no award winner though but on a breakfast costing £6 it seemed perfectly acceptable. Half a slice of fried bread and a slice of bread and butter comes with the bumper breakfast.

A nice pair of eggs took centre stage.

Both eggs had yolks to be proud of.

Big juicy slices of flavoursome tomato.

Pretty good bacon and black pudding.

Nice sliced mushrooms a hash brown and some fried potatoes completed the good selection of items found on this breakfast.

Back in July 2010 I discovered Bond Street Cafe in Norwich (read the 2010 review here) and it became inspection no 16 on the blog. Over 5 years later I decided to revisit and re-review the cafe, as it opens so early I was able to pop in before heading to work...

Upon entering - Everything inside looked exactly the same as I'd remembered it, the only thing different was the fried breakfast artwork that had once hung on the wall was no longer there. There are two spacious seating areas, one at the front and another one towards the back close to where the counter and kitchen are located. A large menu hangs on the wall and a smaller but more detailed menu can be found by the counter, this shows you what items each breakfast contains. Place your order and pay at the counter, this is also where you can find milk and sugar for your drink should you need any. Remember to collect some cutlery from the tray by the counter, salt, pepper and sauces are already on each table. The cafe is well lit and has a fairly relaxing atmosphere. 8/10

Service - The staff here were friendly, welcoming and efficient, they seemed to have a nice flowing system that worked well. I placed my order and didn't have to wait very long for food to appear, first the toast and marmalade closely followed by the bumper breakfast. 8/10

Contents - 1 jumbo sausage, 2 bacon, black pudding, 2 fried eggs, fried bread, 1 hash brown, fried potatoes, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, 1 slice of bread and butter and 1 slice of buttered toast with marmalade. 9/10

Presentation - The toast arrived on a side plate and the bumper breakfast was served on a huge round plate. With so many different items included with the bumper breakfast, the use of such a large plate meant all the items could sit nicely together but be seen, a beautiful sight! 9/10

The food - I covered the toast in the marmalade, I'd forgotten how nice this was, a great starter before the cooked breakfast arrived. The food arrived piping hot with steam hovering above everything. The jumbo sausage served here is fairly basic but reasonably firm and tasty, considering the price of the breakfast though a quite acceptable sausage. The bacon was nicely cooked and tasted great between the fluffy white bread with some ketchup. The black pudding was fairly standard and the mushrooms were juicy and delicious. The hash brown was nice and crispy, the fried potatoes golden with a soft centre. The sliced tomatoes were really flavoursome, the mushrooms were juicy and the beans were served in a nice thick stodgy sauce. The highlight for me though had to be those great pair of eggs with nice runny yolks, they seemed quite at home on top of the delicious and crispy fried bread. 8/10

Value for money - Since my previous visits I'd noticed that a hot drink is no longer included in the price of the breakfast and one slice of toast is now served instead of two. Despite this the bumper breakfast was still very good value for money at £6, the coffee cost just 90p. The ingredients are fairly basic but all cooked and presented really nicely, you won't leave feeling hungry! 8/10

Veggie option - Yes, 3 different sized veggie breakfasts available. 

Overall - Bond Street Cafe has certainly stood the test of time, a classic cafe serving nicely cooked affordable breakfasts. The service is friendly and the food is well presented and served piping hot. Certainly worth visiting if you haven't been there yet and nice to see a good selection of breakfasts for vegetarians on the menu too. 8.5/10

Monday 9 November 2015

The Green Grocers - Norwich

Earlham House Shops
Earlham Road

Breakfast served all day
Monday to Saturday - 9am till 7pm
Sunday - 10am till 4pm

We hadn't planned on stopping here to eat but with breakfast being served all day we couldn't resist.

 The large menu that once hung where the mirror is had been replaced by proper menus that are brought over to the table when you arrive, much better.

Meat lovers, Vegetarians and Vegans are all catered for here and the choice of breads on offer is impressive.

Plenty of extras available should you want more.

 Everything you need is already on the table except for ketchup which is offered when the food arrives.

The breakfast looked great when it arrived!

Nicely cooked good quality bacon.

Really nice chipolatas and seasoned tomatoes.

The mushrooms here were very tasty and beautifully cooked.

I choose the potato and rosemary bread, delicious with real butter and topped with those fried eggs.

The eggs were nicely cooked with runny yolks.

My wife had the vegan breakfast, they'd run out of bubble cake so she had some spinach instead. She thoroughly enjoyed it and particularly liked the mushrooms and tomatoes, her favourite two foods.

I first visited The Green Grocers for breakfast back in April 2013 and wasn't overly impressed with the ordering process or the food. Since then though I've always heard positive things about The Green Grocers so decided a return visit was definitely needed. I happened to be walking past with my wife in the afternoon when we noticed they served breakfast all day, we couldn't resist so headed inside once again...

Upon entering - The cafe looks great inside with a good number of tables, each one already has serviettes, cutlery, salt and pepper on it. More tables can be found outside, these are under a covered walkway so you could happily enjoy a coffee out there, even on a wet day. Beside the cafe is the shop that sell an excellent selection of organic food and drink. On my last visit I found the ordering process in the cafe confusing so was delighted to find it had changed for the better. Once seated a menu is brought over and somebody takes your order, on the way out you pay at the till by the door, simple and easy! The cafe seemed quite noisy when it was busy, it certainly had character but I struggled to hold a conversation with my wife. 7/10

Service - All the tables were taken when we arrived, we were happy to sit by the window on stalls though where there was excellent light to take photos. The menus were brought over almost straight away but we waited a fairly long time for somebody to return again. Just as we were considering leaving somebody finally came over and took our order. We both ordered a breakfast and I ordered a cappuccino, the cappuccino never arrived but the food arrived in reasonable time. We were offered sauces and some ketchup arrived in a small pot, it used to be in bottles here but it's an excellent ketchup so you won't be disappointed. By the time I'd finished my breakfast I wasn't bothered about the missing cappuccino as I usually enjoy it prior to the breakfast arriving. We mentioned the missing drink as we paid at the end and was offered an apology. The staff were certainly friendly here and clearly very busy with the cafe at full capacity, I can only imagine I hadn't been heard when ordering the drink and I wasn't too bothered as the breakfast was all I was really interested in. 6/10

Contents - 2 chipolatas, 2 bacon, 2 fried eggs, 2 large mushrooms, tomato, beans and a slice of toast served with real butter (chose from 7 different types of bread!) 7/10

Presentation - Everything was nicely placed on the plate and looked delicious. 8/10

The food - The chipolata sausages and bacon were both excellent quality and very tasty. The fried eggs were a good pair with slightly crispy edges and nice runny yolks, decent free range eggs are used here and you can really taste the difference. The mushrooms and tomatoes were both seasoned and cooked beautifully and the beans were rich in flavour and served in a nice thick sauce. I loved the organic potato and rosemary bread, nice thick slices and delicious covered in real butter. I popped the eggs on top of both slices, the perfect combination! An incredibly tasty breakfast, a real pleasure to eat and the quality of the ingredients really stood out. 9/10

Value for money - The Norfolk breakfast cost £7.96, a fair price for this great breakfast. 7/10

Veggie option - Veggie sausage, free range eggs, roasted field mushroom, tomatoes, beans and organic toast & butter. £6.95 

Vegan option - Vegan sausages, bubble cake, roasted field mushrooms, tomatoes, beans and organic toast. £6.95 

Overall -  The frustrating ordering process I'd encountered on my first visit has since been improved with the introduction of individual menus for each customer, much better! Definitely a thoroughly enjoyable breakfast and one that's created using locally sourced and very good quality ingredients. I loved the fact you could choose from 7 different types of bread and that the breakfast menu caters for vegans as well as vegetarians. I'm glad I returned again to discover this great breakfast, my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. 7.5/10