Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Egg 'n' Easel Cafe - Harleston

37 The Thoroughfare
IP20 9AS

Breakfast served
Monday to Saturday
10am till 12pm

There were a few places serving a Full English breakfast in Harleston, chosing where to go was a difficult decision but in the end the name of this place won us over!

The brightly coloured interior was cosy and relaxing, there's also a lovely garden to sit in out the back.

Towards the rear of the cafe is the counter and further back is the kitchen.

Quite a rare sight to see the food cooking, when I went to take a look at the garden I caught a glimpse through the kitchen door.

 I suppose you can always ask what the Full English breakfast consists of but I do prefer to see it written out on the menu. The vegetarian breakfast isn't listed on the menu but it is available if you ask.

Just after taking this pic I turned the ketchup bottle upside down, not much in there but at least it was Heinz.

A standard coffee cost £1.80 and came with a biscuit.

The toast arrived just before the breakfast, it's served with real butter and you have the option of white or brown bread.

With everything on the table it was time to eat my first Full English breakfast in 6 weeks!

My heart sunk a bit when it arrived, single items and quite poor presentation.

A quality sausage, nicely cooked mushrooms and a fairly tasteless tomato.

 The bacon was well browned and the beans needed a good stir.

 The egg was really tasty, my wife's yolk wasn't intact though.

An excellent quality sausage with herby flavour and firm texture.

Despite the broken yolk my wife's vegetarian breakfast looked a bit more exciting than mine with cherry tomatoes, halloumi and fried potatoes. The better looking breakfast of the two, I was slightly envious.

I'd never been to Harleston before and the reason for visiting was to view a property up for rent in the town centre. The property was really nice as was Harleston but being a bit further than I wanted to commute each day to Norwich we turned it down. Whilst in Harleston and  my wife suggested going somewhere for breakfast, a top plan and I hadn't eaten a Full English breakfast in 6 weeks! It was just a case of deciding where though, we spotted about four possibilities but the Egg 'n' Easel Cafe won us over with its name so in we went...

Upon entering - Based on the name I was expecting this to be a cafe and gallery, possibly  selling local artwork, I didn't notice any artwork on the walls though which was quite a surprise. The cafe has a fairly large seating area by the window and another table beside the counter. There was also a lovely garden to sit in out the back, it was a bit chilly today though so we chose to sit inside by the window. There were a few menus scattered about containing a number of breakfast options including the Full English. On each of the tables were salt and pepper, cutlery is brought over before the food arrives and ketchup is available on request. The brightly coloured decor and traditional furniture certainly make it a pleasant environment which feels nice and relaxing. 7/10

Service - The lady serving us was friendly and really helpful, there wasn't a vegetarian breakfast listed on the menu but the chef in the kitchen said this wouldn't be a problem. We ordered and paid at the counter and took a seat by the window, the drinks arrived first with a biscuit perched on the side of the saucer. I requested ketchup before the food arrived as I like everything in place so I can get to work as soon as the plate touches down. I remember raising an eyebrow at how little ketchup was in the bottle but decided turning it upside down would be the best solution, I do hate waste and it was after all a quality Heinz ketchup. Next to arrive was the toast and finally the cooked breakfasts. Nobody returned to check everything was ok or to clear the table, we did leave quite soon after finishing our food though. 6/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 2 bacon, 1 fried egg, half a tomato, mushrooms, beans and 2 slices of toast served with butter. 5/10

Presentation - Very randomly placed on a plate that didn't really suit the food. The food on the plate looked sparse and there was quite a lot of empty plate between the items. The beans were in a ramekin but also in need of a stir and the toast would have benefited from a tad longer in the the toaster. My wife's egg yolk was broken but her vegetarian breakfast was looking much better than my Full English. 4/10

The food - The single sausage was excellent quality with a herby flavour and firm texture, probably from one of the local butchers I spotted in Harleston. The bacon was well cooked and nicely browned, a very tasty pair of rashers that ended up between a slice of the buttered toast with a squeeze of ketchup. I popped the fried egg over the other slice of buttered toast, the deep yellow yolk was intact and the egg had plenty of flavour. The mushrooms were delicious but the tomato had very little taste, my only option was to cover it in ketchup. The beans were piping hot but in way too much juice, I dipped my toast crusts into the sauce to even out the bean/sauce ratio. Not the greatest breakfast but the quality meats and tasty egg certainly stood out. 6/10

Value for money - The Full English cost £7 but with a single sausage and egg it felt a bit overpriced. I appreciated the quality ingredients used but it just felt a bit too small for the money. 4/10

Vegetarian option - 1 vegetarian sausage, halloumi, fried potatoes, 1 fried egg, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, beans and 2 slices of toast served with butter for £7.

Overall - A slightly disappointing breakfast mainly due to its size and presentation, good quality ingredients were a welcome sight though. In hindsight I would have ordered the vegetarian breakfast as it looked far more complete and even came with a cluster of cherry tomatoes. On the plus side though the cafe looks lovely inside and feels really relaxing, the service is good and you get a biscuit with your drink which is always a bonus. 5/10

1 comment:

  1. That,s a rubbish breakfast. The toast is underdone, looks like the butter was hard to spread, bacon looks awful, beans too wet, mushrooms look greasy. Worst of all the eggs, I hate to see sliced eggs, I'm presuming your wife's and yours were cooked in the same pan, hope nothing else was cooked in it! And serving a split egg?