Wednesday 19 October 2016

The Galway Roast - Norwich

(Now closed)

33 London Street

Breakfast served all day

 The Galway Roast opened on London Street in Norwich back in May 2016, they have three stores in Ireland but this is their first one to open in the UK.

They have good facilities to make coffee and the cakes looked really nice. The tiny kitchen area isn't equipped for producing a decent breakfast though as I was about to find out.

There are couple of tables close to the window and some slightly wobbly tables outside.

At the back there are more tables but there's no natural light in this area.

Initially I thought the price of the full breakfast seemed fairly reasonable considering it came with toast and a hot drink. My wife thought the veggie breakfast seemed overpriced compared though and she had a good point.

The coffee here was nice enough.

The toast was pretty good too, I'd ordered white but brown arrived. So far everything seemed to be going fairly well.

Then this arrived...

Here it is from another angle... and it was served with a smile!

The sausages may look perfectly acceptable but they were really chewy and didn't taste too good. The object north of the sausages was my biggest concern though!

On the menu it was simply listed as "egg" but how on earth had it been cooked? My wife enquired and was told it was microwaved as they had limited kitchen facilities. She was offered scrambled eggs instead which she accepted, I decided to persevere with the egg I'd been given as I was reviewing the breakfast they usually serve.

My wife's scrambled eggs arrived pale and tasteless with a dry texture.

I decided to try both types of eggs, an experience I'll never forget!

The microwaved bacon was chewy and the black pudding tasted awful, the only sane item on the plate was the beans.

This is the vegetarian breakfast, not a pretty sight!

I hadn't planned on eating a breakfast out on this particular weekend, we were in the centre of Norwich though and my wife and I were feeling quite peckish. Whilst walking along London Street my wife suggested going home for beans on toast, the look on my face made it clear I wasn't too excited about this prospect though. Then my wife pointed to The Galway Roast breakfast sign, there were empty tables outside so we decided to stop there for some breakfast...

Upon entering - The tables outside on London Street looked like a nice place to sit, both tables that were empty wobbled though (very annoying when you're trying to eat) so we headed inside. We found a table close to the window, there were plenty more further back but there was no natural light in that area. The decor was modern and clean, on the back wall was lots of information on the type of coffee beans used here. There's full table service, the tables already have sugar and menus on them. Sauces are available on request and arrive in a ramekins with a tiny amount at the bottom. The counter has a nice looking selection of cakes and is also home to the tiny kitchen area that sadly isn't equipped to cook a decent breakfast. 6/10

Service - The staff here are very friendly, we were greeted with a smile and made to feel really welcome throughout our visit. The chap serving us wasted no time in coming over to take our order, he asked if we would like brown or white toast and tea or coffee with our breakfasts. First our drinks arrived, with these came some cutlery wrapped in serviettes. Next the toast arrived, I'd ordered white toast but brown arrived, I wasn't overly concerned though as I'll happily eat either. Whilst buttering our toast my wife's vegetarian breakfast was placed before her, I'll never forget the look on her face as she looked down at what she'd been served! Spread out over the plate were shrivelled up mushrooms, luke warm tomatoes, a pot of beans and a very sorry looking egg. My wife was quick to enquire about the egg asking if it had been microwaved, she was told it had been as the kitchen isn't equipped to serve them any other way. She was offered scrambled eggs instead which she accepted. Next to arrive was my breakfast, I was suddenly regretting not going home for beans on toast as my wife had earlier suggested doing. We were offered sauces but when they arrived there was very little in the bottom of the ramekins they were served in. The scrambled eggs arrived next on a side plate looking pale and bland, my wife didn't like it so I popped some on my plate for review purposes. We paid on the way out but wasn't asked how everything was, they must have already seen the answer on our faces. Despite all this though the staff were really friendly so I'll score this section to reflect that. 7/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, black pudding, 1 egg, mushrooms, beans, 1 slice of toast served with butter and a tea or coffee. 6/10

Presentation - Where do I start with this one!? My heart sunk when my breakfast arrived but I was here to review it so there was no turning back now. The egg looked desperately sad, neither fried nor poached, simply microwaved for far too long with an unshapely white and dried out pale yolk. The mushrooms were looking terrible too, really dry and shrivelled up. I was still feeling hopeful about the meats on the plate although the black pudding looked desperately dry. The beans looked ok and the toast looked fine. 3/10

The food - I was dreading eating that egg but I had a job to do so cut through it hoping it may at least taste ok, there seemed to be no flavour at all though. I guess the microwave had blasted away any trace of flavour that ever existed inside this poor egg. I tried some of my wife's scrambled, again no flavour and quite a dry texture. The beans were really needed on this breakfast to provide some much needed moisture, they were fairly nice. The sausages (which im guessing were microwaved too) had a sticky texture and fairly grim flavour. The bacon didn't taste of much and was quite dry and chewy despite its shiny exterior. The black pudding had a strange flavour, possibly caused by over microwaving. The mushrooms were incredibly dry and the tomatoes tasted quite nice but were served barely warm. I like to end on a positive note though and can confirm that the toast was quite enjoyable served with real butter. On the whole though it was clear that there were not the correct facilities in the kitchen to cook this type of breakfast, as a result of this a pretty dire breakfast was being served. 3/10

Value for money - I'm still gutted that I spent £7.50 on this. 1/10

Veggie option - Tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, egg, toast and a tea or coffee for £6.95.

Overall - It's a nice enough looking place and the staff are really friendly which is always a bonus. Sadly they're not geared up to cook a decent breakfast though so unless you want a microwaved breakfast I'd consider just stopping here for a coffee and cake, the cakes did look really nice. Something else that dawned on me as I was eating breakfast here was just how many independent places there are serving stunning breakfasts in Norwich. We're all spoilt for choice for excellent breakfasts in Norwich so something that's been microwaved just doesn't cut the mustard. 4/10


  1. They were lucky to get 3/10 for the food!

  2. It was the beans and toast that saved it from an even lower score.

    1. This breakfast is a crime against humanity. How could they have the audacity to microwave an egg like that?! A definite 1/10, the beans and toast should merely save it from a 0

    2. A lower score is reserved for the raw, uncooked and inedible.

      Here are my scores explained:
      1 - Awful
      2 - Really bad
      3 - Bad
      4 - Not very good
      5 - Ok
      6 - Above average
      7 - Good
      8 - Very good
      9 - Excellent
      10 - Perfect and cannot be improved on

    3. To me chap that brekko was inedible, a 1 at the best! I would have paid and left without eating personally.

  3. I see this is only posted on Wednesday 19th October, I been past this place tonight, the café sign have been taken down, it looks like it been empty out, and sign on window saying "Dear Customers! Closed until further notice due to technical issues!".

    1. Thank god....maybe they're installing a frying pan!

  4. The Curse of the FUI is obviously as all-powerful as the Curse of Gnome (apologies to any who haven't read Private Eye, and so won't have a clue what I'm talking about).

  5. Oh come on chap, 3/10 for presentation?...0 is too much!!! No attempt made at all, in 2016 we are micro waving fry ups? Galway eh....I grew up in Ireland and I can assure you that NEVER would a breakfast be served like that there! The veggie brekko, those tomatoes...I can't believe what I'm seeing!!!

  6. Indeed Brit in New England... the cafe is closed for good and their sponsorship of one of the stands at Carrow Road is also in question it seems! The force is strong in this one...

    1. They sponsored a stand at Carrow Road...where Delia Smith is a director? Shame she didn't pop in for a brekko first!!!

  7. I've had the misfortune to experience a microwaved breakfast before as well, very unpleasant.

    1. Yes so did I, at a very expensive B&B in Buckinghamshire...1 rasher of bacon, 1 egg, 1 tomato halved....£120 per night.