Sunday 7 May 2017

The Cafe NR1 - Norwich

(Now closed)

65 Hall Road

Opening hours
Monday to Saturday
7am till 2pm

The Cafe NR1 had just opened on Hall Road in Norwich. 
I decided to call in for breakfast on the way to work.

The kitchen and counter can be found on the far wall.

The dining area is large and spacious.

The menu offers a selection of set breakfasts which include toast and a hot drink. The beans or tomatoes option seemed a little odd to me though as surely most people would prefer both.

Condiments can be found on the table.

A mug of instant coffee came with the breakfast.

As did 2 slices of toast.

First impressions were good.

The eggs looked in good shape but uncooked egg white over the yolk was clearly visable.

A generous sized slab of bubble and squeak.

The bacon and black pudding were ok but I didn't enjoy the sausage.

Nice enough mushrooms and plenty of beans.

I tried everything on the plate but couldn't face finishing the eggs or the sausage.

I'd noticed social media pages appear quite a few months ago for Cafe NR1, it was going to be opening in the premises on Hall Road that were formerly KO Diner and before that Pat's Cafe. With it being on my route to work it was an easy place to visit, all I needed to do was get up a bit earlier so I had enough time. Once parked up out the front I made my way inside...

Upon entering - The interior had been given a makeover since I was last here with an orange, grey and white colour scheme throughout. There's a large counter and kitchen on the far wall which is surrounded by a vast seating area. You can sit at a table or higher up on stools looking out of the window, there's also some tables outside if you prefer. Menu's and condiments are already on the table and cutlery arrives with the food. Once you've placed your order at the counter the food and drinks are brought over to you, you settle your bill before leaving. It was a bit smokey inside from all the cooking and with nothing on the walls yet it felt quite bare. This was their first week of opening though so I'm guessing that in time the smoke issue will be addressed and the decor will be added to giving it more character. 6/10

Service - The two chaps working here seemed friendly enough. I struggled to find a breakfast with all the items I wanted so asked if I could swap hash browns for bubble and squeak, this wasn't a problem at all. The coffee was brought over to me and after about 20 minutes the food arrived. I paid on my way out and was asked if everything was ok. 8/10

Contents - The "Big Set" consisted of: 1 jumbo sausage, 2 slices of bacon, 2 slices of black pudding, 2 fried eggs, bubble and squeak, mushrooms, beans, 2 slices of toast and a coffee. 8/10

Presentation - First impressions were good with all the items neatly laid out on a large white plate, the toast is served on a side plate. I soon spotted the yolks coated in uncooked egg white though which I really struggle with. 7/10

The food - The sausage was a coarse textured jumbo variety, from a local butcher apparently. It wasn't particularly hot though and I didn't enjoy the taste so one bite was enough for me. The bacon and black pudding were both reasonably nice and the bubble and squeak was quite impressive with a good lumpy texture. I didn't spend much time on the eggs as I didn't want the uncooked egg white spreading onto the other items. The mushrooms were nice enough, the beans were as you'd expect and the toast was evenly browned. The breakfast could have been hotter and although quite enjoyable in places it was let down by the sausage and undercooked eggs. 5/10

Value for money - The Big Set cost £7.20, it's a good sized breakfast which comes with toast and a hot drink so you're getting quite a lot for your money. On this occasion though I left quite a lot of food which I wasn't enjoying. 5/10

Veggie option - No veggie full English available but the menu does offer a cheese omelette served with hash browns and beans or tomatoes for £4.50.

Overall - The cafe is clean and spacious and the staff are friendly and very open to suggestions from their customers on any improvements they can make. Since visiting I've heard they have now replaced the sausage with a better quality one which is an excellent decision.  A veggie full English and the option to have both beans and tomatoes on the breakfasts would further improve the menu in my opinion. It's early days though and I know how determined they are to make a success of this place. Having visited on the first week of opening I'll definitely return later in the year once they're more settled in. 6.5/10  


  1. Whenever you get double bacon, double egg, a couple of hash browns but one jumbo sausage you just know the sausage is going to be poor. Jumbo = dead straight tube of deep fried rankness.

  2. See now I think those eggs look great, but that's just my opinion. The black pudding is too thin and dry, but the bubble looks great. At £7.20 I'm wanting better sausages though.

  3. I'm a regular there and literally just had one. I think it's really tasty and the eggs look fine to me.

    The bloke is nice and they have a couple of young girls there who are also very nice.

    All in all it's my breakfast point of call, very tasty. Oh, and I like the sausage.

    My only slight criticism is that usually a couple of items aren't that hot.

    Out of interest I revisited The Sunny Side up cafe just up the road so I could compare. I always liked Sunny Side up cafe but I have to say I think NR1 wins.

    1. On my visit the breakfast didn’t come close to Sunny Side Up. The really grim sausage made sure of that. Next time you go take a pic so I can see how it looks now.