Tuesday 26 June 2018

That Cafe - Norwich

27 St Augustines St

Breakfast served all day

Opening hours
Tuesday to Saturday - 8.00am till 5.00pm
Sunday - 10am till 4.00pm

That Cafe opened on St Augustines Street earlier in the year. Since they added a full English breakfast to the menu it was only a matter of time before I visited to check it out.

I was impressed to see them stocking biodegradable cups and cutlery for take away customers.

The cakes and pastries here looked delicious!

Instead of tables and chairs in the centre there are raised tables with stools to sit at, either at the window or on the far wall.

Help yourself to sugar, condiments and sauces. I was delighted to see Heinz ketchup and HP sauce stocked here.

The menu offers a good selection of breakfasts which are served all day.

I tried one of their strawberry milkshakes made using Le sirop de Monin. It cost £2.20 with whipped cream and tasted amazing.

The large breakfast I was expecting to cost £6.95 ended up costing £7.95 as the menu I looked at hadn't been amended yet and the price had gone up. It was a decent size though and now featured hash browns, everything on the plate was served piping hot. 

I reassembled everything where I wanted it on the plate and took a closer look at every item. And yes, I always put ketchup on my tomatoes!

I really enjoyed the bacon but wasn't so keen on the sausages though.

The eggs were in reasonable enough shape and the yolks were intact.

Yep, I was happy with that yolk flow.

Fairly standard hash browns and delicious mushrooms. I overheard another customer asking for tinned tomatoes, I was slightly gutted as I love tinned tomatoes!

You can choose Heinz or homemade beans with your breakfast, I was feeling adventurous and asked for homemade. Made using cannellini and haricot beans, tomatoes, onion and seasoning, quite nice I thought.

One of my favourite parts of the breakfast was the toast, cut from a really nice loaf.

I've always thought that St Augustines Street could do with a cafe so was quite delighted to see That Cafe open it's doors back in February. Initially they didn't appear to be serving a full English breakfast so I hadn't really considered going in. That changed though in April when I spotted them post a photo of a full English on their Instagram. Their initial offering was served half on a plate and half on a board which visually didn't excite me. Later in May though they appeared to be offering everything on the plate. That's more like it I thought, it was time to head to St Augustines Street and check this breakfast out...

Upon entering - For such a small premises it feels quite spacious inside. This has been achieved by having no tables and chairs on the central floorspace and instead having high stools to sit on at high tabletops around the edge. The tabletops are just the right height for the stools and seem to have plenty of space to enjoy a meal at. If you sit at the window you can people watch to your hearts content as I did. There's menus on and above the counter, this is where you place your order and pay at the end. Beside the counter is a selection of sauces, sugar and condiments, just help yourself to what you need. There was music on in the background at just the right level and newspapers on the side if you fancy a read. Oh and wifi, for me that's always a huge bonus these days as I can add to my instagram stories without using up all my data. I liked the branding, the colour scheme and the feel of this place. The seating situation at first glance concerned me slightly but having sat down and eaten I realised it worked well. I'm not sure it would work quite so well in accommodating a large group though. 7/10

Service - I was greeted with a smile and made to feel welcome instantly. I studied a menu and placed my order for a large breakfast and a strawberry milkshake. I was asked if I would like beans or homemade beans and offered whipped cream on my milkshake. As I sipped on my milkshake I could hear some great teamwork going on in the kitchen, this clearly paid off as when the food arrived everything looked nicely cooked and was piping hot. On my way out I went to settle my bill at the counter which came to £10.15, this was £1 more than I was expecting to pay. It turned out the large breakfast had gone up by £1 as it now included hash browns. The menu I'd been looking at hadn't been amended yet though hence the confusion. Anyway, despite the confusion at the till the service here is good. 7/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 fried eggs, 2 hash browns, mushrooms, tomatoes, homemade beans and 2 slices of toast. 8/10

Presentation - I was quite impressed when the breakfast arrived, it filled a large white plate and the beans were served in a separate pot. The eggs were in fairly good shape and everything looked nicely browned. 7/10

The food - I really enjoyed the bacon, nicely browned thick rashers. I wasn't so fussed about the sausages though, they were nice enough with a herby flavour and firm texture but I do prefer a slightly better quality sausage to be honest. The hash browns and tomatoes were fairly standard, I just wish I'd been more on the ball and remembered they served tinned tomatoes here as I much prefer them to fresh. The homemade beans some might find slightly too rich on a full English, I really enjoyed them over some toast though. The toast itself was incredible, thick sliced from a quality loaf and evenly buttered, the ideal base for the fried eggs, both of which had nice runny yolks. Finally the mushrooms, beautifully cooked! So a good breakfast which I enjoyed, for me the stand out items were the bacon and the toast. 7/10

Value for money - £7.95 seemed like a reasonable price for this breakfast. It was a decent size and tasted good. 7/10

Veggie option - Yes, two sizes available.
Overall - A great little cafe making a good effort to use biodegradable products and serve the St Augustines Street community. There's a varied breakfast menu on offer here and some pretty impressive looking cakes and delicious shakes too. The service was friendly and the cafe environment very pleasant. The owner Chris has now added a mega breakfast to the menu too and seems keen to listen to what his customers want. Definitely worth a look, go check it out for yourself! 7/10  

Sunday 24 June 2018

My 3 favourite breakfasts in Norwich

Every week I'm asked where my favourite place in Norwich is to go for breakfast. There are so many places to get a great breakfast in Norwich it's really difficult to narrow it down to just one. Here are three of my favourite places (In alphabetical order) that I love returning to for a great breakfast.

Olives – 40 Elm Hill, Norwich
Be sure to head along to Norwich's historic Elm Hill where you can find Olives. The breakfast here is a bit different to your average Full English but what they have created is an incredible taste sensation. P.B George sausages feature on this breakfast along with Fruit Pig black and white pudding and delicious homemade bubble and squeak. It can get very busy at times but the traffic light in the corner of the cafe will indicate roughly how long you can expect to wait. 

Street Café – 147 Magdalen Street, Norwich
With it’s traditional interior and excellent service a visit to the Street Café feels really special before your order has even been taken. Chef Andy certainly knows how to serve a stunning Full English breakfast that always looks superb and is made using quality, locally sourced ingredients.  Archers sausages are used here, these sausages have won numerous awards and are a personal favourite of mine. Now serving white pudding as well as black pudding and don't forget to add bubble and squeak as an extra.

Sunny Side Up - 118 Hall Road, Norwich
For a reasonably priced breakfast that's always beautifully presented head to Sunny Side Up on Hall Road in NR1. They certainly know how to fry eggs here and also make their own bubble and squeak which is available as an extra. I often can't decide between bread and butter or toast when ordering a breakfast, here you get both though when ordering the larger breakfasts which saves you the dilemma. The staff are really friendly and you can sit outside if you prefer, perfect when the sun's out.

The Lisbon Adventure - Part 4

The Sweet Art Museum and a final day in Lisbon

We had quite a trek this morning to the area of Marvila. We'd booked tickets online for a place called The Sweet Art Museum. The walk there was a bit boring but we were occasionally treated to a glimpse of street art.

There was no doubt in our minds that we'd arrived at the correct place!! We were in fact slightly early so we searched for some breakfast nearby.

There was a place that looked kind of open but once inside it looked like they were just setting up for lunch. They kindly agreed to sell us sandwiches and a coffee though and charged us under €5 for everything! My sandwich was salami and cheese, it hit the spot nicely!

Back at The Sweet Art Museum a small queue was starting to form outside. So what is The Sweet Art Museum you're probably wondering? The website description reads "Need a distraction from reality? Say YES to happiness! Visit The Sweet Art Museum in the Marvila neighborhood of Lisbon. It’s the first European pop-up dedicated to being silly and having a good time in an imaginary world. Eight colorful and dreamlike themed rooms offer interactive experiences and great visual impact. Bring your friends. Bring your family. Or, just bring yourself. The Sweet Art Museum is open through Summer 2018."

The first room you enter has a big marshmallow pool where you can play around to your hearts content! There's inflatables to play with or you can just lay back and relax as my lovely wife is demonstrating. Unfortunately the marshmallows are only made of foam, probably just as well really.

Fear not though as you are given some actual marshmallows as you leave this room.

The next room features huge ice creams and ice lollies, this place really does set the perfect instagram backdrop! In this room you're given a tub of ice cream to enjoy whilst you explore.

Through another doorway leads you to the giant jelly baby room.

Yep, you get jelly babies!

The giant sweets are everywhere and as the numbers of people are limited to time slots there's plenty of opportunities to take photos without other people in the background.

The Sweet Art Museum costs €20 to visit, we visited on a weekday as it was easier to secure a ticket which we bought online.

After this lollypop merry-go-round room there was one final room. It featured a cloud swing and a big monster face with a giant tongue which you could pose on if you wanted to. At the end you tell the lady on the door how the museum has made you feel, take one last sweet and exit. A great place that's really good fun, if you're off to Lisbon over the summer it's well worth checking out!

Once outside it wasn't so much fun though as the heavens opened and we couldn't find the metro station. We found it eventually though and headed back to Lisbon.

Tram 28 is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Lisbon. The number 28 Lisbon tram connects Martim Moniz with Campo Ourique, and passes through the popular tourist districts of Graca, Alfama, Baixa and Estrela. For visitors, this is the classic Lisbon tram journey, riding in the quaint yellow tram as it screeches and rattles through the narrow streets of the city. We tried to catch a tram though and it was a complete nightmare which will test the most patient of people. We queued at Martim Moniz for 2.5 hours and eventually gave up, during the first 1.5 hours 3 trams arrived but then nothing for an hour. I'm sure it's great once you're on it but I'm guessing catching one very early is the key.

The disappointment of the tram called for some sangria to lift our spirits again.

After the sangria we went in search of a restaurant, this place had live music so we decided to eat here.

The traditional Portuguese music featured 3 singers in different locations within the restaurant. Each took a turn to sing which was quite atmospheric, also quite a surprise as initially we'd only noticed one lady singing to start off with.

This was the only restaurant I've ever been to where the starters are put on the table and you're charged if you decide to eat them. It was a clever ploy as of course we ate them! They consisted of bread, cheese, pate and croquettes.

Everyone had told me before coming to Lisbon to eat seafood, but as I'd had food poisoning on previous trips abroad I wasn't willing to take the risk. I was however willing to eat fish so I ordered some sardines. They were really fresh and were served with potatoes and salad. My wife ordered a dish featuring mushrooms, it had to be sent back though as there were no mushrooms in it when it first arrived!

The rest of the evening involved mojitos, tequila and blue shots of something.

Things were getting a bit hazy at this point, cocktails and B52's from what I remember!

The next day...

First things first, hangover food! The same breakfast I'd had on day 2 but not looking quite as good as it did first time around, it done the trick though.

A blue sky makes such a difference and today the weather was probably the best it had been so far on the trip. We were expecting a week of sunshine but in reality it had been warmer back home in Norwich.

We visited the Puppet Museum which featured a collection consisting of more than 1,000 puppets gathered from China, Indonesia, India, Italy, New Zealand and Portugal.

Next we caught a train to Belem, not to buy more Pastel de nata though. We explored the peaceful surroundings of the botanical gardens, the entrance fee was just €2.

There are quite a lot of different birds living here which were fascinating to watch.

We spent ages waiting for this peacock to fan out his train of feathers, it didn't happen though.

Back at the waterside area near the ferry terminal I stopped for a burger. The cafe had sold out though so I ate another toasted sandwich. What looks to be standard crisps from a packet are actually homemade and fried on the premises, really nice!

Our time in Lisbon was coming to an end but we still had time to check out the Time Out Market which was nearby.

To be totally honest I wasn't very keen on the Time Out Market. The hall was big and noisy and it was difficult to see what each trader was actually selling.

Then I spotted L'Eclair, these looked delicious, it was just a case of deciding which one to buy.

I chose Frutos vermelhos which cost €4.20. Red fruits, diplomate cream, fresh red fruits and a homemade red fruits marshmallow.

This was the ultimate eclair, they don't get much better than this! The tangy fruits, the light choux pastry and that red fruits marshmallow running through the centre was sheer bliss.

We sat with a beer at one of Lisbon's famous kiosks, this one was selling a pint of Super Bock for just €2.50.

For the final time we ate a Pastel de nata, they really do taste best in Portugal.

Sometimes you see something in a window and just have to buy it. For me it was this slice of vegetable quiche. It didn't disappoint either and cost just €2, bargain!

These cup cakes were a mystery, linked to the World Cup maybe?

We slowly made our way back to our hotel as we needed to be up at 3.30am to catch a taxi to the airport. On the way back I decided to have an ice cream, choosing which flavour was easy.

Pastel de nata flavour of course!