Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The Maddermarket Kitchen - Norwich

20 St John Maddermarket

Breakfast served from 9am till midday
Tuesday to Saturday

The Maddermarket Kitchen can be found inside this historic merchant house on St John Maddermarket.

It's directly opposite Saint's Coffee Bar and offers an outside seating area.

It was a nice sunny day but we decided to eat inside, the restaurant interior is traditional and the environment is nice and relaxing to enjoy breakfast in.

 This room offers a large table, perfect for bigger groups dining out together. 

Local artists work is displayed on the walls throughout and is available to buy, we loved this work by local artist Ruth Knapp.

We were delighted to discover a special promotion on breakfasts during our visit, buy two breakfasts and get the cheapest one free, bargain!

The tables are all nicely laid.

 The ketchup arrives before the food in a small pot, my wife is very partial to ketchup though so we requested a second pot.

The cappuccino here was ok

A pot of brown and white sugar lumps arrived with the coffee.

The impressive looking breakfasts arrived on warmed plates ensuring the food stayed nice and hot.

I chose the Maddermarket full English, everything looked really nicely cooked and it smelt delicious.

I thoroughly enjoyed the bacon.

 The sausages were quite nice but certainly not the highlight of the breakfast.

A pleasant tasting sausage with a firm meaty texture but just not particularly special compared to others I'd tried in the past.

The beans here were spot on though, this is exactly the thick consistency I love my beans served at, just a shame there were so few.

The highlight for me was the grilled portobello mushroom, it tasted so good with a lovely meaty texture. The tomato tasted superb too, if only more tomatoes tasted as good as this.

 A nice pair of fried eggs.

My wife ordered the vegetarian breakfast. She enjoyed it but said she could taste bacon on the tomato and felt it lacked something, a veggie sausage or bubble and squeak maybe.

With a summer of food adventures in Margate, Spain and Corfu taking up much of my time I hadn't reviewed a Norwich breakfast since June. Since then a number of places had been added to my "places to visit soon" list and top of that list was The Maddermarket Kitchen. I had been hearing good things about it so headed along there with my wife for breakfast...

Upon entering - The Maddermarket Kitchen is located inside a stunning merchant's house in the historic heart of Norwich. There are some tables outside if you prefer, we headed inside though and chose a table by the window with good light for getting those crucial photos. The restaurant has two main dining rooms, both beautifully decorated and displaying work by local artists which is all available to buy. The mis-matched chairs and nice solid tables blend in beautifully with the natural floorboards and large fireplace. Choose where you want to sit, the tables are already laid with cutlery, serviette and glasses. There's full table service here so a menu is brought over and once you've placed your order anything else you might need is brought to the table. The bill can be settled at the counter on the way out or at your table if you prefer. Certainly a beautiful and relaxing place to dine with background music at just the right volume giving it nice atmosphere but making it possible to talk easily. 9/10

Service -  We were greeted by a friendly chap who told us we could choose any table we wanted, once seated he brought some menus over. We placed our order and our drinks arrived first along with a pot of sugar lumps. Before the food arrived we were asked if we wanted any sauces, we requested ketchup which arrived in a small pot. My wife is very partial to ketchup though and feared we didn't have enough so she requested a second pot. The food arrived in a reasonable amount of time on warmed plates, always a nice touch. When the plates were collected we were asked if everything was ok, my wife mentioned that her tomatoes tasted of bacon and asked if they were cooked on the same griddle as the bacon. We were told that the tomatoes were oven cooked, my wife then mentioned the griddle marks. The chap went to find out more from the chef but even after paying we were still none the wiser. 7/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 3 slices of bacon, 2 fried eggs, 1 grilled portobello mushroom, half a tomato, beans and a slice of toast. 8/10

Presentation - All beautifully presented with the nicely reduced beans served in a separate pot. 9/10

The food - The sausages were fairly small with a pleasant enough taste and firm texture, I wouldn't necessarily say they were disappointing but I have eaten much better ones. The bacon was superb though, excellent flavour and beautifully cooked. I'm quite fussy about uncooked egg white and there was a thin layer on top of the yolks, not enough to ruin my day though and the yolks were nicely intact. The toast (or was it lightly fried bread) I can't be certain but I really enjoyed it and not having the chore of buttering it myself was an added bonus. The beans were beautifully reduced and the tomato was so full of flavour I was in tomato heaven. The highlight of this breakfast was the stunning portobello mushroom, perfectly cooked with a nice meaty texture and amazing flavour. 8/10

Value for money - The usual price for The Maddermarket Kitchen Full English is £9, we were lucky enough to take advantage of their "buy two breakfasts get the cheapest one free" offer during our visit. This offer isn't permanent though so I will base the score on the full price that it's usually sold for. A delicious and beautifully presented breakfast but for the price I would expect a better pair of sausages and perhaps some black pudding too. 7/10

Veggie option - Sautee potatoes, 2 fried eggs, 1 grilled portobello mushroom, half a tomato, beans and a slice of toast. The usual price is £8

Overall - A lovely relaxing restaurant housed inside a stunning building in the heart of Norwich. Good friendly service and delicious food make The Maddermarket Kitchen well worth a look. It's quite an expensive breakfast but look out for promotions on their Facebook page and you could bag a bargain too. I think some veggie sausages on the veggie breakfast would make a great addition though as other places in the city offer a much more interesting veggie breakfast at this price. That amazing mushroom and those nicely reduced beans are what I will remember this place most for though, both stunning! 8/10