Monday, March 28, 2011


This weekend we went down to visit our lovely friend Becky Sterritt in her new hometown of Norwich. On the Saturday morning, she took us for a nice breakfast in a really pretty part of the city - apparently where all the studenty type people live. We instantly fell in love with the area - its cute cafés and gorgeous little terraced houses were right up our street.

Most of the eateries up the unusually-named Unthank Road seemed to be packed full of people eating relaxed Saturday morning breakfasts and everywhere we went past looked amazing so when we arrived at the place we would be eating - a little deli / café called 103 I was already pretty excited.

We were immediately impressed with the interesting decor of 103 - clean and simple but with loads of cookbooks in every available space on shelves and behind the bar. It was also pretty packed out considering it was 11 am on a Saturday - reminding me of when we had been out for Saturday breakfast in Paris and wished England were more like that.

Another indicator that this place was committed to excellent food was its impressive selection of cheeses and exotic goodies on sale.

A quick glance at 103's Menu and we knew we were spoilt for choice - with a great selection of mouthwatering fancy breakfast options.

After a nice, good quality strong black coffee and a chat we were all ready to order our meals. I decided to go for the field mushrooms on wholemeal toast which came with a poached egg, salad and Parmesan cheese. I literally could not wait for this as it sounded just amazing. Bailey went for "Virgin Eggy Bread" that came with bacon, fried egg and a paprika salsa. Becky went for good old fashioned scrambled eggs and bacon on toast.

Bailey's breakfast arrived first and we all spent quite some time looking at his plate in awe as it was probably the most easy on the eye breakfast I have ever seen. A dish that traditionally should have been very rustic or "dirty" looked really classy, with splashes of vibrant colour. That's not to say it wasn't a hearty portion.

Bailey made sure that, as Greg and John have taught us, he got a little bit of each ingredient on his fork for the first taste.

It was a taste sensation - Eggy bread, which Bailey normally finds greasy and dense - was crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside with a gentle egg flavour. The bacon and egg were both cooked to perfection with plenty of seasoning, then topped off with the fiery paprika and salsa. Bailey said it was in his Top 3 breakfasts of all time.

My field mushroom breakfast was equally as beautifully presented.

It was essentially a huge, thick hunk of wholemeal toasted bread, topped with crunchy seeds. On top of that were two perfectly cooked, juicy large mushrooms with salad, a poached egg and Parmesan shavings.

What I really liked about my breakfast was that I found eating it to be very much like a voyage of discovery. There were so many surprises hidden on the plate. The first was how amazingly perfectly the egg was cooked when I cut into it.

I also really enjoyed the salad dressing and the fact that there were crunchy endives nestled amongst the salad leaves which gave the meal another unexpected texture. I really enjoyed it and think I will struggle to find another breakfast like that again!

Becky also really enjoyed her bacon, eggs and toast and commented that the eggs were just the perfect amount of runniness - not to sticky but not too firm either.

So, all in all a lovely place to eat with brilliant food. Although I don't know much about Norwich or its other restaurants, I am pretty sure there can't be many establishments serving up breakfasts as good as that one. We are both gutted that it will be a while before we can go back there. Although all the other places on Unthank Road looked great and I would like to try them all, I doubt I would because I would just want to go to 103 again as many times as I could!

A definite must if you are ever in Norwich, I'm sure they offer equally amazing food at other times of the day also. Thankyou Sterritt for taking us there!

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