Food review, JC Pinto, Norwich: 'One of the city's hottest new brunch spots'
- Credit: Rosanna Elliott
Whether you're a fan of hybrid meals or not, they aren't going anywhere. Brunch eateries have popped up all over the place in recent years - though "linner" is still yet to catch on. But, as anyone who has ever had a burned piece of toast topped by soggy baked beans knows, there's brunch and then there's Brunch. JC Pinto's food falls firmly into the category of Brunch with a capital B.
Situated in a historic building in St John Maddermarket, Norwich, the space itself is modern and full of natural light. When we arrived, just before 11am, we were given a choice of a few tables but the new destination was already proving popular and was quite busy. The atmosphere was really warm and cheerful, so there was a nice buzz and the waiting staff were extremely friendly and attentive - we felt really welcome.
The menu itself was mouth-watering, it proved difficult to narrow it down to one main dish for both me and my partner. I'd heard great things about the full English, but ultimately wanted to try something a little bit different so I went for the vegetarian breakfast burrito (£10.95) while my partner chose the luxurious garlic marinated steak sandwich (£12).
While we waited for our brunch plates we enjoyed a freshly made ginger, carrot and orange smoothie (£4.95) and a cold class of ginger kombucha (£3). Both drinks were really refreshing and flavourful. When our mains arrived, promptly and with appetising presentation, we were both eager to dig in - the smells alone were delicious.
My breakfast burrito was not the standard fare of egg, sausage and baked beans but instead was filled with a combination of scrambled egg, avocado, chipotle mayo, jalapenos, black beans, pickled onion, mint yoghurt and coriander. The flavours were incredibly fresh and well balanced, the pickled onions had an almost fennel taste and the notes of herbs in the silky avocado really elevated the burrito, something that sounds sloppy and fairly one-note in theory, to a truly delicious meal that stood up to restaurant quality dishes.
Similarly, to refer to my partner's meal as a sandwich may be to slightly downplay the value and the deliciousness of what arrived, which was a generous portion of tasty steak with a beautifully cooked fried egg on hearty toasted bread. The main dishes would certainly set you up for the day on their own, but we couldn't help but try some of the tempting sides too, and ordered smashed avocado and lemon (£3), truffled mushrooms (£3.50) and halloumi with blackened peppers (£3.50).
All three were lovely, but the truffled mushrooms were the standout, perfectly seasoned and indulgent, I could eat buckets of them.
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The toilets were clean, private and nicely designed with stone floors and tiled walls.
The restaurant itself is on the ground floor and doesn't have stairs to get in but the toilets I used were up a flight of stairs.
All members of staff were really friendly and welcoming. Our waitress was particularly helpful.
All the food was absolutely delicious, but my partner agreed that the breakfast burrito was the highlight - it was brunch on another level.
The bill came to £40.15.
I was so impressed with the quality and the value of the food at JC Pinto, I'm certain that it is destined to be a really popular brunch spot for years to come.
If you like that, try these…
Frank's Bar, 19 Bedford Street, Norwich
A staple in Norwich's brunch scene, tasty food in a cosy environment. Lots of vegetarian and vegan options too.
The Bicycle Shop, 17 St Benedicts Street, Norwich
One of my absolute favourite places in Norwich, the food is always delicious and the atmosphere is unique, relaxed and welcoming.
The Ber Street Kitchen, 141-143 Ber St, Norwich
I have only ever heard enthusiastic reviews of this breakfast heavy-weight.
Did you know
Pinto is the name of one of the founders' dog.
Our food reviews are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited. The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review and bills are paid by the reviewer. The choice of places reviewed is also independent and is not based on venues which do or do not advertise in our publications.