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Café Pure, Norwich, restaurant review: ‘Great for a spot of lunch’

PUBLISHED: 10:26 31 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:30 31 January 2018

Cafe Pure at St Georges Street in Norwich. Photo: Carl Mann

Cafe Pure at St Georges Street in Norwich. Photo: Carl Mann

Carl Mann

Will Café Pure’s second city location live up to expectation?

Leek and potato soup at Cafe Pure, St Georges. Photo: Emily RevellLeek and potato soup at Cafe Pure, St Georges. Photo: Emily Revell

Food

With my Café Pure expert (my mum) in tow we gleefully - her very - headed down St Georges Street.

She was very excited on arrival with lots of ‘ooo-ing’ - so far, so good. The reason for her expert status and unbridled enthusiasm comes from her 
time as a nurse at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital – Café Pure’s original site – where she assures me that it was THE place to go. The question was, would she be disillusioned when it was no longer within the four walls of a hectic hospital?

At first glance we were suitably impressed with the lunch options. There were jacket potatoes available which I thought were a nice touch, as they are one of my favourite go-to filling lunches and plenty of rolls, cakes and other sweet treats.

Tomato, pesto and mozzarella panini at Cafe Pure, St Georges. Photo: Emily RevellTomato, pesto and mozzarella panini at Cafe Pure, St Georges. Photo: Emily Revell

I opted for leek and potato soup with a ciabatta roll, (there were two vegetarian soups on offer – big tick) and a cheese scone on the side, because if you don’t eat a cheese scone at every opportunity, you’re doing something wrong. Mum plumped for the tomato, mozzarella and pesto panini.

We ordered at the counter then took a seat, but the food nearly beat us to the table. The leek and potato soup was orange – not the typical hue of leek and potato, and a taste test would reveal it to be favouring the side of generic vegetable soup but no harm done – I like vegetable soup too – and it was lovely, flavoured nicely and homemade. Fresh soup full of goodness is never something to complain about.

In the hierarchy of Norwich cheese scones (Jarrold’s is obviously the winner) this one struggled a tad, you could still slightly taste the flour and it lacked any serious cheesiness, but the basics were there in terms of the bake. It was a generous size and with a little tweak here and there, and a handful more cheese it could be a competitor. It worked well dipped into the soup and was just the right density.

The panini had a good crunch, the pesto was delicious and the mozzarella a good texture. In the spirit of not over-eating it didn’t come with anything else, but a little salad on the side might’ve been nice to fill it out and make it feel more like a meal.

Cheese scone at Cafe Pure, St Georges. Photo: Emily RevellCheese scone at Cafe Pure, St Georges. Photo: Emily Revell

Drinks

The coffee was good and they have a large range of Teapigs’ tea.

Loos

Women’s toilets are up three flights of stairs, with men’s on the floor below. They are shared with an office building next door.

Cafe Pure, St Georges. Photo: Emily RevellCafe Pure, St Georges. Photo: Emily Revell

Ambiance

Café Pure is light and breezy; I really like the feel of the place for grabbing a quick lunch or coffee. I’m already eyeing up the outside tables for summer. They also had a table with water, salt and pepper etc on for customers to help themselves.

Price

For both our lunches and drinks it came to around £13 which I thought was pretty good value. If you wanted to buy any extras to go with your sandwich – like the bags of crisps and popcorn on offer, it would add to the cost.

Service

Quick, efficient and smiley.

Parking

Monastery Car Park off Elm Hill and St Andrews Multi-Storey are closest.

Location

On St Georges Street in Norwich city centre, it’s well-situated for certain offices, but easily walkable from other parts of the city. We walked down from Prospect House and it took over five minutes.

Highlight

Probably the nice atmosphere, layout (tables are all well-spaced) and general lightness of the place – much needed at this gloomy time of year.

In summary

The food choices were all good-value lunch options and Café Pure lived up to my mum’s expectations – it’s a pleasing addition to the Norwich 
café scene.

This is an independent review.

Read more EDP food reviews.

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