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Do you like waffles?
The Waffle House (Norwich)
Member Name: julwhite
The Waffle House (Norwich)
Advantages: Great tasting food
Disadvantages: A little limited space wise, some might tire quickly of the concept
This is a review of The Waffle House Restaurant, situated in Norwich, Norfolk.
The restaurant opened in the city in 1978 and has become a little bit of a local restaurant institution and the basic concept has changed little since they opened. The restaurant offers a range of dishes, but mainly it has the options of either savoury or sweet waffles.
The restaurant is located quite centrally, although you might have to know it's there, as it's situated down St Giles's Street, not far from Norwich City Hall, and also near to St Giles's Car Park which is conveniently located for The Waffle House.
For those who arrive early at the restaurant, which opens at 10am every morning of the week, the breakfast waffle dishes are available, which are served until mid-day. From mid-day, the main menu is available and there is a two course lunch available until the evening for 6.95 pounds, which represents good value. The same menu is available in the evening, although without the offer, although there are often different specials available.
In terms of the ambience of the restaurant, it's friendly, but does suffer a little from a lack of space, which means that some tables are a little cramped together. There is one table quite near the entrance to the restaurant which can get quite jostled by those entering the restaurant, which does rather detract from the experience.
The main courses include only a limited number of meat dishes, but the ham with cheese sauce and mushrooms and oriental vegetable cashew stir-fry are both recommended, and are of course both served on top of a waffle. You can choose between a small waffle or a large waffle, there's usually only about a pound difference, so if you're feeling hungry, best to go for the larger option. Main courses cost between seven and nine pounds in general, which is reasonable, as they are quite filling.
As you would expect from a restaurant like this, the waffles taste superb, freshly prepared, and all the ingredients share that freshness. The meals are served quickly, but the restaurant does have a policy of cooking items from fresh, and it's surprisingly healthy cooking and ingredients, so you are unlikely to feel too guilty for over-indulging here.
Desserts are probably what people might usually associate waffles with, and the restaurant in my view does these best, with the banoffee waffle being highly recommended, as is the pecan nut waffle. There's a good choice though to suit a range of tastes (provided you like waffle) and the menu does state that they will always try and change dishes to suit the needs of the individual customers, which is a helpful touch to put on a menu. Desserts are around five pounds each, a little cheaper if opting for a small waffle, a little more if opting for a larger waffle.
As mentioned in the main courses, the portion sizes are good, but on the two occasions I've been here, it's always been lunch-time, and so it has been more than filling. For an evening meal, I personally would rather have something a little more substantial and varied, but everyone of course has different tastes, and it's definitely worth a visit here to see what it's about.
For those that don't want waffles, the menu is heavily limited, there are a couple of options, but to all intents and purposes, you'd have to choose one of the meals and ask for the waffle to be removed and just have the topping. This would rather spoil the essence of the restaurant however, but it's a real achievement for any eating establishment to be able to specialise in just one dish, do it well, and then make it successful for over 30 years.
The restaurant is open from 10.00 until 22.00 every day of the week, other than Sundays when it closes an hour earlier. The full address is 39, St Giles's Street, Norwich, NR2 1JN and their phone number is 01603 612790. They have another branch at St. Alban's, which I haven't visited, but further information is available on their web-site, which can be found at http://www.wafflehouse.co.uk/.
Overall, I'd recommend this restaurant to anyone who doesn't at least dislike waffles. I've only visited twice, by which time I had already tired a little of the concept, and I'd prefer a slightly bigger restaurant - or less packed - because the seating can be a little pushed together and people pushing past. But definitely worth a try.
Summary: Recommended to at least try, professional little restaurant