People nowadays are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a place to eat when out and about. And because of this, it has become common practice to pull your phone out your pocket and to search for the best-rated eatery close to you.

Sites like TripAdvisor have made getting a recommendation from other people easier than ever, and surely if other people rate somewhere highly you will too. Though, TripAdvisor is just one site and not everywhere can be found on it.

Facebook pages and Google also provide easy recommendations that work as well as word-of-mouth tips and hidden gems. It was here that we came across Brighton Rock Cafe.

Read more: The Sandwich Society: We tried Brighton’s five-star sandwich that you can’t find on TripAdvisor

However, despite boasting faultless five-star recommendations Brighton Rock Cafe recently received a one-star hygiene rating from its latest FSA inspection in January. The hygienic food handling was rated ‘good’, but cleanliness of facilities was deemed ‘improvement necessary’ and management of food safety ‘major improvement necessary’.



There was a classic British cafe look

So naturally, we went along this week to find out what this ‘loveliest cafe’ staple of the community is actually like. Described as a ‘local classic’ in one review the out-of-town Brighton Rock can be found in Fiveways and is surrounded by residential properties.

On one wall are framed adverts for local businesses and tradesmen, and on the wall next to it are retro images of Brighton. Inside was a classic British cafe aesthetic with red and white table cloths and bottles of sauce at every table.

The reviews – of which there is just a single bad one – were right to call the staff here friendly, as the lady who served me could not have been more helpful. Though, I did feel like I was interrupting her various conversations with an old couple and several groups of tradesmen.

They all seemed to know each other by name and were apparently all going to the same person’s birthday celebrations soon. I guess this is why the place is a favorite with the locals.

I ordered a BN1 breakfast which was the small version of the cafe’s full English. The BN2 and BN3 were much the same but the numbers described how many sausage, bacon, and eggs would come on the plate.

The service was quick and the breakfast came out in less than five minutes, and barely behind the coffee. But I would quite happily have waited a little longer if it meant it tasted fresh.



The food was underwhelming after lofty reviews
The food was underwhelming after lofty reviews

The sausage, toast, and beans were cooked well and I can’t fault them. However, the bacon was chewy and lukewarm, but also with burn marks on as though it had been sat waiting for me.

Likewise, the fried egg was rubbery and the yolk already congealed, while the mushroom was anaemic and looked as though it had barely seen heat. In all, it was a perfect day to sit in a classically decorated cafe, but the food let the experience go for me – certainly not the full English I was expecting after such glowing praise.

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