The Breakfast Menu Breakfast reviews from the South Coast and beyond


Rock Ola, Brighton

Rock Ola Cafe, BrightonRock Ola Coffee Bar [map]
29 Tidy Street

T: 01273 673744

Last Visited: June 2010

Deciding on an identity for your cafe in the unimaginative breakfast mongering business is usually as easy as "to grease or not to grease". Rock Ola has gone a step further and decided on an all out theme for their restaurant and menu, making a more memorable breakfast experience, not only in the decor but the food as well.

Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 10:30am to 4:30pm

Breakfast Prices: From £5 and up. Menu also includes a wide variety of homemade burgers, fajitas and other lunch and dinner items.

Rock Ola Cafe, Brighton - American breakfast / fry upMr. Chipolata:

Eaten: All American Fry Up (Sausage patty, 3 mini pancakes, bacon, eggs, hash brown)

The fact that this place has alluded me for all these years living in Brighton isn't surprising. Tucked into the lovely residential Tidy Street that runs a couple of streets parrallel away from the North Laines, its not exactly on anyones usual route through town. Even a small record store has its entrance through a passage that is only accessible via the cafe . A hidden charm, just like this cafe.

The owners have got the interior theme just right. 50's memorabilia covers the walls alongside pictures of stars from the era, a jukebox sits seductively in the corner while booths, chairs and tables are all sparkling vinyl. The menu unravels to reveal not only a large breakfast menu, but homemade burgers, chilli con carne, fajitas and more American belly-busting delights. How long can we stay locked to our table between meals before we are thrown out? I want to try everything!

I begrudgingly order just the American Pancake Fry-up, leaving the burger for another day. I've been wanting a proper American breakfast since the start of this journey, and what better place to have it. The food takes a little while to come but we have a large group with us today, all tempted by the mention of pancakes for breakfast.

Rock Ola Cafe, BrightonMy fry-up comes perched on a well presented plate, sausage patty gorgeously crispy and a nice change from a traditional banger. The pancakes, albeit mini, are superb once drenched with the maple syrup from the single serving pot that is provided with the plate, and sent to another level of breakfast-combos when paired with the bacon and eggs. A combination magical enough to get Elvis twisting in his grave for one more nibble. Finishing off the brekky are a tasty pile of beans, washed down with a good cup of coffee and the mandatory glass of o.j.

By the time our breakfasts are devoured and everyone in our party is looking decidedly content, the rest of the restaurant had filled up, our 2 tables pushed together suddenly much sought after items. The moment I left I knew I wanted to return, it's difficult enough to find a good American themed breakfast in Brighton, let alone a kitschy independent one with such charm. I liked the idea that this place was hidden down a sidestreet, like my own little secret, I plan to share it with those who deserve to be told, and hope that next time I go I am able to get a seat among Marilyn watching over the rest of the hungry pancake munching Brighton spies who have sought this little gem out amongst the standard breakfast offerings.

Rock Ola Cafe, Brighton - Fruit pancakes and baconMr. No Eggs:

Eaten: All American fry-up

Talk about a hidden secret! I must have walked down Tidy street a million times over years but never saw this little piece of Brighton Rock (‘n’ roll). Competing with nearby Mange Tout, Farm and the ever popular Bill’s this cafe has a welcome change of character and individual style in abundance.

The opening time of 10:30am means that you can relax into your day without resorting to an early start to beat the crowds. The menu choices from Buttermilk pancakes to a full US platter are enough for a month of breakfasts and the staff provide a friendly welcoming atmosphere one in which you can immeditely unwind.  Individual items, such as the sausage patties, were made in-house and you could tell that the extra time and effort were well worth it.

However,  for an American diner, I would have liked to have seen a slightly larger portion provided. The pancakes, though superbly cooked, were very small and I could have easily eaten the same again.  This point however should not detract you from going as the quality of the breakfast makes up for my minor criticism.

Ingredient Quality: ★★★★½
Portion Size: ★★★★½
Value For Money: ★★★★½
Service: ★★★★☆
Overall: ★★★★½