The Breakfast Menu Breakfast reviews from the South Coast and beyond


Spinelli Coffee, Brighton

Spinelli Coffee [map]
111 St James' Street
Tel:  01273 818 084

n.b - There is another Spinelli Coffee on College Road in Kemp Town that doesn't have a food menu.

Opening Times: Mon-Fri 8:00 - 18:00, Sat 8:30 - 18:00, Sun 9:00 - 17:00

Last Visited: February 2011

There aren't many ways to get us out of bed on a cold, damp Saturday morning. However, should you be attempting such a heinous task, a picture sent to my mobile taunting huge American style pancakes served with sliced kiwi fruit is usually a pretty good start. So having gotten out of bed, how did the rest of the menu fare?

Mr Chipolata:

With the colourful array of cafes and eateries attempting to catch your eye on St. James Street, Spinelli takes a more low key approach. The only clue they serve food being the hastily scrawled black board outside, you wouldn't think that this place is attempting to bring the exciting inventiveness of Californian food to the Sussex seaside. In fact, had it not been for our intrepid breakfast buddies who sent the aforementioned picture, the signage and style of the building would have merely passed it off as a Cafe Nero imitator.

Inside it's much the same, they don't even display a menu on the walls, nor are they readily available on the tables; it seems the kitchen staff are trying to keep things under wraps. The décor itself is particularly sparse, which is a shame because their coffee shop on College Road further into Kemp Town is quite a trendy affair.

The menu more than makes up for things though, pancakes served with fruit, large modern American breakfasts with things like avocado, tri-tip steak or blueberry pancakes, serve to get our taste buds waggling. Tempted by the picture I received, I plump for the pancakes with fruit and a cappuccino. The coffee arrives with foamy milk floating above the rim of the cup, happily tasting as good as it looked.

The pancakes were decorated just as beautifully, the fruit laid out attractively around the plate, a drizzling of maple syrup and a light dusting of icing sugar. The pancakes were light in the mouth and heavy in the belly, if I had to compare to another American themed breakfast then I would say they were on par with the pancakes at Woodies in Hove. With my plate cleaned, having mopped up the remainder of the maple syrup with some of Mr. No Eggs breakfast, I was as full as could be.

Mr NoEggs:

The contemporary menu they offer is bold compared to the budget £4 breakfasts served by the numerous cafes on St James’ Street.  The tea delivered was loose leaf, something you rarely see at any other nearby cafes (including Bills, Farm and Nia), and was particularly tasty though heavily let down by the accompanying dirty cup, saucer and teapot.

The Spinelli Grande (my fry-up) was also a mixed bag, with the ingredients used going from the divine to the unpalatable. The superb house potatoes fried with garlic, onion, chopped tomatoes and herbs, were a delicious addition to the breakfast. This however was in stark contrast to the poor excuse for sausages provided, which looked like they were stolen from a microwavable breakfast pack.

Spinelli’s was to me a potentially exciting breakfast experience, let down by simple mistakes. Hopefully a change of sausage provider and washer-upper, may bring the quality their adventurous breakfast menu deserves.

Count Cumberland:

I gobbled up the Spinelli California, colourful, tasty and fun. Just like my third wife. Unfortunately, like her, the plates were cold and the toast was...a lying, cheating, hussy undercooked. Again, like Mr NoEggs brekky, lots of good with a flavour of the bad. Just like...nevermind.

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