The Breakfast Menu Breakfast reviews from the South Coast and beyond


The Bystander Cafe, Brighton

The Bystander Cafe
1 Terminus Road
East Sussex, BN1 3PD
Tel:  01273 329364

Last Visited: January 2012

In a prime location opposite Brighton station, potentially this cafe is in an ideal for a pre-commute breakfast before or for an early morning snack. So did the quality of the location match the quality of the breakfast?

Avoiding the lure of the Small Batch Coffee stall at nearby Brighton Station I entered the smarter of the two cafes found at the bottom of Terminus Road.  I was greeted with a clean and organised interior which easily seats 30 across two rooms.  So I settled into a table for two by the counter with a latte whilst I perused the breakfast menu and waited for TeaMilkOneSugar to arrive.

My latte was good, but not outstanding.  The blend of coffee, Lavazza, met all of my morning coffee needs but did not leave me as happy as I have been in the past at nearby Coffee@33.  Whilst waiting I took in the appearance and quality of the breakfasts ordered by the other patrons. It seemed that the breakfasts on offer would not match up to the middling standard of their latte.

What was being delivered (very quickly I must add), did not really fill me with confidence.  As each plate passed I 'downgraded' my breakfast from the Gut Buster (Bacon, sausage, chips, beans, mushroom, tomato and burger) to the English Breakfast (2 bacon, sausage, 2 eggs, tomato, beans, hash browns & toast) and by the time TMOS arrived down to the standard breakfast (bacon, sausage, egg, beans, tomato, hash-brown, bread & butter).  I was so worried of being stuck with a breakfast that I couldn't finish, that when I was asked if I wanted a substitute for my egg, I politely declined.

Costing just over £4, I was not impressed at all with my fry up.  The quality of the ingredients was at the level of a poor catering standard and it seemed that concessions had been made to the quality, in order to deliver the breakfasts at an expedited rate.  I assume in order to oven cook the sausages quicker, cuts were made into the skin (giving a toast wrack look) to cook quicker.  The bottom side was also over cooked giving me the impression that it had been in contact with the pan in the oven.  The beans were also starting to stew, the bread and butter had the taste of cheap bread and the bacon was watery and lifeless.

Over all it was no better than the fry up at JJ's on Dyke Road and only just better than what we found at Cafe Arcadia (I shudder just thinking about my experience there).  The saving graces were the very good hash brown, friendly staff and nice interior.  But with Nia, Mange Tout and Rock Ola and Inside Out just a short walk away I would advise avoiding the convenience if you just step off a train or are about to get on one and instead build up an appetite and find somewhere else.

Mr NoEggs