Restaurant review, Gastrono-me, Bury St Edmunds: "I don't think portion sizes could be any more generous!"
PUBLISHED: 16:07 18 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:25 18 May 2018
Emily Cotton enjoys a generous brunch at Gastrono-me in Bury St Edmunds.
My boyfriend and I visited Gastrono-me in Bury St Edmunds last bank holiday Monday. We’d booked in advance and the morning we were going, we only had the smallest thing to eat beforehand. I would have been way too hungry to wait until nearly 11am to eat, but as I knew the portions were going to be big – I’d seen plenty of pictures of others dining in the restaurant online – I wanted to make sure I had enough of an appetite to enjoy it. And I’m very glad I did.
After browsing the menu, I chose to have the ‘Melbourne Smash’ which was smashed avocado, dukkah crusted boiled eggs and whipped feta on sprouted rye bread. The bread was thickly sliced and well toasted – it was a little difficult to cut through the crusts however the centre was a lot easier. The soft smashed avocado on top complemented the toast’s crunch well, while the egg was soft boiled and sprinkle with dukka, an Egyptian mix of herbs, nuts, and spices which gave it a little kick. The best part of this dish however was how it was presented. The avocado was topped with cherry tomatoes, pomegranate seeds and beautiful edible flowers. To finish, the whipped feta was elegantly added to the plate.
My boyfriend Ryan chose the ‘Gastrono-me Hash’ and if he hadn’t, I probably would have myself. According to the menu, this was the eatery’s signature dish so we had to give it a try. The dish was a spicy mix of diced potato, chorizo, bacon, onion and peppers, served on top of wilted spinach, sourdough toast and topped with a fried egg.
If you’re going to opt for this dish, make sure you’re hungry. With potato, bread and two meats it’s a heavy choice for the morning. That being said, it was definitely tasty. The diced potato was crispy on the outside with a succulent soft middle and the egg was still gooey, perfect for dipping in the toast underneath.
After these courses we could have easily finished, but given the task of reviewing we had to at least try one more dish. Funnily we’d actually tried to order our second course (to come out after our first) at the beginning but the server said he’d wait until we were ready for it to put the order through as, in his words, we may change our minds when we’ve got it all in front of us. People must underestimate Gastrono-me’s portion sizes often!
Reassuring our server later on that we could still stomach more, we chose the ‘Pain Perdu’. This was another Gastrono-me classic with a description stating it was “fruity bread dipped in custardy heaven, fried until puffy and golden and served with berries, crispy bacon and clotted cream.”
I hadn’t noticed until after we had ordered that it could have been requested veggie. I wish I had seen this as I’m not so keen on the taste of bacon with sweet ingredients such as berries or maple syrup (I know my boyfriend would disagree with me though). For those with a sweet tooth, I’d definitely recommend this dish. The combination of flavours and textures (minus the bacon I avoided) were delicious. I wasn’t initially sure about the idea of fruity custard soaked bread, but it almost melted on my tongue. The clotted cream was a lovely addition too, almost making it feel like I was enjoying a dessert with a really creamy ice cream accompaniment.
My boyfriend and I both ordered a coffee and a soft drink each, which were brought to us very promptly. Gastrono-me’s brunch menu has a great selection of alcoholic cocktails, however didn’t have any that were alcohol free (except a ‘Proud Mary’). My only suggestion would be adding some non alcoholic cocktails to the menu that could be enjoyed by those who are their party’s designated driver.
We had booked a table a week or so in advance as I thought that on the day we were visiting, a bank holiday Monday, it would likely be busy. We were greeted as soon as we walked in the door by a friendly member of staff and shown to our table. Throughout our meal we were checked up on to see if everything was okay with our food and even apologised to about the wait we had for our first courses – even though we didn’t feel like we had waited long at all.
It’s clear Gastrono-me is a popular brunch spot – the place was really busy! Despite this, the atmosphere was really relaxed with everyone seeming to enjoy a chilled out morning. It wasn’t too noisy and despite having loads of people to look after, the staff didn’t seem rushed either.
Unless you’re going for Gastrono-me’s bottom brunch option which is £30 a head, no meal on the brunch menu is over £10.95. Main brunch dishes start at around £6, with most sitting between £8 and £9. With the amount of food that is actually on your plate when you get your meal, I’m surprised dishes aren’t priced a little higher!
Location and parking
Situated at 22 Abbeygate Street, Bury Saint Edmunds, Gastrono-me is in the centre of Bury St Edmunds’ town centre, just up from Abbey Gardens. The restaurant doesn’t have its own car park however there are a number of pay and displays close by. Frequent buses and trains also serve Bury St Edmunds for those visiting from further away.
Like most millennial females, I’m a sucker for avocado on toast. This one was by far the prettiest out of all that I’ve ever been served. It tasted as good as it looked too!
I wanted to visit Gastrono-me for some time – I’m very glad I finally got round to paying a visit and I’ll definitely go back. The food is delicious, well presented and great value for money. A note to anyone who plans to dine at Gastrono-me: make sure you’re hungry when you visit… you’ll soon fill up!