Stumbled across Café Giardino in Lakeside shopping centre on 8th January whilst looking to kill some time whilst car was being serviced and I have to say it's the worst full English I have ever eaten.
I thought that the café looked neat and clean from the outside and the menu appeared appetising, whilst boasting that it was 'naturally good', so ordered the full English, with extra sausage and a cup of tea. Total cost £9.65- not the cheapest, but enough to make me think I would receive a quality feeding!
I should have known better when I realised I could hear no real kitchen sounds of pans clanging, or bacon frying, nor smell a hearty breakfast being prepared and what appeared confirmed my fears. I am convinced that the only piece of my breakfast that had been near a grill or pan was the bacon and that the beans, mushrooms, scrambled eggs (rubbery and tiny portion-one egg at most I think) and sausages had been microwaved. The sausages in particular were desperate-hard, dry and grainy, whilst the mushrooms had a really sour, overpowering smell that was very off putting. Didn't bother with the tomato as the mushroom smell started to make me feel queasy.
Granary toast was nice, as was the cup of tea, so if you fancy beans on toast and cup of tea, you'll be ok (in fact, I wish that is what I had gone for!), but it appears the owner doesn't trust the staff enough to cook the most classic and simple of English dishes, which is a real shame.
The waitress who took my order seemed nice enough and was kind enough to bring me ketchup and offer to get me cutlery etc, but I watched on in bewilderment as she later shouted across to couple (who had obviously been waiting an inordinate amount of time for toast) that she 'hadn't forgotten about them' and knew when it would be ready as the 'smoke alarm would go off'. This was clearly meant as an ill conceived joke, but the couple were elderly and not impressed, even less so when she offered them bread (?!) as an alternative before coming out a few minutes later announcing that she 'told you I hadn't forgotten about you'...weird and surreal customer service experience but wonderful to sit back and people watch as her ill judged service was met with morose faces.
I reckon it's ok for quick tea and toast, but heed my warning and don't go here for the full English!