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Amandines Cafe, food review: ‘A hidden gem in Diss’

PUBLISHED: 09:09 16 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:20 16 March 2018

The colourful food doesn't skimp on portion sizes at the Diss cafe and restaurant. Photo: Harriet Orrell

The colourful food doesn't skimp on portion sizes at the Diss cafe and restaurant. Photo: Harriet Orrell

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Food

There is a daily selection of specials available, including this vegetarian lasagne. Photo: Harriet OrrellThere is a daily selection of specials available, including this vegetarian lasagne. Photo: Harriet Orrell

Food

Amandines Cafe, in Diss is a gem of a place.

Tucked away in the one of the Heritage Triangle’s many courtyards, the vegetarian, vegan cafe boasts an atrium style interior, which on a bright day is flooded with sunlight. This, coupled with soft jazz playing in the background and the occasional waft of wood smoke from the log burner keeping the large open space warm makes for a fantastic setting in which to enjoy a meal.

A vegetarian establishment, Amandines’s regular menu boasts an array of toasted paninis, sandwiches, salads and jacket potatoes. Plus a daily specials board, featuring mains and desserts.

The glass-covered courtyard is filled with natural light and heated by the sun and a traditional wood burning stove. Photo: Harriet OrrellThe glass-covered courtyard is filled with natural light and heated by the sun and a traditional wood burning stove. Photo: Harriet Orrell

After much deliberation we ordered the lasagne form the specials board, the Italian panini and a hummus dipping platter.

The food arrived quickly and looked great, with each dish accompanied by a bright, intriguing and carefully considered salad.

The Italian panini contains tomato, mozzarella, basil and onion and is served with a large salad. Photo: Harriet OrrellThe Italian panini contains tomato, mozzarella, basil and onion and is served with a large salad. Photo: Harriet Orrell

My lasagne, featuring layers of pasta, a rich tomato sauce, soya mince and the occasional red pepper beneath a blanket of béchamel sauce, was nothing ground breaking and a little too light on actual vegetables for a meat-free version of the Italian classic. But none the less deeply satisfying and everything I hoped it would be.

And judging by the number of similar orders that passed our table a popular Amandines dish.

Across the table the Italian panini was also happily devoured but for both of us, the salads accompanying the main component of each meal where the stars of the show.

Colourful and featuring interesting textures and flavours, each bought a new more sophisticated element to dish.

Amandines Cafe, in Norfolk House Yard in Diss, has been cooking vegetarian and vegan food for 28 years. Photo: Harriet OrrellAmandines Cafe, in Norfolk House Yard in Diss, has been cooking vegetarian and vegan food for 28 years. Photo: Harriet Orrell

When your colleague comments that the panini has merely become a vehicle for the getting the salad to their mouth you know what the stand out part of their meal is.

On the side, the hummus platter, although featuring some very good home-made hummus and the same stand out salads was a little lack lustre, and not the platter we were expecting.

Drinks

The colourful salads at Amandines are the star of the meal. Photo: Harriet OrrellThe colourful salads at Amandines are the star of the meal. Photo: Harriet Orrell

A working lunch so no alcohol here but the cafe offers a well stocked bar and wine selection for those who wish.

Atmosphere

As mentioned the courtyard interior is lovely, and on a bright sunny day one could be forgiven for thinking they were in a far more exotic location than Diss.

Service

Delightful, the staff where friendly and attentive without being intrusive.

Loos

Perfectly adequate and did the job. The main loos are up a flight of stairs but for those unable to use stairs ground level toilets are available.

Parking

The are various car parks around Diss, one of the nearest being Mount Street.

Parking is free for the first hour and after 6pm.

Location

Situated in the Heritage Triangle, nothing in Diss is more than a five minute walk away.

Price

The bill for two of us came to a total of £26. The average price for a dish of the specials board is £9.95 whilst sandwiches and paninis are closer to £6.95.

On the whole we felt it was good value for money but we did feel that for something described as a platter the £6.95 hummus dish was a little expensive for what it was.

Amandines is also a cash-only establishment so make sure you visit one of the many near-by cash points before arriving.

Highlight

The ambience and atmosphere of the courtyard interior is lovely.

Summary

Amandines is a hidden gem in Diss, the perfect place for a long lunch.

When you come a way from somewhere feeling like you’ve just been on holiday, you know they’re doing something right.

Score

4/5

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