Asda v Morrisons

Breakfast is not a hard meal to do well, though you may find that difficult to believe when you see some attempts.  Plenty of good cheap breakfast options are around, from the greasy spoon cafe to supermarket restaurants.

I wouldn’t normally choose the latter but my recent spell of working in Mansfield gave me an ideal opportunity to correct any false impressions.  I was staying during the week at the hospital accommodation, which was just around the corner from a big Morrisons supermarket, where once or twice a week I would treat myself by going for breakfast.  There were plenty of options, though my favourite was the so-called “traditional breakfast” – three rashers of grilled back bacon, baked beans, two rounds of toast and two fried eggs, all for £3.75.  It wasn’t the Ritz but for the money it was very decent and tasty.

Fast forward to today.  I had to be in Colchester early for a blood test, but didn’t get around to having any breakfast before leaving home.  Best option to hand was the Asda store around the corner from the hospital.

2014-02-24 10.25.53First thing to note is that the menu, unlike the Morrisons equivalent, is stuck to the wall behind the serving counter, not online, not in laminated format, and gives neither descriptions to back up the titles, nor photographs, so the only option was to ask the girl what was included in each.  Essentially it came down to small, medium and large, so I chose medium for £4 with a hash brown rather than canned tomatoes – or as it turned out, three hash browns.

Look at the photograph above and tell me what you think, honestly.  OK, I’ll tell you: the bacon was so overcooked it could barely be hacked apart with a knife; the sausages were also burned to a crisp and barely edible; the beans were cold. Goodness knows what they had done to the mushrooms, but they were practically ossified – tough as plastic and less tasty.  The only decent part of the meal was the egg, since that was the only component cooked fresh to order.  The remainder had been hanging around for some time; it was obvious from the appearance, let alone the taste, that this was a disaster zone, though the staff did not look as if they cared two hoots – they are not paid enough to care.  Even the coffee was lukewarm and barely strong enough to crawl out of the mug.

On the strength of this comparison, I’d say go to Morrisons ahead of Asda every time if supermarket breakfast is your goal.  Sainsburys is also worth a look, since they do a reasonable eggs Benedict, though the best option of all may well be a small independent cafe or making it yourself freshly.  Shop in Asda, by all means, but please don’t eat breakfast there.


2 thoughts on “Asda v Morrisons”

  1. Could it, perchance, be that the chef at Asda was having a bad day? Can a whole chain be judged by a visit to one store? These are genuine questions. I do not personally have the answers, and I have no reason to favour one store over another (though I do do most of my shopping at Asda – simply because it’s the cheapest and the closest).

    1. I don’t accept that. Morrisons was always consistent when I was there, such that the food was always cooked fresh to order and took a few minutes, regardless of the number of people there. In Asda’s case the quality of raw materials was substandard and the fact that they had been sitting around for ages is consistent with a culture where staff don’t really care about the quality of food and a management more concerned with reducing cost and wastage than serving acceptable meals.

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