The prospect of an entirely gluten free cafe is always going to grab my attention, but one set in a leafy paradise with sofas and tables nestled amongst towering trees and around a giant koi pond meant I had to get myself there pronto. Cafe Jungle is based (rather randomly) in a garden centre in the little village of Costessey about 20 minutes’ north of Norwich, but one step through its doors and you’re swiftly immersed in a far more exotic setting.
Instead of just setting for an easy menu of gf-based sandwiches, there’s plenty of variety on offer here. Granted, there is an array of toasties (with salad) to choose from, but there’s also several types of quiches, soup, pies and even stuffed mushrooms on the menu; as well as an entire counter of tempting cakes and sweet treats. I already had plans for dinner and didn’t want anything too hefty, so settled for a camembert and cranberry toastie – and it was delectable. The toasted bread had a great texture and taste (aided further by its buttery crisp exterior), while the melted camembert oozed out at the edges and there was perfect amount of cranberry to offer a contrasting sweetness and balance out the richer taste of the cheese. My boyfriend, meanwhile, enjoyed a pastrami, cheddar and caramelized red onion toastie and only had very complementary things to say about the flavour combination (especially the red onion). Afterwards, we shared a piece of carrot cake, which boasted a good, full flavour and moist texture – something which can often fall by the wayside with gf bakes.