There’s a new kid on the block among the array of independent stores, charity shops and cafes that make up Fareham’s West Street.
The last time Dish Detective took a stroll down that end of town, there was an ice-cream parlour called JoJo’s Gelato.
It was billed as Fareham’s only ice-cream parlour when it opened in December 2014, but obviously Fareham doesn’t appreciate the sweeter things in life as, just three years later, it’s had a facelift and reopened as Crumblejack - with large signs saying it specialises in bread and coffee.
That’s a good job as Dish Detective is in need of a filling sandwich and a hot coffee for lunch after hitting the sales.
The place is new, with its clean-looking interior and open-plan kitchen. There are a dozen-or-so tables and we are lucky to grab the last one going.
As well as the cafe, which has a trendy design with a large counter, looking new, the staff are obviously just finding their feet too. There’s also no credit card machine or receipt function yet.
It’s a bit chaotic - in a friendly way - as the woman serving does so with an enthusiastic smile and chatter. Although - as is apparent by the full tables - there’s a bit of a rush on and a bit more concentration wouldn’t go amiss.
Regardless of the chaos, Dish Detective opts for a ham and cheese toastie (£5.95) while their mate goes for a bacon, onion and cheese toastie (also £5.95) washed down with a can of lemon San Pellegrino (£2.10) and a latte (£2.95).
It’s an order-at-the-counter place. After a short wait, the food arrives at our table – before the drinks. There’s a big pile of salad on each plate, which – although tasty – is a bit limp around the edges. We’ve also been given a complimentary bowl of home-made soup (usually an extra £1) which is a wholesome tomato. A nice surprise – adding to the cafe’s chaotic-but-friendly feel.
The toasties - we opted for granary bread but there’s a choice of white, granary or 50/50 - are delicious. The bread is thick and fresh and the contents are melted just right. After lunch we polish off some tasty cinnamon buns (£1.95).
Crumblejack is a good town centre pit-stop and, while it’s made an okay start, with longer-standing, more seasoned cafes like Imbizo and the Vintage Tea Room just yards away, it’ll need to get a bit more organised to become a competitor.
Tel: (01329) 231118
(ratings out of 5)