Tag Archives: Newcastle

The Bangkok Cafe

The Bangkok cafe is one of Newcastle’s hidden gems, situated at 39-41 Low friar street which is along from the gate.  I’m actually ashamed to say I’ve only been twice, I have no explanation for this as the food is always delicious.

The Decor is simple with a good amount of tables and chairs, as the restaurant is quite long and narrow it’s surprising how much seating the Bankok Cafe has managed to fit in

We ordered Green Tea to drink which was served in the beautiful teapot pictured above

 Neither Mr Gourmand or Myself know anything about Thai food apart from the fact we like to eat it!  We can never remember what the dishes are called that we like so we both decided to eat from the lunchtime special menu which is £7.90 on a Saturday (which was the day we visited)

Mr Gourmand ordered Set menu B which consisted of Thai Chicken Massamun curry, Spicy Pork Salad and Thai Jasmine Rice.  Mr Gourmand had his curry polished off in a shot which speaks for itself.  The Spicy Pork salad has delicious fresh flavours and the mint really cleansed the palette.

I went for Set menu C which consisted of Chicken Massamun curry, Phad Cha Beef in spicy lemongrass, galangal sauce and Thai Jasmine Rice.  The Massamun curry was very spicy but the flavours were amazing.  The potato in the curry had the most delicious sweetness which went really well with the heat of the sauce.  The Phad Cha Beef was hot, spicy and plentiful I had so much food on my plate that Mr Gourmand had to help me out!

I must remember to visit the Bangkok cafe more often as the food is always delicious and very very filling!

Opening Hours are:

Monday 5pm – 10pm, Tuesday – Friday 12pm-3pm 5pm-10pm, Saturday 12pm – 10.30pm Sunday 12pm – 10pm

The Craft Beer Revolution Hits Newcastle

BrewDog was born in 2007 when two friends became bored of typical lagers and beers found in bars throughout the UK and decided the only way to fix this predicament was to create their own.  After the typical ups and downs faced by all new businesses conceived during difficult financial times BrewDog expanded from competition success and loyal thirsty followers, but while most companies may have resisted new opportunities, the ballsy entrepreneurs at BrewDog decided creating great beers was good, so why not create great spaces to enjoy their beers.  The two friends in question were Martin Dickie and James Watt

I suspect many of the residents of Newcastle upon Tyne feel the same way Martin and James felt.  I have noticed that quality beer and ale drinking has become fashionable in recent years, but while taste is important, what is often not appreciated is the passion that has gone into the creating and brewing the golden goodness sitting in front of you.

When I was invited to a press tasting at Newcastle’s BrewDog bar I was extremely excited because I had sampled their beers before and thoroughly enjoyed them.  I remembered the beers alternative labelling and urban typeface which was very different to typical traditional beer, you know what I mean, usually a plain label with a picture of a stone mill or some local animal, and recognised at the time that BrewDogs bold marketing suited the beers distinctive taste.  So, as you can imagine, I wanted to see what BrewDog had to offer Newcastle as both a venue and as a range of finely crafted drinks.

Myself and Mr Gourmand made the short journey from Jesmond to Dean Street and met up with my good friend Katie and her husband Paul from Lady from a Tramp.  It was great to see a good mixture of people in the bar, I was a little worried that with it being just round the corner from the Diamond Strip that the “wannabes” may find themselves into the bar, luckily I saw no Mahogany Males just stepped out of an All Saints catalogue and no Bleach Blonde Barbie’s (Ale just aint their scene!).

The interior of the bar is great, the walls look like they are made out of old school flooring, concrete bartop, exposed structural steel, bar stools that you would find in a chemistry lab, an old school pinball machine, comfy leather sofas and a huge selection of board games!

The staff are extremely knowledgeable and friendly, if you want to sample a beer before you buy it’s not a problem, in fact it’s encouraged.  A selection of wines are available and soft drinks are on offer for the non beer drinkers.

I started off with a Motuaka IPA 6.7% and costing £3.60 for a 1/2.

This went down a treat!

I followed the Motuaka with a couple of glasses of Hardcore IPA 9.2% and £3.25 for a 1/2

I have to admit that after drinking a few of these I was starting to feel a little tipsy (I can handle a tankful of whisky but not beer!)

James, one of the Co-Founders, started off the tasting session with a very inspiring story about how the brand started and how it came to be where it is today.  James talked with such passion about the beer he produces which made me want to drink the beer even more!

The first taster was the Punk IPA 5.6% which had the most amazing aroma, Mango was the main scent I picked up, I really expected the beer to have a sickly sweet taste and was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t, in fact it had a lovely dry finish to it.

The 5am IPA 5% was next, this beer had a citrus scent

I did find this quite pleasant to drink but it wasn’t my favourite.

The Tokyo beer was the last to be served, at 18.2% it’s not a drink for the weak!

I found this beer quite similar to some stout’s that I’ve drunk in the past, the beer had quite a malty taste which I really enjoyed.

The fabulous bar staff made me a special platter with no blue cheese (allergies) and no pork products (can’t eat them)

The platters that did contain the meat did look very appetising and went down well with other drinkers.  If you do pop into the BrewDog bar, I urge you to try one of the platters, the cheese goes so well with the beer!

I managed to grab a quick photo with Co-Founder James before he did his third tasting session of the evening!

The last drink to be consumed was the Tactical Penguin 32% which tasted very much like a brandy, this is an extremely strong beer, which should be enjoyed in small servings, it’s not the sort of beer you drink out of the bottle with your mates!  Be Warned!

We were extremely lucky to be able to sit down with the extremely knowledgeable Jonny Bright from the Camden Bar who is filled with just as much passion about the brand as James.

If you were not convinced about craft beer and why it’s so special, a short time in Jonny’s company would change you to his way of thinking.  The man oozes passion for the brand, changing career as a tour manager travelling the world to working for BrewDog must have been a pretty huge step but it’s apparent that Johnny loves what he is doing and that’s great!

I had the most amazing night and from the look on all of the faces around me, everyone else was having a bloody good time themselves.  I wish BrewDog the best of luck and hope to see more real beer bars popping up in more towns and city’s across the UK.

Brewdog bars can be found in Newcastle, Camden, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Manchester.

If you would like more information on the brand you can visit the website here: www.brewdog.com

Sofra Culture Cafe – Newcastle

The Sofra Culture Cafe is a hidden gem situated above the Get Stuffed takeaway at 10 St Marys Place, Newcastle which is walking distance from Haymarket Metro station.

The Sofra Culture Cafe are the only place in Newcastle to offer food with a traditional, authentic charcoal grill.

There is ample seating for various sized groups on the first floor and an upstairs seating area for larger parties.

The Charcoal grill is rather impressive. A word of warning though, your clothing and hair will smell for the rest of the day!

I decided to try the Traditional Apple Tea (£1.20 )  I remember drinking this in Turkey many years ago, I’m glad to say it was not nearly as sweet as what I remember.

Mr Gourmand had asked for the Continental Breakfast (£3.80) which consisted of Feta cheese, Olives, Tomato, Cucumber, butter, jam and a choice of egg

The breakfast that was served included some meat products so would not have been suitable for a vegetarian but Mr Gourmand enjoyed it, along with the plate of toast that accompanied it!

I ordered the Culture Breakfast (£3.20) which was supposed to come with Fried Egg, Mushrooms, Tomato, Beans, Pastrami, Beef sausage and toast.

I was told that the cafe ad ran out of beans so was offered an extra egg.  The beef sausage and pastrami were substituted by pepperoni and a hot dog tasting meat.

The Sofra Culture Cafe is one of those places that you have to enter with an open mind, quite often you don’t get exactly what you order, sometimes you get more items than advertised, other times you get totally different ingredients, that’s what makes this place fun and quirky.

The Vine Cafe – Newcastle

Situated in Old Eldon Square, Newcastle The Vine Cafe is a perfect place to pop into during a shopping trip.


The cafe would comfortably seat 26 people however the management seem to have thought that more seats mean more money and due to this have made the seating arrangements rather cramped.

The table we were sat at was perfect for two however 4 chairs were around the table which would make it rather uncomfortable had everybody being having a main course.

The Cafe offers a large selection of food such as Jacket Potato, Quiche, Panini’s, Sandwiches and hot specials such as Mince and Dumplings.  A large breakfast menu is offered and vegetarians are catered for.

Mr Gourmand had the Carrot and Coriander soup (£2.95) which was a very generous portion served with a crusty wedge of bread.  He though the soup was delicious and had just the right amount of spice without being overpowering.  Surprisingly Mr Gourmand found the soup very filling and said he wouldn’t hesitate to have this again.

I opted for the Tuna toasted sandwich (2.95) which was served with a dressed salad and homemade coleslaw.  Quite often when you order a sandwich from a cafe you get a sandwich on the plate and nothing else.  It was lovely to receive the extras on the plate and for the price I thought the meal was well worth it.

The two dishes and two filter Coffees came to £7.70.

The Vine cafe is open from 8am – 5pm.