Word On The Street

A smorgasbord of tasty treats is on offer to visitors these days to the historic listed Grainger Market in Newcastle.

Amongst the butchers, bakers, delis, fishmongers and greengrocers, there’s a whole new world of fantastic street food experiences to uncover on a journey of discovery…

In fact, a few visits to the market’s Weigh House may well be in order after all the snacking!   

The market, an institution in the city, celebrates its 150th anniversary this month and a series of events are planned to link in with British Food Fortnight, which kicks off September 19.

Nan Bei Dumpling and Tea Bar is one such foodie gem, located in alley 2.  It’s run by Maggie – who owns the Quay Ingredient café with husband chef, Simon Snowball, on the Quayside – and her business partner.

_0006_wordonthestreet2The popular Chinese dumplings takeaway opened at the end of last year and sells a variety of freshly-made dumplings, soups and teas.

Maggie says: “It’s a very homely dish. Every child would learn how to make these at home. Every street corner in China has food like this.”

Sample assorted dumplings, fresh from the steamer, at six for £3.50. Fillings include chilli beef and sweet carrots, pork and cabbage, pork and celery, mushroom and egg, and white fish containing haddock, prawns, spring onion and eggs. All are light, easily digestible and delicious.

Ingredients are sourced locally from the market, the fish from Lindsay’s and the veg from Hutchinson’s.

The world’s your oyster when you follow your nose to the Lindsay’s To Go/oyster bar in alley 1. Perch at the counter and savour the delicate fishy flavours as you crack open a few Cumbrae oysters (opened on request), priced at £1.25 each.

Shoppers can buy fresh fish from Lindsay’s fishmongers, established in 1936, directly across the aisle, and have their fish delicacies cooked there and then at Lindsay’s To Go. Popular choices on the shortest of food mile journeys are said to be the salmon and king prawns.

A bon appetit is guaranteed on a visit to French Oven, the independent artisan bakery, in arcade 27, which is known region-wide for its quality breads, cakes, pies, pasties, scones and croissants.

Manager Vanessa Salvaing explains: “Everything is freshly baked. The bread is the best-seller, spelt loaf is very popular, as well as savoury specialities like black pudding loaves. And then we have the macarons and brownies…

“Our reputation has grown over the years and we now have reviews on Trip Advisor.”

For a sweet finale a trip to Pet Lamb Patisserie in arcade 19 is recommended. The store looks terrific from the outside, offering a glimpse of the sweet treats on sale inside, including cupcakes, layer cakes, brownies and gluten-free cakes. They also sells coffees, teas and hot chocolate.

Tempted by lemon meringue, red velvet or salted caramel cupcakes, at £1.75 each or four for £5.50? Or maybe strawberry and pistachio brownies, priced at £2 each, or banoffee variety take your fancy?

Keeping the region’s sweet tooth satisfied are Katie Deacon and Kay Winder, the business partners behind the venture.

Katie says: “We could see there was a niche for brownies and big chunks of cake. We used to bake all the time at home as a hobby.

“We thought why not try to sell them and it grew from there.”

The shop has been open for three years. “Brownies are the best-sellers by a country mile. Everything is made on site in the ovens here.”

Grainger Market, Grainger Street, Newcastle, NE1 5JQ.

Details of anniversary events: