Kith & Kin, the new kid on the coast’s culinary block, is proving to be quite the little crowd-pleaser. It hasn’t even been open a month, yet already has locals buzzing over its brunchy, lunchy, all-day brekkie offering, homemade sweet treats, artisan coffee and Instagram-worthy good looks. It takes pride of place on Whitley Bay’s most popular street for great grub and boutique shopping, Park View, and is headed up by Eve Jones – a 23-year-old foodie who also happens to be head chef. She co-owns it with her father and the pair are proud locals.
A chic spot that wouldn’t look out of place in the streets of London or LA. It’s effortlessly stylish and deliciously laid-back. Think chunky, Scandi-style chairs and tables, fuss-free wooden flooring and a colour palette of gorgeous greys, deep turquoise and crisp, white wash walls. We love the trendy (and original) marble fireplace in the sunny back room, its family of cacti (everyone loves a cactus or two, right?), hanging lantern-style lights, seaside-inspired artwork (there’s also a great original painting of Frida Kahlo) and other funky nick-nacks dotted about. Local illustrator, Ashley Willerton, created the cafe’s cool signage and the name is an old English saying meaning ‘one’s friends and family.’
The drinks menu boasts a carefully-chosen selection of wines, bottled beers, cider and soft drinks – summery options like elderflower fizz and organic lemonade. Locally-roasted coffee is a real focus here and Kith & Kin is the only cafe around these parts serving mugs (and take-out cups) of Pink Lane Coffee’s good stuff. You can also nab a glass or bottle of Prosecco if you’re in the mood for bubbles and there’s a good range of loose-leaf teas on offer too – nice ones like chai and white pomegranate – which can be drank with dairy-free milk if you’re into that!
Eating here means tucking in to sophisticated plates, made with wholesome, fresh and honest ingredients – the type of food that’s meant to be shared and enjoyed with chums and loved ones. You’ll discover a modest, but perfectly formed, menu, inspired by Eve’s travels and infused with flavours from all over the globe. It’ll change monthly, we’re told, so the food stays seasonal and exciting, but at the moment expect to see dishes such as middle-Eastern shakshuka, oozy, gooey cheese and steak sarnies (with local meat from Nicholson’s Butchers), bubble and squeak, a hearty Australian-style brekkie, lots of smashed avo and hummus on sourdough, homemade healthy granola and trendy ‘Buddha bowls’ to keep clean-eaters satisfied. Look out for regular weekday and weekend specials, too.
What we ate
The shakshuka (£7.95) was a no-brainer – it’s one of our all-time favourite brunch dishes. Kith & Kin serves their version the proper way – straight from the oven in a red-hot skillet pan, with a side of hunk of grilled sourdough for plenty of dipping action. In the past, we’ve been left disappointed with cafe versions of what are essentially baked eggs; the tomato sauce can be watery and bland and the eggs overcooked. But Kith & Kin’s version was a knock-out, turning up the volume with a rich and spicy tomato sauce, peppered with paprika for smokiness and velvety and thick in texture. The bubbly free-range eggs were perfectly poached; oozy, with bright yellow yolks and fresh-as-can-be. A generous scattering of crumbly feta added a slight tang, while dollops of minted yogurt and a few torn herbs provided a cool and welcomed earthiness. A good squeeze of lime, a good sprinkling of dukkah (an Egyptian spice blend) and a pot of wonderfully chunky, garlicky homemade avocado sent us to culinary heaven. Our chum chose ‘The Aussie’ (£7.95), after a good five minutes spent swooning over the ingredients. It’s a veggie brekkie with a twist; sourdough toast (gluten-free bread is available), topped with a buttery fried egg, wedges of grilled halloumi, homemade beetroot hummus – a vibrant shade of purple – sautéed herby mushrooms and kale for creaminess, a dusting of dukkah for a bit of spice and a drizzle of fresh lemon and herb olive oil for some zing. A total winner, it turned out, that was demolished in minutes – a great, lazy-looking brekkie dish that packs a punch flavour-wise and wakes up the tastebuds with tons of texture. Intrigued to discover how their version would compare to the stuff you find in the supermarket and the kind we often attempt to make at home, we chose the granola bowl (£4.20) in place of dessert. Turns out their rustic, in-house creation is pretty damn good; hearty and chocolatey, made with cocoa seeds, oats and almonds, and served with a splash of almond milk (normal milk is on offer too) and side of plump, fresh berries for sweetness. A filling and nutritious start to the day – zero complaints from us. We’ll try a slab of cake, or perhaps a gluten-free brownie, next time – the cake counter is always stacked with locally-made goodies. Our new favourite hang-out – go there this weekend if you’re by the coast.