GREYJOYS, GOSFORTH

We discover knock-out brunchy bites at the hip, newly-opened cafe...

Hang out

An independent coffee shop and cafe on Gosforth’s buzzy high street, owned and lead by a small and passionate team, eager to treat visitors to the freshest, fuss-free food and drink around these parts – and at great prices, too. Though still the new kid on the block, it’s managed to steal the hearts of countless foodies, caffeine-addicts and interior-fiends all over the city thanks to its ever-changing, simple-but-sophisticated menu, packed with healthy and inspiring made-to-order grub, shabby-chic good looks (the majority of the vintage furniture and unique artwork you’ll see around you is up for grabs – look for the price tags) and great quality coffee. It’s a pooch-friendly place, too, so feel free to bring your furry friend(s) along with you while you kick back. We dined among (and fell in love with) many well-behaved and irresistibly cute canines on our visit (note: if you’re not a dog-lover, don’t be put off. There are no bad smells, drool-stained floors or hairy chairs here – hurrah). You can even treat your mutt to a makeover, courtesy of the cafe’s self-serve dog-washing service. Poached eggs and polished pooches – what a combo.

Decked out

Stripped back and effortlessly chic. So very Instragrammable. Because the furniture has been nabbed from all over the place, nothing really matches – but that’s all part of Greyjoys’ charm. It’s also the reason why no two visits will look the same – and we’re looking forward to seeing how things have been switched up next time. We enquired about the scuffed faux fireplace – check it out when you’re next in – but unfortunately that’s for keeps. Our fellow diners perched their bottoms of chunky hunks of wood and church pews, made into benches, while we settled in on creaky chairs with vintage, paisley-printed covers and cosy, emerald green cushions. Light is provided by a number of mismatched shades – all of which we wanted to take home. Nab a bar stool by the window if you fancy some people-watching, or grab the larger table towards the back if you’re visiting with a few chums. You can ring to reserve a spot, which we advise doing to avoid disappointment – especially at the weekends, or if you’re stopping by for a spot of celebratory brunch (good to know – they’re now taking bookings for Mother’s Day).

Sip

All coffee – long black, flat white, cappuccino, honey latte, mocha, affogato – is made with the highest-quality ingredients for the perfect cup – sweet, ‘roasty’, nutty, smooth – every time. The owners mean business when it comes to their beans, so you can definitely expect a decent cup of the stuff, whether you sit-in or take away. They also do a mean juice, as we discovered. Knock back their ‘wonderShot’ (essentially ginger and tumeric juice in a shot glass – £2) to wake you up from your Friday night hangover, or opt for the ‘wonderHot’ (as before, but served hot and long with local honey – £3.80) if you’re in need of a pick-me-up. Health-nuts will no doubt love the house press (£3.80), a zingy blend of carrot, apple and ginger, or straight-up apple or orange – freshly-squeezed for £2 a pop.

Food matters

The grub steals the show here, going above and beyond your standard soup-and-a-sarnie offering (though their soup and sandwiches are sublime). We were blown away to discover that everything on the menu is made-to-order there and then – and all from one, ridiculously small pan, can you believe? Kudos to the lovely lady calling the shots and serving up the good stuff from what could be the tiniest working kitchen in Newcastle. Pop your head in to say hello and thank you on your way out – the woman deserves a medal. And possibly a few big kisses. Ingredients-wise, the kitchen serves only what’s at hand that day – so what’s made that day, is gone that day. They source as much local stuff as possible – everything from the meat to the eggs – and as mentioned, the menu is always being chopped and changed, depending on demand and what’s in season. What we had in store went a little bit like this… hunks of artisan sourdough topped with creamy sweet potato, bacon, sesame and maple syrup, woodland mushroom aioli and spicy avocado, oozy toasted breakfast sandwiches, crammed with streaky bacon, runny egg, avocado and tomato and eggs, done every which way. Poached, on a bed of marinated kale, spinach and smoked chilli, spiked with zaatar and joined with wedges of grilled halloumi, olives and cucumber, done the Mexican way, in a bath of rich and smoky arrabbiata-style sauce, or plated up with thick slithers of Wiltshire honey ham. Thankfully, the salads, ranging from £7-£9.50, are big and hearty; crunchy, good-for-you leaves, muddled with free-range chicken, bacon, currants, nuts, tomatoes, beetroot, roasted goats cheese… you name it. Grab a ‘brunch bowl’ (both £9), like we did, for mouthful after mouthful of mouthwatering, good-for-you flavour. Suitable for meat-eaters, veggies and vegans, too.

What we ate 

We tried, almost desperately, not to get carried away and order the entire menu, settling on a mix of brunchy bowls, sarnies and soup to warm the cockles on was what a rather dreary, drizzly Saturday. While our chum tucked in to one of the terrific toasties (£4) – grilled, golden brown sourdough filled with white slabs of gooey melted brie, crispy shards of smoked bacon and a slick of tomato chilli jam for some kick – we laid back (quite literally) with two helpings of deliciousness. The first was the soup of the day (£4) – this time, a bright and steaming bowl of sweet potato and carrot, made creamy and comforting with a good glug of coconut milk and spoonfuls of almond butter. It hit the the spot like nothing else; clearly homemade and wonderfully thick and filling. Soul-food at its best. Then there was the vegan brunch bowl (£9), offering our tastebuds something just as nutritious, but lighter in flavour and easier on the tum. Think nutty quinoa and wild rice, fragrant veggie broth, vivid seasonal greens, avocado dipped in chia and sesame seeds, silky, roasted peppers, charred ’til silky, nuggets of beetroot, sun-dried tomatoes for sweetness and a good spoonful of homemade beetroot hummus. Lots going on, yes, and all packed into one small bowl, too, but in our opinion, completely faultless – and really quite unique, too. You don’t find these kind of dishes being served anywhere else around these parts. We happily sat back and slurped our way through it, knowing we were filling our bellies with goodness. We may, or may not, have added shredded chicken and poached egg to bulk things up a bit. Definitely not vegan, we know, but a good decision nonetheless as it meant we got to experience the heavenliness that is eggs and hummus combined – one of life’s pleasures. You can add spinach, tomatoes, bacon and halloumi to the mix, too, if you fancy. Next time (because there will definitely be a next time), we’ll dive into the toastie side of things a little bit more. With flavour combos like chicken, chorizo and arrabbiata, bacon, goats cheese, beetroot and red onion chutney and even sweet potato pakora with peppers and hummus, who can blame us. We might even take away a slab of homemade brownie, which we hear are melty mouthfuls of heaven. Our advice? Grab your pooch and a couple of chums and get yourselves along one weekend soon – this weekend if you can – and fall in love with the menu, like we did. There’s a very good chance you’ll see us there, too. Probably with lots of that beetroot hummus.


greyjoys.com

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