Last week we were invited for a free meal at one of Newcastle’s hidden cafes, Meet and Treat, found on Bath Lane. The Stowell Street area in Newcastle is usually known for Chinese all you can eat buffets and supermarkets, but at the bottom of the street now sits something a bit different.
Meet and Treat is a cosy little cafe with a lot of character packed in. From the quaint wall art to the relaxing music, the atmosphere in the cafe is perfect for stepping back from the hustle and bustle of busy Newcastle, as I found out – especially on a match day! Although parking isn’t great in the area, it’s only a 10-minute walk from the Central Train Station.
Everyone from couples to families were relaxing in the cafe. Most of them seemed to stay for over an hour, playing games and chatting away, showing just how welcoming and enjoyable the cafe is.
The menu offers up predominantly Asian style dishes with a few more traditional breakfast options mixed in for good measure. There were lots of options to choose from, which was somewhat of a curse given I more or less wanted to try everything!
But after some humming and haring and decided I would try the Takoyaki (£4.90) and deep fried pork katsu noodles (£9.80).
The service was spot on, with the staff being attentive and friendly. My food was with me in what seemed like no time at all and piping hot.
First up was my Takoyaki. I ordered this as I wanted to try something totally new and fried Octopus balls seemed to tick that box pretty well!
Full description from Wikipedia: Takoyaki (たこ焼き or 蛸焼) a ball-shaped Japanese snack made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special molded pan. It is typically filled with minced or diced octopus (tako), pickled ginger, and green onion.Takoyaki are brushed with takoyaki sauce (similar to Worcestershire sauce) and mayonnaise, and then sprinkled with green laver (aonori) and shavings of dried bonito.
The texture was entirely different from what I was expecting, with a crisp outside and somewhat gooey inside. The flavour was quite subtle, with the sauce complimenting the dish well. It was a bit different from what I’d usually order, but it’s something I wouldn’t hesitate to try again.
Next up was my deep fried pork katsu noodles. This is more like my usual type of dish and didn’t disappoint. The crispy, piping hot pork went fantastic with the warming noodle soup, which was an ideal option on the drizzly day I visited.
I have to admit, I bottled exclusively using chopsticks and the wooden noodle spoon in favour of a metal spoon but can live with myself. The creamy soup was full of sweetcorn, noodles, tofu, bok choy and was beyond filling.
For £9.80, I’ll be popping in one lunchtime in the future purely for another bowl of this soup.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Meet and Treat and fully intend to head back next time I’m shopping in Newcastle. The atmospheric little cafe seems ideal for breakfast, lunchtime light bites or a relaxing evening meal.
The cafe did offer a selection of teas and desserts, however after eating the best part of my two dishes I was totally full so couldn’t handle anymore. However, that’s not to say I won’t be talked into a coffee and cake next time I’m through.