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Cafe Med (Newcastle upon Tyne)
Member Name: juicy_lucy
Cafe Med (Newcastle upon Tyne)
Advantages: Ok for lunchtime
We were recently out for another family meal and thought this place would be a good idea as it's open on a Sunday and we really didn't want a pub lunch.
The restaurant is situated on the corner of a side road in Jesmond, and has free parking behind the restaurant. We went on a Sunday and because the road consists predominantly of offices, it was very quiet and there was plenty of free on road parking. It does look quite unprepossessing being in a row of large terraced houses and is accessed via a door at the side of the building.
Inside, the restaurant is light and airy with table tops being covered with red and green cloths, so very Italian looking rather than having a more general Meditteranean feel as I was expecting. There are plenty of pictures on the walls but other than this, is quite devoid of any other adornments. The bar area is small and diners are taken straight to tables rather than invited to linger at the bar; I saw no chairs or stools in the bar area so it wouldn't be very comfortable.
We were quickly taken to our table and brought a high chair for small grandson, and then given menus. In just the right amount of time to get ourselves settled, we were asked for our drinks order and then got down to the menu
There is a regular and day time menu available until 5pm, and featuring lighter snacks and meals. Food can also be ordered in advance and collected to eat at home. As well as the normal menus Happy Hour offers selected pizzas and pastas for £3.50. We decided to choose from the regular menu.
The menu features the usual categories of dishes: Appetisers, Starters, To Share; Pizza; Pasta; Risotto, Meat; Seafoods, Salads and side dishes. It veers very heavily towards Italian influenced dishes.
For starters we tend to like to get a selection of dishes to share and pick at while chatting, so chose a selection of Bruschetta at £2.25, bread and olives (£1.95), and garlic bread with tomato (£2.25). the Bruschetta was especially tasty, with lots of tomato and onion on top of large pieces of crusty bread and drizzled with some high quality olive oil. We had 6 starters in total and there was plenty for us, as they were all large portions.
One member of the group chose Chicken kiev (£8.95), which when it arrived was a large breaded chicken breast filled with garlic and herb butter served with chips (the option of salad was turned down). Another two chose Chicken milanese (£7.95) and again chips were the favoured accompaniment. Because chips had been chosen by two people sitting next to each other they came in a large bowl, containing more than enough chunky chips for two people. The chicken was nicely cooked and the breasts were of a high quality, with the portions being more than enough to satisfy teenagers! Ne criticism I would have is that the coating on the chicken kiev looked greasy, although no complaints from my son.
There was the usual selection of pizzas, so I chose the vegetarian option, (£4.50) as also did a vegetarian member of the party. The crusts were just as I like them, thin and crusty and they were laden down with lots of vegetables. It was advertised as being a pizza topped with seasonal vegetables, and whilst there were plenty of peppers and onions, I was surprised to see lots of carrots on the pizza. Tasty enough but I really could have done without the carrots.
My mum, who is a real fan of risotto, chose Chicken & mushroom risotto(£6.75) with white wine, cream & parmesan and wanted it without the cream which the staff were happy to provide. She is quite fussy about her risotto but when this dish arrived, she declared it as delicious, with the risotto being cooked to perfection.
Two of the party chose the pizza quarto stagioni,(£4.95) 1 without mushrooms which were of the same good quality as my own pizza.
Not being a big dessert eater I opted instead for a coffee while Little Miss had a sticky toffee pudding which was a very large portion (too big for her) and very toffee tasting. The downside to the desserts is that they were quite ordinary and obviously not cooked on the premises
There didn't seem to be a children's menu, and because we knew grandson wouldn't eat a full portion, he had a little bit of everything and thoroughly enjoyed it.
For 7 meals plus drinks including a bottle of wine, the meal came to about £70 which I thought represented good value
Address: Hutton House, 1 Hutton Tce., Jesmond. NE2 1QT
Telephone: 0191 2399586
A good place for a lunchtime meal. I would imagine a lot of the business is week time lunch as it is set amongst lots of offices and does a lunch time value menu. It's not particularly "special" and so probably not somewhere I would go for a night out.
The staff are friendly and helpful and accommodate different wants, the food is decent and the atmosphere pleasant. We were there on a Sunday afternoon, and the restaurant was more than half full
Decent enough for a lunchtime meal
Thanks for reading