Tucked away under Newcastle‘s Tyne Bridge on a street that not even the local map seemed to think existed, Quay Ingredient took a little finding, but it was worth it (the trick is to walk until you are standing directly under the Tyne Bridge and, as if by magic, you’ll find yourself in front of Quay Ingredient).
The main draw for me is the range of excellent breakfasts: when I asked for recommendations, Quay Ingredient was top of everyone’s lists and it didn’t disappoint! Quay Ingredient’s not a huge place and you might have to wait for a table, such is its popularity. However, it’s definitely worth the wait with classics on the menu such as Eggs Florentine (my favourite), full English, grilled Caster kippers and cinnamon pancakes. Breakfast is served until 11.30 during the week and all day at weekends. If breakfast’s not your thing, there are sandwiches, salads and soup, plus cake, of course.
Quay Ingredient has a lovely, friendly atmosphere. You’re assured a warm welcome from Maggie, who works front of house, and her husband, Simon, who does all the cooking in the little kitchen at the back. Impressively, Maggie remembered me from my first visit six months before!
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
I started both my trips to Newcastle with breakfast at Quay Ingredient. Although two visits isn’t a statistically valid sample, both times, on a Thursday and Saturday morning, it was packed, with people squeezing in wherever they could. A few times people had to wait for tables, but it didn’t seem to put them off.
Judging by the Trip Advisor reviews, Quay Ingredient is very popular, but given the number of locals who’d recommended it, I was surprised at how few locals there were. Judging by the conversations buzzing around on both my visits, it was pretty obvious that the majority of us were first-time visitors, although everyone seemed to think that they would be back!
Quay Ingredient is very small, but manages to fit in five tables, a couple of which are large enough to get four people around. There are also two lovely sofas in the bay windows on either side of the door, although the coffee tables that go with them are probably not best suited to eating breakfast! Finally, there’s a table outside and a lovely tiled bar/counter with five cast-iron bar stools that would probably be best served for afternoon coffee. Overall the decor is clean and simple, with wooden floors and white walls. Despite being at the bottom of a steep hill, surrounded by high buildings and under a bridge, the tall windows at the front fill Quay Ingredient with light, while high ceilings stop it feeling too cramped, despite the small size.
The breakfast is the main draw, with the most popular items being the Eggs Benedict (and its variations, Eggs Florentine/Egg Montreal) and the Full English, which, judging from other people’s plates, seemed very full indeed. There’s also several other options, including pancakes, cereal, breakfast baps and kippers.
It will come as no surprise to regular readers that I had the Eggs Florentine, which was excellent. For the uninitiated, it’s the vegetarian option of Eggs Benedict with spinach instead of ham; for the un-uninitiated, Eggs Benedict is poached egg on an (English) muffin with hollandaise sauce. Since I’m a sucker for poached eggs, I’m pretty much guaranteed to like any Eggs Florentine unless the eggs are really badly done, but I have to say that the hollandaise sauce at Quay Ingredient was especially lovely. I know that for research purposes, I should have had something else on my second visit, but I had such fond memories of the Eggs Florentine from my first visit that I had to have them again on my return.
Although Quay Ingredient titles itself a Coffee House, the coffee isn’t its focus. On my first visit, the coffee was from local roasting legend, Pumphrey’s but by the time of my second visit, Quay Ingredient had switched to Glasgow’s Matthew Algie. The tea, on both occasions, was from local tea merchants, Ringtons.
There was nothing wrong with my two flat whites (one per visit), but Newcastle is a city with some outstanding options for great coffee, so it would have to be something pretty special for me to recommend it on the basis of the coffee alone. Fortunately for Quay Ingredient, the breakfast is more than draw enough and I can see me starting the majority of my days in Newcastle here.
|4 QUEEN STREET • NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE • NE1 3UG|
|http://quayingredient.co.uk/||+44 (0) 191 447 2327|
|Monday||08:00 – 17:00||Roaster||Matthew Algie (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 17:00||Seating||Tables, Sofas, Bar, Table Outside|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 17:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 17:00||Service||Table|
|Friday||08:00 – 17:00||Cards||Visa, Mastercard|
|Saturday||08:00 – 17:00||Wifi||Free (with login)|
|Sunday||08:00 – 17:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||No||Visits||20th April, 31st October 2013|
Liked this? Then don’t forget to check out the Coffee Spot Guide to Newcastle & Gateshead for more great Coffee Spots.
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