Dear readers, you’ll know by now that our love of Asian food holds no bounds so when Meet & Treat invited us along to give their menu a whirl, we were more than happy to! Read on to see how our evening went…
Meet & Treat Café is just on the outskirts of Stowell Street (China Town), wedged nicely between HanaHana and Fujiyama (two popular Japanese Teppanyaki restaurants). I had organised to meet a friend for dinner, and she had beaten me there and was sitting on the sofa as I arrived.
I’ve got to say, I’m not one for usually taking lots of interior photos, but this place had such a cool vibe, and was one of the reasons why I was excited to visit. You know how some places get Instagram-famous (good places to take photographs for Instagram/blogs/social media to make all your friends jealous)? Well, this is definitely one of those types of places.
It was eclectic and informal, with pops of colour and twinklings of fairy lights. It is definitely the sort of place where you could hang out for a couple of hours (as we proved, by staying until closing!) I could also see it being really popular for those wanting to work on their laptops and grab some food/coffee/cake!
From fat tub chairs and sofas to high bar stools and wooden tables, there’s plenty of seating and after a few visits, I’m sure you’ll have a ‘favourite’ spot.
When Meet & Treat first opened, their menu was quite broad and didn’t really focus on their Asian offering as much, but they’ve honed it in (which I think is for the best!) and serve delicious noodle soups, gua bao (delicious Chinese buns), small bites like dumplings and chicken wings, rice dishes, salads and a very small random wrap section which I think appeals to those friends who aren’t keen on Asian cuisine but still want to eat here! They also do desserts, but we’ll get onto that later!)
I decided to order Deep-Fried Chicken Dumplings for my starter, which came quickly from the kitchen and were full of flavour. They were also nicely presented with a salad and dipping sauce, which I wasn’t expecting. I’d definitely order these again next time I go, they were crispy on the outside and a really good price (£3.80 for 4).
For my main, my gaze was firmly fixed on the noodle soups. They are one of my favourite dishes, and I think they’re just the perfect thing to eat on a cold winter’s night. I decided to try Deep-Fried Pork Katsu Noodles (looking back on this…my choices were very deep-fried focused!)
I was astounded by the portion size. Look at that! I expected a few slices of pork on the top of the noodles, not a PLATE-full! Wow. I had my work cut out for me (and, spoiler: I was defeated). The pork had a lovely flavour and a nice crunch with the crispy coating, and even when added to the soup, they didn’t go soft and mushy. The soup was packed full of noodles, broth, vegetables and an omelette-style egg, and although the broth wasn’t strongly rich in flavour which I would have liked, it was really enjoyable. The only slight changes I would have made would have been to have a fried egg or soft-boiled egg instead, but who am I to be choosy when there was so much on offer.
This really is my version of comfort food at its finest.
The service throughout our visit was great as well, we were given a jug of water for the table by our waiter, and given personal recommendations on his favourite dishes… which is how my friend ended up ordering this for her dessert….
… A Banana and Salted Caramel Waffle! It was fab! (I did have a bite.) The waffle was freshly made and caramel sauce was generously drizzled over the dish. I was a bit jealous, but I was just too full after my enormous noodle soup, so decided to try a slice of Dime Cake from their cake counter, which was lovely, and the perfect sweet note to end the dinner.
I love Meet & Treat. It is a perfect cafe for so many occasions – and (here’s the mum in me coming out!) they also have high chairs and baby-changing facilities, so I’ll definitely be bringing the little one here in the near future. It’s great for a casual place to meet friends, somewhere to grab food before going to the theatre/football match etc, or just a lovely place to hang solo with you and your laptop. Add them to your list for next time you visit Newcastle, and let me know what you think!